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Monday July 15, 2024

MQM-P, PPP trade allegations over quota system after SHC job stay

By Our Correspondent
July 02, 2024
Sindh Minister for Information, Transport and Mass Transit, Excise Taxation and Narcotics Control, Sharjeel Inam Memon addresses to media persons during press conference, in Karachi on Monday, July 1, 2024. Sindh Energy Minister, Nasir Hussain Shah is also present. — APP
Sindh Minister for Information, Transport and Mass Transit, Excise Taxation and Narcotics Control, Sharjeel Inam Memon addresses to media persons during press conference, in Karachi on Monday, July 1, 2024. Sindh Energy Minister, Nasir Hussain Shah is also present. — APP

The Mutthida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Monday came down hard on each other over the quota system for government jobs, levelling serious allegations.

The MQM-P warmly welcomed and termed historical the recent judgment of the Sindh High Court to grant a stay against recruitment drives of the Sindh government to fill around 50,000 job vacancies in its various departments and subsidiary agencies in what the MQM-Pakistan said a highly unmeritorious manner to offer jobs to unduly favour the PPP’s loyalists while trampling upon the rights of candidates belonging to urban Sindh.

Speaking at a press conference here on Monday, MQM- Pakistan Chairman Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui alleged that the move of the PPP’s founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to impose a job quota system merely in Sindh despite having a majority rule in Punjab showed that his (Bhutto’s) had a racist line of thinking.

He said the youth based in urban parts of Sindh were no longer interested in getting government jobs after realising that the government recruitment process utterly lacked meritocracy.

Dr Siddqui told journalists that local candidates should have been given preference in filling government job vacancies of grades 1 to 15 as per the law of the land and constitution. But up to 80 per cent of these jobs were usurped in the past 50 years by the elements which furnished bogus certificates of domicile of the candidates. All this happened in this prolonged period under a well-thought-out conspiracy, he said. He alleged that Pakistan had been divided to strengthen the community of feudal lords in the country. He said the 18th Constitutional Amendment and quota system had also recklessly strengthened feudalism in Pakistan, he said. Dr Siddiqui, who is also the federal education minister, said that the quota system had also ruined the education system in the country. Everyone knows well the plight of public educational facilities in Sindh, he said. He said the democratic traditions had also been vanishing in Sindh.

Siddiqui appealed to the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take cognisance of the non-implementation of the orders of the apex judiciary on the cases related to the quota system, bogus certificates of domicile, and Article 140-A of the Constitution (related to the devolution of powers to the local governments).

He demanded that a separate government secretariat should be established for urban parts of Sindh on the pattern of similar secretariats in southern parts of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He hoped that the recent court judgment would help lessen the deep sense of deprivation prevailing among candidates belonging to urban parts of Sindh who didn’t get government jobs due to the sheer lack of meritocracy in the recruitment process. He said the Urdu-speaking community had again become hopeful to get government jobs given the fresh court order.

Speaking on the occasion, MQM-Pakistan senior leader Dr Farooq Sattar said that gthe MQM had been steadfast against any move to eliminate meritocracy in government recruitment drives. He expressed gratitude to the Sindh High Court for giving a just order in this regard.

He said the stay order obtained by the MQM-Pakistan against government recruitment drives would prove to be a milestone in the ongoing movement to secure the long-denied legitimate rights of Karachiites.

He maintained that the job quota system had widened the gulf between the residents of urban and rural parts of Sindh. He said the quota system had never favoured the underprivileged and destitute Sindhi-speaking community. Both these communities in Sindh have suffered because of the quota system.

Dr Sattar said the the MQM-Pakistan would revive its genuine and legitimate struggle against feudalism and job quota system in Sindh as for the purpose all the available constitutional and legal means would be used. He said the MQM-Pakistan would remain vigilant to repulse any more such moves to usurp the rights of people of urban parts of Sindh.

Sharjeel seeks apology

Sindh Senior Minister for Information Sharjeel Inam Memon has demanded that Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan leader Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui should unequivocally apologise for his act of levelling what he said baseless accusations against PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in a shameful manner.

Speaking at a press conference along with Sindh Energy Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah on Monday, Memon also demanded that Sindh Governor Kamran Khan Tessori should also resign as he was also a nominee of the MQM-Pakistan and without any genuine mandate of thepeople of the province.

He said the MQM-Pakistan leadership had once again resorted to politicking as its politics was based on baseless allegations. He said that MQM-P had to pay a heavy price for such politicking as its popularity base had shrunk from three to four cities to a handful of union committees in the city.

Memon said the use of venomous language against the PPP founder didn’t suit anyone given the fact that the late Bhutto had played an important role in the national development. He accused Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui of using toxic language against the PPP founder.

The senior minister said that the late Bhutto had rendered invaluable sacrifices for the country, and Pakistan’s political history would go blank if the PPP’s leadership was deleted from it. He was of the view that Siddiqui had talked inappropriately about the quota system in government jobs.

