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The diaspora of Muhajirs - An unacknowledged fact

Syed Atiq ul Hassan

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Dec 16, 2018
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Australia
Background

About 2 million Muslims from the Hindu-majority cities and towns of India migrated to Pakistan during and after the creation of Pakistan in 1947. The largest migration in the world’s history at that time was legalized by the treaty between the governments of India and Pakistan in 1951, and concurrently under the Pakistani Citizenship Act 1951 all the immigrants in Pakistan were immediately naturalized as Pakistanis when they crossed Indian border to Pakistan. It was obvious that those immigrants did not migrate to any province instead to then West Pakistan and East Pakistan. Generally, the Muslims of Eastern regions of India migrated to East Pakistan majority of them had same language (Bengali) & culture as of the people of East Pakistan (today’s Bangladesh) therefore they easily assimilated with the locals. On the other hand, on the Western Border, notably, there were two major ethnic communities migrated from India to West Pakistan, one was Punjabi-speaking from Eastern Punjab who comfortably mixed and settled in Punjab (of Pakistan) because they had the same ethnic characteristics. The other immigrants were Urdu-speaking who migrated from various cities & towns of Upper, Central & Northern States of India to then West Pakistan, majority of them crossed south-eastern border (Rajasthan) via trains, bullock carts (bailgadi) horse carts (ghoragadi) to Sindh. Also, there were hundreds and thousands who crossed the border by trains from Lahore, but they ended up at the last station of Karachi. These immigrants settled in Mirpurkha, Hyderabad, Nawabsha, Sukkur, and Karachi. It is very important to understand that these immigrants did not settle in Sindh because they were forced or offered incentives by locals to settle in Sindh. Those immigrants found urban areas of Sindh as better places for them to restart the journey of their lives. The fact of the matter is that generally, immigrants in any part of the world prefer to live in cities and town so that they can easily find jobs, education and businesses.

Historically Sindh has been a land for everyone who wished to settle there. Sindh is a land which has been welcoming people of different faith, race, culture and ethnicity from centuries. In the search of claiming the indigenous roots with the soil, the people of Sindh could go back as earliest as five centuries before Christ, when Darius, the King of Iran (Persia) attacked India; or as found in the Mahabharata where Jayadratha, the Aryan King of Sindh fought against Krishna; or from the signs of civilization of Indus Valley (2300 BC - 1760 BC) found in the history books; or since Sindh became the part of Pakistan in 1947.

Arabs, Turks, Irani, Parsi, Khans, Balloch, Siraiki, Punjabi even Jews, Chinese and African came in Sindh in different times and made Sindh as their permanent home. Whichever period one investigates would find the rich and vibrant history of migrants. In the last few centuries Sindh has changed a lot geographically, culturally and ethnically. Therefore, making basis the changing history of Sindh as a main parameter in seeking solutions of the social and political issues of the present-day Sindh and claiming who is Sindhi or who is not, may not help to those who believe on accepting the realities of the present.

The migration of people during partition (in 1947) brought a major change in the ethnic demographic of Sindh. The immigrants in Sindh brought with them their own history, culture, traditions and language. Settled in the urban areas of Sindh in majority, instead of merging with the locals they retained their ethnicity due to their volume and strong ethnic history which was contrary to the locals. There is no question that since the creation of Pakistan, Sindh is the only province affected by major transformations communally, socially, culturally and ethnically compare to the pre-Pakistan Sindh, especially major cities, Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur. The local Sindhis, who divergent to the other provinces had their own strong Sindhi language, found Sindhi language superseded by Urdu. The Sindhi-speaking parents admitted their children in Urdu-medium schools.

Regrettably, who talks about the rights of Sindhis basically they refer only to Sindhi-speaking and they described Sindhi-speaking people are the only sons of the soil. The so-called Sindhi-nationalists who make Pakistan and immigrants (Muhajirs) responsible for grasping the rights of Sindh never talk about the two facts.

1) Prior to Pakistan, Sindh had an elected assembly, which took the lead in voting for Pakistan. It was a vote for freedom from British colonialism & Hindu domination and the affirmation to be a part of an independent country - Pakistan.

2) Immigrants settled in Sindh as a part of the established process of Pakistan and they had a legal migration to Pakistan (not Sindh) and they were legally allowed to settle wherever they want in Pakistan, few of them given their legal claims of properties in urban areas of Sindh and remaining in majority and their generations still waiting for their legal claims in Sindh.


The diaspora of Muhajirs


I was born and grew up in the windy & patchy streets of Hyderabad Sindh (Pakistan) and I am an Urdu-speaking, largely identified as Muhajirs. Hence, I consider myself to be a right person to put together the story of Muhajirs of Sindh with the historical actualities in my analytical reasoning and logical conclusion. The Urdu-speaking people of Sindh, today, constitute at least the 40 percent population of Sindh. They are the most misunderstood fragment of Pakistanis today due to complex political disparity in Sindh over decades and unfortunate ignorance of the ruling elites of Pakistan for their vested interests.

To understand the grievances issue of the Muhajirs, one must look into the historical and political facts of their ethnical formation and disparities with other fragmentations in Sindh.

