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Parties reject Altaf’s demand for new provinces in Sindh

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MAULANA Owais Ahmad Noorani, secretary general of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan, presides over a multi-party conference on Tuesday. —White Star
MAULANA Owais Ahmad Noorani, secretary general of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan, presides over a multi-party conference on Tuesday. —White Star

KARACHI: A multi-party conference on Tuesday rejected a call of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement to create more administrative units in Sindh and resolved that everyone living in the province irrespective of their ethnic background would not allow the division of Sindh.

The conference, titled ‘Administrative provinces and demand for dividing Sindh is a conspiracy against Sindh, country and peace’, was jointly organised by the Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan and the Qaumi Awami Tehreek.

Besides two former chief ministers, representatives of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, PML-Functional, Jamaat-i-Islami, National Party, Awami National Party, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl, Balochistan National Party, several Sindhi nationalist parties and members of civil society and minorities attended the conference.

Know more: Altaf reiterates call for more provinces

The event was presided over by JUP Secretary General Maulana Owais Ahmad Noorani while QAT president Ayaz Latif Palejo conducted the meeting.

Mr Palejo told the audience that the Pakistan Peoples Party and the MQM were not invited to the conference. However, he said that the PPP’s Saeed Ghani was there in his personal capacity.

Maulana Noorani expressed his gratitude for demonstrating rare unity and said that his party was against carving out provinces on the basis of ethnicity and considered all those living in Sindh as brothers.

He said that every resident of Sindh would join hands to foil the conspiracies to divide Sindh.

Over three dozen speakers got the opportunity to represent the views of their party. They endorsed the stand taken by leaders of the major parties and the organisers of the event that Sindh would not be divided.

Mr Palejo read out a joint resolution, the declaration of the conference, which stated that the MPC was of the opinion that the country was facing numerous crises and Punjab was in the grip of floods due to which tens of thousands of people had been rendered homeless. The flood was entering Sindh, whereas the army was busy in the Operation Zarb-i-Azb. The law and order situation in entire Sindh, including Karachi, was not satisfactory, innocent people were being gunned down in targeted attacks, the country was in the grip of an economic and energy crisis, loadshedding and corruption was at its peak, Thar was facing a drought and millions of Sindh youth were unemployed.

It said that in this situation MQM chief Altaf Hussain had demanded 20 provinces in the country by dividing up Sindh and other provinces, which amounted to adding insult to the injury of the 180 million people of Pakistan.

The resolution said that this demand instead of creating harmony and progress in Sindh would cause chaos and create ethnic polarisation that would result in clashes and riots.

“This conference rejects any move to increase hatred and chaos which could harm the stability of Pakistan in the name of administrative provinces and all sons and daughters living in Sindh and the country who stand for peace, progress and democracy are opposed to the division of Sindh and the country, condemn it and resolve not to allow any such move to succeed,” read Mr Palejo.

“This conference wants to see fraternity and harmony among all peace-loving people in Pakistan including Sindh, and all Sindhi-, Urdu-, Pashto-, Balochi-, Seraiki- and Punjabi-speaking people living in Sindh demand that Sindh and the country not be put at stake for the sake of a clash of political, personal, party interest and for universal agenda.”

The conference also demanded immediate relief for flood-hit people.

The present circumstances demanded that confrontation be avoided in the country, full provincial autonomy be ensured, local government elections be held under a new independent election commission and menace of corruption be eliminated, it added.

Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2014