KARACHI: In a charged address to his supporters on Sunday evening, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain said that ‘Sindh should remain Sindh’ and then went on to suggest the province must be split into two parts.
Addressing a large number of people at the ground adjacent to Aladdin Park in Karachi, the MQM chief said, “If Sindh's urban population is not accepted by the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and not given its due rights, then there should be a separate province for them. Sindh must be split into Sindh One and Sindh Two.”
On the occasion, he said that a lesson should be learnt from the past and rather than any bloodshed ‘it is better to sit and talk things out.’
Sunday’s address is a follow-up on the Friday speech that prompted mainstream political parties as well as nationalists’ leaders to severely criticise Altaf Hussain’s divisionary politics.
Earlier on Friday evening, speaking to the party workers in Hyderabad, the MQM chief had said that if their demands were unacceptable to PPP, then the Urdu speaking Sindhis should be given a separate province.
He had demanded equal rights for Urdu and Sindhi speaking population of Sindh and went on to threaten that the demand of a separate province can quickly turn into a demand of a separate country for Urdu speakers of Sindh.
Rivals slam Altaf’s speech
Altaf Hussain’s speech was slammed by his political rivals and led to heated statements being issued by almost all mainstream leaders.
Many including PPP leader Sharjeel Memon said that it was well planned move to distract attention from the Musharraf case.
In a series of tweets sent out on Sunday evening, PPP Patron-in-chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari once again said no to Sindh’s division, opposed the 50/50 formula and said that the MQM members were lying to Altaf Hussain.
“Can a mother ever be divided into two parts?” questioned Awami Tehreek's Ayaz Latif Palijo, a Sindhi nationalist leader, on DawnNews while discussing Altaf Hussain’s speech. His party along with other nationalists’ parties has called for a strike on Monday to condemn the speech.
Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf leader Shireen Mazari said that Sindh was not someone’s jageer and everyone had a right to it.
Meanwhile, speaking at ‘Pakistan Bacaho’ and ‘Jannisaraan-e-Mustafa Conference in Nishtar Park in Lahore, Sunni Tehrik leader Sarwar Qadri said that speaking about Sindh’s breakup was a conspiracy towards breaking the country.