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PM clarifies his remarks about Karachiites

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addressing the National Assembly on Tuesday clarified remarks made by him earlier, for which he had to face criticism from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement.

“I was not the one to make mention of the word ‘Makhi’. I had told Governor Ishratul Ebad to take notice of the issue of strikes in Karachi. He had replied to me that if even a fly dies, there is a strike in the city. I said that strikes shouldn’t happen. I expanded on this matter in my speech, and had said that I brought your attention to this matter earlier too,” Premier Sharif told the House.

He added that, “The conversation took place in a lighter vein, but I felt it important to explain myself.”

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Friday that the frequent strikes in Karachi badly hurt national economy and urged the Sindh governor to put an end to the protests.

Addressing a function of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Mr Sharif said: “Even if a fly is killed in Karachi, a strike is observed and a protest is lodged”.

He then turned towards Governor Ishratul Ibad: “You should try that strikes are not observed (because they) solve nothing. On the contrary they are harmful to the national economy”.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) reacted strongly on Friday to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s remarks that referred to ‘culture of strike and protest’ in Karachi and the party’s chief Altaf Hussain sought an apology from him for his comments about people of the city.

The MQM chief said “What can that governor do when he is not aware of his own status — whether he is on the ECL (exit control list) or not. The prime minister should apologise for calling Karachiites a ‘makhi’ (fly).”


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