BADIN: Former Sindh home minister Dr Zulfikar Ali Mirza on Monday slammed alleged kidnapping of a councillor of his group and accused the Sindh government of using ugly tactics to force his close aides and members elected as independents in local government elections to switch loyalties.
In a statement issued to Dawn, Dr Mirza alleged that on the directives of PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari the Sindh government was pursuing a policy of carrot and stick against elected members of his group.
He warned the government of dire consequences and claimed that Luqman Sheedi, an elected councillor from ward No1 of the Tando Bago town, was kidnapped by PPP leaders including Haji Sain Bux Jamali, who wanted to get his son Khan Sahib Jamali elected as chairman of Tando Bago town committee.
Dr Mirza vowed to foil what he saw as nefarious designs of Jamalis and other PPP leaders to undermine his group’s majority in the town committee. Mr Sheedi was proposer of two candidates Comrade Ishu Lohano and Ms Shehar Bano for reserved seats, he said.
He lashed out at returning officer Shams Shaikh and district returning officer (DRO) Rafique Quraishi for rejecting nomination forms of his group’s candidates who wanted to contest elections for reserved seats in UCs, town committees and Badin municipality.
He warned Mr Quraishi, who is also deputy commissioner of Badin, to stop taking steps to appease PPP leaders and said that he and his supporters were only getting justice from courts and thanked district and sessions judge Badin for restoring forms of 67 candidates of his group after they were rejected by Mr Quraishi.
Meanwhile, a large number of supporters and elected councillors led by Dilber Sindhi, Sikandar Ali Memon, Balo Sheedi and Ms Shehar Bano staged a demonstration outside the DRO office against kidnapping of Mr Sheedi.
The supporters of Dr Mirza also demonstrated outside Tando Bago press club to register protest against the kidnapping.
Mr Sheedi had defected to PPP a month ago but rejoined Dr Mirza group after a couple of days.
Khan Sahib Jamali, a strong candidate for the office of chairman of Tando Bago town committee, denied any involvement in Mr Sheedi’s kidnapping and said neither was he kidnapped by them nor was he arrested by police. Mr Sheedi had gone into hiding to avoid backlash of Dr Mirza after he joined PPP two months ago, he said.