I wrote this a few years ago that PPP who is the main ruling party of Sindh do not have it in them the capability to deliver. It’s not because they do not have the skill sets but there is a dearth of will, plus lust for more and more corruption . Lastly, this is the first party in Pakistan which came into existence on the slogan of socialism which exactly meant that it will stand up against everything for which PPP is known today for. The Feudals of Punjab are taking the tow of PMLN and now have found a temporary refuge under PTI but the ones in Sindh are either coercion or want the tumultuous rule of PPP to continue.PPP whatever said and done has been in power for at least 4 times more than any other party in the center and have been in power continuously in Sindh. But what have they achieved for Sindh. Forget Karachi who the PPP has ruled like a Colony in fact I feel that the fight at the center is generally between Northern Pakistan and Sindhis of Sindh as to who would rule the colony called Karachi. No one is a winner apart from a few corrupt power hungry beaurucrats and politicians. The losers are Pakistan the people of Urban Sindh and mainly Karachi. But does PPP care or want to do anything about it. Nothing!
Why should we expect anything from a leadership whose Chairman is a Zardari and calls himself a Bhutto? Why should we expect anything from a party whose Vice Chairman i.e. Mr. Zardari has been known as Mr. 10% and only howled at the Military Junta in Pakistan when some say his Girl friend or his best buddy got arrested. Never bothered to get his wife’s killers though ruled as President for a full term.
This blog is not about just PPP bashing but to build up the reasons why I chose to write today. The Local Bodies elections concluded just now in Pakistan and the Urban Sindh where MQM has come out clear winners in the Urban Sindh though there was state oppression and conniving going on to bring parties like PTI and JI in power in Urban Sindh but thankfully the voters of the Urban Sindh gave a smacking defeat to such heinous thoughts and gave their mandate to the one and only party which do not treat the cities of Hyderabad and Karachi as Colony or Orphans or Step Siblings. They are the only party which owns the Urban Sindh and now has the ball in their court. Kudos to win these elections down under as thousands of workers are under arrest or hundreds extra judicially killed and the party’s leader i.e. Mr. Altaf Hussein banned from State Media. But yet Karachi chose against all odds. Leaving thousands of Long Faces of MQM detractors across Pakistan.
Now the challenge which MQM face today after getting into power is the same which Mr. Farooq Sattar faced in the late 80’s when he got elected as the first mayor of MQM from Karachi where there were no funds given. Only that the city has grown three fold since that time and it would be impossible to rule without funds and power. So what options does MQM have in my view :
Option 1 : Become Partners with PML N in the Federal Government
I feel that this is the easier option as Mr. Naas Sharif has recently shown some teeth to the Military Junta in terms of Policies . The recent efforts by the federal government to woo MQM who submitted their resignations from the National Assembly, Senate and Provincial Assembly under protest due to the ban imposed on Mr. Altaf Hussein for appearing on media and the arrests plus extra judicial killings of MQM workers and supporters .I feel that PMLN who are living under threat of Martial Law sees a natural ally in form of MQM as the only other party who is seen standing face to face with the state establishment like them. Whilst a pro Military Junta opposition is being built up inform of PTI, Justice Party, JI and etc.
This alliance would see Federal government channeling funds to MQM to adopt the successful policy which General Pervez Musharraf adopted that by supporting MQM; they kept peace in Karachi without threat and let Karachi grow which in the end benefited Pakistan’s economy to grow .
If you see of it PMLN which rules Lahore & Punjab and MQM which rules Sindh Urban . If these two can ensure progress in both of the largest cities of the country. Pakistan’s 90% economical issues will be resolved .
Option 2 : Separate Province
Let’s say that if MQM allies with PMLN or not in the federal government but still would like to finance Karachi’s development knowing the importance of the largest port city as Gawadar is 10 years away and Chinese also would like a stable Karachi to keep their operations till such time that Gawadar develops as alternate . PPP may likely block any such efforts for funding as they would like to control the flow of any money which we know Karachi will never see and neither rural Sindh. But the coffers of PPP leadership.
The option is that MQM asks for a Sindh Urban Province . Now under the current constitution first a resolution in the Sind Assembly needs to be passed which I feel is impossible and the denomination or representation of MQM is least likely to change in near future. Than the Federal Government can pass a resolution easily with majority in the National Assembly and I feel if all cards are played well can be done in the Senate. The ongoing skirmish between PMLN and PPP may see the Senate Chairman change hands to PMLN and the bill can be passed in the Senate as well. Since the President is that of PMLN such endorsement would not be a problem constitutionally. The question is that how far PMLN is ready to go to confront PPP which may see some chaos.
We saw on Dec 27th 2007 during Benazir Bhutto’s post assassination Mobs what PPP is capable of. But PMLN must see through that until they do not resolve the conflict between Sindh Urban and Rural . The province may never see stability both politically and financially .
Option 3 : Self financing
The second last approach which MQM could take is that it uses the good offices of Mayor ship of both Karachi and Hyderabad and start reaching out to investors globally directly vide the Pakistani Diaspora globally who would like to see without prejudice Sindh Urban grow for the prosperity of the cities of Hyderabad and Karachi and ultimately would like to see Pakistan grow . I would write another blog later to outline the effort but its quiet state forward as I see Pakistanis coming to UAE for e.g. seeking investment as government representative but for Punjab or KPK or even Baluchistan but never in my last many years Karachi or Hyderabad represented. If such an initiative is triggered I am sure all Pakistanis who would like Sindh Urban to grow would step up and leave their political likings or disliking away. I feel that this initiative should happen either ways with the Federal Government in support or not. This would build good bridges for Sindh Urban globally .
There is a last option but I would not like to discuss this today and let it be a Contingency Plan and hope that things do not reach that stage .
I am sure Pakistan has realized that how so ever they build other areas of Pakistan and they must but until Karachi is not treated fairly and empowered both politically and financially to the right people who owns the city. Things would never change for better. Its time and I feel strongly that Sindh Urban gets out of the death grip which PPP is holding on to Sindh Urban where they don’t want to grow themselves and neither let others grow.
Building Karachi just do not mean that just continue state oppression but building its foundations and infrastructure for a better Karachi and a better Pakistan. Hope, that logical sense prevails before it’s too late. Pakistan Zindabad!