HYDERABAD: Acknowle­d­­ging Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari’s great favour in getting funding for the establishment of a university in Hyder­abad, Muttahida Qaumi Mov­e­ment (MQM) coordination committee members Kanwar Naveed Jamil and Ashfaq Mangi on Friday severely criticised other PPP leaders for resisting the project.

Speaking at a press conference at the local press club, the MQM leaders said it was regrettable that the university was being established in the private sector instead of the public sector because the PPP government never accep­ted the demand by the people of Hyderabad. They quoted former PPP education minister Pir Mazharul Haq as repeatedly arguing that he didn’t let it happen because it would have benefited MQM supporters alone.

Welcoming Bahria Town chairman Malik Riaz’s pledge to establish the university, the MQM leaders said it would be built within a year. He expressed his gratitude to Mr Zardari for proposing to his friend (Malik Riaz) that the university be named after Altaf Hussain. “Credit goes to Asif Zardari on account of the fact that he is not short-sighted as compare to other PPP leaders,” he said.

MPAs Sabir Kaimkhani, Rana Siddiqui and activists Naveed Shamsi and Rashid Mumtaz were also present at the press conference.

Mr Naveed, the former district nazim of Hyderabad, said Mr Riaz came forward when Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad communicated [MQM chief] Altaf Hussain’s concern over the issue to him.

Mr Mangi said that only Sindhi-speaking people had been obliged to become the chief minister of the province over the past 65 years but all of them failed to serve the masses. “All these CMs are responsible for rendering Sindh barren,” he added.

Had there been an MQM government in Sindh, there would have been universities established in Dadu, Qambar-Shahdadkot, Kashmore and Badin by now, he said.

LARKANA: Qaumi Awa­mi Tahreek (QAT) chair­­man Ayaz Latif Palijo, leading his party’s ‘Mohabbat-i-Sindh Ra­lly’ that arrived here from Dadu on Friday, reacted to Malik Riaz’s announcement saying that the tycoon “is Mr Zar­dari’s business partner and visited the ‘Nine Zero’ (MQM headquarters) on his advice to offer compensation to the terrorists, who had been killing innocent people”.

He question why he (Malik Riaz) had never been advised in the past to visit the houses of the martyrs of MRD (Movement for the restoration of Democracy) in Moro, Mehar, Dolatpur, Sek­hat, Khais­ana Mori and other towns. “The universities being established on the initiative of Mr Zardari and Riaz Malik in Karachi and Hyderabad will turn into an armoury,” he predicted.

Explaining the aim of his party’s rally, he told the participants and QAT supporters in Larkana at Jinnahbagh gate that every Sindhi should stand up against MQM’s most dangerous move of dividing Sindh. Decl­a­ring that people of Sindh would not allow the MQM ‘conspiracy’ to succeed, he said MQM could kill a few thousand people and get up to 50,000 people arrested but could not silence 50 million Sindhis resisting its plan to divide Sindh.

Criticising the PPP for encouraging the MQM, Mr Palijo without naming anyone said Sindh’s hero Houshu Sheedi fought in battlefield and laid down his life raising the slogan of ‘marvesoon marvesoon, Sindh na devesoon’ but the PPP leadership was fighting only through Twitter.

Other QAT leaders Sajid Mahisar, Sartaj Chandio, Sha­u­kat Ali Tunio and Jamil Memon also spoke at the rally.

Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2014