Mohajir province graffiti: MPAs hit out at threats over resolution

Sindh AssemblyKARACHI: The issue of graffiti demanding a Mohajir province resurfaced in the Sindh Assembly on Monday when a lawmaker belonging to the PML-Functional informed the house that she and her other colleagues were receiving threatening messages on their cellphones for presenting a resolution against what was described as mischievous wall-chalking.

PML-F lawmaker Nusrat Seher Abbasi stood on a point of order to draw the attention of the house that she along with other colleagues was getting threatening messages after the adoption of her resolution against the graffiti demanding a Mohajir province.“We are daughters of Sindh and cannot be intimidated,” she thundered.

Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza, who was presiding over the session in the absence of Speaker Nisar Ahmad Khuhro, asked the member not to panic, adding that the people of Sindh would not think twice about sacrificing their lives for the province.Responding to the point of order, Home Minister Manzoor Wasan said: “No one can act against Sindh”.

Rejecting the graffiti as propaganda against Sindh, he advised the lawmakers not to accord it any importance.“Sindh has remained an entity for the past 5,000 years and will remain so for all times to come.”The home minister said that he was aware of the phone numbers and was working on getting leads.Food Minister Nadir Magsi said that those sending threatening messages could be apprehended with the help of the latest technology.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s parliamentary party leader Syed Sardar Ahmad drew the attention of the house towards some statements in certain newspapers that he said created misgivings about the MQM for not signing a resolution presented in the house to condemn the graffiti demanding a Mohajir province.

He said that contrary to the tradition of taking leaders of all parliamentary parties into confidence before tabling a resolution, no one had approached the MQM for signing the joint resolution. However, when it was put to a vote it was backed by all, including the MQM, and passed unanimously, he added.

PPP parliamentary party leader and senior minister Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq endorsed the views of Mr Ahmad and condemned those who he said were after the coalition government.He said that all political parties in the house, including the MQM, had been endorsing policies being framed and pursued in accordance with the vision of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and the spirit of reconciliation had made Sindh a model province where all resolutions and bills were being passed unanimously.

He said that the biggest proof of reconciliation was the vacant seat of the leader of the opposition in the house.He said although it was not a good thing but for the sake of continuation of the democratic process all parties had joined hands to continue the policy of reconciliation.He also advised the lawmakers not to be taken in by the intrigues of adversaries who he said wanted to pit coalition partners against one another. The issue of a Mohajir province should not be raised again and again as the home minister had assured the house about an investigation to trace people behind the mischief, he added.

Law Minister Ayaz Soomro said that conspiracies were being hatched against the leadership of the PPP, as those who had been after the Bhuttos were now conspiring against President Asif Ali Zardari.He said that so-called nationalists and those who took money and were conspiring against democracy would fail in their evil designs.“Sindh is the province which gave birth to Pakistan. Those issuing statements in newspapers and in TV talk shows against the government cannot even win a councillor seat.”

He said that the MQM parliamentary party leader had said time and again that Sindh was their motherland and no conspiracy would be tolerated against it.Heer Sohu of the MQM said that some people, for the sake of cheap publicity, were issuing baseless statements. These people need to be corrected as the MQM was not only restricted to Karachi and Hyderabad but had presence in the entire province as well as the country.

Earlier, responding to the point of order of Haji Munawwar Ali Abbasi, the law minister informed the house that the government was working on legislation to regularise all assistant advocates general, deputy advocates general and other government prosecutors as it was the government policy not to make anyone unemployed.

Saifuddin Khalid of the MQM raised the issue of killing of two youths of Orangi Town’s Haryana Colony, who he said had gone to Shershah on Saturday but were kidnapped and their bodies were found the following day.He said that such incidents were aimed at destroying the peace of Karachi.

Minority MPA Saleem Khurshid Khokhar said that two Christian youths, who were employed in a hospital, had been kidnapped. He demanded that they be recovered.He also demanded that his resolution, which was also signed by another minority lawmaker Pitamber Sewani, pertaining to forcible conversion be referred to the standing committee concerned.The house, which was called to order at 11.15am, was adjourned by the chair at 1.10pm to meet on Tuesday at 10am. – Dawn