KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) on Thursday accused the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) of sowing hatred in the name of ethnicity in the province and mentioned several recent moves by the provincial government that proved its fears, including the fresh publication of a textbook of social studies that carried “controversial details” about those people who had migrated to Pakistan after the Fall of Dhaka in 1971.
The MQM leaders held a detailed meeting of its parliamentary party in the Sindh Assembly and then addressed the media at the assembly building mentioning the recent steps of the PPP government which had been a source of concern mainly in urban Sindh.
Senior MQM-P leader Kunwar Naveed, flanked by Khwaja Izharul Hasan, Mohammad Hussain and other MPAs of the party, said that the PPP leadership was exploiting the 18th Amendment for its vested interests.
“Ethnicity has become the core of the PPP’s politics dividing the province in urban and rural Sindh,” he said. “Among other several biased moves, the provincial government has recently made an attempt to spread its narrative of hatred in educational institutions. The Sindh Textbook Board has recently published a social studies book for students of Grade VII which carries extremely false and controversial content only to spread hatred and brainwash the schoolchildren.”
Demands recall of textbook carrying ‘controversial’ content
Mr Naveed showed the sample of the book and read out a chapter from it which called the migrants from East Pakistan after it became Bangladesh to Karachi as “escapees”, not Pakistanis. The MQM-P, he said, condemned the Sindh government’s move and demanded that the authorities recall all such books.
“It doesn’t end here. The book carries the photograph of Benazir Bhutto on its cover,” he said. “You would not find any national leader such as the Quaid-i-Azam, Allama Iqbal or Liaquat Ali Khan on the book’s cover. So should the people living in other parts of the country print the photograph of Nawaz Sharif in books for Punjab, Wali Khan for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Mr Mengal for Balochistan? We respect the deceased leader, but there should be no politics in education.”
He said the MQM-P had raised its point at the relevant forum and demanded immediate action for all its grievances leading to the politics of tolerance and democratic norms. However, he warned, the peaceful protest of the MQM-P based on argument should not be considered the party’s weakness.
“If the politics of hatred doesn’t come to a stop and the PPP government continues to move with the agenda to divide people on the basis of ethnicity and urban and rural areas, the MQM-P would be forced to call people’s protest in the streets. We would appeal to the people to come out of their homes and register their protest. No one has the right to snatch our Pakistani identity and question our patriotism,” said Mr Naveed.
Published in Dawn, January 31st, 2020