Saturday, May 2, 2009

Transporters to observe wheel jam strike on 12th

National Transport Ittehad Karachi Chairman Salim Khan Bangash announced on Friday that transporters will observe a wheel jam strike in the city on May 12 against the killing of four transporters and the torching of public transport vehicles in the recent violence in the city.

Bangash said that during the recent mayhem, rioters gunned down two drivers and two conductors and also set ablaze nine buses, 24 minibuses and six dumpers, which caused a loss of about Rs 20 million to the transporters. “As many as 25,000 minibuses, 10,000 coaches, 5,000 local buses, 60,000 motor rickshaws and 25,000 cabs ply on different roads of Karachi on a daily basis. Around 95 percent of the private transport in

Karachi is owned by the Pakhtoons and their future after the recent riots, has been put at stake,” he said. He blamed that men of a particular ethnic group were involved in this crime however, the Karachi police has registered cases against unknown attackers despite our indication of the responsible elements.

“Taliban are not present in Karachi and only an ethnic group is propagating it in order to damage the interest of Pakhtoons. “Over 0.7million people of Swat and FATA have been internally displaced due to the fight between security forces and militants there. A large number of these displaced people are heading towards Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi to take refuge at the houses of their relatives who are already settled in these cities,” he said.

Pakthoons in Karachi are striving to earn their livelihoods and none of them are involved in terrorism. “Why are the transporters in Karachi being continuously harassed in the name of Talibanisation while they are plying their vehicles on the roads of Karachi to earn a livelihood for several decades?” he questioned. He said that not only were the vehicles torched, but also the shops and houses owned by the Pakhtoons torched during the recent violence.