MST’s demand for new province surfaces, in anonymous debut

Published: March 10, 2012

Mohajir Sooba activists holding up placards and chanting slogans for a separate province outside the Karachi press club on Tuesday, March 6. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: Politically fuelled movements for the creation of Hazara and Seraiki provinces have emerged in recent months. The latest to join the fray are the Mohajir Sooba Tahreek (MST), a movement calling for the creation of a separate province in Sindh for the Mohajir people.

The group made its official debut at a protest at the Karachi Press Club on Tuesday, March 6. But unlike the dozens of protests that take place outside the press club on a daily basis, this was marked by anonymity and little clarity.

Those at the protest were reluctant to discuss their demands, and anyone trying to do so was asked to hold their tongues by men whose eyes were hidden behind dark sunglasses.

“Our ancestors sacrificed for the creation of Pakistan and what we are given today? We just want our own province and nothing else,” one man told reporters. While he wanted to talk at length, another angry man pushed him back and whispered into his ear.

“At least we should have our own chief minister,” another protester said, but a couple of men took him away.

The emergence of the MST, coupled with graffiti that has popped up recently across the city demanding the creation of a Mohajir province, has inevitably raised questions about the group’s origins. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) was born as the Mohajir Qaumi Movement from the sense of discrimination the Mohajir community faced in Karachi. But the MQM denies it has anything to do with the movement, even though text messages advertising the protest came from members of the party. The MQM has supported the creation of a Hazara and Seraiki province, and moved legislation in the National Assembly on the issue, which sparked a row when Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, questioned the MQM’s motives. The MQM has also moved legislation for the deletion of Article 239 (4) from the constitution, which deals with the assent needed to create new provinces. That move has met with consternation from nationalist parties in Sindh, who have turned against the PPP for not opposing the MQM’s proposal at the outset.

One man, who was distributing placards and posters, also refused to share his name. “I am from Liaquatabad and our organisation is the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and I belong to unit 158 of the MQM. We are with the MQM and Altaf bhai till our last breath but our leaders are unaware of this protest,” he said. He told The Express Tribune that the protesters were demanding a separate province because Mohajirs are not given any share in government jobs and are discriminated against at educational institutions. “The Awami National Party’s (ANP) men don’t allow us to get an education and jobs in Karachi while nationalist parties are hindering our ways in rural Sindh,” he said.

“It is our right,” a young man in his thirties said. “We’ll take revenge,” he said, and disappeared into the crowd.

“We want our own province. There can be no other compensation. We have been tortured, humiliated and killed for years,” was the impassioned plea of a young attendee.

Pamphlets were being distributed on the street corners by men who directed the protesters not to speak to anyone. “Just chant slogans,” he instructed attendees.

“We need the Mohajir province in Sindh,” said one. “Everyone is demanding provinces, why not us? You can’t imagine how people will join us… but this is not a protest for today. Such protests will be organised in the days ahead. If rulers can’t understand our issues they should leave us alone.”

Published in The Express Tribune, March 10th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Sindhvoice
    Mar 10, 2012 - 5:36AM

    It seems a conspiracy to create a divide between Sindhis and Mohajirs. Whoever is behind this heinous and shameful movement is actually trying to push situation of Sindh towards instability and civil war. People of Sindh accepted millions of refuges as good will and they let them settle and prosper in Sindh. And Mohajirs live in Urban Sindh and they enjoy all perks and bounties of urban life. What more they expect from Sindh? but People of Sindh wont allow any one to play with territorial integrity of Sindh. If any one wants province for them, they can go out of Sindh, because Pakistan DOES NOT end in Sindh. Let’s live like brothers side by side and stop conspiring against against peaceful people of Sindhis.

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  • papoo piplia
    Mar 10, 2012 - 7:01AM

    probably funded by ANP and PML-N to sabotage the seraiki and hazara provinces.

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  • zafar khan
    Mar 10, 2012 - 9:11AM

    if the ppp can demand for new provinces in punjab and KPK,then why not new provinces in sindh?Recommend

  • samad mehsud
    Mar 10, 2012 - 9:23AM

    Since both the ppp and mqm are making efforts to make new provinces in other places,they should first join hands together and use their two thirds majority in the sindh assembly to create a new muhajir sooba from what is currently sindh province.Those working for new provinces elsewhere should start from their own home first.

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  • Mar 10, 2012 - 7:40PM

    Another conspiracy against MQM

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  • Mar 10, 2012 - 8:04PM

    Muhajir Province is the right of Muhajirs. If Sindhis don’t want to see Divided Sindh, then Share Rights on equal basis.Recommend

  • Mar 13, 2012 - 10:13PM

    Demanding Mahajir Sooba is Good … But we won’t raise our voice until other gets their Destination ( Saraiki , hazara) sooba !!!

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  • m.ahsan haroon
    Apr 1, 2012 - 4:24PM

    legal demad of ppl and the solution of law and order problem of karachi

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  • pakistani
    Apr 3, 2012 - 11:21PM

    what sindh is reaping now is harvested by your forefathers, the ILK of bhuttos for sindh.
    ZAB- berkley graduate, BB- columbia/harvard grad, BBZ is now in cambridge. But all your leaders failed to open 1 single english medium school in Larkana till today.
    The whole sindh is just dune of sand. The budget is always allocated for whole sindh, not just for karachi. and they ruin it by ghost schools, empty hospitals, corruption.

    for the realm of your existence, i am a sindhi too, but from Khairpur. Which was a seperate state. A very prosperous and welfare state. but captured and included in SINDH.

    where were you or your forefathers, when sindh was thrown under bombay presidency?
    where were you/your sindhi brothers, when chunk of east sindh handed into gujrat, india?
    where were you when parts of jacoobabad was lost in Bela, baluchistan.

    FOR GOD SAKE. he is saying, and praying to authorities to STOP this ugly language used by sindhi nationalist against urdu speaking SINDHIIIIIIIIIIIIISSSSSS……..

    read the article again, and then comment!

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