HYDERABAD/MIRPURKHAS – Trade centres and business houses in the second largest city of the province of Sindh observed a shutter down strike in protest against the a statement of provincial education minister vowing not to allow setting up of a Hyderabad University.

In his address to the Convocation of Jamshoro University, Provincial Education Minister, Pir Mazharul Haq had revealed that he would not allow the setting up of a University in Hyderabad city and would stand in the way of any such efforts. The MQM sharply rejecting this statement termed it anti-Sindh and injustice to the citizens of Hyderabad and gave a call for peaceful protests. Responding to the call of the MQM, Hyderabad Anjuman Tajiran announced to observe a strike and shops and trade centres Sunday morning were seen closed all across the city, while citizens torched tyres in different areas protesting the prejudiced remarks and displayed condemnation banners.

Meanwhile,  armed bike riders resorted to aerial firing in Latifabad, Sadar, Haider Chowk and other busy market places, creating panic among citizens which closed all kind of business activities.

Busy markets of Latifabad, Reshamgali, Shahibazar, Gari Khata, Tower Market and Pakka Qila remained closed due to an announced strike in the city on the holiday, with low traffic on roads. Police said two people were injured in the firing at Hyderabad's Auto Bhan Road. In Mirpurkhas, a large number of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement activists staged a rally to protest against the statement of Pir Mazharul Haq regarding proposed Hyderabad University. The rally started from MQM zonal office and marched to the Press Club.  MQM zonal incharge Fareed Ahmed, MPA Faheem Ahmed and ex-nazim Dr Zafar Kamali led the rally. Rais Ahmed, Ishrat Baji and other speakers condemned the statement of Pir and termed it a conspiracy to fan urban-rural hatred in Sindh.  Similar rallies were also staged in Tando Adam and other towns.

Meanwhile, MQM Chief Altaf Hussain said the statement by Sindh Education Minister Pir Mazharul Haq has caused grief and distress to the people of Hyderabad. Speaking via telephone to the members of MQM Hyderabad Zonal Committee, Altaf said he was opposed to the divide of Sindh in past and does not want this to happen, adding, "It is part of our manifesto to provide the people with education, employment and health facilities."

The Muttahida chief urged the people of Hyderabad to rise in peaceful protest against the statement of provincial education minister; but, no state or private properties should be harmed in this meantime.