Political parties back KESC workers` strike call for today
KARACHI: The Awami National Party (ANP) on Thursday backed the strike call for Friday against increasing loadshedding and outages.
The call was given by the CBA of the Karachi Electric Supply Company in protest against the recent sacking of over 4,000 workers of the utility.
The ANP leader appealed to the business community and traders to keep their businesses closed to join in the citywide strike called by the party for Friday against electricity loadshedding in Karachi.
ANP Sindh president Shahi Syed, who is also chairman of the Pakhtun Action Committee (or Loya Jirga), made the appeal while speaking at a press conference at the party’s office, Mardan House. He also urged the masses to help make the protest a success.
He urged the management of the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) to bring an end to loadshedding and settle its disputes with the protesting employees of the utility through a dialogue.
Transporters join in strike
The Karachi Transport Ittehad (KTI) has responded positively to the KESC workers union’s call for a strike in the city on Friday.
KTI Chairman Irshad Hussain Bukhari told PPI that a KESC labour union delegation called on him on Wednesday and sought support of transporters for their citywide strike. He said KTI expressed solidarity with the sacked KESC workers, “who are fighting a battle for their rights”.
Mr Bukhari regretted the sacking of 4,000 KESC workers and described it as ‘unjustifiable’.
“We sympathise with the dejected workers and will stand by them by keeping our vehicles off the roads on the strike day,” he said.
Various political and nationalist parties have extended their support for the KESC workers’ call for a strike on Friday. Most of them appeared to be those who had recently attended an ‘all-parties conference’ held at the Karachi Press Club against power outages and KESC’s hostile attitude towards its workers. They also called for renationalising the power utility.
The parties which have backed the strike call include Jamaat-i-Islami, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, JSQM-Aresar, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Punjabi Pakhtun Ittehad, Balochistan National Party, Pakistan People’s Party-SB and Workers Party Pakistan.
The Jamaat-i-Islami has finalised the arrangements for a two-day sit-in against loadshedding and KESC’s inability to control outages, as well as drone attacks, inflation, unemployment, extortion and US interference in Pakistan’s affairs. The sit-in will
be staged on from 4pm to 10pm on Saturday and 4pm to 7pm on Sunday at Tibet Centre on M.A. Jinnah Road, according to JI Karachi Amir Mohammad Hussain Mehanti.
Speaking at a ceremony held at Empress Market to inaugurate a 60-feet-float prepared for the sit-in, he urged people to join hands with his party for the ouster of the present government and for an Islamic revaluation in the country.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf has announced that it would plan sit-ins outside every KESC office if the loadshedding was not contained and outages controlled at the earliest.
According to a press release issued on Thursday, the decision was taken in a meeting held at the party’s provincial secretariat.