KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan staged a power show in Karachi on Saturday and invited all urban political forces in the province to join its struggle against the “biased” government of Pakistan Peoples Party in Sindh that, it said, has been intentionally neglecting Karachi and other urban parts in every sphere of life.
The Karachi division of the MQM-P organised a Karachi Rights Rally in protest over the “biased” policies of the Sindh government of PPP and for the rights of all the citizens of urban areas of the province, particularly Karachi.
A large number of MQM workers and supporters including women and children reached Expo Centre, the starting point of the rally, from different parts of the city in buses, cars, motorcycles, etc. A traffic mess was witnessed on main University Road from NIPA to Hassan Square and adjoining arteries because of the rally.
Participants of the rally were carrying tri-coloured party flags, placards and shouting slogans against the “biased” policies of the Sindh government towards the people of Karachi.
Their placards were inscribed with slogans like Karachi ko pani Do (Give water to Karachi), Junoobi Sindh sooba zaroori hai (South Sindh province is necessary) as well as a demand that the “biased” government of PPP be dismissed.
Khalid Maqbool says ‘our doors are open’ to all political forces in urban Sindh
The rally reached its culmination point, the Karachi Press Club, via National Stadium flyover, Karsaz and Sharea Faisal. Outside the KPC, the rally turned into a public meeting where senior MQM-P leadership, including party convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, addressed the participants.
‘Our doors are open’
In his address, Dr Siddiqui invited all political forces in urban Sindh to come forward and join hands in the struggle for the rights of Karachi and urban parts of the province as well as against the provincial government.
“Today, youths of Karachi are deprived of employment and education opportunities. This is a historic moment as we invite all political parties in urban Sindh to come join us. Support us if you want a fair population count ... support us for getting rights of Mohajirs ... our doors are open” he said.
He especially mentioned the Jamaat-i-Islami and thanked its leadership for raising the issue of controversial population census of Karachi and said in a lighter vein that it was because of the MQM’s struggle that the JI now stopped considering population census against Shariah.
Dr Siddiqui said that Mohajirs migrated from India and came to “Jinnah’s Pakistan” where Karachi was not part of Sindh. “Karachi became Sindh’s capital in [Zulfikar Ali] Bhutto’s Pakistan. We only recognise Jinnah’s Pakistan,” he said.
He said that before independence there were 24 municipal corporations in Sindh and 21 of them were controlled by Hindus. “Hindu Sindhis migrated to India and we came here, but they [PPP] turned province of Sindh into Sindhi province.”
Demand for more provinces
He said that the Constitution of Pakistan allowed creation of new provinces in the country. “It is our demand that more provinces be carved out on administrative lines,” he said.
The MQM-P leader said that people of Karachi would start writing “South Sindh province” as their address.
He said that Sindh had been divided into two parts by the then PPP government that imposed separate quota system for rural and urban population.
“This rally is giving first notice to the racist government imposed on this city and province,” he said, adding that similar rallies would be held in Hyderabad, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas and Nawabshah.
Talking about Karachi, he said Karachi contributed Rs6.5 trillion as revenues during the past 10 years but the PPP government did not spend much in Karachi and Hyderabad and neglected even its stronghold Larkana.
He said that the MQM-P had presented the case of Karachi to powerful quarters and informed them that issues would not be resolved by CPEC as there’s a need to “pack the Sindh government”.
Later, the participants of the rally dispersed peacefully.
Published in Dawn, July 4th, 2021