London-15 April 2001

Mr Altaf Hussain, founder and leader of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) addressed a seminar today, over telephone from London of Sindhi and Mohajir technocrats and senior Government officials at the Khursheed Memorial Hall in Azizabad, Karachi.

Addressing the seminar, Mr Altaf Hussain claimed that the people of Sindh province have been deprived of water. They are being punished for opposing the construction of the proposed Kalabagh Dam. Today, not only that the Sindh province is longing for a drop of water but her mothers, sisters daughters, elders and sons are being beaten and tortured for demanding their due share of water from the Federation. It is, therefore, imperative for Urdu-speaking and Sindhi-speaking Sindhis, the permanent citizens of Sindh, to unite and launch a collective struggle for the rights of the province of Sindh.

Mr Altaf Hussain said that the Establishment of Punjab had fostered hatred between the permanent citizens of Sindh and had polarised trivial issues through its agents to successfully pitch the permanent citizens of Sindh against each other. The permanent citizens of Sindh got so involved that they began considering those trivial issues as a matter of life and death while became oblivious of the fact that who had created the problems. We had got entangled on the issues of the Stranded Pakistanis and Quota System and continued to hate each other whilst the Establishment of Punjab made the whole Sindh, its colony. We continued to wrestle over the issue that the stranded Pakistanis would be a burden on the soil of Sindh while forgetting the Afghan Refugees who were deliberately brought to Sindh and made to settle there permanently. We continued opposing each other on the issue of the Quota System while forgetting that on what basis or accolade the Establishment of Punjab had allotted thousands of acres of lands in Sindh to the army officers. He said that we confronted each other on the issues of the Stranded Pakistanis, Quota System and the Mohajir identity as a nation and totally forgot the Establishment of Punjab that totally occupied the administration and resources of Sindh.

Mr Altaf Hussain stated that Sindh province contributes 70 to 80 per cent of the revenue to the national exchequer and this fund is expended to sustain the Federal institutions, army and rangers, dominated by Punjab. We forgot that had this fund been spent for Sindh then Sindh would have been free of the problem of Quota System or any other problem. The ruling oligarchy manifested policy of dividing the permanent citizens of Sindh to rule over them according to the doctrine of “Divide and Rule”. Today, Sindh province has become a colony of the Establishment of Punjab and Deprived of its water. The crops in Sindh is in ruins, its animals are dying, the Sindhu Rivers are dry while mothers, sisters, daughters, elders and sons are being subjected to baton charges, atrocities and brutalities and bullets for demanding water for their sustenance.

Mr Altaf Hussain said that this water crisis and deprivation has been carefully masterminded to subjugate the people of Sindh into submitting to the conspiracy of building the Kalabagh Dam. When the living beings and crops of Sindh will face devastation due to the lack of water, only then the Establishment of Punjab would propose facilitation of water to Sindh on the conditions that those opposing the construction of Kalabagh Dam shall agree to its construction.

Mr Altaf Hussain said that the occupation of the resources and land of Sindh and its income was underway since the inception of Pakistan. The Capital was shifted from Karachi to Islamabad. The Head Quarters of Defence and Financial institutions including Banks have been shifted to Punjab from Karachi to firmly put these institutions in the occupation of Punjab while the commercial and financial hub is Karachi, the city of Sindh. He claimed that no developmental projects for Sindh has been initiated or taking place, no highways, motorways or facility like Mass Transit System is being proposed or put in place for Sindh. Sindh is contributing around 70 to 80 per cent to the Federal exchequer while only 5 to 8 per cent of its contribution is repatriated under the N F C Award. Whatever little provided to Sindh is being squandered on maintenance of Rangers, Police, I S I (Inter-Services Intelligence Agency) and other law enforcement agencies which have been imposed over Sindh dominated by Punjab under the rubric of the Law and Order situation.

Mr Altaf Hussain stated that he could undoubtedly claim that the Agencies harbour and patronise the dacoits, criminal elements, murderers and car lifters and engaged in Sectarian violence and killings. To continue its occupation on Sindh, the Punjabi Establishment has conspired with and co-opted political leaders belonging to Sindh and has put them on the payroll of the I S I. These leaders are activated in Sindh whenever the interests of Punjab are challenged in Sindh by suppressing the real issues and creating trouble and violence.

Challenging the Pakistan People Party, Mr Altaf Hussain stated that it claims to be the upholder or champion of the rights of Sindh province but would Ms. Benazir Bhutto tell the people of Sindh that being twice empowered why did she not bring the murders of Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto to book? Ms. Benazir Bhutto herself claims that Mr Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto was murdered. Would she like to tell the people of Sindh that who murdered Shahnawaz Bhutto?  Would Ms. Benazir Bhutto like to tell the people of Sindh that who murdered Murtaza Bhutto and on whose instruction was he murdered while she was the Prime Minister of the country? Mr Altaf Hussain asked Ms. Benazir Bhutto whether could she expose the murders of her brother and if she cannot even do this then what could she possibly do for the rights of Sindh province.

Mr Altaf Hussain, while asking Ms. Bhutto to speak the truth stated that Sindh has been exploited enough. He said that he could appeal to his people for her forgiveness for commissioning our killings in the past and people will understand but now Ms.Benazir Bhutto has to practically come forward for Sindh, its rights and policies of the Establishment of Punjab against Sindh instead of serving the interests of Punjab.         

Mr Altaf Hussain addressed the people and said that the Constitution of 1973 is claimed that it protects the interest of the people but if you analyse then you would conclude that it protects the interest of Punjab. Sindh has become a total colony of the Establishment of Punjab under this Constitution. He said that the world stands witness that despite all atrocities and persecution, MQM has not surrendered before the Establishment but in fact, struggled and failed the conspiracies of the Establishment of Punjab. He said that he had come to Britain in 1992 and did not live in luxury in London but remained in touch with his followers, workers and colleagues and continually struggling for the people. Many leaders lived in exile before and after him but how many remained in touch with the people, workers and followers and struggled for their rights except making rhetorical claims and paralleling themselves with revolutionaries.

Mr Altaf Hussain addressing the audience said that now the time has come that we have to seriously contemplate whether do we wish to live in silence or change our fate. He said that now is the time to unite and to struggle collectively against the policies of oppression and injustice. He said that Urdu-speaking Sindhis and Sindhi-speaking Sindhis have to now act couragesly, boycott such leaders or their gatherings that are on the payroll of the Establishment of Punjab and pitch the permanent citizens of Sindh against one another to serve the vested interests of the Establishment of Punjab. He suggested that a Forum be established in the name of Sindh Technocrats Association (S T A) comprised of Urdu-speaking and Sindhi-speaking Sindhis to launch a collective struggle for the rights of Sindh. Concluding his address, Mr Altaf Hussain thanked the audience for participating in the seminar.