Destructive words

Published: July 14, 2011

We can only wonder what compels Dr Mirza to provoke trouble in this fashion.

Karachi, which had shown some signs of calming down as the skirmish legislation between the PPP and MQM on local government faded somewhat into the distance, has been set aflame once more following the unwise diatribe by Senior Minister of the Sindh government Dr Zulfiqar Mirza against MQM chief Altaf Hussain. The PPP, including the president and the interior minister, have already made attempts to distance themselves from Dr Mirza’s quite extraordinary remarks. But the damage has been done. Words cannot be taken back. We can only wonder what compels Dr Mirza to provoke trouble in this fashion, speaking this time at a dinner hosted by the ANP and resisting efforts to prevent him from speaking to the media.

Following Dr Mirza’s assertion that Altaf Hussain was a ‘bigger criminal’ than the leader of rival group MQM-Haqiqi, Afaq Ahmed, there has been sporadic violence not only in Karachi but also in Hyderabad, Sukkur and even Shiqarpur. This must be condemned but is, of course, not unexpected. Given the volatile situation and the rise in temperatures which has come with Dr Mirza’s astonishing attack on the MQM, there is now a very real risk that things could, in fact, grow worse over the coming days.

Far too many people have died in Karachi over the last few days as a result of tensions between political parties. We cannot afford any more deaths. Whatever the rights and wrongs of individuals or political groups, some measure of diplomacy is essential to stop the bloodshed we have seen far too often. The MQM should not let its supporters react in a manner which puts innocent lives in danger and something needs to be done to prevent the kind of uncontrolled outbursts we have witnessed again and again from Dr Mirza. They serve no useful purpose at all and we can only wonder what motivates them. Something needs to be done to keep such destructive words from being said, and to ensure that everyone follows party discipline. The repeated failure by him on this count has created repeated chaos, while the direct attack on Altaf Hussain means that things could be even worse this time round, as tensions continue to mount.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 15th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • Choudhry Waqar Azim
    Jul 14, 2011 - 10:11PM

    I can only pity on the politicians of my Dear homeland, how pathetic they are; despite the envy Mr. Mirzza have with MQM or its leader, he should not attack on any community. He even dint realize, how would our Mohajir brothers and sister will take that venom filled statement when they see a gathering of Sindhi and Pushtun Leaders making fun of them and charging against them ???; those Mohajirs have not olny possess a major part in building and creating Pakistan but they also led this country on the way of progression.

    I wish somehow oppress people of Pakistan just raised up and throw away these racist and good for nothing politicians and rule their land by their way.

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  • Hassan Farooqi
    Jul 14, 2011 - 10:20PM

    “The PPP, including the president and the interior minister, have already made attempts to distance themselves from Dr Mirza’s quite extraordinary remarks.” How? Just by saying those are his personal views? How preposterous! He has said that before and for that he was rewarded with a promotion to the rank of Sr. Minister. It just goes on to say that he is doing the dirty work of PPP, so that Manzoor Wassan, Qaim Ali Shah, and Rehman Malik could play “Good Cop”.

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  • Cautious
    Jul 14, 2011 - 10:35PM

    So a business which relies on “free speech” wants to muzzle others? While I may not agree with what was said I would argue that he had a right to say it — would also argue that the people who took to the streets to riot should be tossed in jail — and that law enforcement that sat on their duffs and did nothing to stop the rioting be fired.

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  • Choudhry Waqar Azim
    Jul 14, 2011 - 11:26PM

    @Cautious I too believe in ‘freedom of speech’ but it doesn’t mean one has got rights to hurt anyone’s emotion, it also doesn’t mean that one has full liberty to spread hate. This matter is not just as u said ‘I may not agree but he has right to say’; no … not at all, he has no right to point his finger on a respectable community who are living in millions in our country; no one should disgrace any of our ethnic communities either they are punjabi, sindhi, baloch, pushtu, siraieki or Moahjirs. One might disagree with the politics and can comment on it but not on the ethnic or linguistic communities.

    For instance, if we agree with your statement then why Muslims all around the glob protest on that satanic sketches?; why their is a law in almost every western country against denial of Holocaust ?

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  • JB
    Jul 14, 2011 - 11:56PM

    Destructive minds sir! and Pakistan is full of it

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  • Owais Atta
    Jul 15, 2011 - 12:43PM

    Author, didnt you here the whole video? The remarks about Altaf Hussain was just a small part of that video. He abused the whole ‘Mohajir Nation’ and the reaction was just right. You dont have any right to abuse any nation in such a manner. You should not show such racism at such an stage when Karachi is going through such circumstances. I wish our leader becomes unite and avoid such sort of speeches.

