Written by: A concerned citizen from Karachi, who feels the pain of his brothers getting killed by Pubjabi dominated paramilitary forces in Karachi
Looking at your choice of letters to publish only the anti-Altaf Hussain and anti-MQM letters in your Letters section, and your own editorials against the two, it is likely that you will refuse to publish my letter. Still, with a sliver of hope that you might apply journalistic neutrality, I note the following facts for you and your readership’s review. If you do print it, I thank you for publishing this letter in its entirety.
Under the internationally recognized norms of decency and the fundamental human rights, a demand for secession is never deemed as treason. This is how Pakistan came into being – Indian Muslims separated from India because Muslims did not wish to live with the Hindus. In more recent times, this has been shown by the UK in its recent referendum for the secession of Scotland out of the UK. In Canada, it was shown by a referendum related to Quebecois' secession from Canada, and in France, it was shown when its northwestern Brittany province had similar referendum. Also, Singapore separated from Malaysia, East Timor from Indonesia, and South Sudan from Sudan – all becoming new nations pursuant to the very fundamental principle that is far above any man-made Constitution – the principle that people have a right to choose who they wish to live with and who they get away from.
In Pakistan, for well over six decades now, the Punjab and Punjabis have been usurping the rights and resources of other federating units. In East Pakistan, Pakistan’s primarily Punjabi military forced the Bengali Pakistanis into subjugation, and when those civilians resisted Punjab's hegemony, the Punjabi armed forces murdered tens of thousands of Bengalis who were really Pakistanis. The Pakistani army raped and then burned down thousands of those Bengali Pakistani women, and stole Bengalis’ property whenever they could. Yet, as of this date, not a single armed forces' man has been tried for these offenses. This has continued in Baluchistan where after the murder of thousands of Balochis, the Punjab has a solid foothold and today the province is nothing but a Punjabi-army-occupied territory rather than a federating unit with equal rights for its people.
If one looks at the ECNEC’s approved projects over its life, one will notice how heavily Punjab appears to be sole beneficiary. As of today, while Punjab has all the miles of motorways, there is none in Sindh, and none in Balochistan. Sindh’s lonesome super-highway is being converted into a motorway, M-9, but it has already been handed off for the next twenty-five years to the military-owned Frontier Works Organization, wholly owned and run by active duty army personnel. One hundred percent of the defense-related industry is located in the Punjab. All industries and financial institutions of Sindh have been transferred to the Punjabis through a conspiracy under which these were first forcibly taken over (nationalized) without any compensation from then Karachi-based owners. Subsequently, through a quota system implementation, these nationalized entities were loaded up with Punjabi nationals. Thereafter, through either employee-ownership plan (Allied Bank) or under-hand privatization schemes, these entities fell prey to Punjabi ownership.
Punjab's continuing conspiracy to fully take over the resources of other units is now showing its true face in Sindh, where in the main city of Karachi, the military, in connivance of the prime minister, has the city now fully under martial law and the territory remains undefended due to the weaknesses of corrupt PPP leaders. MQM itself is not much of an issue and it has never been so. There are more significant criminals and crooks in Lahore and Punjab, which is seen from the massive and large-scale criminal cases involving medical frauds, drugs, mass murders, serial rapists, extra-judicial killings, support for terrorists such as the TTP by the Punjab government, support for LeJ and for Malik Ishaq. When the prime minister and the army takes no action in Punjab and all their actions are focused on Sindh, more specifically on Karachi and yet more specifically on MQM, it is clear that the intent of the Punjabis is to fully occupy all territory and natural resources of Sindh, including its oil and gas, and its land, and Sindh’s share of riparian flows.
In light of the wrongs done by Punjab and the Punjabis on Sindhis and Mohajirs, if Mr. Altaf Hussain demands secession of Sindh, or if in the alternative, of Karachi, from Pakistan under the fundamental human rights principle identified above, Mr. Hussain and MQM can still be a Pakistan-loving Pakistani, though more importantly, they are self-respecting and freedom loving human beings. Under no law judiciously applied can they be called traitors.
On account of Punjab's continuing oppression of other federating units and theft of their resources, compounded by Punjab-government-supported Punjabi terrorist groups' actions in Sindh, it is perhaps a better option for Mr. Altaf Hussain, the MQM, the people of Sindh, and the Sindhi nationalists to demand for expulsion of Punjab from the federation of Pakistan. It is also a better option for other provinces to get rid of Punjab out of Pakistan.
While the Constitution of Pakistan may be twisted around manifold to declare Mr. Altaf Hussain and MQM guilty of treason, a demand for expulsion of Punjab from Pakistan cannot be twisted into the definition of treason.