We will not let anybody divide Sindh, pledged elected representatives as they adopted a resolution condemning recent talk about the creation of a so-called Mohajir province within the territories of Sindh.
Emotionally charged MPAs, mostly belonging to the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party, expressed their annoyance and concern over the re-surfacing of this Mohajir sentiment that has turned up on walls, in posters and pamphlets in Karachi.
Though adopted unanimously at the Sindh Assembly session here on Friday, the resolution was, however, not signed by any of the members belonging to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).
Sassui Palijo of the PPP, who had brought up the issue before the House, said that the demand for a Mohajir province had no basis. “It is a conspiracy that will lead to ethnic riots and a civil war,” she said asking the federal interior ministry and the provincial home department to look into the matter to ascertain who was responsible for the graffiti.
In a veiled reference to MQM and Urdu-speaking people, Palijo said “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 mischief.”
The resolution, which was moved by Nusrat Seher Abbasi, demanded the government expose who was behind it and take action against them.
“I don’t see any political party backing the movement,” said an impassioned Sassui Palijo. “If [this is the case], then the government should expose the [people] behind it.” And then, at an even higher emotional pitch she said: “No son of man has the guts to try and divide Sindh into two.”
But aside from the graffiti, the house also noted that a demonstration by a “Mohajir Sooba Tahreek” took place outside the Karachi Press Club on March 6. Some people were chanting “Shaher hamara, jungle tumhara” in incendiary words referring to how the ‘Mohajirs wanted Karachi’ and the ‘jungle’ or rural Sindh could go to the rest of the people.
Nusrat Seher Abbasi and Marvi Rashidi of the PML-Q, Shazia Marri, Sassui Palijo, Humera Alwani, Saleem Khurshid Khohar of the PPP, Arif Mustafa Jatoi of the NPP, were among the signatories.
“The MQM has nothing to do with this movement,” said MQM’s MPA Aamir Moin Pirzada, arguing that people had rejected this idea by voting the PPP and MQM into power. He did suggest, however, that leaders sat down with the people behind this movement to tackle their demands.
But afterwards, the PPP’s Humera Alawani and Sassui Palijo discarded this suggestion of talking to groups, who they called “criminals”. “It would have been better had the MQM members signed the resolution,” they said, while speaking to the media in the post-session briefing.
“Why should we talk to these people? These demands have not come from the indigenous people of Sindh, the people who live here,” said Palijo. She said this couldn’t be compared to calls from the Seraiki belt in Punjab to become a separate province, which has received support from Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, because historically it was a separate area.
Alwani said they would be bringing up signatures with the chief minister as well.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 10th, 2012.