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Mustafa Kamal chides MQM-P for not taking bold stance over federal cabinet’s census approval

Lambasting the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan for not taking a bold stance over the federal cabinet decision to approve the controversial National Census 2017, the Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) on Saturday demanded the apex court to take a suo moto notice of the census results.

PSP chief Syed Mustafa Kamal addressed a press conference at the party’s secretariat, Pakistan House, in which said the MQM-P had run its entire election campaign on the seven million missing people of the city who had not allegedly been counted in the census but being a coalition partner in the federal government, it acknowledged the census results, knowing that a dissenting note never affected the cabinet’s decision.

“Now, they [MQM-P] have decided to ask for public support but enraged people with shoes in their hands are waiting for their leaders in the streets,” said Kamal.

He added that the MQM-P would never resign from the ministries knowing that they would be arrested as soon as they abandoned the government, and so their priority was their ministries, not the people of Karachi.

The PSP chief announced that his party would formulate a strategy to oppose the approval of the census as it was based on hostility towards Karachi. “The census that was held after a long span of 18 years has been rejected by every segment,” he said.

“The chief justice of Pakistan has said that the population of Karachi is not less than 30 million. If the population of Karachi, the capital of Sindh, where all sub-nationalities live, was counted correctly, the people of Sindh would get their rights.”

Kamal said the identity cards issued by the National Database and Registration Authority with permanent addresses of Karachi were over 25 million. “The number of people in the voter lists is even higher while the number in the census results is very low,” he remarked.

He said every conscious person had termed the controversial census an anti-Pakistan move. “We ask those who hold the power reins of the country as to how many more certificates of patriotism will the people of Karachi have to present in order for them to be considered equal citizens?” he asked.

He further asked why Pakistan’s political elite and rulers were afraid of Karachi which was the economic lifeline of the country.

Kamal said Karachi was an ill-fated city having a global stature due to its resources, potential, and diversity but those who had been running the country did not even consider it as part of Pakistan.

He was of the view that cities like Karachi are made capitals of the country worldwide but in Pakistan, the status of the federal capital was unjustly snatched from Karachi and a new city of Islamabad as the federal capital was established.

“When the move did not bear the desired results, all the factories of the people who migrated here after Partition, who brought money, trade, education, health, business and industry were taken away by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s government overnight,” the PSP chief said. “Those bureaucrats who were the basis of Pakistan’s prestige were dismissed overnight after making them as officers on special duty.

Kamal recalled that during the same period, Bhutto implemented an unjust quota system, massacring merit and creating a wall of invisible hatred between the Muhajirs and Sindhis – the two brotherly communities of Sindh. He added that the Sindhis had suffered the most from the quota system.

Calling for cases against the MQM-P leadership, the PSP chairman said references were being made against opposition leaders but no references were being taken up against MQM-P top leaders Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Aamir Khan and Wasim Akhtar as they were allies of the government.

“The MQM-P kept crying for resources and authority instead of serving the people, but kept mum when the local government powers were being taken away by the PPP,” Kamal said. “They were allies of the PPP-led provincial government and they themselves handed over the local government resources and authority to the PPP.”

He lamented that during the last 13 years, water supply was stopped for Karachi and no government bus was brought on its roads. “This is the extreme oppression against Karachi and all this oppression was committed by the so-called representative party of this city while it was in the government,” he said, referring to the MQM-P.

Kamal added that the MQM-P, which was known for strikes, never called a strike over the local government powers, census and rights of the people.

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