SDPI Research and News Bulletin - Sustainable Development Policy Institute
By a notification dated: 10th June 1959, the military government of Ayub Khan constituted a body named Indus Basin Advisory Board (IBAB) to evolve the best plan for meeting the water shortage caused by the sale to India of Ravi, Bias and Sutlaj. No representative from Sindh or any other region/province other than Punjab was taken on this Board. Thus the IBAB plans, decisions and the International negotiations based on the above plans and decisions were purely a Punjab affair.
Rasul Bux Palijo ; SANA Sindh convention 2005 Part 2
8. Ayub Khan illegally and immorally created a planning body named IBAB, as the virtual sole owner and distributor of all Pakistan waters of the Indus river system to the exclusion of other co-riparian, co-sharers and coincluding Sindh.
Rasul Bux Palijo ; SANA Sindh convention 2005 Part 3
The illegal malafide and immoral plan of the IBAB was prepared and illegally and immorally approved by Ayub Khan government whereby, by false and bogus figures the loss of water suffered by West Punjab due to its own authorities illegal, unilateral and conspiratorial sale of the three common Pakistani rivers to India was inflated and that by Sindh was reduced, thus illegally and wrongfully allotting Punjab almost double the quantum it deserved to be allotted and Sindh almost none. REFERENCE: SINDH-PUNJAB WATER DISPUTE 1859-2003 (The century-and-a-half long illegal, criminal and conspiratorial plunder of Sindhs share of the Indus Basin Waters, the serious water famine imposed upon Sindh, the ruin of its agro-based economy and the apprehended genocide of Sindhi people) By: RASUL BUX PALIJO http://www.sanalist.org/Acrobat/Sindh-Punjab%20Water%20Dispute%201859-2003.pdf
Rasul Bux Palijo ; SANA Sindh convention 2005 Part 4
Rasul Bux Palijo ; SANA Sindh convention 2005 Part 5
MQM Parliamentary Party Deputy leader Syed Faisal Sabzwari then made a personal statement to “set the record straight” under Rule 191. He referred to the statement made by Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Wednesday on the floor of the House and contested his claims regarding the previous government’s attitude towards the Kalabagh Dam. Mr Sabzwari, who is also a minister in the PPP led government, recalled that the Kalabagh Dam was a project which had been rejected unanimously by the people of Sindh and the MQM, being a representative party from the province, had even before the 2002 elections held seminars and called strikes in 2001. He said the MQM defended Sindh’s interests in the house as well. He said that not only had resolutions been passed, but they were also taken to the prime minister and president to demand that the dam project be shelved until Sindh’s objections were dealt with. Mr Sabzwari welcomed the PPP’s decision, made soon after assuming power, to shelve the dam project. He hoped that all sides in the house, as has been the case in the past, would continue to extend full support whenever issues in the interest of Sindh were taken up. REFERENCE: KARACHI: MQM questions minister’s remarks on Kalabagh dam By Habib Khan Ghori February 13, 2009 Friday Safar 17, 1430 http://www.dawn.com/2009/02/13/local1.htm
DESPITE conflicting reports about the status of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) vis-a-vis Liaquat Ali Jatoi's coalition government, there are fairly clear indications that the party is aiming to extricate itself from the trappings of ethnic politics and identify with the aspirations of more representative political organizations of Sindh. MQM volunteers participated in large numbers at Thehri railway crossing on Sunday along with cadres of the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) in the mass sit-in against the proposed Kalabagh dam which Sindhis regard as damaging to their interests. In several other demonstrations also, MQM participated alongside Sindhi nationalist groups. This is a long distance from the position that existed some years back when Mohajirs as a group were seen to be pitted against Sindhis. A major cause of the sense of deprivation among the Sindhis in the early years of Pakistan was their perception that Mohajirs who held some key positions in the government were among the architects of policies detrimental to the social and economic progress of Sindh. There was also a strong feeling that Mohajirs were unduly pro-Centre and whole-heartedly supported the ruling cliques in their strategy of strengthening of the Centre, to the disadvantage of the smaller provinces.
An active collaboration of the Mohajirs was seen in the takeover of Karachi and some of its adjoining areas separating them from Sindh by the central government in accordance with the wishes of Quaid-i-Azam. At least one Sindhi scholar, Dr Hamida Khuhro attributes the separation of Karachi to the scheme to "control and disposal of the rich pickings of evacuee property and settlement of the immigrants" (who were mainly Urdu-speaking Mohajirs.) Similarly, Mohajirs were also perceived as a party to the devious scheme for the creation of the erstwhile One Unit. To put the record straight, it is relevant to recall that yet another eminent Sindh scholar, Dr Feroz Ahmad, has quite unequivocally stated that it was under a Sindhi politician, Pir Ilahi Bukhsh's chief ministership that Karachi was separated from Sindh. He also points out that again it was a Sindhi dignitary, Muhammad Ayub Khuhro, who, in the words of H.S. Suhrawardy, "struck terror into the hearts of the legislators" and forced them to pass the notorious One Unit Bill in 1955. All this, according to Feroz Ahmad, was done to protect the vested interests of Sindhi landlords. Press reports of the JSQM sit-in on Sunday have graphically recorded the blocking by Sindhi protesters in partnership with MQM volunteers of the National Highway. Pictures of Altaf Hussain and G.M. Syed were displayed side by side on the occasion and slogans were also raised of "Sindhi-Mohajir Bhai, Bhai." A Mohajir MPA emphatically declared on the occasion that the Mohajirs and Sindhis would "fight side by side" with JSQM in the interest of Sindh and criticized elements who were "not happy to see Sindhis, Mohajirs develop friendly ties." Prominent among those who addressed the rally on the occasion were several veteran Sindhi nationalists such as Abdul Waheed Aresar, Dr Niaz Ali, Noor Jamali and Shair Khaskheli.
