Over the past one week MQM chief Altaf Hussein has started suggesting that Pakistan should have 20 new and smaller provinces and that Sindh should also have more provinces. Earlier MQM had a stance that they do not want division of Sindh which they still maintain.
MQM is scared of rising popularity of PTI particularly in Sindh. This is the most serious political challenge that MQM is facing in urban Sindh, particularly in Karachi in its history. PTI has successfully penetrated those areas which were earlier considered as MQM stronghold and were virtually ‘no go areas’ for other parties. If fair & free elections are the results will be a total surprise and devastation for MQM. MQM is perturbed as its politics of gun has totally failed to deter the citizens of Karachi from joining and supporting PTI.
In order to neutralize PTI and diminish its popularity in Sindh MQM has played its trump card– the division of Sindh. MQM thinks that if PTI supports making of more provinces it will lose its support in rural Sindh and if it opposes the new provinces it will lose lose support in urban Sindh and Karachi. Someone asked Dr. Arif Alvi of PTI about this proposal of MQM to which he said, ‘ Make more smaller provinces in rest of Pakistan and leave Sindh for the time being, as it is a sensitive issue there”. Making this statement of PTI leader as an excuse MQM members staged a walkout from Assembly and have announced to stage a dharna at Teen Talwar Clifton Karachi on 21 Sept.
It is interesting to note that MQM is not protesting against PPP who always opposes the division of Sindh aggressively. MQM is not protesting against Noon league who do not have any plan for making more provinces anywhere not at all in Sindh. MQM is protesting against PTI who is not in power either in Sindh or in Center. They are protesting against just one casual statement of one of its leader which cannot be even termed as policy statement of the party. The sinister designs of MQM are very obvious to any neutral observer, particularly when Imran Khan is going to address a jalsa in Karachi on 22 Sept.
I expect PTI leadership to neutralize this conspiracy of MQM by making a clear policy statement on this sensitive issue. PTI should announce that they are not against making of new provinces in Sindh but it should be left to the people of Sindh to decide. PTI should also ask PPP (being rep of rural Sindh) and MQM (being rep of urban Sindh) to sit together, discuss the matter and form a joint commission that would decide about the number of newly proposed provinces and other related details. Once both the parties arrive at a conclusion PTI will have no reservation to support the plan.
If MQM is really serious (which I doubt it is as the past history of the party reveals) then the issue will be resolved without creating any ethnic and linguistic confrontation in the province. If MQM has floated this proposal just as a tool to trap PTI, it will be neutralized well and proper.
Written by Akhtar Malik on 20 Sept 2014