Along with the decision to break talks with the government and not withdraw resignations, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has officially announced the launch of its movement for a separate province.
Senior leader Dr Farooq Sattar told The Express Tribune that they have publicly announced a movement for a separate province in lower Sindh early on Saturday. “We are now focusing on getting a separate province and we will start mobilising people.”
The MQM will not hold any negotiations with the government and will not return to the assemblies, a press release stated on Saturday.
Last week, the MQM quit the Senate and the National and Sindh assemblies, citing their reservations over the ongoing targeted operation in Karachi. They had claimed that they were being victimised.
However, a few days later, the party agreed to talks with the government-appointed mediator, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who came to Nine Zero on Tuesday. On Rehman’s invitation, the party agreed to hold further talks with the government in Islamabad. However, the premier’s visit to Karachi on Thursday and the cold shoulder he extended to the MQM made its leaders rethink their decision. “We have refused any talks. There will be no talks. The prime minister did not utter a single word regarding the MQM’s issues and reservations, and we feel the government is not serious.”
The MQM is now focusing on a separate province but, Sattar admitted, the party has yet to think of a demarcation. It will consist of lower Sindh and constitute urban parts of the province, he added.
MQM Rabita Committee member Aminul Haque said that they will hold consultations with the people of Karachi, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas and Nawabashah. “The party supports formation of other provinces also, such as the Hazara province,” he said. The party also held a press conference on Saturday where former senator Farogh Naseem that the Constitution has space for formation of a new province.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2015.