1- NATIONAL INTEGRATION
MQM wants to see national integration flourish and is of the view that without establishing a just and equitable system, national integration and the concept of Pakistan as one nation can never be achieved. MQM is of the view that mere slogans and sermons cannot consolidate and concretise national integration. To achieve this object all unjust policies and laws have to be abolished. It is through these discriminatory laws that injustice and exploitation is being perpetuated on the basis of language, ethnicity, culture, territory, nationality and religion against certain segments of the society. Whenever any class of people is unjustly treated, it gives rise among them a sense of deprivation and alienation which in turn weakens the bond of national integration. MQM therefore desires that all such unjust laws and policies should be dispensed with allowing all citizens of the country to enjoy the benefits of justice. Only then a feeling of belonging and a sense of national integration would flourish.
MQM wholeheartedly accepts the cultural, linguistic, regional, racial and religious identities of all citizens of the state. To deny such distinctions and identifications is tantamount to denying reality. Realism and Practicalism further assert that by accepting all these identities, the injustices can be eliminated thereby bringing the various communities of the country closer to each other. National integration will also strengthen as a consequence. It is therefore imperative to recognise and accept the constitutional rights of Sindhi, Punjabi, Pakhtoon, Mohajir, Baloch, Saraiki, Brohi, Makrani and all other nationalities, fraternities, lingual, cultural and religious units to provide them justice so that the fervour of national integration could grow and kinship develop.
MQM desires that by mutual co-operation in the spirit of give and take and with consensual approach, steps be taken to formulate and execute such development programs by the federal and provincial governments in which every region of the country is able to participate and effectively share its benefits and that no class of the populace should feel left out and bypassed.
In today’s world, education is the basic and most important factor to achieve progress for a nation. Well-educated nations in the world enjoy dominance over other nations. Nations lacking in education cannot achieve advancement. It is deplorable that since the inception of Pakistan successive governments paid very little attention to education. Even today the country's budget provides meagre sums for education, and as a result more than 70 percent of the population of our country has remained illiterate.
If we desire to see Pakistan a developed, prosperous and dignified country then we have to make full use of our resources and ensure education is made available to every citizen as without education no one can expect the country to be progressive and prosperous.
MQM also wants to make education easily available throughout the country by making full use of all the available resources on an emergency basis, whereby within five years the rate of literacy could be enhanced, to at least 70 percent. This target is not impossible. With determination and good intentions desired results can be achieved. Korea and some other under-developed countries are a good example to follow. In this connection MQM wants to take the following steps:
- In all towns and villages a network of schools and colleges needs to be set-up and for this purpose not only should government resources be utilised on a large scale but also non-governmental organisations and other private sector institutions should be encouraged in setting up the educational institutions throughout the country. With a view to achieving this objective, mutual co-operation among such organisations and institutions should be organised by forming a common platform under the government's supervision and help.
- By granting more powers and providing enhanced resources to the elected local bodies their role in the education, up to primary and secondary level should be increased and the framework and scope of these institutions to be enlarged and used to full potential.
- As an additional step, the federal and provincial governments should provide grants to the elected local bodies. The education up to primary level should be made compulsory and free; and all the textbooks should be provided free of cost to primary students.
- The prices of secondary and higher education textbooks need to be considerably reduced, so as to enable even the poor families to meet the expenditure on education with less burden. The educated people in general and youth in particular should be encouraged to form voluntary organisations to help and launch a crusade against illiteracy and campaign to ensure education for all.
- Allocation in the budget for education to be increased adequately to achieve these goals.
- Private educational institutions need to be encouraged to ensure their educational standards and by making legislation so as to upgrade and not allow them to become only businesses and profit making organisations. Merit should be the predominant factor in selection as MQM considers that education is a social service and should not become a trade.
- A net work of libraries should be established in all the cities and towns of the country. These libraries should be linked with each other through a well-connected system, including mobile libraries for the villages outside urban areas, to provide benefit to rural areas.
