Demand for Mohajir province: Rally attack creates rift within ruling party

Published: May 24, 2012

Sindh ministers demand explanation from Rehman Malik, clarification from MQM on their stand on a Mohajir province. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: 

The attack on the Awami Tehreek rally in Karachi, which claimed 13 lives on Tuesday, has intensified divisions in the senior Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leadership.

Party ministers have not only demanded an explanation from the federal interior minister for his remarks regarding the involvement of people from Thatta in the violence, but have also asked the party to approach its coalition partner, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), and ask it to clarify its stance on a prospective Mohajir province.

Heated exchange

Heated words were exchanged during the Sindh Cabinet meeting of PPP ministers on Wednesday, sources said. The situation became tense when the provincial culture minister, Sassui Palijo, started criticising Interior Minister Rehman Malik and the MQM.

Sassui, who belongs to Thatta, is the first cousin of Ayaz Palijo who held the Awami Tehreek rally.

A majority of PPP ministers, including Murad Ali Shah, Jam Saifullah Dharejo, Zahid Bhurgari, Ali Nawaz Shah and Ayaz Soomro, seconded Sassui and decided to lodge a complaint with President Asif Ali Zardari against Malik, sources added.

Senior minister Pir Mazharul Haq attempted to intervene and reiterated President Zardari’s reconciliation policy, in vain.

“We will not accept the reconciliation policy at the cost of killing our people. We have now arrived at a point where we make or break the alliance,” sources quoted Sassui as replying.

Seeking clarification

Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah tried to pacify Sassui and Haq and said he would talk to Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ebad and ask him to clarify his party (MQM’s) position on the Mohajir province.

“Today, I have received information from police and intelligence agencies that some elements belonging to his party (the MQM) are patronising the movement and are also involved in the attack on the rally. Let us get his version on it before taking any decision,” a lawmaker present at the meeting quoted the chief minister as saying.

Sindh Finance Minister Murad Ali Shah, addressing the chief minister, said, “We should look into why the police and Rangers were getting directives from the Governor House, instead of you.”

The provincial cabinet decided to take action against police officials who were silent spectators when the rally was attacked.

The meeting also expressed concern over the non-compliance of the chief minister’s orders, by the district administration, to remove billboards and banners across the city calling for a Mohajir province.

A spokesperson for the chief minister, however, said that no heated arguments were exchanged between the ministers, who, according to him, demanded an impartial inquiry and action against the criminals.

In the name of reconciliation

Officials of intelligence agencies and paramilitary forces said they cannot be blamed for the deteriorating law and order situation.

“This has all happened in the name of reconciliation,” sources quoted the director-general Rangers as saying.

“We arrest people and hand them over to the police, but they are all released by the police on the directives of high-ups,” he added.

The Rangers chief sought the chief minister’s “full permission” for action against those suspected of being involved in violence but sources said the chief minister did not give him a direct response.

The meeting also sought to regulate rallies, processions and public gatherings and designate special days for holding them. No decisions, however, were arrived at.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2012.

Reader Comments (28)

  • Syed
    May 24, 2012 - 9:51AM

    Whatever the people say i have noticed that MQM and PPP were doing a good job for atleast betterment of relationships between Urdu speaking sindhis and Sindhi speaking sindhis. But, this present layer of 3rd party intervention has ruined all the efforts and really messed up those efforts.

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  • saher
    May 24, 2012 - 10:15AM

    My parents migrated, but seriously, these ppl who are demanding another province for muhajirs, need to be given a full dose on how they are not muhajirs, there parents might be, but whoever was born here in Pakistan, technically cannot be called a muhajir!

    they should look for another name for their ethnicity if they are suffering from identity crisis.

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  • Ali
    May 24, 2012 - 10:26AM

    Whats the problem with a Mohajir province? Making more provinces will bring more autonomy and a greater economic progress on a national level.
    If a Siraiki and a Hazara province can be made, a Mohajir province is inevitable!
    Damn these Feudal lords and opportunists of Sindh/Punjab/KPK/Baluchistan hindering the progress of Pakistan

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  • DevilHunterX
    May 24, 2012 - 10:33AM

    First Seraiki now this? Thank you PPP for showing the way

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  • Billoo Bhaya
    May 24, 2012 - 10:42AM

    What a bunch of idiots!!!

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  • Asim Siyal
    May 24, 2012 - 10:59AM

    MQM is again playing its dirty game, and it is the one of the reason that this party has never been able to set its foot outside karachi.
    they have raised this slogan before also in 70s and 80s.
    and there is no one except MQM leaders behind this movement as this movement’s leaders have not shown themselves yet.
    pity when people and at least educated people will get rid of this mafia.

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  • yusuf
    May 24, 2012 - 11:28AM

    Complete show of vested interests…..Personal agendas, family politics!

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  • chaudhry
    May 24, 2012 - 11:48AM

    Why the media did not cover the funerals of those who were killed? Give it a serious thought readers

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  • vigilant
    May 24, 2012 - 12:20PM

    Hell with this reconciliation and political parties like MQM, PPP and ANP

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  • Goshi
    May 24, 2012 - 12:26PM

    I wonder the demand for Mohajir province is being made by the people who are the most privileged class in Pakistan since 1947. Usually, provinces are demanded by marginalized people are not involved in mainstream process of development but here Mohajir have always remained at the center, enjoying every kind of perk and privileges….

