KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) on Sunday announced that it would launch a province-wide protest campaign from Thursday (Sept 24) for the “rights of urban Sindh”, saying it would also support all other parties planning to take out rallies for the rights of Karachi and other urban areas of the province.
The MQM-P had earlier announced that it would stage a big rally on Sept 22, but on Sunday it said that the date of the event was changed and now the party would take out the rally on Sept 24.
“The [Sept 24] rally of the MQM-Pakistan will be the beginning of a struggle for the rights of Karachi,” MQM-P convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui told a press conference here.
Accompanied by senior leaders Amir Khan, Kanwar Naveed, IT & Telecom Minister Aminul Haque and others, he said that there was a dire need for creating new provinces in Pakistan in view of increasing population and people not getting their due rights.
“The strongest case for creation of a new province is of Sindh. Creation of a ‘South Sindh’ or ‘Urban Sindh’ province is a constitutional demand of the people of urban areas of Sindh,” he said, adding that the MQM-P fully acknowledged the identity and rights of Pakhtuns, Kashmiris, Bengalis and others living in urban parts of Sindh.
Lashing out at the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), he said it had been ruling over Sindh for the last 13 years on the basis of “artificial majority”.
He said that the PPP government had snatched the right of employment from the people of urban Sindh as it gave only four per cent jobs, instead of 40pc as per the rural-urban job quota, to the youths of urban Sindh.
Dr Siddiqui said that 90pc government jobs of urban Sindh had been given to the people of other provinces and rural Sindh on the basis of fake domiciles.
He criticised the policy of nationalisation and urban-rural quota imposed by the government of then prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in Sindh, and said that educational institutions were ruined under a conspiracy.
“The biggest metropolitan city has become a big village. The height of racism can be gauged from the fact that this government had not appointed even a single Urdu-speaking administrator in Karachi, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas and Nawabshah,” he claimed.
He said that the banners regarding Sept 24 rally hung in different parts of the city were forcibly removed. He said that authorities must announce if they had imposed a ban on MQM-P.
In the wake of Jamaat-i-Islami’s planned rally on Sept 27, Dr Siddiqui said that his party would support all other parties taking out rallies and marches for the rights of Karachi.
He said that MQM-P’s ‘Karachi March’ will be the beginning of a struggle to get the rights of the urban Sindh. “We will take out a march in Hyderabad on October 4 and in Mirpurkhas on October 11 for the rights of the urban areas of Sindh,” he added.
Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2020