Open Letter To PM Imran: People Of Sindh Are Disgusted With Your Discriminatory Attitude
Prime Minister Mr. Imran Khan,
We wish to draw your attention to the following.
On different occasions you have voiced your concern regarding the fact that the Chief Ministers of Sindh hail from towns other than Karachi.
You also seem to be perturbed by the fact that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) bags votes from rural Sindh but rules Karachi, as it is the capital of Sindh.
You naively and fallaciously link the above facts and therefore falsely opine that the root cause of problems of Sindh’s capital Karachi are due to ministers who are elected from cities and towns other than Karachi.
Mr Prime Minister, you seem to overlook or forget the fact that the Chief Ministers of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan – all belong to areas which are far away from the capitals of their provinces. Above all, Mr. Prime Minister, you are from Mianwali, a small town in the Punjab and not its capital. Perhaps you should reconsider being Prime Minister of Pakistan as you are not from Islamabad?
By making such proclamations you are violating Article 33 of the Constitution which says that “The State shall discourage parochial, racial, tribal, sectarian and provincial prejudices among the citizens”.
Mr. Prime Minister, the people of Sindh are shocked and disgusted with your attitude towards Sindh. Your statements on Sindh expose your prejudices. You set yourself apart from Sindh as if Sindh is another country. In your mind are ‘us’ is people like you and those who subscribe to your political ideology, language, culture and social exclusiveness.
For you the people of Sindh are ‘them’ and not ‘us’. You don’t feel responsible to ‘them’; you don’t care for ‘them’ even in their worst crises, the most recent being the flash floods of 2020 in Sindh.
The People of Sindh have seen through you. They view your mindset as imperialist and racial. They are convinced that you consider Sindhis to be your subjects rather than equal citizens.
Mr Prime Minister, unless you view all the communities of Pakistan as part of a larger family, of equal constituent units in a federation, your privilege of being the PM of Pakistan has no moral legitimacy. You have been vested with the supreme responsibility of treating all the people of various languages and cultures of Pakistan equally. As Prime Minister you cannot afford to harbour ethnic bias. You are receiving salary, perks and privileges to work for the welfare of all the citizens of this country. Please don’t forget that.
Prime Minister, let me brief you about Sindh. Sindh is Pakistan’s second largest province with approximately 24% of the nation’s population.
Sindhis are custodians of one of the oldest cultures and civilizations in the world: The Mohanjo-Daro civilization dates back at least 5,000 years; it was one of the largest city-settlements of the Indus Valley Civilization.
This region has historically enjoyed a great deal of autonomy, striving for the development of its own culture and civilization. Sindhis possess and promote a culture of non-violence, secularism, religious harmony and democratic values. Therefore, it is called the land of Sufis and peace.
Prime Minister, Sindh is not an administrative unit but a historic entity.
It is very clear that you are unaware of the Constitution of Pakistan which sets out the principle qualifications one must meet to be eligible to the office of the Chief Minister. Let me spell these out for you.
A Chief Minister must be a citizen of Pakistan. He should be a member of the provincial legislature. Perhaps you are also unaware that the chief minister is elected through a majority in the provincial legislative assembly. This is procedurally established by the vote of confidence in the legislative assembly, as suggested by the majority party who is the appointing authority.
Mr. Prime Minister, with all due respect, let me remind you that Pakistan is not a monarchy. We have a parliamentary system here. Hence the ministers of the provinces are elected by the members of the legislature, and the majority party is invited to elect a leader, whose tenure lasts five years.
The people do not elect the head of the government; rather they elect their representatives only. In turn their representatives select the head of the government. But once the head of the government is elected, he or she enjoys specific executive powers.
Mr. PM it seems you are also unaware of the political history of Sindh. Allow me to educate you.
Before 1947 all the premiers of Sindh were Sindhi and hailed from the different cities and towns of Sindh. It is imperative that I highlight this fact for you.
Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah was the premier of Sindh from April 28, 1937 till March 23 1938. He was born in Shikarpur and he received his education from Shikarpur, Sindh Madressah Karachi, D.J Sindh College Karachi, and Government Law College Bombay.
Then we had Saieen Allah Bux Soomro who ruled Sindh in 1938. Saieen Soomro was born in Shikarpur. He was one of our best Premiers/Chief Ministers of the province. He is referred to as Shaheed as he was assassinated by hidden forces for his heroic championship of Sindh’s rights.
Muhammad Ayub Khuhro became first Chief Minister of Sindh in 1947 soon after the partition. Mr. Khuhro was a prominent political figure from Larkana. He served two additional terms in 1950s. He later became Defense Minister in the government of Prime Minister Feroze Khan Noon before the imposition of martial law by General Ayub Khan.
Pir Ilahi Buksh also served as Chief Minister of Sindh and he belonged to Dadu district in Sindh.
Excluding the martial laws and dictatorships Sindh has 12 elected civilian Sindhi Chief Ministers.
It is an inherent and inalienable right of Sindhi people to rule their own province. Your statements are tantamount to promoting ethnic hatred and acrimony among the permanent residents of Sindh and are seen as an attempt to create ethnic divide among peace loving people of Sindhi and Urdu speaking communities.
The people of Sindh have always defeated all such designs of dividing them and they will protect the integrity of Sindh at any cost. You being at the helm of affairs and being executive of the country, are responsible to adopt an approach of inclusion not exclusion. You should use your position to bridge the divide and not create further feelings of alienation among the people of Pakistan. You should work closely with the elected provincial governments. Do not forget, Mr. Prime Minister, that autonomy and dignity to provinces is the recipe of a strong federation.