People seek relation to the land as it provides them basic identity to be acknowledged in the society. In Indian subcontinent, historically and traditionally people are known and identified by a region or a province. When Pakistanis identity themselves as Punjabis, Ballochis, Pathans and Sindhis, I claim myself as a ‘Sindhi’. I keep my sentiments for Sindh because Sindh has played a primary role in my native identity. I also feel proud of my parents’ background because my grandparents, like millions of Indian Muslims, sacrificed for Pakistan; and when Pakistan was created, they decided to migrate to Pakistan from India leaving behind forever their generations old connections with the land and people. I love the demographics of Sindh as much as I love my ethnic background because one identifies my native home and other my roots. And, I believe millions of people of the same background as of mine keep the same feelings as I have. All of these singularities don’t seem to be an issue for any ethnic community in Sindh. Then why the next generation of immigrants (Muhajirs) who were born in Sindh are identifying themselves as ‘Muhajir’ not Sindhi and why the local political segments especially the conservatives also don’t accept Muhajirs of Sindh as Sindhis.

Today, the demographic of the people of Sindh contains two major segmentations, Sindhi-speaking and Urdu-speaking. Sindhi-speaking people are Sindhis and there is no conflict on their identity, however, the Urdu-speaking people who were born in Sindh are the victim of political conflicts. Urdu-speaking call themselves as ‘Muhajir’ (immigrant) and Sindhi-speaking also treat them non-Sindhis, they often call them by different name like ‘Hindustani’ or ‘Panahgir’.

I believe, this is a result of the culture of political opportunism within the ruling elites of Sindh and the ignorant and irresponsible behaviour of civil society in the last 40 years or so. How and why it happened, the answer is not as simple as it has been perceived in the last four decades, therefore, one has to look the sequence of political events occurred in Sindh in the last 40 years.

About 2 million Muslims from the Hindu-majority cities and towns of India migrated to Pakistan [1]during and after the creation of Pakistan in 1947. The largest migration in the world’s history at that time was legalized by the treaty between the governments of India and Pakistan in 1951, and concurrently under the Pakistani Citizenship Act 1951https://defence.pk/pdf/file:///C:/ICRMSP/The diaspora of Muhajirs in Sindh.doc#_edn1 all the immigrants in Pakistan were immediately naturalized as Pakistanis when they crossed Indian border to Pakistan. It was obvious that those immigrants did not migrate to any province instead to then West Pakistan and East Pakistan. Generally, the Muslims of Eastern regions of India migrated to East Pakistan majority of them had same language (Bengali) & culture as of the people of East Pakistan (today’s Bangladesh) therefore they easily assimilated with the locals. On the other hand, on the Western Border, notably, there were two major ethnic communities migrated from India to West Pakistan, one was Punjabi-speaking from Eastern Punjab who comfortably mixed and settled in Punjab (of Pakistan) because they had the same ethnic characteristics. The other immigrants were Urdu-speaking who migrated from various cities and towns of Upper, Central & Northern States of India to then West Pakistan, majority of them crossed south-eastern border (Rajasthan) via trains, bullock carts (bailgadi) horse carts (ghoragadi) to Sindh. Also, there were hundreds and thousands who crossed the border by trains from Lahore, but they ended up at the last station of Karachi. These immigrants settled in Mirpurkha, Hyderabad, Nawabsha, Sukkur, and Karachi. It is very important to understand that these immigrants did not settle in Sindh because they were forced or offered incentives by locals to settle in Sindh. Those immigrants found urban areas of Sindh as better places for them to restart the journey of their lives. The fact of the matter is that generally, immigrants in any part of the world prefer to live in cities and town so that they can easily find jobs, education and businesses.

Historically Sindh has been a land for everyone who wished to settle there. Sindh is a land which has been welcoming people of different faith, race, culture and ethnicity from centuries. In the search of claiming the indigenous roots with the soil, the people of Sindh could go back as earliest as five centuries before Christ, when Darius, the King of Iran (Persia) attacked India; or as found in the Mahabharata where Jayadratha, the Aryan King of Sindh fought against Krishna; or from the signs of civilization of Indus Valley (2300 BC - 1760 BC) found in the history books; or since Sindh became the part of Pakistan in 1947.

Arabs, Turks, Irani, Parsi, Khans, Balloch, Siraiki, Punjabi even Jews, Chinese and African came in Sindh in different times and made Sindh as their permanent home[ii]. Whichever period one investigates would find the rich and vibrant history of migrants. In the last few centuries Sindh has changed a lot geographically, culturally and ethnically. Therefore, making basis the changing history of Sindh as a main parameter in seeking solutions of the social and political issues of the present-day Sindh and claiming who is Sindhi or who is not, may not help to those who believe on accepting the realities of the present.

The migration of people during partition (in 1947) brought a major change in the ethnic demographic of Sindh. The immigrants in Sindh brought with them their own history, culture, traditions and language. Settled in the urban areas of Sindh in majority, instead of merging with the locals they retained their ethnicity due to their volume and strong ethnicity which was contrary to the locals. There is no question that since the creation of Pakistan, Sindh is the only province affected by major transformations communally, socially, culturally and ethnically compare to the pre-Pakistan Sindh, especially major cities, Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur. The local Sindhis, who divergent to the other provinces had their own strong Sindhi language, found Sindhi language superseded by Urdu. The Sindhi-speaking parents admitted their children in Urdu-medium schools. I had Sindhi-speaking class-mates studied with me in Urdu sections during my school time in early 1970s in Hyderabad Sindh[iii].

Regrettably, who talks about the rights of Sindhis basically they refer only to Sindhi-speaking and they described Sindhi-speaking people are the only sons of the soil which is primarily a wrong argument in view of the historical profile of Sindh. The so-called Sindhi-nationalists who make Pakistan and immigrants responsible for grasping the rights of Sindh never talk about the two facts.