Memon told media persons that the quota system had been introduced after much consideration to protect the legitimate interests of the candidates from the backward areas. He said MQM-Pakistan had been the cause behind many issues in the province. He said the MQM had moved the court and obtained a stay order against a fresh recruitments drive by the Sindh government irrespective of the fact that the educated youth in Sindh had been jobless and seeking employment. He said the capacity to deliver of several departments of the Sindh government had been compromised owing to the stay granted against fresh government postings.

Memon recalled that the entire MQM-Pakistan leadership including Dr Siddiqui once used to revere the London-based party’s founder, Altaf Hussain. Later on, they (MQM leaders) abandoned Altaf Hussain and refused to recognise him as their leader, he added. “They are not ready to recognise him as their leader in total disregard for the fact that he (Altaf Hussain) played an important role in the advancement of their political careers while in the past they used to devotedly follow in the footsteps of their leader,” he said.

Memon remarked that the MQM-P had always resorted to baseless accusations against the Pakistan Peoples Party. He recalled that the entire Islamic world had recognised the role of the late Bhutto in strengthening the Organisation of Islamic Conference. One should feel ashamed if one blames Bhutto for causing division in the country, he said.

The minister said that MQM-P should close the chapter of its politics based on lies. “We will not to resort to insulting anyone after facing insult but the MQM has to apologise for levelling baseless accusations against late Bhutto. We have all seen the tragic end of the people who practised politics based on hatred.”

He alleged that MQM activists had been recruited by the city’s civic and municipal agencies in the past regimes. “All the target killers in the past were the employees of the KWSB and KMC,” he said.

He recalled that in the past MQM Pakistan leaders had never objected to the anti-Pakistan utterances of Altaf Hussain but later on (after parting ways with London-based MQM founder), they declared themselves as pro-Pakistani politicians but their way of doing politics remained unchanged. He also claimed that Dr Siddqui personally had no value in politics.

The minister said the MQM in the past had ruined the future of youth in Karachi by arming them with weapons. “Once strike calls were given in Karachi every other day, but now gone are the days of the MQM’s lawlessness,” he said.

Memon recalled that the MQM-Pakistan had decided to stay away from the last local government polls in Karachi after realising that it had lost popularity in the city. “People know well the reality of the MQM as its politics is based on hatred and bias. We are ready to compete against the MQM if it believes in getting elected based on fair polls,” he said.

He maintained that the Sindh governor should also resign given the fact that he (the governor) was also a nominee of the MQM-Pakistan. “He (the governor) hasn’t been nominated by the people nor does he possess any mandate as such kind of politics will not go on anymore in our province,” he said.

He said the Sindh Education Department had recently recruited 50,000 teachers for government schools in the most transparent manner as the recruitment test in this connection was conducted by the IBA Sukkur. He disclosed on the occasion that family members of several provincial ministers had failed to pass the recruitment test showing its high meritocracy.

Memon said the MQM-Pakistan should have launched a move to get rid of the job quota system when it was all-powerful in Pervez Musharraf’s regime to the extent that scores of people had been killed in the city in a single day. He recalled that the MQM in those days had never spoken against the quota system in any official meeting. “We know how to respond when baseless accusations are levelled against our martyred leader. We were not frightened of the MQM even in the time when it had weapons so there is no question we could be afraid of it now,” he said. He said that the MQM leadership was fond of double talk as they said one thing in front of them (the PPP) while they uttered another thing in front of the masses.

Mayor’s advice

Karachi Mayor and Sindh government spokesperson Barrister Murtaza Wahab has said that talking about Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto will not elevate the stature of Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) diminutive leaders.

He was responding to the MQM press conference on Monday. He advised the MQM leaders to reflect on their actions before commenting on Shaheed Bhutto. The nation is well aware of the MQM’s past, and there is no need to inform anyone about it, he stressed.

Wahab said that Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto gave the people of Pakistan their identity and voice and also provided the oppressed people with their rightful entitlements. Whenever there is talk of bodies in gunny bags in Karachi, the MQM will inevitably be mentioned, as gunny bagged bodies, extortion, and strikes are the hallmarks of the MQM, he remarked.

He also criticised the MQM for considering its malicious attempt to deprive the province’s people of jobs as its victory. He said the MQM celebrates by depriving the people of their rightful entitlements. He added that the PPP has always provided jobs to the people on merit; the PPP gives employment, it does not take it away, whereas the MQM’s approach is like “biting the hand that feeds it.”

Wahab further said that te MQM has always sold out the rights of the citizens, and due to their internal conflicts, they are resorting to blame politics. He said that Shaheed Bhutto accomplished countless feats for Pakistan and the Islamic world, provided homes to the homeless, and he gave land to the farmers. The credit for uniting all Islamic countries goes to Shaheed Bhutto, he said, adding that above all, Shaheed Bhutto initiated Pakistan’s nuclear programme. Before talking about Shaheed Bhutto, he said the MQM should reflect on its own actions.