- MQM wishes to establish new universities, colleges, medical colleges, engineering colleges, technical institutes and other higher educational institutions in accordance with the increasing need of the population in a systematic and planned manner, on a regular basis.
- The present distribution of grants, given by the University Grants Commission to the universities of the country should be made fair and equitable.
- In every part of the country, especially in villages, towns and small cities, more and more vocational training centres should be established so that the younger generation and women can acquire useful skills.
- Special measures must be taken to develop scientific research and in this regard the private sector should be encouraged in an organised manner.
ELIMINATION OF DUAL EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM
The educational system of our country suffers from dual standards. In our country, advance education seems to be the right of children belonging to the rich ruling elite and bureaucrats, while the education system and the facilities for the middle class and down trodden people are that of second and third grade. Education for the rural population has been made difficult where it is considered to be the right of the children of feudal and tribal lords only.
MQM believes that no one should be deprived of a good standard of education and therefore, we have to abolish this dual system of education and standardise the education system throughout the country. MQM believes that whilst Pakistan belongs to all, then why is the educational standard for all Pakistanis not equal?
Unfortunately, the fees and expenditure of a good standard school is beyond the reach of the 98 percent poor and middle class people. The standard of education of the schools where the children of 98 percent poor and middle class receive their education is extremely backward in comparison with private and grammar schools and other schools.
MQM wants the education standards of government and municipal schools where the 98 percent of poor and middle class people of the country send their children for education to be raised to the standard of Grammar Schools. This is not beyond the realm of possibilities because MQM as an experiment has made some municipal schools in Karachi on an equal footing with top class schools.
MQM understands that to raise the standard of education, the method of appointment of teachers and increase in their salaries is vital. MQM wants to bring the pay scale of the teachers to a level that not only the good and qualified teachers are easily available but they should also feel proud in joining the teaching profession and enjoy a comfortable standard of living. In order to achieve this objective the teachers should be graded separately from other government employees.
It is necessary to point out here that government affairs and its administration are being conducted in the English language. In our country, owing to the dual educational system, the medium of instruction is usually in two languages. In State schools from primary level onwards the medium of instructions is usually Urdu, commonly known as Urdu Medium Schools. Whereas in good quality, expensive and private schools the medium for instructions is always English, these schools are termed as English Medium Schools. Invariably, the government and administrative jobs go to the people who have knowledge of English and for top positions only those people are appointed who have fluency in English language. The majority of the population in the country gets its education in Urdu language and does not know the English language at all or certainly does not have the fluency in English language. For this reason a great majority of the population is deprived of applying for top jobs despite the fact that they are quite capable of carrying out the functions. They are deprived of these positions because of the dual standards of the education system. In order to involve the majority of the public in all modes of administration so they can participate in the running of the country, the dual standards of education has to be eliminated. The medium of education should be the same in English medium schools and Urdu medium schools with a view to getting rid of the superiority which the English medium schools have taken for granted over the Urdu medium schools. Having removed the difference between the Urdu and English medium schools, MQM wants to introduce an education system where all citizens participate equally without any sense of deprivation so they can utilise their abilities to the full and everyone would have the right to qualify and hold any suitable position.
Good health and good education is necessary for a strong and healthy society. In order to provide the poor with medical facilities it is essential that from small towns to small villages and small cities to the big cities in all areas and localities a network of small health units should be installed. These units should become the centre for health and in this way at State level every citizen’s health and care would be ensured. In other words a system taking the form of National Health Scheme would be established.
In every district at least one government hospital should be set-up and in rural areas health centres comprising of at least 20 beds should be established wherein maternity services would also be provided.
With a view to removing the shortage of essential medicines and a reduction in prices, private investment and local manufacturing in pharmaceutical industries should be encouraged.
To provide medical care for the poor people, non-governmental, social and welfare organisations and institutions from the private sector should be encouraged. MQM wants the present conditions of State controlled hospitals and health centres to improve. Furthermore, in order to improve the deficiencies in administrative matters, the involvement of bureaucracy should be minimised and the hospitals should be under the control of professionals.