3) Prior to Pakistan, Sindh had an elected assembly, which took the lead in voting for Pakistan[iv]. It was a vote for freedom from British colonialism & Hindu domination and the affirmation to be a part of an independent country - Pakistan.

4) Immigrants settled in Sindh as a part of the established process of Pakistan and they had a legal migration to Pakistan (not Sindh) – Liaqat Nehru Pact 1950[v]. These immigrants (Muhajirs) were legally allowed to settle wherever they want to live in Pakistan. Few of the entire immigrants received legal claims of property in Sindh and the rest and their next generation never received their due claims of property. Therefore, they had no choice to build their own housing and business properties by hard-work over the period of time.

Another fact of the matter is that the people of Sindh merely experienced a change of masters with a new form of feudalism and bureaucracy since the creation of Pakistan. First the military coup of 1958[vi] shifted the balance of power away from Karachi, later the capital of Pakistan was transferred to Islamabad from Karachi. The periods of military rules under General Ayub Khan, General Yahya Khan and Zia-ul-Haq essentially meant colonial status for Sindh given that Sindhi representation in the armed forces was, at best, negligible; particularly in the commission corps. Bear in mind, in arm forces and in civil services, Sindhis in the past and present are considered to only those people of Sindh who speak Sindhi. Frequent dissolution of the constitution in Pakistan by army chiefs brought tyranny to the provincial system. Even the civilian governments made liberal use of the constitutional provision to dismiss provincial governments and install administrations of the federal's choice. Federal agencies routinely acquired land from the Sindh government on the pretext of executing development projects and then disposed to private parties. The army had also been consistently acquired lands in Sindh. Some of the best agricultural lands in Sindh were allotted to military officers as a retirement reward. In federal government facilities located in Sindh - Ports, Airports, Railway Outlets, Oil and Gas fields, Steel plants, etc. people from other provinces can be found in large numbers compare to the citizens of Sindh. All these facts created the sense of deprivation among Sindhi-speaking which has used by Sindhi nationalist leaders, landlords and top PPP’s actors in Sindh as tool to play their politics. These actors never practically launched any movement against wrong doings of army-rulers and federal bureaucracy instead they created a common impression among the ordinary Sindhi-speaking people that their rights and opportunities are being robbed by Urdu-speaking people who control the economy of cities and towns of Sindh.

Despite of political issues and ethnic differences, the Sindhi-speaking people and Urdu-speaking people had been living side-by-side without any major conflict of interests until the fall of East Pakistan[vii] and demolition of federation in the remaining (West) Pakistan by formation of new administration of Pakistan consisted on four (Pre-partition) Provinces that are Punjab, Sindh, Ballochistan and Khaiber Pukhtoon Khawa (Northern-Western Frontier) Provinces. In Sindh, the Sindhi-speaking people who were in the majority in rural areas had their own centuries old traditions, culture, language and occupations. The ordinary Sindhi-speaking people were generous, simple and loyal to Pakistan. They were the ones who opened doors for immigrants

after the creation of Pakistan in 1947. Urdu-Speaking and Sindhi-Speaking shared things, social friendships, and intermarriages and so on. Some of my family members married to Sindhi-speaking, they are living happy lives; they share and enjoy everything with our family and relatives.

Similarly, the Muhajirs (immigrants) – just like every immigrant in any part of the world - worked hard to establish themselves economically, socially and professionally. They established businesses, opened shops and developed market-places and elevated the social status of urban cities and towns of Sindh. They joined government and private jobs. They became renowned doctors, engineers, lawyers and social workers. Compare to other communities, Muhajirs people had the highest literacy rate until 1980s. Parents emphasized their children to get highest education and go in professional fields so that they could live respectfully in the society. Muhajirs were recognized by their soft, academic and intelligent behaviour. They were miles away from the culture of guns and gangsters. They were great academics, poets, writers, journalists, and artists who were making the cities alive with amazing events of poetry, film & art, drama, theater, festivals & fairs. Their consistent hard work and services in various professions and businesses made urban areas of Sindh especially Karachi and Hyderabad the fastest developed cities of Pakistan. Karachi became the ‘City of Lights’ and called Mini-London by international tourists. The people-to-people relations Sindhi and Urdu speakings broadly were peaceful and harmonious.

