We are not third-rate citizens!


Having proposed the names of four retired judges and a barrister for the slot of caretaker chief minister of Sindh, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) feels that establishment and prejudicial nationalists in the province are discriminating against the Urdu-speaking Mohajirs, said MQM’s coordination committee that simultaneously met in London and Karachi on Thursday night.
The coordination committee held its meeting to decide the names for caretaker chief minister in Sindh where MQM with its 51 provincial lawmakers happens to be the second largest political party.
Friday saw MQM’s Sardar Ahmed, Leader of the House in Sindh Assembly, unveiling five names in a post-session media talk at the Assembly for being considered for the top executive slot in the interim setup.
The MQM’s nominees include justice (r) Nasir Aslam Zahid, Barrister Habibur Rehman, justice (r) Ghaus Muhammad, justice (r) Muneeb Ahmed Khan and justice (r) Mehmood Alam Rizvi.
Flanked by former health minister Dr Sagheer Ahmed, Ahmed said he would soon formally forward the above-mentioned names to Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah.
In a related development, the coordination committee and its self-exiled chief Altaf Hussain issued separate statements complaining that descendents of the founders of Pakistan were being treated as “third-grade citizens” in Sindh.
Whereas the committee stopped short of taking a particular name, the firebrand founding leader of MQM warned the establishment of Sindh and the ‘prejudicial nationalist elements’ against their attitude.
“They will be free to take ‘any decision’ about their future if the establishment of Sindh and the prejudicial nationalist elements did not change their attitude, continued to look down upon the descendents of the founders of Pakistan as third-rate citizens, persisted in mocking the Urdu-speaking people as not being the son of the soil and continued to proscribe the high public offices for the Urdu-speaking people,” Altaf warned.
Talking to the committee members, the MQM chief claimed they were being denied high public offices in Sindh. He said the Urdu-speaking people in particular, and the public in general, had been showing restraint because of his appeals for peace and patience.
“They sacrificed thousands of lives but showed patience and did not take the law into their own hands. However, I would ask them to face all such circumstances with patience,” Altaf said.
The MQM’s coordination committee was a bit more open and did not minch words sensitizing the appointment of Sindh’s caretaker CM along the ethnic lines.
The committee questioned that how long they would not be considered sons of soils in Sindh when all those Mohajirs whose parents’ graves were in Sindh and whose life and death, livelihood and living was very much linked with Sindh and those who were abroad in connection with jobs and yet they sent their earnings only to the province.
It wondered that till what time “Mohajirs”, despite having all the abilities and capabilities and meeting all standards, would be deemed ineligible for the post of Sindh chief minister.
it was beyond its comprehension that why the names of “Mohajir” retired judges, former bureaucrats and other eminent personalities were not considered for the post of Sindh chief minister.
“Only the old Sindhis have the right to become caretaker chief minister of the province?” it asked.
Wanting the merit to prevail, the committee noted with concern that on one hand, there was not a single name of any “Mohajir” amongst the nominees for the interim CM slot and, on the other, it was being said that no “Mohajir” would be acceptable for the post even if they were capable and competent for it.
“Isn’t it ironic that people belonging to Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkwa could be appointed as IGP, DIG, commissioner, home secretary, chief secretary and on other top positions in Sindh while the Mohajirs who were born and nurtured in Sindh and whose livelihood was linked with Sindh could not be considered eligible for the post of chief minister of the province,” the committee opined.
The committee, however, decided that MQM would choose the name of a person for the post of Sindh’s caretaker CM taking into consideration his character, reputation and attitude irrespective of the fact whether he is “a new or an old Sindhi”.