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  • Ahmed HM
    May 24, 2012 - 12:34PM

    My ancestors migrated from India in 1947 but in no way I am a Mohajir as I was born here. There is no need for a Mohajir province. If one does wish for provinces, it should be named as North Sindh and South Sindh. We all know whose behind the Mohajir province, its none other that the corrupt, violent and hypocrite MQM.

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  • Atif
    May 24, 2012 - 12:34PM

    Now this is sheer injustice, if administrative units are good for Punjab and other parts of the country then why the administrative units are not good for sindh ? PPP is a party from Sindh, isn’t a double standard when they demand provinces in Punjab and KPK and deny the popular demand in Sindh ? afterall Urdu Speaking settlers are a sizeable population in urban sindh as seraikis are a sizeable population in southern punjab. this is denial, i hope sanity prevails

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  • Jameel ur Rasheed
    May 24, 2012 - 12:50PM

    Pak Fauj Zindabad??? any move with patronage of Pak Army is a key to success! really?

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  • Realistic
    May 24, 2012 - 12:52PM

    Shame on you. Can a MUHAJIR (migratee) demand a province?

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  • true_blue_pakistani
    May 24, 2012 - 1:28PM

    There are other provinces being created. What is wrong in creating Mohajir province?
    Why so much unwanted talk on that?

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  • May 24, 2012 - 1:31PM

    If it wasnt for these feudal lords, my friends who call themselves mohajir still wouldn’t exist.

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  • Ammad Malik
    May 24, 2012 - 2:37PM

    @Atif @Ali

    The people of southern Punjab demand a separate province on the premises of their oppression by takht-e-lahore, which is no secret to any grown up in this country. What geographical area would the Mohajir province entail? What would be their premise? Doesn’t add up and certainly not comparable to the situation Punjab.

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  • Goshi
    May 24, 2012 - 2:40PM

    Suppose, even if Mohajir province is created, it will be ruled by the fascism of MQM. No other party will be allowed to participate in the political process. It will create more problems for Mohajirs than what they are facing now. Then what is the point of creating province without ensuring the political rights of people..

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  • Dr. Doolittle
    May 24, 2012 - 2:49PM

    Nawaz league is funding the Sindhi nationalists. He creating this mayhem in response to the division of Punjab. He is covertly supporting the division of Sindh while overtly opposing it.

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  • Karachitie
    May 24, 2012 - 4:58PM

    @Dr. Doolittle:
    like US and UK is funding MQM.

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  • Sindhvoice
    May 24, 2012 - 5:18PM

    Mohajirs should realise that when they migrated to Pakistan, they did not come to a conquered land, it was rather land of Sindhi people who voluntarily became part of this federation through democratic process. Since they have come to settle here in Sindh forever, they have to accept this fact that they have to live with Sindhis in their land. Accept the facts and live as brothers in our land and if you dont want to integrate in Sindh because you belong to so called Nobel culture and supereme language, you have choice to migrate to some other place, where you feel more comfortable. Rest assured that Sindhis are very sensitive about their motherland, and we can go to any extreme to protect territorial integrity of Sindh.

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  • M. Ahmed
    May 24, 2012 - 5:41PM

    @ Sindhvoice

    Facts reveal that many urdu speaking people have migrated to US, UK and Canada.

    One big name is Dr. Syed Tariq Shahab who migrated to USA and now is husband of our pretty actress Reema.

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  • Syed Faisal
    May 24, 2012 - 6:32PM

    This is a dirty game played by MQM, and not only that they have attacked a peaceful rally.
    If this had happened to the Mohajir sooba rally you would have seen the media in a different way. Karachi is under the clutches of a leader who lives in london and controlling karachi

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  • Rauf
    May 24, 2012 - 6:52PM

    Sindh has given everything to Urdu speaking immigrants. Rest assured they can find no land like Sindh anywhere in the world. So Sindh deserves their respect. But suba talk is the way in which Sindh is being repaid.

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  • Karachiite
    May 24, 2012 - 7:04PM

    I am a Urdu Speaker from Karachi and I think this demand of a Muhajir province is totally baseless. There are no Muhajirs in Pakistan, those born here are Pakistanis. Its just a political slogan used by MQM for its voilence based politics.

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  • HS
    May 24, 2012 - 9:08PM

    Didn’t ppp see it coming when they started talk about dividing punjab. Flood gates have been opened now. Other people have their aspirations as well. Plus it isn’t a crime to demand a province.Recommend

  • Izhar
    May 27, 2012 - 6:41PM

    No doubt MQM is culprit cat, now she is out bag, because elections are nearer and they are using poverty striking labor class of Orangi town like Bangalis, Biharis, etc to lead this moment. That is why MQM has always denied election under Army control in Karachi.

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  • May 31, 2012 - 3:55AM

    @saher:
    changing of ethnical name doesn’t give the rights if it can so all muhajir are sindhi but constitution discriminate bitween sindhi and urdu speekings

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