The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has demanded formation of 20 new administrative units in Pakistan, saying the new administrative divisions will rectify the problems faced by the country’s common people.
Addressing a public rally at the city’s Shahrah-e-Quaideen on Sunday, MQM’s senior leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said the party would launch a movement for formation of new units after Muharram.
The MQM had announced it will observe a ‘black day’ on Sunday and called the rally at late Saturday night to protest against Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Syed Khursheed Shah’s recent remarks. Shah, while talking to the media, had called ‘Mohajir’ a derogatory term.
The MQM had earlier said that Shah’s remark had not only hurt the Urdu-speaking community but was also tantamount to committing blasphemy as the Holy Prophet (PBUH) had also migrated and was called ‘Mohajir’.
Siddiqui clarified that the MQM is a liberal and progressive party but it wanted to record its protest as it could not tolerate any insulting remark against the Holy Prophet (PBUH).“We migrated from India as we followed the path of the last Prophet (PBUH),” he added.
He said there was a difference between refugees and migrated people. “We are migrated people and have rights on this land.”
The MQM’s leader said both Sindhi-speaking Sindhis and Urdu-speaking Sindhis, who lived in Karachi and other cities had given their verdict in favour of new provinces by observing a peaceful ‘Black Day’ across Sindh.
Farooq Sattar said the PPP leadership claimed to break the status quo in Pakistan but strengthened the status quo in Sindh by supporting the feudal.
“There is no conflict between common people of urban and rural Sindh but we are against feudal lords of Sindh and the new administrative units will turn Pakistan into Jinnah’s Pakistan” he said.
He said Karachi was not getting its share, as the PPP-led government indulged in corruption. The dilapidated condition of rural cities – including Larkana, Sukkur and Jakobabad – is a real proof of the PPP corruption, he added.
He said Karachi generated 90% revenue of Sindh but 88% of it was illegally used by the PPP leadership. “Now we are demanding our rights,” he said.
He said the MQM would not let ‘Yazeediat’ to establish in Karachi as well as rural Sindh.
Addressing the rally, Haidar Abbas Rizvi said the huge rally was organised on 18-hours’ notice which proved that people of Karachi are diehard supporters of the MQM leader Altaf Hussain.
“It is not Bagh-e-Jinnah gathering, where the people were called from interior Sindh,” he added.
He said the MQM would spend public money only on public. “If we have Rs2 billion, we will spend it on all areas of Pakistan,” he said.
He said Khursheed Shah’s comment on the term ‘Mohajir’ was not a small sin. He said he was abusing the people, who migrated from India of their own will.
‘PPP willing to embrace MQM’
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has said the PPP’s Sindh government is willing to embrace the MQM again in the spirit of reconciliation. “But we won’t compromise on the question of division of Sindh,” he said, while addressing a gathering in Tharparkar on Sunday.
The chief minister said his government was prepared to talk to the MQM to address their just demands.
“We want to talk to them for peace,” he said, adding that the government had accepted resignations of the CM’s advisers on MQM’s insistence. “However, accepting resignations of the provincial ministers is the discretion of Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad,” he added.
Meanwhile, commercial areas, schools, colleges, banks and petrol pumps remained closed in some parts of Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Nawabshah, Sanghar and Tando Allahyar districts on MQM’s ‘Black Day’.
The party’s supporters hoisted black flags at important buildings and squares in certain areas. The entry test for Lyari’s Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University, which was scheduled in Hyderabad, was postponed.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 27th, 2014.
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