The alliance between the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-Q is a “temporary” one reached only in order to get the budget passed in parliament, scoffed a key leader of the rival Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz on a placatory visit to Sindhi nationalists in Karachi.
Zulfiqar Ali Khosa, accompanied by Zafar Iqbal Jhagra, spoke to the media after meeting Shah Mehmood Shah of the nationalist Save Sindh Movement. The PML-N wanted to continue with its alliance with the PPP, he said, but President Zardari had violated the Charter of Democracy signed by Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto. “How can we trust a man who says that his promise is not a verse of the Quran,” he said.
The PML-N leaders visited Karachi after a violent reaction was expressed by nationalist Sindhi parties over the Shahbaz Sharif’s statements to the effect that if Punjab could be divided then even Sindh could have another province carved out of it. There is a debate in the Punjab over a Seraiki province.
Khosa clarified that CM Shahbaz Sharif had never ever talked about forming new provinces in Sindh. “I was present when Shahbaz Sharif was talking to the media and addressing the public gathering. His statement has been misquoted,” he said, adding that the PML-N would not support any province being formed along ethnic lines.
While referring to the violent reaction, Khosa said that the attack on PML-N House four days ago was an act of terrorism, which could provoke a reaction across the country but since Mian Nawaz Sharif has always believed in the politics of tolerance and forgiveness there was no tit-for-tat. “We have the potential to retaliate in a similar manner in the Punjab,” said Khosa.
Later, the PML-N leaders went to the residence of Mumtaz Ali Bhutto of the Sindhi National Front. There, Khosa said that they had decided to shun their differences, communicate realities and provide a clear viewpoint of the PML-N agenda on the issues of Sindh. While on this trip the PML-N expressed its support for a call for a strike today by the nationalist parties against the bunglings in the census’s house count that just finished in Sindh. “We will not let anyone convert the majority into a minority,” the PML-N leaders said.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 30th, 2011.