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  • Uza Syed
    Jul 15, 2011 - 1:57PM

    ‘Freedom of speech’ is not absolute and this right can not be allowed to anyone, it certainly can be curbed as far as ‘hate speech’ goes. While democracy must gurantee us the right to speak but it also must impose certain restrictions, you can not be allowed freedom to do evil. What Zulfiqar Mirza has done is evil. PPP must distance itself from such irresponsible individuals if it desires itself the reputation of doing politics and not peddling hatred and violence in the name of a political party.

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  • Irshad Khan
    Jul 15, 2011 - 2:51PM

    Whether speeches of Mirza suits to his status, as a leader, as a politician, as a minister, as a husband of a capable and renowned lady and also an MBBS doctor? This is surprising for every civilised person.

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  • Tribune Reader
    Jul 15, 2011 - 3:17PM

    the voilence loving thugs from thursdays fall out should be locked up permanently, i admit what mirza was completely un necessary but that doesnt merit voilemce bloodshed and vandalism. enough is enough, we people have had enough pf thugs holding this city hostage because their ethno centric politics and heightened sensitivity to anything said other than out and out praises. we are sick and tired of being held hostage in our own city our country by a bunch of thugs

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  • Mrs Z Diwan
    Jul 15, 2011 - 6:14PM

    What does Mirza think about Zulfikar Bhutto’s ancestors? Does he know where did they come from? They too were muhajirs.

    Also memons are muhajirs and the business hub is run by memons and Karachi’s 60% revenue goes to other parts of Pakistan I wonder if he thinks that memons should be kicked out???

    I think his apology is not enough he should be kicked out from the party Recommend

  • Radial
    Jul 15, 2011 - 8:09PM

    Mirza needs a history lesson and not the rubbish taught in Pakistani government schools. Given his thick skull, this lesson should be taught to him along with periodic kicks to his head, so that something seeps in. Pakistan was made, in large part, from the struggle and sacrifice, in blood and treasure, of those he is calling “bhooka nanga” urdu-speaking muhajirs. The urban, educated, and professional “muhajirs” supplied the manpower, know-how and the wealth to run Pakistan when it was created, and not the largely illiterate and tribal locals from whom Mirza hails (though of course there are exceptions, e.g. patriots and gentlemen such as Abdullah Haroon). Mirza and his ancestors did no favors in giving “muhajirs” ‘shelter’ in Sindh. “Muhajirs” moved to their own country, and to the city that at that time was the capital of the new country. Karachi was not some bustling metropolis full of 18 million highly educated and professional Sindhi Muslims in July 1947 in which “bhooka nanga” urdu-speaking muhajirs sought shelter and crumbs from Mirza’s ancestors.

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  • samandar
    Jul 15, 2011 - 8:54PM

    in a six hundred word writeup you use five hundred and fifty to condemn the mad ravings of an unfortunate representative of his party. you then in fifteen frightened words make an attempt to disapprove? the killing of seventeen innocent poor people. talk of fair reporting. you sir should be in the propaganda business.not in journalism

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  • Azmul Hussain
    Jul 16, 2011 - 11:39AM

    I do not understand why people just want to abuse Mirza on his audacious speech. Nobody has yet tried to find the root cause of such remarks by a very senior politician.
    Let me tell you why he spoke against urdu community.
    1. Pakistan wasn’t created with the sacrifices of any community. If anyone disagrees, i would like him to have a glance at true pages of history. What we learn in our text books or what is reiterated by our politicians is, albeit patriotic, not the truth.
    2. People coming from india were to be settled in Punjab also but all of them were shown the direction of Sindh. This caused massive chaos in Sindh and all those people who had nothing in India, were given acres of lands here (an injustice which is seldom accepted).
    3. All the jobs were distributed among new comers and the original dwellers were left with nothing.
    4. Sindhi language was kicked off from educational institutes and doors of Karachi universities were closed for them.
    Despite all this and many other reasons, people of Sindh remained silent. Since the establishment of Pakistan, if any language has suffered the most, it is Sindhi. Yet, nobody is ready to accept this but if any person tries to take his anger out he is targeted by everyone. Specially media has played a very negative roll in this. Sindhis are treated unfairly but nobody wants to take this issue and try to address their legitimate claims.

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