Democracy makes states and nations stronger. It brings peace, freedom and justice for the citizens of a state. The first step of the democracy is to educate people on the benefits of environment and then create the pre-requisites of democracy. You cannot implement a true democracy with the operators of democracy are landlords, feudal, tribal leaders, x-army officers and corrupt bureaucrats. Then the collective decisions through ballots by the voters has to be fairly accepted by the politicians, otherwise, a democratic system can be as repressive as any form of dictatorial system. Unfortunately, in Pakistan the democratic system is abused by its operators (politicians, army, bureaucracy). The 1970’s general election[viii] was the biggest elections held in the then West and East Pakistan. Evidently, the injustices, discriminations, divisions and split of Pakistan (fall of East Pakistan) were the result of that election because the people were given the right to vote but their decision were not accepted by those who were in the game of democratic process (politicians, army, bureaucracy). Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s newly formed Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), secured majority of seats of West Pakistan in the federal assembly except from the urban areas of Sindh (Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkar, Mirpurkas) which were dominated by religious parties of Pakistan (Jamat-e-Islami and Jamiat-e-Ulema Pakistan) and Pakistan Muslim League of Mohammed Ali Jinnah. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, a political-dictator by nature, had a typical vadera (feudal) mentality. He started his political career under the great military ruler of Pakistan (Ayub Khan) who he called ‘daddy’. Bhutto did not want to hear ‘No’ and never spare his opponents - a leader or a party. Therefore, Bhutto and the army refused to accept the overall victory of Awami League of Sheikh Mujeeb-ur-Rehman that won more seats than PPP of Bhutto in the combined house of West and East Pakistan. I don’t want to go in the tales of the fall of East Pakistan and the creation of Bangladesh as this is not the aim of my writing in this article, however, it is very relevant to mention here so that the readers must realize that injustices and discriminations can be the products of corrupt and unjust democracy. It was Bhutto’s rigid and unbending political attitude that Pakistan lost its half part because his goal was just to become the head of state even on the cost of East Pakistan. This was his time, when voice echoed in West and East Pakistan, ‘Idhar hum udhar tum – ادھر ہم ادھر تم'’ (we here and you there), so Mujeeb-ur-Rehman found Bangladesh and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto became (world’s first) civilian Martial Law Administrator of the remaining Pakistan, then he became the President and then Prime Minister of Pakistan within 24 months.

A special report ‘The Breakup of Pakistan 1969-1971’ written by S. Akbar Zaidi published in Dawn newspaper on December 1026, Mr. Zaidi mentioned, “Bhutto famously remarked that “a majority alone does not count” (ironically, words which would haunt his daughter in 1988), and further made one of his many famous statements, threatening to break the legs of any West Pakistani elected representative who proceeded to Dhaka — “tangain tore doon ga” — to participate in the National Assembly session called by Yahya on March 3, 1971. It was Bhutto, again, who later uttered words that led to one journalist coining the famed headline ‘udhar tum, idhar hum’’[ix].

Bhutto aiming to maintain his supremacy launched new ways of dealing with his opponents since he became the head of State. He tortured and victimized his enemies, launched military operation in Ballochistan, murdered political figure in Punjab, sacking non-favorite 370 bureaucrats & experienced government officers where most of them were Muhajirs, sanctions on the media, registered false cases against political opponents and putting them behind bars were Bhutto’s way of politics.

The urban areas of Sindh were dominated by religious-cum-political parties ( Jamat-e-Islami and Jamiat Ulmae Islam of Allama Shah Ahmed Noorani) as they had strong vote-bank of Muhajirs. Traditionally, Karachi and Hyderabad were the major venues of anti-government demonstrations and rallies. The biggest anti-Bhutto demonstrations were staged in Karachi and Hyderabad against the mass rigging in election by the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in 1977.

The same dictatorial rule PPP has been going on in Sindh for the last 40 years with corruption, looting and shooting.

During the first government of PPP in early 1970s, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and his key actors in Sindh who were heavyweight feudal & tribal leaders, wanted to politically control the urban areas of Sindh. They had two choices. The first choice was to go fairly and motivate Muhajirs to join PPP and create vote bank in the urban areas, but it was not possible for them as the feudal culture of PPP in Sindh was primarily conflicted with the political attitude of working-class educated Muhajirs. Therefore, ruling power of PPP in Sindh launched an administrative reform as a tool to block the growing political awareness in Sindh through Muhajirs. Hence the powerful feudal cum politicians of Sindh who were basically the main operators of PPP in Sindh and the architectures of Sindhi nationalist campaign introduced those legislations, practices and reforms that created two things; one is separation of Muhajirs from Sindhi-speakings, second feel good factor in Sindhi-speakings about their Sindhi leaders-cum-landlords.

The reactions from Muhajirs against unjust and discriminative policies of Sindhi rulers created harsh reaction from Muhajirs which was unfortunately cashed by the seasoned Muhajir politicians for their vested interest. They also started to feel that the national political parties they were supporting were not standing on their genuine grievances. On the other hand, PPP was winning the hearts & minds of Sindhi-speakings through biased reforms on the name of benefiting Sindhi-speakings. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto through his main political actors in Sindh especially, his cousin Mumtaz Ali Bhutto, Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi, Jam Sadiq Ali, Abdul Waheed Katpar and Qaim Ali Shah planted the seeds of ethnic division – Sindhi and Muhajir.

First, in 1972, when PPP in Sindh passed language bill from Sindh Assembly declared Sindhi language[x] as an official language of Sindh when the other 3 provinces Ballochistan, NWFP, and Punjab adopted Urdu as their provincial language. Introducing Sindhi language in Sindh could have considered as a good decision because learning Sindhi language by non-Sindhi-speakings could have beneficial for integrating people of different background but the way Mumtaz Ali Bhutto who was first the Governor then the Chief Minister of Sindh and following Chief Minister late Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi introduced the bill in Sindh was total disaster and division of the people of Sindh on linguistic lines. The bill was later reverted as a result of historic Sindhi-Muhajir ethnic clashes occurred in Sindh. Then, PPP government divided Sindh as Sindh Urban and Sindh Rural when PPP’s government introduced the discriminative system called ‘Quota System’[xi]. The allocation of federal jobs in Pakistan is done on the basis of this Quota System:

Merit 7.5 %

Punjab 50%

Sindh 19% where

Sindh Urban (Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkar) 7.6% and

Sindh Rural (Remaining) 11.4%

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 11.5%
Balochistan 6%
Gilgit-Baltistan and FATA 4%
Azad Jammu and Kashmir 2%

Article 27 of the 1973 Constitution Article says, ‘no citizens otherwise qualified in the service of Pakistan shall be discriminated against in respect of of race, religion, caste, sex, residence or place of birth’. Quota system was declared un-Islamic by Federal Shariat Court (FSC)[xii] . The original 1973 constitution had fixed a period of 10 years for the job quota for the provinces, but the governments in the 1980s, and in 1990s enhanced it to 40 years which was expired in 2012, then in August 2013, the cabinet, chaired by then Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif gave its approval to the constitutional amendment in the first provision of Article 27(1) and extended for the next 20 years. The shocking dilemma was that MQM did not show any real resistance or agitation on the further extension of Quota System.

