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PLIGHT OF MOHAJIRS IN PAKISTAN

Is MQM losing its sheen?

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) founder Altaf Hussain has once again made some shocking revelations in which he has directly blamed the Pakistani authorities for repeated massacres of Mohajirs in Pakistan.
Altaf Hussain has repeatedly warned the Kashmiris of AJK and POK of a similar fate and fights against atrocities on Mohajirs from MQM’s London based faction. He favors peace between India and Pakistan and has always been a vocal advocate of bridging gaps between the two neighboring rivals. He is of the belief that a well-planned conspiracy to intensify sectarian violence is hatched by the Pak Army/ISI. Flaring this ethnic powder keg helps Pak Army remain relevant amongst the populace.
Altaf Hussain had earlier demanded the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to constitute a commission to look into the massacre of the Mohajirs in Pakistan since 1947, in particular, the Pukka Qilla massacre in 1990 between May 26 and 27, which was worst of all previous carnages. He had made the demand during his address to the participants of an Iftar-cum-dinner that was hosted by the UK east chapter of the MQM last year.

Revealed the plot of Jinnah’s murder

Hussain said that the Mohajirs are a constant victim of state-sponsored repressive agenda after they had founded Pakistan, adding that the community had erected its basic structure as a sovereign state but the “demonic military junta” of Pakistan had assassinated the country’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah through “poison.”

“He (Jinnah) was sick and was at his Ziarat Residency in Quetta when he was transported to Karachi in an ambulance for treatment but the military junta had put him in a highly depreciated ambulance which had halted midway to Karachi. The military junta did not want to see him survive the poison that was given to him. This very military junta that has always been power-hungry also assassinated the first Premier of Pakistan Mr. Khan Liaquat Ali Khan, who was a right hand of the founder of Pakistan. He was shot dead during a public gathering at Rawalpindi,” he claimed.

Hussain further said that the Pakistani military establishment had also “assassinated” Jinnah’s sister Fatimah Jinnah and called her an Indian agent because she had dared to fight elections against military dictator Ayub Khan.

Pukka Qilla massacre

Pukka Qila Massacre
Pukka Qila massacare, Pak Rangers seen laughing in the pictures

He said that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) carried the massacre of Mohajirs and they continued to suffer from PPP’s tyranny during all of its present and previous governments. Hussain further asserted that it was PPP’s founder and former Pakistan President Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who presented the Sindhi ethnic language bill in the Sindh provincial assembly that was completely anti-Urdu.

Late Pakistani poet Raees Amrohavi had in an improvised remark said, “Urdu Ka Janaza Hay Zara Dhoom Sey Nikley” (You are burying the Urdu language so there should be a great manifest of jubilation from your side). Hussain added that when Mohajirs protested against the bill, they were killed and their graves were still present in the compound of Masjid-e Shuhda (Mosque of martyrs) at Liaquatabad.

Pukka Qila
Hundreds of Mohajirs were killed in Pukka Qila

He said that on unending repression on Mohajirs, he was compelled to found All Pakistan Mohajir Students Organisation (APMSO) (A student union in University of Karachi) on June 11, 1978, and on that day, they were also expelled from the university on gunpoint. Later, Hussain continued to say that he founded the MQM on March 18, 1984, on which massacre of Mohajirs was carried by Pakistan through Sindhi nationalists and law enforcement authorities.

Attacks in Hyderabad

“On October 31, 1986, Mohajir convoys towards Hyderabad were attacked in which hundreds of Mohajirs were martyred at Sohrab Goth in Karachi’s Super Highway and Market Chowk in Hyderabad. On December 14, 1986, Mohajir colony, Aligarh and Qasba were attacked where armed militants continued to kill Mohajir men, women, elderly and children for six hours. After killing, the militants set their homes ablaze,” he added.

Similarly, Hussain said, on September 30, 1988, state agencies facilitated and armed groups of “militants” ensured a huge massacre of Mohajirs in Hyderabad, where hundreds of men, women, elderly and children were killed and women were raped. Hussain asserted that 300 Mohajirs were killed in the attack. This he said was a joint conspiracy of PPP and military establishment.

For the massacre, they had released criminals and terrorists from jails, armed them, dressed then in police uniforms and thus the Mohajirs were killed in an ambush at Pukka Qilla. Hussain continued that the bodies were buried inside the Pukka Qilla premise and the massacre went for two days (May 26 and 27, 1990). He claimed that no terrorist has been arrested or taken to task and the “nominees” and mastermind of the carnage were acquitted.

According to Liaquat-Nehru Pact-1950, the property of Hindu of Pakistan migrating to India would be given to Mohajirs migrating from India to Pakistan. Mohajirs have not yet been given a single inch of the evacuated property and hence they were forced to live in tents. Mohajirs’ ancestors laid 20 million lives for the creation of Pakistan and freed people of present Pakistan.

Viewpoint

It is all good and well to curse the MQM and Altaf Hussain for making Karachi a living hell. But in doing so we neglect the makings of the Mohajir mind and how it has given rise to a unique and exclusionary brand of Pakistani nationalism.

If there’s a community in Pakistan which is treated even worse than even Balochs, it’s Mohajirs (or Muhajirs). Mohajirs continue to face persecution by the Pakistan government and, therefore, live battered lives in the land they chose after partition. While, Hindu/Sikhs who migrated from Pakistan to India in 1947 have been mostly assimilated well, the same is not true of Muslims who moved to the newly formed Pakistan and even today are called Mohajirs.

Mohajirs are still socially considered “outsider/foreigner” in Pakistan and have been facing targeted killings almost every day. Pakistan Army and Provincial Police consider them, including their political leaders, as India spies and traitors even after nearly 70 years.

Human right activists said that over 1.3 million people have died in Pakistan in targeted genocide of the Mohajirs.

18 Mar 2019/ Monday                                                   Written by Rubeena Hazra

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