Cover Story

Double Standards

Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah does not want Sindh to be treated as
Islamabad’s colony but he treats Karachi as a colony of Sindh.

By Shahnawaz Farooqi | August 2020

The Chief Minister of Sindh Murad Ali Shah often uses supremely confident rhetoric to put forward his principled stance. Wrapped in consummate confidence and peppered with an unwavering conviction, his clear-cut statements corroborate his so-called upright veracity of judgment when he categorically warns Islamabad of the repercussions of treating the Sindh province as its ‘colony.’ Murad deserves a thumbs-up for his remarks as this sets a textbook example of how a truly independent soul should always think and act.

However, an independent human being will neither want to be treated as a seized property, nor will he treat someone else the same way. Boasting of himself as a fully independent, free soul, Murad Ali Shah unfortunately exposes himself as a man of double standards. On the one hand, he does not want Sindh to be downgraded as Islamabad’s colony but, on the other hand, he treats the urban areas of Sindh, particularly Karachi, as if the metropolis is merely a colony of Sindh.

The Sindh government rightly claims provincial autonomy as enshrined in the 18th Constitutional Amendment, but the autonomous Sindh government is reluctant to concede any level of autonomy to the civic administrative body of Karachi. Isn’t this an act of colonizing Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city as well as the hub of the country’s economic activities?

Depriving the Karachi City Government of power and autonomy is just a petty example of the colonial mindset espoused by the Sindh government. A bundle of thanks to the infamous 40/60 quota system imposed in the 1970s on the basis of rural and urban divide. Since then, the rulers of Sindh have pursued a proven track record of denying the entire urban sections of the province of their due rights in terms of jobs and higher education.

The term ‘Mohajir’ refers to the lot of those people who had migrated from India to Pakistan during the Partition in 1947 and most of them had chosen to reside in the urban areas of Sindh, namely Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur. The Mohajir youth, or the people of urban Sindh, were more educated compared to the Sindhi population who were mainly confined to the rural areas and were unable to compete with the Mohajirs on the basis of merit. They therefore deserved much-needed social security in terms of employment, but for a period of 15 to 20 years.

Read More