Presumably, Quota System was introduced in order to allocate proportionally the government jobs and higher & professional educational seats to provinces but in Sindh it was used by PPP to serve their political interest. Fewer positions (in the quota) was given to urban areas and more positions given to rural areas in all government jobs and professional (medical and engineering colleges) in Sindh. The urban areas mainly constituted of Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur (3 major cities of Sindh) and the rest was constituted as Sindh rural. A person of an ordinary mind could understand that this division was basically division of Sindh between the Muhajirs and Sindhi-Speakings. Over 80 percent population of Urdu-Speaking lived in Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur and over 80 percent population of Sindi-speaking lived in rural areas.

The result of this division practically created distance between Muhajirs and Sindhi-speakings. Surprisingly, the members of the Jiya-Sindh Tehreek (Sindhudesh) of G.M. Syed became very active in Universities and Colleges of Sindh (except Karachi). What I have seen was that they openly carried weapons and patrolling in gangs in Sind University, Mehran University, Liaqat Medical College, Muslim College in Hyderabad chasing and beating Muhajir students. No FIRs from Muhajirs were registered in police stations for the criminal activities (of robbing, torturing and beating) against Muhajirs because political appointees and beneficiaries of quota system (Sindhi-speakings) were sitting in police stations and other key positions in Sindh government. I saw the incidents of beating and torturing of Muhajirs in Sindh University by Jiya-Sindh gangsters were very common during 1974 to 1978 when I was studying in Sindh University. I was beaten couple times by the youth wing of Jiya-Sindh Tehreek in Sind University. Though these are over 4o years old incidents, but I would like to share here two incidents happened with me in order to show the readers that how extreme level of hatred were being planted in those days by the so-called loyalists of Sindh. In 1974, after completing higher school certificate (year 12) I went to Mehran Engineering College Nawabshah to obtain the admission form for Bachelor of Engineering. While standing in a queue at the administration office, few students came to me and asked in Sindhi, who am I? As soon as I replied in my (broken) Sindhi and in Urdu they bombarded on me terribly with punches and kicks; cutting the story short, somehow, I managed to escape and then never went back to study Engineering in Nawabshah. This brought change in my career plan and professional goal, then I found no option except to take admission in Bachelor of Honours to continue my higher studies. My parents taught me that only option I had to survive was to get highest education with distinctions and I followed their teachings. I did Bachelor of Honours in Physics (1977) and then Master Degree in Information Technology (1978). In 1985 when I was working as an IT professional, I was coming back after collecting the original testimonials of my Bachelor and Master degrees from the administration office of Sind University in Jamshoro. Few young men including today’s prominent leader Qadir Magsi, came to me, put pistols on my head and asked the same question which was asked many times during my 4 years period in Sind University and that was; who am I, Sindhi or Panaghir (Assylum-seeker)? Five to six people hit me badly with the grip of pistols, punches and kicks. They ripped off my original (degrees) testimonials and torn them in pieces. Luckily, they did not shoot on me but left me unconscious on the superhighway. At that time, I was working in a senior position (in Grade 18) for a large organisation in Pakistan. I left Pakistan and joined a highly professional job in IT in Dubai (UAE), returned back in 1987 and then left Pakistan in 1989 for Australia as an IT Professional (migrant) with my family.

The alumnae of 1970s and 1980s will endorse my assertions that in Sind University, Mehran University, Liaqat Medical College beating, robbing, and abusing Muhajir students by gangs of Jiya-Sindh were common. The political leaders of Sindh today, like Zulfiqar Mirza, Qadir Magsi, Yousuf Jakhrani were well-known names that time as a gangster.

Now the point is who are feeding them for doing these crimes? They should have been kicked out from educational institutes, but they were rewarded. Today, you find them in the Sindh parliament as legislators. They are the top ministers and executives in Sindh Government. Today, they are the top bureaucrats in Sindh government and some are in the Capital (Islamabad). How can you expect from them to bring peace and harmony between different ethnic communities in Sindh as they are the architectures of these divisions and crimes? I would like to make it clear here that these corrupt Sindhi-speaking rulers were few but always been uncontrollable even in the army rule in Pakistan.

The ruling power of Sindh never accepted Muhajirs as Sindhis. Not a single time, the Chief Minister of Sindh was chosen to be a Muhajir in the history of Pakistan- Why? Similarly, all the top positions in Sindh government like Police, Custom, Income Tax, Administration, Sindh Secretariat were gradually given to Sindhi-speakings by replacing Muhajirs. Today, you hardly find a Muhajirs in Sindh administration and secretariat in Karachi. All this has happened systematically to create and maintain divisions between the ordinary people of Sindh so that this corrupt ruling-class continues to rule.

