The Case of Karachi
Staff Report: Daily Times, August 27, 2007
KARACHI: A minority wants to rule the majority, as far as the problem of Karachi in particular and Sindh in general is concerned, argued former Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice (retired) Sajjad Ali Shah, while cautioning that earlier Bangladesh had separated because a minority wanted to rule a majority. “Karachi can’t live without Sindh.”
Justice Sajjad Ali Shah was one of the 22 old residents of Karachi who were invited by the Karachi Shehri Ittehad to speak on ‘The Case of Karachi’ at a local hotel Sunday. Illahi Bux Soomro, Justice Rashid A Rizvi and Hussain Haroon also offered input.
Justice Sajjad Ali Shah suggested that the number of seats in the National Assembly should be the same all the provinces, a policy that would address a sense of deprivation such as that Balochistan is feeling while it has reached “a point of separation”. “The doctrine of necessity should be abolished for ever and the work of secret agencies should be under the fold of the law,” he added.
Justice Rashid A Rizvi argued that the problems Karachi faces didn’t start in 2007. “They are from 1947 when migration started,” he said, adding that people from across Pakistan stopped coming to Karachi after terrorism peaked in the 1980s, but at that time the police and local administration were against the terrorists. He was extremely critical of the way May 12 unfolded as far as today’s administration was concerned.
Furthermore, the country’s problems can’t be resolved till military dictatorships did not end. He argued that the Rangers were working under the command of those who were against Karachi and thus they should go back to their original duties.
Former National Assembly speaker Illahi Bux Soomro told the audience that when he was in charge of Karachi’s development before 1970, a town planning team called from the United Nations and prepared a map fixing the boundaries of Karachi. They said that Karachi should not expand beyond them but that plan was thrown in the dustbin, he said. He added that the “authority of the Chief Minister of Sindh has been reduced and that post has become a joke now”.
Pakistan FisherFolk Forum’s Mohammad Ali Shah argued that Karachi was being deprived of its historical right in the name of development. He gave the example of the graves of the Moriro brothers at Gulbai.
Journalist Sabihuddin Ghausi pointed out that the Rangers had occupied the city for the last 15 years. Visitor from Mumbai Vishandas said that one would find that the people’s blood was the same on both sides. “If the Berlin Wall can be destroyed than why not the same with us,” he said while referring to the difficulties people had in traveling between both countries.