HYDERABAD: Sindh Culture Minister Sassui Palijo has gone public with threats she said she has been receiving since the day she supported a resolution against a separate province for Mohajirs.
Palijo did not mince words as she complained that Home Minister Manzoor Wassan had not properly investigated the threats. “He is only making comments [on it],” she said at a press conference on Sunday, during which she held up a copy of the letter she received at her residence.
At a separate press conference on Sunday, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah described Palijo’s complaints against Wassan a matter between “two colleagues”. “These threats are not only against a hero but the whole Sindh and the PPP,” he observed. While the chief minister said that he had taken notice of the matter he could not give details of any progress.
After graffiti emerged calling for a separate province, the matter was taken up in the house of elected representatives on March 9. MPAs of the Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakistan Muslim League-Functional and the National Peoples Party signed a resolution after emotionally charged speeches against the graffiti.
Palijo said that she started receiving threats the next day while she was attending the Bhanbhore conference. On March 11, the PML-F’s MPA Nusrat Sehar Abbasi was the first of the signatories to the resolution to say on the floor of the house that she was being terrorised too.
Palijo said, however, that she would not be cowed. “Today, a complete strike was observed in Thatta while people protested in Tando Muhammad Khan and other areas,” she added, referring to reaction in her favour. “If these conspiracies do not end here, we will shut down the entire Sindh and all the highways until the elements behind it are exposed. The pathus (lackeys) of foreign agencies can’t intimidate Sindhis.”
The chief minister later said that Palijo’s statements regarding a provincewide strike and closing the highways was emotional and should have been avoided
According to Palijo, the letter was couriered by a shadowy group, the Mohajir Suba Liberation Army, from an address in Liaquatabad, Karachi. Palijo has requested the Sindh High Court for an investigation. She said the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s deputy convenor, Federal Minister Farooq Sattar, has categorically stated that the party is against a geographical division of Sindh but he should also have expressed the same stance against an administrative division.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 26th, 2012.