As a result, the Muhajirs were being marginalized and the lava of frustration was building inside an ordinary Muhajir. No one was there to pay attention on those serious preventions within Muhajirs. The political-cum-religious parties supported by Muhajirs were not interested to stand-up against Quota System and the victimizations of Muhajirs in Sindh. Karachi was ruled by Jamat-e-Islami who was not interested to stand-up in support of the grievances of the people of Karachi neither they played any role in bringing Sindhi Muhajir together to stand-up jointly against injustices and corruptions. The same behaviour was

of Jamiat-e-Ulmae Islam (Noorani Group) in Hyderabad. The graph of unemployment within Muhajirs was rising alarmingly but no one there to notice. Muhajirs youth were frustrated. Students had to change their professional goals because they were unable to get admissions in professional colleges due to limited quota of their cities. The continuous ignorance on the ongoing injustices and unfair policies of the rulers dragged Sindh into ethnic clashes.

In mid 1970s when the clashes between Sindhi-speakings and Muhajirs broke out, the leaders of Muhajirs instead of bringing both communities together, unite them on their grievances and for the collective solutions in the interest of everyone in Sindh, they stood-up against Sindhi-speakings same as how Sindhi nationalists were behaving against Muhajirs. Nawab Muzaffar Khan from Hyderabad who belonged to Pakistan Muslim League formed ‘Muhajir, Pathan, Punjabi Mutehida Mahaz’.[xiii] They took out a historic demonstration on the streets of Hyderabad and Karachi where non-Sindhi-speakings communities joined hand in hand against the Sindh government. Even Muhajir intellectuals like Rais Amrohi, Altaf Hussain Qureshi and local politician from Karachi Zahoor ul Hassan Bhupali flared the division by leading Muhajirs against Sindhi-speakings. I was a University student at that time; I have seen how the leaders of both sides elevated the divisions on ethnic grounds. For example; Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi who was the Chief Minister (1973 to 1977) came on State Television (PTV) delivered an infuriating speech, challenging protestors if they could show to have a successful strike in Karachi and Hyderabad other than Friday as Friday was commercially off day of the week. Then the strikes by Muhajirs went on several weeks continuously.

At that time, there had been a vacuum of a leadership who could stand-up, break the barriers, bring the people together and unveil the politics of those who wanted to divide and rule. Unfortunately, that vacuum further grew and still exists.

The ruling powers of Sindh divided the people on ethnic lines. They wanted that Muhajirs and Sindhi-speakings should never come closer through any political reformation. Their agenda was that the Muhajirs should be united as immigrants (Muhajirs) not as the son of the soil and should be treated as a minority of Sindh rather than as Sindhis. Though Sindhi-nationalists show PPP as their rival but on this manifesto, they share same thoughts. Both wanted Muhajirs to disassociate from other mainstream parties especially from their traditional association with Jamat-e-Islami and Jamiat-e-Ulmae Islam and politically stand-up as a non-Sindhi race so that it would be easier for them to put them in the camps (like asylum seekers or Beharis in Bangladesh) when Sindh is independent state as ‘Sindhu-desh’. Now the dilemma with Muhajirs was that at one side they were being victimized by ruling powers of Sindh and on the other side they could not find a real leader which could properly address their grievances. Bear in mind that all the problems existed due to the core issue of quota system in Sindh dividing Sindh as Sindh Urban and Sindh Rural which practically a separation of Sindhi-speakings from Urdu-speakings (Muhajirs).

It is also to be noted that during 1980s Karachi was booming in business & trade. New colleges and universities were establishing in the private sectors so the students in Karachi could continue their education in private Universities. Foreign companies were opening their businesses in Karachi so that the job-seekers managed to get jobs in the private companies. Hence the Quota System would not that much affect to the people of Karachi. I remember when we used to tell what was happening in Sindh University against non-Sindhi-speaking students, the students in Karachi did not believe us, for them these were just interesting stories to listen. Altaf Hussain at that time was in Karachi University. He started his political career from Jamiat then with the National Students Federation (NSF) and then formed with some friends, All Pakistan Muhajir Students Federation (APMSO), initially APMSO was limited to Karachi University, and Professional Colleges in Karachi.

This was early 1980s, when there had been continuous migration of people from different parts of Pakistan to have better life in Karachi on the other hand the city had no planning for the growing basic needs and infrastructure. The people especially laborers, drivers and small business owners from Punjab, Northern region and other parts of Pakistan were migrating to Karachi. These new comers were hardworking people, in short span of time, they dominated in businesses, transport and private jobs, however, increase in population enormously multiplying the issues of Karachi as there were no planning for better and adequate facilities and infrastructure. The incident of Bushra Zaidi a young girl who was drove over by a minibus and the driver was not a local person flared the growing issues which were hidden under the carpet until that time. That led to the ethnic violence between Muhajirs and Pathans. As the Punjabis and Pathans in Karachi were living with common goals they were together in that violence against Muhajirs. The son-in-law of Ghulam Ishaq Khan (former President of Pakistan) Mr. Irfan ullah Khan Marwat[xiv] who was in Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz Group (N) made Punjabi-Pukhtoon Itehad (PPI) party in Karachi, most of their members were transporters of Karachi. However, PPI could not rise much as there were some other preparations going on behind the curtain.

