Ethnic minorities Facing injustice in Pakistan reserve right to demand separate homeland. ALTAF HUSSAIN


London - 15 April 2002 Mr. Altaf Hussain. MQM Founder & Leader, has stated that because of the apprehensions of persecution at the hands of majority the demand for a separate homeland for minority before partition was appropriate, then could the eth

Mr. Hussain said that after the World War II, the British were compelled to leave India. However, before leaving India they engineered such a situation that the people of different religions who used to live together in harmony for decades became the enemy of each other. As a result, the demand for a separate homeland for Muslims was raised. The reason given at that time was that since the Muslims are in minority compared to the Hindus, therefore, it is feared that their rights would be usurped; would not be treated as first class citizens. It is a historical fact that millions of Muslims of Minority Muslim Provinces sacrificed their lives and worldly possessions for the creation of Pakistan. These distressed and destitute Muslims came to Pakistan, particularly to Sindh Province, which was the only province of the present day Pakistan where the Assembly under the leadership of Sain G M Syed voted in favour of Pakistan. If it had not happened then probably today Sindh would not have been part of Pakistan. Did the Sindh Assembly pass the resolution in favour of Pakistan so that in the would-be independent State, the Establishment of majority province would make Sindh its colony? Sain G M Syed was detained for life when he raised his voice against the injustices and for the rights of Sindh Province. Instead of rewarding G M Syed with a medal for supporting Pakistan Movement, he was awarded the "certificate of treachery". For the past 54 years, Sindh and other smaller provinces are facing the injustices of the Establishment of Punjab. Despite repeated pleas and demands these injustices are not being addressed. In fact, whoever raises his voice against these injustices is labelled as "traitor" and faces the wrath of State power. Under such circumstances, the people of smaller provinces are asking the question that if because of the apprehensions of persecution at the hands of majority the demand for a separate homeland for minority before partition was appropriate, then could the ethnic minorities or smaller provinces in Pakistan, who are facing injustices for the past 54 years, today reserve the right to demand the same? Mr Hussain said that the rule of "parity", to create equality between East and West Pakistan, was included in the 1956 Constitution. Regardless of the fact that the Bengalis were nearly 56 percent in majority, they agreed to the rule of parity. Even then they were termed as "traitors" when they demanded their rights. Mr Hussain asserted that we are not against Pakistan, however, when the rule of parity was considered as legitimate in 1956 then today a new constitution must be designed under the same principle, which will guarantee equal representation to all the four provinces in all the fields and institutions, including the army. The rule of parity was designed to dilute the majority of Bengalis. Today when the smaller provinces demand the same then it is rejected to maintain the hegemony of the Establishment from Punjab. Mr Hussain warned that if the legitimate demands are not met and the injustices and oppression continue then the people of smaller provinces reserve the right to raise their voice nationally and internationally against these injustices and oppression. He assured that we are raising the issue of injustices against Sindh province worldwide in front of the international community. No other party has raised this issue with the international community or the institutions despite the fact that Pakistan Peoples Party and other so-called nationalist parties raise the Sindh slogan only to acquire your votes. Mr Hussain said that he used to visit Sain G M Syed when he was ill and undergoing treatment at Jinnah Hospital in Karachi. During these meetings G M Syed informed me that he knew about the people around him, and time will tell that who is sincere and who is not. Mr Hussain said today Mr Basheer Qureshi is with us, whereas those who are not sincere are with the Establishment. He clarified that Mr Basheer Qureshi is neither his relative nor a friend. The only relation between us is that of the Sindh Dharti, he said. "If today I take his name with respect and honour, it is only because he is sincere with the people of Sindh", he declared. He reminded that those near to Sain G M Syed stand witness that he used to state that if there is someone who could attain the rights of Sindh province then it would only be Altaf Hussain. Mr Hussain said that the Urdu and the Sindhi Speaking people are born, bred and buried in Sindh. In the past we confronted each other as a result of a conspiracy. However, today by the Grace of Allah Almighty, both the sons of Sindh Dharti have united to struggle and defend the rights of Sindh Province. After the Fall of Dhaka, to serve their interest the Establishment used Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto of Sindh. When the interest was served, Bhutto was hanged. Whereas, Nawaz Sharif belonging to Punjab, was sent abroad with entire wealth despite being sentenced by the courts. In 1988, we unconditionally supported Benazir Bhutto for the premiership, however, after the accord, she did not fulfill even a single promise and none of the issues of Sindh were resolved. When Benazir became the Prime Minister for the second time, to please the Establishment, thousands of our workers were extrajudicially murdered in fake police encounters. The Government awarded the murderous police officers with medals and rewards and the same police officers committed the heinous murder of her brother Mir Murtaza Bhutto in broad daylight. Why doesn't she inform the people, particularly of Sindh that who killed Mir Murtaza Bhutto? Today she is issuing statement that if she is made the Prime Minister then she is ready to accept General Musharraf as President for five years. Mr Hussain said that we boycotted the Local Bodies Elections because holding these Elections is the prerogative of Provincial Government and not the Federal Government. Pakistan Peoples Party and all other political parties, except MQM, participated in the Local Bodies Elections. Today Benazir Bhutto on one hand is declaring to boycott the Referendum, whereas on the other hand, she is issuing statement that the Nazims belonging to PPP should welcome General Musharraf. Similarly, Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Maulana Noorani and Nawaz Sharif are branding the Referendum as un-Islamic, whereas, they declared the Referendum of General Zia as Islamic. He asked if General Zia's Referendum was legitimate then why General Musharraf's Referendum is illegitimate? Why do these "Maulvis" so frequently change their fatwaas? Addressing General Musharraf, Mr Hussain said that in the past all the army rulers including Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan and Zia Ul Haq deteriorated the situation and today the nature has provided you with a chance to win the hearts of the people, announce to provide full provincial autonomy to all the provinces and take practical steps towards it. The people of Sindh have tried several persons but none of them could solve their problems, therefore, you must give them their rights and take their good wishes and blessings. Mr Hussain said that for the sustenance of the country it is essential that provinces be granted their legitimate rights. He demanded the President Musharraf and Governor Sindh to put an end to the forceful termination of Sindhi employees from Southern Gas, Al-Noor Sugar Mills and Habib Sugar Mills in Moro. He demanded to reinstate all the affected employees. He also demanded from the Government to immediately release the unlawfully detained Mr Basheer Qureshi and other MQM and JSQM detainees. In the end he praised the efforts of the Members of Sindh Organising Committee, workers of Moro and Nawabshah for organising such a beautiful program.

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