The hue and cry about the Mohajir Suba took a new but ugly turn on Saturday when Sindh’s nationalist parties hit out hard at the protagonists of the ‘clandestine’ movement and warned its leaders as well as the Sindh government of serious consequences if any attempt was made to divide the province or to carve out another province out of it.
A cluster of 10 nationalist parties of Sindh at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club demanded of the government to take stern action against those responsible for organising rallies, putting up billboards and banners and graffiti in different parts of Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur.
The nationalist leaders belonging to Sindh National Movement, Jeay Sindh Tehreek, Awami Jamhori Party, Sindh United Party, Awami Tehreek, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, Sindh National Party, Jeay Sindh Mahaz, Sindh Dost Democratic Party and Karachi Sindh Shehri Ittehad, also warned that Sindhi people would themselves take action against such people if the government failed to do so.
Expressing their serious concern over the demand of Mohajir Suba, the nationalists advised the Urdu-speaking community not to support any evil design of dividing Sindh. “We consider Urdu-speaking people our brothers but if they continue to demand a separate homeland here or support anti-Sindh elements, they are advised and warned to leave Sindh,” said Ali Hasan Chandio.
They said that a conspiracy was being hatched for the last couple of months. “We did not take any action fearing bloodshed but enough is enough. We are peaceful people but know how to fight for our motherland,” said Ameer Bhanbhro.
“Our elders welcomed Mohajirs at the time of partition and Urdu-speaking people enjoy all kinds of rights and privileges in Sindh today. They were elected as Nazims in major cities and are members of the national and provincial assemblies and governors as well. On the contrary, Sindhis are not given entry in the educational institutions and are denied jobs in Karachi,” said Elahi Bux Bikik.
The nationalists condemning the mysterious silence of the provincial government over the issue of Mohajir Suba and demanded the arrest of people behind this movement. “We suspect that the movement enjoys the tacit support of the provincial government. And if it is not so, the government should clear its position and impose a ban on such activities immediately,” demanded Mazhar Rahojo.
They announced a rally outside the KPC on May 28 against Mohajir Suba demand.
In Hyderabad, the Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party (STPP) issued a 72-hour ultimatum to the Sindh government to remove the wall chalking, posters, banners and posters carrying maps of Mohajir Suba from all parts of Sindh.
“If the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) government doesn’t do it then our workers will do it in every city from Karachi to Larkana. And, whatever happens as a consequence these two parties would be responsible,” said Haider Shahani, the STPP’s vice president, at a press conference on Saturday. Party’s general secretary, former vice chancellor of the Sindh Agriculture University Dr Rajab Memon, and other leaders accompanied him.
Shahani warned the PPP government of bloodshed in the province if it failed to take immediate action to defeat the designs for the division of Sindh.
He said that they have convened a meeting of all the nationalist parties to chalk out a joint strategy. The STPP vice president noted that the movement which had started with a muted demand for ‘Mohajir Suba’ by a clandestine group is now gaining momentum as an organised movement “with support of the MQM.” He alleged that “the governor is supporting them and arranging transport for their rallies.”
He asked why the MQM is not openly opposing the calls for Mohajir Suba as vociferously as it comes out on other issues.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 20th, 2012.