Next phase of Free Karachi campaign launched

ANI | Updated: Feb 05, 2018 10:34 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb 5 (ANI): The Free Karachi Campaign has launched its second phase in the United States with billboards advertisements.

As part of the campaign, nearly 100 taxis will run around the US capital with #FreeKarachi banners.

The taxi routes include important locations of the city such as- White House, Capitol Hill, State Department and lawmakers' offices.

The campaign for the rights of the people of urban Sindh Province of Pakistan had kickstarted last week in Washington D.C. on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day when taxis displaying "Free Karachi" banners participated in the parade.

One of the leading US newspapers, Washington Times, also published a special four-page wrap highlighting the aims and objectives of the campaign. The campaign is getting worldwide attention and the US lawmakers are raising their voices over the human rights abuses in Karachi.

Free Karachi spokesperson Nadeem Nusrat said, "The Free Karachi Campaign has no political objectives. Its purpose is to create worldwide awareness about the plight of the democracy-loving, secular people of Karachi and other urban areas of Sindh who have been facing one crackdown after another at the hands of Pakistan's military forces."

"The aim of the campaign is to convey the message to the US administration that around 70 million Mohajirs are trusted US allies in the war against extremism and terrorism. Karachi, the port city of Pakistan, needs immediate attention of the US and the world community as the city faces a serious threat from Taliban, ISIS, and like-minded extremist forces," he added.

Since 1992, over 22,000 Urdu-speaking Mohajirs have been killed in urban Sindh by Pakistani security forces. Since 2013 alone, hundreds of Mohajirs have gone missing and tortured dead bodies of Mohajirs are routinely dumped in Karachi's outskirts.

While religious extremist outfits are allowed to freely preach their twisted ideology of religious hatred in Karachi under the protection of paramilitary rangers, the democratically elected mainstream political party of Mohajirs, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) is facing an announced ban on its activities.

Karachi, the city that alone generates nearly 70 percent revenue for Pakistan's national treasury and over 90 percent for Sindh province, has no representation in the national and provincial governments. The city's population exceeds the population of the rest of the Sindh province.

Another main issue that Karachi faces is its absolute absence in the city's law enforcement agencies. Its people are not accepted by the city's police and paramilitary rangers. The non-local law enforcement agencies treat Karachiites as the "people of occupied territory".

The citizens are routinely kidnapped and are only released after paying an extortionate amount. Those who refuse to pay or cannot afford to pay are either booked in fake charges or killed extrajudicially.

The term 'Mohajir' is used to describe the Urdu-speaking immigrants who left India in 1947 and came to Pakistan. A large chunk of them settled in the Sindh province.

Earlier in January, the first phase of Free Karachi Campaign was launched in Washington D.C. on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. (ANI)