Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) tsunami is yet to deluge the Sindhi nationalist politics which seems impervious to the party’s shows of strength and the consequent membership blitz.
Dr Qadir Magsi, the chairman of Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party, reflected this sentiment at the party’s annual workers congress on Saturday.
“The people of Sindh used to consider Imran Khan as a progressive, democratic and liberal person,” he said. “His revolutionary vision was hijacked by the establishment.”
Magsi said that Khan is bringing back centralisation of the administration. “Sindh is not interested in this old concept of centralisation, fundamentalism and Islamic welfare state that he advocates,” he asserted. “The provinces suffered under that system for a long time.”
The PTI, which was seen to embrace the political leaders and workers of all hues, was also making overtures to the nationalists. It’s vice chairman, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, called upon the chief of Sindh United Party, Jalal Mehmood Shah, a few days back in Karachi. The meeting, however, failed to win support for the party.
“PTI is the third option created by the establishment for people who are fed up with the politics of the Sharifs and Zardari,” Magsi said. He also criticised Pakistan Peoples Party for compromising the interests of Sindh by announcing schemes like Zulfiqarabad and providing employment to foreigners in the Thar Coal project.
He said that these projects will reduce Sindhis into a minority and rejected the prospect of government’s ouster before March 2012. He called the Senate elections “media hype” but made a demand for elections in 2012 under a caretaker set-up.
“The prime minister should advise the president to form a caretaker set-up and announce elections,” he said.
Magsi also announced that the nationalist parties will field joint candidates on each constituency of the national and provincial assemblies in Sindh. “I will contest from Qasimabad,” he declared.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 1st, 2012.