KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly unanimously passed a resolution on Friday condemning the recent spate of wall chalking and posters seen in Karachi calling for a Muhajir province, and called on the government to expose whoever was behind it.
The Mohajir Sooba Tehreek, with no known leadership, held a protest calling for the creation of a province for Mohajirs on Tuesday at the Karachi Press Club, and has been promoting itself via graffiti on walls in Karachi and emails to media organisations.
The issue was first highlighted by Sindh Culture Minister Sassui Palijo, who was speaking on a point of order. However, a resolution on the subject had already been drafted by Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) MPA Nusrat Seher Abbasi and Palijo and other MPAs from the Pakistan Peoples Party, PML-F and the National Peoples Party signed the resolution text before it was moved in the assembly by Abbasi.
PML-Q (likeminded) MPA Abdul Razzaque Rahimoon had also spoken about the issue on Tuesday while talking to reporters outside the assembly.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) MPA Amir Moin Pirzada spoke about the resolution, and stated that his party condemned the graffiti and was not aware of who was behind it. But Pirzada noted that there were calls for a ‘Sindhudesh’ province as well, and that separatist groups had been responsible for damaging railway tracks in Sindh and wondered if the government should open talks with these groups and ask them why they felt this way.
This suggestion was rubbished by Palijo when she spoke to reporters after the session had ended. “These demands have not come from the indigenous people of Sindh, the people who live here. This is a historic province. We will not tolerate any conspiracy.”
Palijo told reporters that the demand had no basis, and was a conspiracy to create a “civil war” in the province. She has asked the interior ministry and the home department to look into who was responsible for the graffiti. “I want to make it clear to our brothers that Pakistan’s boundaries are sacred to us. No one is in favour of the division of Sindh, and we will not accept any wickedness.”
Two of the backers of the resolution – Palijo and PPP MPA Humera Alwani – noted that a coalition partner of the PPP had not signed the resolution, which they would have liked. When questioned, Alwani told reporters that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement had not signed the resolution and their assent to the resolution when it was put to vote was not audible.