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Domestic Politics

Awami Awaz, 30 January, P 4

Pakistan:

Article by Abdul Wahab Munshi: "What Does PPP Want; Sindh or Power?"

Yesterday, through historical strike over move against the unity of Sindh, the people of Sindh
have proved to the parties enemies of Sindh that Sindhi's are not sleeping. They will be in the
fore front in every battle for their land and snatch their rights.

The way the all nationalist parties participated in in the strike called by Save Sindh Committee is
really commendable. Specifically, the move of Ayaz Latif Palejo, Qadir Magsi and Bashir
Qureshi of becoming heir apparent of the unity of Sindh and the role of leaders they played for
the protection of every inch of Sindh should be written in golden words in the history.

Had these warriors not played their role, the future generation would have recited this verse of
Narainan Shiyam or we would have seen them in our life time saying that "this is Sindh and this
is the language of Sindh". However, power demonstrated by the people of Sindh was historical,
and they must take one step forward. They must snatch the resources and rights of Sindhi people
from the mouth of the lion and give them to the people of Sindh.

Yesterday's strike was not against any party, but was for the survival of geographic unity of
Sindh and for the preservation of the Clause-4 of the Article 239 of the constitution. Yesterday's
strike has asked several questions from people of Sindh. The first is that the state tried its best
and used resources to make this strike launched for the restoration of the existence of Sindh
ineffective. The second is that no ethnic party supported this strike for the survival of Sindh; and
they used resources to make it ineffective. All shopkeepers and transporters of Karachi were
asked not to participate in the strike. When the rally of Sindhiyani Movement tried to stage a sit-
in Jamia Cloth Market at MA Jinnah Road, a group of the motorcyclists of an ethnic party
attacked the rally in which several workers sustained injuries.

In Karachi besides the Sindhi areas, the business and transport were following daily routine and
the motorcycle riders' groups were given the task to make fail the strike, while the supporters of
strike and participants of protests were fired at in Mirpur Khas. On the other side, in Khipro and
Dadu, it was tried to make the workers of the nationalist parties hostage.

The entire story makes two things clear. The first that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement [MQM]
did not play any role in backing this defense of the survival of Sindh which makes us believe that
the MQM does consider Sindh its land or does not consider its boundaries sacrosanct and hence
did not try to retain its boundaries. However, contrary to this, the efforts were made to render this
strike ineffective. The examples were seen in Karachi and Mirpur Khas. It proves that the MQM
is trying for the Seraiki or Hazara provinces, but its real planning is to disintegrate Sindh.
Such intentions of the MQM surfaced when in 1989 in Latifabad [in Hyderabad] a US diplomat
and the top leaders of the MQM had made a plan for the creation of Jinnahpur. Thousands of
acres of land around Sindh University were given to the MQM and the planning was to settle
Urdu speakers around it and occupy Sindh University a la Karachi University.

After such disclosures by the then assistant commissioner of Kotri, Benazir Bhutto deposed his
the then chief minister of Sindh for such an act against the unity of Sindh and ignorance of the
government. However, Benazir Bhutto is not alive and dangerous bills with comments such as
boundaries of provinces are not sacrosanct are being tabled in the National Assembly, and they
are being silently accepted [for approval].

Even the Jatoi brothers and 40 other members of provincial assembly including some members
of the PPP want to introduce a resolution against such a bill that is against the unity of Sindh, but
they are not being allowed to table the desired resolution and delaying tactics are being used to
avoid this resolution. And the day came when the [bill regarding this] sensitive issue of the
survival of Sindh was handed over to the committee. The greatest minds say that delaying in the
justice is tantamount to injustice. That PPP that has Sindh card in its hands, does it want it to let
go the Sindh card? Or does it want to face defeat in the next elections? The PPP has to decide it,
because it has to face the consequences.

However, the point is if such thing had happened during the rule of General Ziaul Haq or Pervez
Musharraf, had PPP adopted the same silence? Are only nationalists responsible for the
protection the unity of Sindh? Who it being served by the elected members after getting high
offices? Are they the persons or the establishment which never want Sindh to be powerful and
strong and want the PPP to do this disservice?

Does PPP accept all this? Is only the Supreme Court responsible to search for the thousands of
unaccounted-for NATO tankers in Karachi or is government absolved from this negligence? Has
the PPP gone much low to please its coalition partner that neither they say anything about the
new electoral constituencies, nor they utter a single word against the inclusion of bogus votes in
the voters' list or say anything about the bogus home census?

After 18th amendment, the administration of educational boards is in the hands of the chief
minister, but this system is being run by someone else which is illegal. When the rulers chop off
their own hands and hand over powers to others, why will they not use it to their own ends?

The four years term of the PPP government has proved that it cannot win easily in the next
elections. In Karachi, they cannot win more than one or two seats and neither their present
coalition partners would offer them their constituencies. But having seen the changing attitudes
of times, it seems that the Sindhi card will be in the hands of the nationalist rather than the PPP
in the future. The PPP must revisit its attitude because after the next budget, the caretaker
government will take the charge. After the martyrdom of Benazir Bhutto, it seems that the PPP is
gradually getting out of people's hands like sand.
The people of Sindh should hold the PPP accountable in the next elections and the PPP high up
should held themselves accountable for this. They must look at themselves as to what they are
doing that in the same breath they are calling Musharraf the killer of Benazir Bhutto, and then
they are offering him guard of honor.

The commissionerate system now exists in Sindh and on the other side by applying the local
bodies law 54/1, the funding of Sindhi areas of Karachi has been handed over to the Karachi
Municipal Corporation [KMC]. It proves that Pervez Musharraf might have left Pakistan, but he
still exists in Sindh in the form of system of the local administration.

On the one side, the MQM talks about new units and on the other side, it has strengthened the
KMC due to the nonfunctioning of deputy commissioners. The resources of Sindhis are being
snatched to fill the mouths of the MQM. At the same time, there are double systems, double
standards, double laws; one for the MQM and other for the people of Sindh. The developmental
programs are only for Karachi and Hyderabad, where libraries and recreational parks are being
constructed, but no member of the provincial assembly or Sindhi people have been given any
funds for last seven months.

If the grants are passed, the billions of rupees are reserved for Karachi and a few millions for
Shahdadkot. Interior Sindh just relies on God. The people who give just empty hopes to people
and have not been able to help the flood affected people in the last four year, how will they
transform Sindhi into Paris in the rest of the few years?

The PPP is ruling in the center, and it has not been able to provided announced funds of billions
of rupees to the flood affected people, whereas the funds of last flood are still in the account of
the prime minister. They have not been given to people and the government could have not been
able to pay compensation to the families for their near and dear ones who dies.

Do the rulers still think that people of Sindh would not vote for somebody else, but for the PPP?
How long will the peoples of Sindh cast their votes in the name of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and
Benazir Bhutto? How long will the PPP test the patience of the people of Sindh? Now the PPP
must decide whether it wants Sindh or power.