I know the diehard followers of Altaf Hussain don’t have patience to listen anything against Altaf Hussain and Muhajir Quomi Movement (MQM) but if they are serious to know about the deeply rooted problems, issues and conspiracies and if they really want to look into the real solution for themselves then they have to first dissociate their political affiliation for a moment and pay attention without involving their emotions on these historical events which happened systematically and led to the big game plan against Muhajirs.

The young talented students and professionals of Muhajirs followed Altaf Hussain blindly in early 1980s because Altaf Hussain exposed the stories of victimizations and discrimination in Sindh which had been going on for ages as I mentioned earlier. In politics, people are mobilized and attracted towards a party when a politician talks about those issues which are being faced by the people in their daily life. However, are those issues resolvable or is there a capacity and talent to resolve those issues by a politician or his party is another matter. The only political leader of South Asia was Muhammad Ali Jinnah who addressed the issues, fought for them without any compromisation on principles and then delivered the solution successfully in the shape of Pakistan. Anyway, coming back to the very serious issue I am explaining in next lines.

Creating something on the name of Muhajirs was the dream of Ghulam Murtaza Syed (G.M. Syed), the founder of Sindhu-Desh Tehreek (Movement for Independent Sindh)[xv]. This growing division between Muhajirs and Sindhi-Speakings were very rightly working for the Sindhi nationalists particularly for the people like G.M. Syed and the leftist Rasool Bux Palejo. The people who were closely watching the plot at that time would remember that G.M. Syed warned Sindhis during his campaign of Sindhu-Desh about the growing economic, social and political power of Muhajirs, their mergers with Sindhis and the assimilation of their next generation as Sindhis. He warned his followers that never let Panahghirs (Muhajirs) think as Sindhis, if you do then the language of the Sindh would be the language of Panahghirs (Urdu), Sindhi culture would be the culture of Panahghirs and their way of life would be the way of life of Sindh and so on. It was an eye-opening moment for Muhajirs especially the people of Karachi when the security guards of Altaf Hussain for his demonstrations and rallies during his tour of various cities and town of Sindh campaigning for MQM in 1980s were Sindhi-Speaking youth provided by G.M. Syed and Mumtaz Ali Bhutto. It was an alarming moment for the people of Sindh when G.M. Syed was fighting for his life in the hospital army dictator late General Zia ul Haque went to see G.M. Syed and presented him bouquet in Jinnah Hospital. Has anyone thought what they would have discussed? G. M. Syed was died in 1995 in Jinnah hospital Karachi.

During 1980s in the martial law rule of Zia ul Haque when political activities were banned MQM was the only party at that time which was (unofficially) allowed to have political demonstrations (Jalsa). Those demonstrations and rallies of MQM were guarded by Sindhi nationalist youth. No one asked Altaf Hussain in 1980s, that is in the early days of his campaign of MQM, that the real issue of Muhajirs and their new generation born in Sindh was the Quota System and administrative victimization of them in Universities, colleges and government jobs in Sindh then why in his speeches he was targeting and speaking against Punjabis and Pathans?

The bell was ringing. In 1988, the Chief Minister of Sindh Mr. Qaim Ali Shah signed a 59-point accord with Muhajir Qoumi Movement (MQM). It is noted that at that time MQM was not registered as a political party with the election commission. MQM contested election as Haq Parast Group. MQM was given free hand to use MQM banners and slogans but on the ballot paper MQM candidates contested the election as independents. MQM won the majority of seats they contested on. The powerful political-cum-religious parties (Jamat-e-Islami and Jamiat-e-Ulmae Islam) which had been dominating urban Sindh since the down fall of General Ayub Khan lost against Haq Parast notably. The mission of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was accomplished. The voice of anti-PPP and anti-Bhutto was turned down in Karachi and Hyderabad. The mission of Sindhi-nationalist was also accomplished as the new generation of Sindh which was very talented, educated and vibrant but spoke Urdu was separated as ‘Muhajirs’ – second class citizens. It was understood that Muhajirs had emotional attachment with the word ‘Muhajirs’ as they belong to the people who fought, sacrificed and migrated to Pakistan for Pakistan, this attachment was exploited. A new generation of Sindh which were the son of the soil, sharing their vibrant ethnic characteristics with other Sindhis were labeled as ‘Muhajirs’ in a sense they don’t belong to Sindh, on the other hand, the new generation of Muhajirs who were born in Sindh accepted too the word Muhajirs as their proud ethnic identity.

Altaf Hussain met Benazir Bhutto at 70-Clifton on August 8, 1988, about a week earlier to the death of General Zia-ul-Haq in an army plan crash. Altaf Hussain with Azeem Tariq who was later mysteriously assassinated, had a closed-door meeting with Benazir Bhutto and Aftab Shahban Mirani – a leading PPP’s player in Sindh. No one knew what was really decided in that meeting. On December 20, 1988, Benazir congratulated Altaf Hussain on phone for Haq Parasts’s victory in Karachi and Hyderabad in the elections and invited Altaf Hussain to have a cup of tea with her. The next day, Benazir went to Nine Zero and established a working relationship and partnership in the ruling coalition. Both leaders signed 59-point written accord claiming to bring peace and unity in Sindh.

