Sir: Mr Solangi, in his column ‘The Karachi card’ has tried to give an ethnic colour to his narrative. Not too long ago, when the PPP was running the federal and Sindh government, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) protested in Karachi and raised the voice for Sindhu Desh but no action was taken against them by the PPP government. Mr Solangi wrote that Altaf Hussain proposed the Sindh I and Sindh II formula to divide Sindh. He proposed the formula because of unequal distribution of resources between rural and urban Sindh. This unequal distribution was started by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who divided rural and urban Sindh through the quota system. The thinking behind the quota system was to develop the rural areas and bring them at par with the urban centres. On ground we have not seen any development in rural Sindh. Historically Sindh has always been ruled by Sindhi rulers mostly under PPP’s flag and once or twice by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), without any substantial results.
Mr Solangi has based his column on one point that is Altaf Hussain’s demand for a separate province. He has however ignored the point that Hussain in the first place has asked to eliminate the quota system and demanded for the equal distribution of resources among the people of urban and rural Sindh. And not to forget that equal distribution was also supported by a senior member of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Shah Mahmood Qureshi. If Awami National Party and Jamaat-e-Islami are not supporting the idea of equal distribution of resources, it is because they virtually have no representation in Sindh.
Mr Solangi should understand that the feeling of alienation among the Sindhi nationalists shows that they have reached the point of frustration. The people of rural Sindh are still deprived of the basic necessities of life such as clean water, proper housing, schools and other infrastructure.
Mr Solangi has asked the government to charge Altaf Hussain for the provocative idea of breaking Pakistan. How does the demand of a separate province fall under the definition of breaking the county? I would like to question Mr Solangi why would a man be charged on demanding something which is constitutionally not illegal? Demanding new provinces is a constitutional right of any party or group.
According to Article 239 (4): “A Bill to amend the Constitution which would have the effect of altering the limits of a Province shall not be presented to the President for assent unless it has been passed by the Provincial Assembly of that Province by the votes of not less than two-third of its total membership.”
Mr Solangi pointed towards the admission policy for rural Sindh’s students in Karachi’s institutions. Once again I will bring in the PPP-sponsored quota system. The system was made in the 1970s to shift the required budget to rural Sindh so that the areas can have basic amenities and better education at par with the urban areas. Why do these students still need to come to Karachi for their education? What has happened to the budget that was mostly generated from the taxpayers’ money of Karachi but was shifted to rural Sindh for development?
Who has stopped the PPP and other Sindhi rulers from building universities in Larkana, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas, Badin, etc.? It is easy for others to blame Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) for the miseries of rural Sindh but unfortunately these Sindhi rulers are themselves to be blamed for the miseries of their people.
Mr Solangi is quite vocal about the students of rural Sindh but who will raise voice for the students of urban Sindh? Is this not the constitutional right of students of Karachi to take admission in the institutions of Karachi?