ISLAMABAD: It was like stirring a hornet’s nest that Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) leader Mahmood Khan Achakzai, an ally of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, did in the National Assembly on Wednesday by suggesting a Lebanon-type remedy to Karachi’s violence and to the electoral domination of the city by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).

This idea, which appeared to be only a loud thinking of the veteran Pashtun nationalist leader from Balochistan, and somewhat more seriously pleaded demand by him for a government inquiry into a May 12, 2007 massacre by gunmen to block a visit to Karachi by then-suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, provoked a storm of criticism from MQM lawmakers who linked the move to what they saw as conspiracies to undermine the mandate of their party of mainly the majority Urdu-speaking population.

Mr Achakzai, who sat relaxed in his front-row seat after his speech to hear speaker after speaker from MQM denounce his thoughts, had wondered why members of other linguistic or ethnic groups in Karachi like Sindhis, Pashtuns, Punjabis and Balochis could not be elected to either the Sindh provincial assembly or National Assembly in proportion to their populations.

In his main speech of the day in an unfinished discussion on former president Asif Ali Zardari’s address to a June 10 joint sitting of parliament as then-president, the PkMAP leader estimated the minimum strength of non-Urdu-speaking communities in Karachi’s population of about 20 million at 1m to 1.5m Sindhis, about as many Punjabis and Balochis separately and 3m to 4m Pashtuns, and said “they should get their rightful representation (in the assemblies)”.

He cited the example of Lebanon, whose constitution provides for a Maronite Christian president, a Sunni prime minister and a Shia speaker of the chamber of deputies as a means to ensure inter-communal harmony.

With no support from any other party in the house and some milder finger-pointing from some members of the Pakistan People’s Party and at least one from the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-N during the debate, MQM members seemed much angered by Mr Achakzai’s description of Karachi as the “city of terrorists” but their demand for an apology from him went unheeded after the apparently unguarded remark was ordered to be expunged from the house record.

Another suggestion from Mr Achakzai for creating a “separate parliament” for the seven administrative agencies of Fata elected on the one-man-one-vote basis and for having an elected governor there was overshadowed by his observations about Karachi, which included an offer by him to lodge an FIR about the May 12, 2007 incident, in which more than 40 people were killed by gunfire, and a challenge to the government that if failed to hold an inquiry “you will not be able to run the country”.

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Comments (21)

Kakka Karachi Ka
September 19, 2013 6:08 am

Seems a workable solution. At least it is working in Lebanon. If it is good for the goose, it must be good for the gander.

September 19, 2013 6:32 am

Everyone talk about division . Why don't they bring Pakistan ,why they don't talk about Pakistani. This is a responsibility of our leader try to abolish all ethnic ,race and religious related parties.

September 19, 2013 6:42 am

Even the smart ones make mistakes. He spoke too much.

September 19, 2013 6:46 am

He presented a solution in his infinite wisdom. He probably thinks that a bad solution is better than status quo. What do you expect from these old politician. If he were that smart than he would have been doing something useful such as opening a new college or University in his own city. What happens to old politicians ? do they just sunset like old cowboys or re-cycled in Pakistan.

September 19, 2013 6:53 am

As a Pakistani I would support the idea as long as it is implemented across all provinces, FATA and the capital. No go areas in Baluchistan, Sind , KPK and Punjab be abolished. People should be allowed to purchase land in all areas of Pakistan including Baluchistan without fear for their life or property. If people from all regions of the world can settle in US why Non-Baluchis can't settle in Baluchistan.

Muhammad Farooq
September 19, 2013 7:38 am

city of Karachi and for that matter country Pakistan should not be represented in the parliament on the linguistic or ethnic basis.

M. Ahmed
September 19, 2013 7:47 am

This man along with others need to be in mental institution. Him and others so called politicians do not deserve to be in law making institution. No wonder Pakistan is in such a dire situation.

September 19, 2013 9:42 am

He is the most honest politician and have good understanding of the currently complex issues Pakistan faces.His suggestions how to bring peace and harmony among the various ethnic groups residing in Karachi should not be underestimated. This really a big problem in Pakistan that hundreds of incidents occurred without any investigation as a result embolden the criminals to take law in their own hands. So the present government should seriously consider and act upon the suggestions of Mr. Achakzai.

Ghalib Khan
September 19, 2013 9:49 am

Why don't you sort out your province first,

All the experts on Karachi are not from Karachi, everybody wants a share in fact a lions share from this cake, so my city bleeds.

September 19, 2013 10:04 am

Evidently Achakzai Sahib does not posses the arithmetic ability of a class three student or he does not believe in counting the votes.

S. Israr Ali
September 19, 2013 10:11 am

What about Baluchistan! Is it not the province of terrorists? Moreso, how it is that though Baluchistan home to also large number of Urdu speaking, Hazaras, Punjabis and Sindhis but why did not they contest elections and get elected to PA or NA according to their population.
September 19, 2013 10:23 am

He is the only brave and honest person who can call a spade a spade.Others including press are hypocrites and would only save their skins.Who is not afraid of terror gangs in Karachi?Whose activists are busy in killing poor people in karachi?Who closed karachi last week ?

September 19, 2013 11:02 am

The only person who is patriot and talks sense. I fully agree with him. Well done and a good speech by Mr Achakzai.

September 19, 2013 11:13 am

This is the thinking and advise of one patriotic Pakistani, who want his country join the ranks of countries which are going forward, peaceful not the countries which are going into reverse gear .... stone age. Whatever he suggested should be taken seriously and debated on the assembly floor.

September 19, 2013 12:55 pm

I endorse his demands . He is the only man he wants to prosper Pakistan. If someone is sincere and want to see prosper Pakistan, he /she would act upon these demands. Long live Pakistan

September 19, 2013 1:09 pm

Achakzai said the right thing there should be investigation on 12th of may -ncident in which many people lost their lives. Why mqm has reservation on investigation if they are not involved people affected should get gestification.

September 19, 2013 1:40 pm

very well and you are the only one who can speach openly and fearful.

September 19, 2013 2:06 pm

Facts are the enemy of the truth and he fails to see that difference

September 19, 2013 8:54 pm

@ali: Please give Pakistan a break and a sigh of relieve, the country is very tired, wants little rest under a quiet tree beside fresh water flow. Pakistan is like a bad and ugly marriage, where the couple fights all day and every day, and then one of them dies, the ruling kleptocrats are dancing the masters tune.

September 19, 2013 10:43 pm

@syed: Excuse me gentleman, it appears that like Mr Achakzai, you also do not belong to Karachi or at least do not understand what the issue is all about. Like all the other so called national leaders, he also serms to be interested in the land of Karachi not its people. I would have respected him more if in the same breath he had analyzed the perils of the quota system, the inadequate municipal strucure, the multiplicity of authorities governing the land of Karachi. Like other vested leaders, he just limited himself to making a case fir a bigger piece of the pie.

September 20, 2013 5:39 am

There should be a law, anyone who wants to represent an area in election should be a resident of that area for the past 2/3 of his life (atleast). Regardless of his area of origin or language. Or better yet, should have a domicile of that Provence, and birth certificate of that city.

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