KARACHI: Most political parties feel that a very small chunk of Urdu-speaking people are demanding a separate province and this is not acceptable to any ethnic group in Sindh.
Such a conspiracy will lead to a civil war and disintegration of the country, they said at an all-parties conference titled ‘Solidarity of Sindh’.
The discussion was organised on Tuesday by the Sindh United Party (SUP). All political, religious and nationalist parties, except for the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), were present at the event. Some civil society groups and Baloch representatives also attended.
Those present blamed the ruling coalition partners, the PPP and MQM, for the volatile law and order situation in Sindh. They alleged that both parties were fuelling ethnic tensions before the upcoming elections.
“The division of Sindh is a conspiracy and splitting it will lead to the disintegration of Pakistan,” warned the Sindh president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Syed Ghous Ali Shah. “If we want to save Pakistan, we’ll have to save Sindh first. My party has always focused on the problems of the province and will always fight for its rights,” he added. “Educated and sane Urdu-speaking people do not want a separate province.”
The Awami National Party (ANP) strongly spoke out against the division of the province. “Sindh is for Sindhis. It has given us respect and honour and we are with its sons,” said Shahi Syed, the provincial chief of the party.
The Sindh president of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Nadar Akmal Laghari, said that, “the PTI is not in favour of the division of Sindh.”
Though political parties took a soft tone on the issue of the Mohajir Suba, nationalist parties had harsh words for the leadership of the MQM and PPP. “The MQM has to clarify its position – it should not continue to fool people,” said Dr Qadir Magsi, the head of the Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party. “We will not let anybody divide Sindh and fight till our last breath.”
Members of other parties, including Dr Niaz Kalani, the acting chairman of the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, Riaz Chandio of the Jeay Sindh Mahaz, Qadar Ranto of the Awami Tehreek, said that the people of Sindh will fight if this conspiracy continued.
Prominent human rights activist, Iqbal Haider, criticised the intelligence agencies and warned Urdu-speaking people to keep a distance from the Mohajir Suba Tehreek and MQM. “Thousands of Urdu-speaking people have adopted the culture of Sindh and there would be bloodshed if this movement to divide Sindh continues,” he said.
“We all have to sit-down and map out a plan of action together,” said Dr Khalid Mehmood Soomro of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam.
A 14-point declaration was read by Barrister Zameer Ghumro and passed unanimously. One party was blamed for attacking the Mohbat-e-Sindh rally on May 22. Those present demanded that the government ban the activities of that party.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 30th, 2012.