People’s Buzurg Committee to replace Amn committee


With an aim to keep the densely populated area of Lyari the stronghold of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), a ruling party-backed Peoples Buzurg Committee has been formed unofficially, which is likely to be made public after the announcement of general elections, Pakistan Today has learnt.
The newly formed Peoples’ Buzurg Committee will comprise a team of 80 elders from Lyari and will substitute the former Peoples’ Amn Committee which was banned by the Sindh government to please its coalition partner Muttehida Qaumi Movement (MQM).
The Peoples Buzurg Committee will be operated and commanded by PPP leader and former Sindh home minister Dr Zulfikar Mirza while Sardar Uzair Jan Baloch will directly look into the affairs of the committee besides making final decisions on all issues, Pakistan Today learnt through sources in the ruling party.
In October 2011, Peoples’ Amn Committee was declared a banned organisation and the Sindh home department had also issued a notification, barring the committee from pursuing any political and social activities. Per the notification, the Lyari-based group was banned under Clause 11-B of the Anti-terrorism Act 1997. The Sindh home department had also announced head money of Rs 3 million each for what sources said were the 24 most-wanted criminals, all belonging to the banned committee, including Uzair Jan Baloch, Zafar Baloch and Baba Ladlaa.
Following these steps, the dwellers and workers of the PPP in Lyari expressed extreme resentment and according to sources, the local PPP leadership had also complained to President Asif Zardari about the grievances of the people of Lyari.
Meanwhile, sister of President Zardari MNA Faryal Talpur met the elders of Lyari and it was decided that the head money on all members of the Peoples’ Amn Committee be withdrawn and the home department complied. Endorsing the home department’s action, PPP Karachi division chief MNA Abdul Qadir Patel said, “The head money was not announced in accordance with the law and the government will scrutinise each case on the list and revoke any bad decisions.”
“Lyari was PPP’s stronghold. We have approached our angry friends and we are trying to sort out the issues,” Patel said.
In addition, sources said former home minister Dr Zulfikar Mirza had been tasked to reorganise the party in Lyari which resulted in the establishment of the Peoples Buzurg Committee, primarily so that the PPP could ensure victory in elections in the area, like it had done in the past. Sources said Mirza was actively taking part in political activities in Lyari and was in direct contact with President Zardari. Pakistan Today repeatedly tried to approach Uzair Jan Baloch for his version on the matter however his cell phone remained unreachable. MQM’s Khawaja Izharul Hasan told Pakistan Today that his party’s stance on the Amn committee had not changed. “There are several other serious issues in the country that need to be resolved. The MQM will reserve its comments on the formation of the Peoples’ Buzurg Committee”, he added.