Bilawal condemns govt’s use of force on protesting teachers in Karachi

Karachi (HRNW): Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari slammed the use of force on teachers in Karachi, which has happened for the third time in a month. On Monday, primary, secondary and high school teachers faced the police’s wrath when they staged a protest in front of the Karachi Press Club (KPC) for permanent jobs and promotions and attempted to march towards Chief Minister House. They were intercepted by the police who used water cannons and batons to subdue them. “Peaceful protest is every citizen’s democratic right,” the PPP chief said. He added, “I understand Sindh police are extra independent these days but I expect Sindh CM to protect democratic norms.”

“Around 150 teachers have been arrested and the police have injured dozens of others,” Gul Leghari, an office bearer of the primary teachers’ association, said. “We will not go home until our issues are resolved,” Haji Shafi Mohammad, a senior leader of the All Sindh Primary Teachers Association, said. “I have served 15 years as a teacher. The government earlier promised to promote those who completed more than 20 years of service to scale 16. The notification was issued, but no one implemented it,” he complained. He added that more than 21,000 teachers have passed the competitive exam conducted by the National Testing Service (NTS) and Sindh University, but the government is still not giving them permanent orders.

As part of the protest, some teachers marched from Hyderabad on foot and reached Karachi on Sunday. According to the police, nearly two dozen protesting teachers were detained while six others were injured during the clash. Separately, Bilawal also said that the PPP-led Sindh government had laid a network of hospitals throughout the province to provide quality health facilities, where people from all over the country were being provided treatment free of cost. He added that it was in contrast with Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments, who were launching Metro Bus service and planting trees in their respective provinces. “Now it’s up to the people of Pakistan whether they would like to give mandate to PPP in next general elections for provision of quality education and health facilities in Pakistan or vote for other parties,” he said, during the inauguration ceremony of 3rd Satellite Centre in Hyderabad at Liaquat University Hospital (Civil Hospital)

The project was started by National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) in collaboration with the Government of Sindh. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Sindh Health Minister Dr Sikandar Ali Mandhro, MNA Naveed Qamar, former senator Maula Bux Chandio, provincial ministers Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, Jam Khan Shoro, Senator Aajiz Dhamrah and hospital management were also present. Bilawal said that NICVD, with the expansion of services in Sindh, had become the biggest cardio care facility in South Asian countries where all facilities were available. He appreciated the team of NICVD and the Sindh government on achieving another milestone to provide best cardiac care facilities to the people of the province. While addressing the ceremony, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that NICVD would be renamed as Sindh Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases after approval of party leadership. He said that a new SIUT branch would be established in Hyderabad or Larkana very soon while a cancer hospital is also being set up in Larkana.

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