PPP-MQM spat over Hyderabad


Editorial May 10, 2010

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s somewhat innocuous remarks that he made over the weekend to a delegation of PPP legislators from Sindh have greatly upset the MQM to the extent that it has threatened to quit the coalition. The prime minister said that the division of Hyderabad district was a mistake and that it would be restored to its original position. By that he was referring to the carving out of three new districts of Matiari, Tando Allahyar and Tando Muhammad Khan. These were created under the regime of General Pervez Musharraf when Arbab Ghulam Rahim was the chief minister. The official reason given was that more districts would make life easier since districts have their own government offices and health and education facilities. However, one other plausible reason was that by doing so, the then Sindh government, which was led by a coalition of the PML-Q, PML-F and the MQM was in effect trying to cut down the power and influence of the PPP in Hyderabad. The district is considered a stronghold of the PPP, which was in the opposition at that time, and the division of the district seemed to be in line with the overall policy of the Musharraf government in that it wanted to reduce the influence in the body politic of both the PPP and the PML-N.

The MQM benefitted in the sense that the new districts covered the rural areas whose voters would not have voted for the MQM — and the party had a more concentrated votebank in the truncated district. That is precisely what happened and the MQM was quite easily able to get a nazim of its choice for Hyderabad. This is not to say that it couldn’t were the three districts still part of Hyderabad – its Aftab Sheikh had been mayor of Hyderabad from 1987 to 1992 — but only that it made the party's grip on the district stronger. The PML-Q was only happy to do this as it has diluted the PPP’s influence. So the prime minister, who is from the PPP, was not really out of line when he made these remarks. Having said that, can the changes that were made after the districts’ creation be undone? As for the MQM, surely it is preferable to talk to its coalition partner instead of hurling threats.

Published in the Express Tribune, May 11th, 2010.

COMMENTS (3)

Urban Sould | 10 years ago | Reply I think editor's understanding of the issue is limited, there are ground realities which a neutral commentator should understand, despite the fact that most of us don't want to see such realities they are there, It is correct that decision of making four districts out of previous Hyderabad district benefited MQM, but my question is was that wrong? the decision proved correct and made life alot easier for the population of Hyderabad City, development that was never seen in the history was done, even the opponents can't deny that. It is to understand that its people not parties whose interests are at stake, I can not understand why PPP and other parties who mourn the poorness of rural Sind lead the way in developing Sind, why its always party and personal benefits what they are after, why dont they convert Nawabshah, Mirpur Khas, Khairpur, Sanghar, Sukker and Sehwan into Urban centers and establish industries there? why its always about churning the developed resources of Karachi and Hyderabad? why its always about government jobs and contracts they are after? entire Sind have the potential of development, industries, urbanization and plenty of money for the feudal and politicians to benefit from, if they want to do something for the SINDHI Nation, who is really responsible for the poorness of rural Sind? is it MQM? PUNJAB? ARMY? answers are NO, no one else but the leaders, if PPP really wants to develop SIND there are millions of opportunities and resources, what lacks is the will, one don't need super intelligence to figure out the level of corruption from top to bottom, feudal interests and ethnic hatred which are the real reasons, unfortunately it seems that evil of ethnic biases is here to stay, unless the so called leaders change their mentality and will.
Roman Shah | 10 years ago | Reply chalee he rasm k na koi sar utha k chale...(Faiz)every one fears here, no one says truth... Peoples Party is in majority in Sindh, they can undo dictators bifurcation easily but they don't, despite 100% support from masses for restoring Hyderabad Distt. If official reason given is true than why not in Karachi more districts would make life easier since districts have their own government offices and health and education facilities!!! har shakh pe uloo betha he, anjam-e gulstan kia hoga!
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