MQM leader Altaf Hussain, after a telephonic conversation with the Christian Liberation Front's president, Shahbaz Bhatti, concerning the Shariat Bill, also expressed the view that Pakistan had not been created for the "dominance" of any one sect or faith but to protect the interests of all those, including the minorities, who live in Pakistan. He criticised what he described as the exploitative system and the discriminatory practices that have remained intact in Pakistan. At the time of writing it is not clear whether the MQM would abstain from voting on the proposed Fifteenth Amendment bill in the Senate, as it had done when the bill was voted upon in the National Assembly. If it supports the bill, it would have to live with the stigma of serving the interests of pro-centre politicians. The opposition of the Sindhi masses as of the people of Balochistan and the NWFP to the proposed amendment is beyond any doubt. There is a great deal of ambivalence in the PML's overall approach to the politics of Sindh, in general, and that of the Mohajirs and the MQM in particular. It appears that there are elements in the central government who are not too well disposed towards the MQM and are, therefore, not entirely in sympathy with policies which could be regarded as pro-Mohajir. It is unfortunate that despite expectations, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has not been able to personally visit Karachi and see things for himself, presumably because of his extreme preoccupation otherwise.
The composition of the high-level committee set up by the Centre, following the rise in militancy in Karachi in the recent months is also perceived by the MQM as not being sympathetic to its grievances. The committee has been specifically charged with the responsibility to probe into the sudden spate of killings and of incidents of arson during the hartal called by MQM on October 7. It includes, besides representatives to be nominated by MQM, two MNAs of the Muslim League, Capt Haleem Siddiqi and Mian Ejaz Shafi. A press release issued by the MQM central coordination committee has strongly criticised the inclusion of the two, describing it as "indicative of the duality of the PML leaders." For MQM the inclusion of Mian Ejaz Shafi in the committee is like the red rag to the bull, in view of his persistent criticism of MQM politics. It was only last month that he blamed the PML government for what he called its overindulging "the aliens" aliens being the Mohajirs. The contemptuous remark could not but have infuriated the MQM, whose partnership in the Sindh coalition has even otherwise not been exactly welcome to Mian Ejaz Shafi. The MQM coordination committee lost no time in expressing the view that whenever the PML and MQM have tried to reach some sort of an agreement to resolve the problems of Sindh, Mian Ejaz Shafi has assumed a "subversive" role.
Not surprising, the MQM has made it clear that it would not be in a position to cooperate with the committee in its enquiry so long as it continues to have the two PML MNAs in it. It is difficult to understand why the committee could not have been constituted without them. It would have carried a greater credibility with all sections of the people if it had included persons of unbiased reputation such as retired members of the higher judiciary. However much one may condemn MQM for its sins of commission and omission in the context of Karachi politics, any enquiry body set up to probe the situation should consist of non-controversial members. While announcing its decision to withdraw its nominees from the Sindh coalition cabinet last month the MQM coordination committee gave a detailed checklist of its "grouses" against its coalition partner, i.e. the PML, which is in power in Sindh as well as at the centre. Mr Aftab Shaikh, who addressed a press conference on behalf of the MQM central coordination committee, criticised the PML leadership for having reneged on the various undertakings given at the time when the PML-MQM coalition was formed in Sindh. He even accused PML leadership of adopting "Mohajir-baiting" policies and resorting to a "state operation" against the MQM.
Mr Aftab Shaikh also claimed that contrary to the specific undertaking given at the time, the government had not released the MQM workers and supporters who had been under detention mostly without trial for considerable time on "fake charges" and that the "no-go areas" of Karachi had not been abolished. Nor had the government constituted the judicial commission to investigate allegations of extra-judicial killings of MQM activists. (The socalled extra-judicial killings had in fact formed a major part of the list of accusations levelled by the then President, Farooq Leghari, while dismissing Ms Benazir Bhutto's government.) Mr Shaikh also alleged that the "agencies" working against the interests of MQM had not only not been neutralised but even strengthened by the PML government. Amongst other allegations levelled by the MQM leader against the Nawaz Sharif government was its "failure" to arrange the repatriation of "Biharis" from Bangladesh, despite a clear undertaking. In view of its resentment against the policies of the PML government, it would be something of an irony if the MQM continues to remain in the Sindh coalition government under Liaquat Jatoi. One hopes that the late Dr Feroz Ahmad was quite wrong when he observed that "an overwhelming majority of the Mohajirs supports a movement which is not only ethnic-exclusivist, but is in confrontation with all other groups and the state itself." The MQM's active participation in the anti-Kalabagh dam protest and its abstaining from voting in favour of the Shariat Bill despite being a coalition partner of PML clearly give the lie to such impressions, regardless of whatever ideology the MQM follows. It is also entirely misleading to believe that the MQM seriously demands a separate Mohajir province and now it is no secret that the story about the socalled 'Jinnahpur Plan' was altogether without any substance. Why should any Sindhi intellectuals have any misgivings about the Mohajirs' political motivation when Dr Feroz Ahmad himself also concedes that "the traditionally Sufist Punjabi, Saraiki, Sindhi and Baloch people feel obliged to assimilate into the religious beliefs and practices which are common among the Urdu speaking people?...." REFERENCE: MQM in a quandary M.H. Askari DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending: 17 October 1998 Issue:04/41 http://www.lib.virginia.edu/area-studies/SouthAsia/SAserials/Dawn/1998/17Oct98.html