New provinces: Parliamentarians desert govt over ‘division of Sindh’

PPP members, allies and opposition rally against govt in National Assembly.


Zia Khan August 09, 2011

ISLAMABAD:


Rallying in the National Assembly around an ardent call against the division of Sindh for creation of new provinces, lawmakers from the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) faced blistering criticism on Tuesday by some of their own, for ‘mishandling’ the Karachi situation.


“Sindh will never be divided. It will stay like it is. The PPP will stand for its unity,” said MNA Gul Muhammad Jakhrani, as the entire lot of his party cheered both during and after his outburst. “Dividing Sindh means dividing Pakistan and we will not let that happen,” said Gul.

Both the ‘mood and action’ was an apparent indication of how seriously the PPP will resist an effort of carving out a new province out of its political stronghold despite the fact that it wants to divide Punjab into two federating units.

Gul’s call was also supported by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Ayaz Amir who said the logic of division on ethnic or linguistic basis did not apply to Sindh because ‘there was no such demand there’.

The day also witnessed some of the PPP’s own members finding faults with some recent overtures by the federal and Sindh governments to restore peace in Karachi after July, the deadliest month in three years.

It was MNA Nabeel Gabol from Lyari who advised his party leadership to ‘forget about the policy of reconciliation’ to bring ‘real’ peace to the city. “There is no need for a policy of reconciliation anymore … an across the board action is required in Karachi,” said Gabol, who has been at odds with his party’s top leadership for some time now.

Gabol claimed that being the elected representative from Karachi’s most troubled areas, he knew who was behind the death and destruction in the city and said the government could have controlled the situation in three days, had it wanted to do so.

“I am the MNA from Lyari. Some people might have forgotten it but I am here,” said Gabol, in an apparent remark to express anger over President Zardari’s announcement that Bilawal will contest elections from Lyari.

He then advised the political parties not to rely on guns to seek control of Karachi and trust the strength of their voters and supporters.

Another PPP member from Balochistan, Syed Nasir Ali Shah, accused the government of turning a blind eye to the killings in Balochistan and sought immediate action. Shah went on to call for the resignation of Prime Minister Gilani because his son was allegedly involved in last year’s Hajj scam and for his failure to control violence in Balochistan.

(Read: Analysis: Fiddling while Balochistan, Karachi sizzle)

Then PPP’s MNA from the tribal areas Akhundzada Chattan called upon the government to fulfill one of its years-old promises to scrap the colonial Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) law to govern the country’s tribal areas till August 14 this year. “Otherwise we, the tribesmen, will observe the next independence day as a black day,” warned Chattan.

Allies, walkouts

The Awami National Party (ANP) staged a walkout to protest what one of its leaders called a ‘midnight factory grinding’ ordinance for Sindh and Karachi.

MNA Bushra Gohar was referring to a recent decision by the PPP government to restore the local bodies’ system first for Karachi and Hyderabad and then for the whole of Sindh.

The PML-N, MQM and JUI-F staged another walkout against the recent increase in gas prices and power cuts.

Silence

The government, however, maintained total silence about an overnight public statement by top military commanders, expressing concern over violence in Karachi despite the fact that an opposition member raised the issue. “The government’s incapability gives the generals a chance to speak about what is not their domain,” said PML-N’s Ayaz Amir.



Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2011.

COMMENTS (60)

Wajahat Rasheed | 9 years ago | Reply

Article 239 of the Constitution of Pakistan allows the creation of a new province through an amendment which is passed by a two-thirds majority in both houses of parliament. This vote is undertaken after a provincial assembly decides that it needs new provinces for better administration on linguistic, cultural or historical grounds. Let’s take the case of Punjab, where the Sharifs have ruled the province for several years. Rightly or wrongly, residents of the southern part of the province have felt that over the years much of the development and expenditure has taken place in central and northern parts of the province and that it has come at their expense. PML-N rather than rationally analyzing the demand of People in Sareki Belt, termed it a conspiracy against Takht-e-Lahore and launched a counter propaganda campaign to divide Sindh. Infact, the creation of new provinces is the need of hour but this division should be made in those provinces which are unable to facilitate all the population of its territory. There is not such demand of new province from Sindh which shows that there is no deprivation unlike Southern Punjab. Thus PML-N should come up with sane solution instead of terming vice of people as a conspiracy against its Takht.

Bhai Chara | 9 years ago | Reply

@Soomro For your kind information brother - Many Memons, Agha Khanis came as mohajirs from Bombay and Gujrat to Karachi during partition. Also many Christians, mostly Portugese origin came as mohajirs to Karachi during partition. Many Parsis migrated to Pakistan too. Also many Punjabis and Pathans came as mohajirs and settled in Karachi. What a beautiful multi ethnic society Pakistan has! It deserves admiration and unity! So, who do you think a mohajir is?? No race in Pakistan reminds the migrants and founders of Pakistan as mohajirs except the Sindhis. The Karachites call themselves Karachiites and not mohajirs . . . . but nooo, some of our Sindhi brothers have to regress and remind them that they are mohajirs as if Pakistan came into existane by dropping from the blue sky without the blood shed of 50 million plus!! Why bite the hand that has been feeding Sindh?? The Karachites have provided many opportunities not only to Sindh but also to Pakistan. It is about time for Karachi and Hyderabad to propel futher with its own province and make Pakistan very proud! In the end everyone is a Pakistani.

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