KARACHI: Mohajir Qaumi Movement leader Afaq Ahmed on Sunday called for a decisive movement for “urban Sindh province” saying that was the only solution to the decades-old issues being faced by the community. He proposed unification of all “pro-Karachi political groups” inviting the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP), besides other Karachi-based political entities, to unite on a single platform to launch the movement.
Addressing an impressive power show at Bagh-i-Jinnah, next to the Quaid-i-Azam’s mausoleum, his MQM (until recently known as Haqiqi) made its presence felt after years of alienation from political limelight.
Afaq’s address made the listeners to believe that the party was going to maintain the tempo with aggressive activism across major urban centres of Sindh in the months to come.
Speaking to an emotionally charged crowd of men, women and children, the MQM chief said he was clear about his ideology, and insisted that those doing politics from different platforms for becoming a national-level organisation had failed as Mohajirs could not get their rights in Sindh. He warned that the people of his community were forced to launch a decisive movement after realising that making demands and holding rallies alone never attracted attention of power corridors.
Through a resolution the participants demanded an end to the quota system, fresh and transparent census, major share of Mohajir youths in police jobs and a strong local bodies system. After the resolution was adopted, Afaq Ahmed made the final announcement about unification of all Mohajir entities and offered his “apology for the past mistakes.”
“I appeal to Wasim Akhtar, I appeal to Khalid Maqbool Siddiqi, I appeal to Anis Qaimkhani and I appeal to Amir Khan to forgive me; and let’s unite on a single platform,” he said while the crowd was raising slogans in favour of his announcement. “I also appeal to Mustafa Kamal. We have achieved nothing by shedding the word of Mohajir from our politics. We have not achieved anything. This is the word which gives us strength. This is the word which gives life to our parties when they face elimination. So for the sake of your nation and for the sake of your people, I appeal to you to return to your identity. Join hands so that we can launch a decisive movement for a south Sindh province.”
Earlier, during his speech he recounted a number of “unjust moves” both from the federal and Sindh governments that isolated the Mohajir community and left them with inferiority complex. The most educated and respected community of the country, he said, was deprived and exploited only on ethnic grounds.
“But we are loyal to this country and do not like [Chief Minister] Murad Ali Shah,” he said referring to the recent speech by the CM on the floor of the Sindh Assembly accusing the opposition of “trying to create a rural-urban ethnic divide”. An angry CM had asked the opposition: “Do you want people from Islamabad to occupy Sindh? The people of Sindh will never allow such an occupation. Yes, we are part of Pakistan and we should be considered part of the country. Don’t create a situation that could lead people to start thinking about something different. You are in minority and will remain in minority, and you will never be able to take decisions”.
Published in Dawn, December 27th, 2021