Since then in the last 30 years or so, nothing changed in the lives of the people of Sindh except many more accords and partnership in government of Sindh by MQM and PPP were established in the common interest these two political parties. The Chief Minister of Sindh who witnessed the first accord between PPP and MQM and the past Chief Minister of Sindh Mr. Qaim Ali Shah, played the same dirty game of agreements & disagreements, in the government & opposition and so on. The fact of the matter is that PPP and MQM in Sindh were the need of each other and then a strong MQM under the leadership of Altaf Hussain is in the great interest of PPP in Sindh, so that both parties will remain be in the game of politics in Sindh. As long as MQM and PPP would remain the two strong political powers in Sindh, the PPP would never be out of power in Sindh. Muhajirs who were the traditional opponent of PPP are now controlled by MQM. There will never be any genuine opposition against PPP in Sindh which happened in 1977 and that led the demolishing of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s government, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was hanged by Zia ul Haque in a murder case. Therefore, in today’s scenario, as much the hatred and division will exist PPP and MQM will remain in the political game in Sindh.

G.M.Syed, Rasool Bux Palejo, Mumtaz Ali Bhutto and all other Sindhi nationalists wanted Muhajirs their next generations in Sindh to remain become a second class citizen not being the son of the soil. They provided every opportunity to Altaf Hussain to flourish his ideology of Muhajirs and make MQM deeply rooted in Urdu-Speakings’ mind as they are Muhajirs. The sole of G.M. Syed, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto must be very happy today that their mission has been accomplished; an entire generation of Muhajirs which were born in Sindh are treated as Muhajirs not as their ethnic identity but as a temporary resident. Therefore, existing form of MQM is very much important for the Sindhi nationalist so that they can keep playing their cards of Sindhi-ism and making their movements alive. They need to have strong support of Sindhu-desh so that they can condemn ideology of Pakistan.

Mutehida Quomi Movement of Altaf Hussain failed:

- to resolve the basic issue of discrimination with the Muhajirs and lost the track of basic demands which was to treat Muhajirs fairly and equally on merit in Sindh as Sindhis in government jobs and educational institutes

- remove quota system, eliminate discrimination in major government departments in Sindh for example, Police, traffic police, health, Income tax, custom, courts of justice and so on.

Altaf Hussain never realised that in the existing governing system of Pakistan which is composed of military dictatorship, feudalism and tribalism and considering the volume of Muhajirs in Sindh the equal rights of Muhajirs in Sindh in jobs, education and bureaucracy will never be delivered until and unless either quota system should be demolished, or a new administrative division of Sindh will be established.

Unfortunately, treat on merit to the most divergent, intelligent and educated people is not in the interest of any current political set-up they want to keep the status quo of current system. Now Imran Khan has claimed he has accepted the challenge to bring justice with all sections of the Pakistani nation, but he also never talks about demolition of quota system just because he knows that it is not possible in the current political set-up of Pakistan.

CONCLUSION

So, what is the way out for Muhajirs in Sindh? This is the most important question for Muhajirs today and they have to find-out the right answer! However, in my 40 years of experience, watching all events and political episodes, I came on to the conclusion that Muhajirs have to dissociate themselves from dirty and selfish politics of Altaf Hussain and his remaining gang. He will never provide a better and peaceful life to the Muhajirs instead further murders and tortures of Muhajirs. The youth of Muhajirs have to pay attention to the education and hard work in their professions like their parent did when they migrated to Pakistan. I mentioned earlier that I was physical beaten and practically discriminated but I never took gun or reacted the way Sindhi gangster reacted against me. My weapon was my education. I was a gold medalist in my study at Sind University where I was abused as being Muhajir time and again. If anything helped me to make my future secure and respect from the society is my education and hard work. The only power that can help Muhajirs is Muhajirs themselves. The movement, teehrek, identity, muhajir and so on are attractive words; these words can provoke emotions but never make prosperous future. There are many small communities who never demand anything from any government and they never waste time obeying politicians and parties but what they do is working hard in achieving education, skills in different fields and making themselves stronger economically, financially and professionally.

In regard to the fate of the Sindh and people of Sindh, it was already divided by the Pakistan Peoples Party of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1973 as Sindh Urban and Sindh Rural and which has been adopted by all previous governments in the form Quota System in the last 40 years. Therefore, the best solution would be the division of Sindh administratively to deal with all communities in Sindh fairly, equally and indiscriminately with better administration as more than one province. There can be a new province as South Sindh or there can be more than 2 provinces based on different regions of Sindh.


REFRENCES




https://defence.pk/pdf/file:///C:/ICRMSP/The diaspora of Muhajirs in Sindh.doc#_ednref1 The Pakistan Citizenship Act, 1951

[ii] History of Sindh

[iii] Muhajirs of Pakistan

[iv] Pakistan Resolution in Sindh Assembly

[v] Liaqat-Nehru Pact 1950

[vi] 1958 Military Coup in Pakistan

[vii] East Pakistan

[viii] General Election of 1970

[ix] Special Report on Break-up of Pakistan

[x] 1972 Language Violence in Sindh

[xi] The Politics of Ethnicity in Sindh by Charles H. Kennedy
[xii] The Role of Islam in the Legal System of Pakistan

[xiii] Sindh Mohajir Punjabi Pathan Muttahida Mahaz

[xiv] Irfan ullah Khan Marwat

[xv] Sindhu-Desh

General Reference on Pakistan Politics, The Political Ecology of Pakistan’ by Gholam Mujtaja
 

khansaheeb

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Actually it was 10 Million who crossed into Pakistan and 3 million were killed. The land and housing given was for equivalent value/size they left in India and only the Hindu/Sikh vacated land /houses given in exchange. No charity was given, it was a political deal signed by contract. The Hindus/Sikhs who left Pakistan were given equivalent deals in India.
 

Super Falcon

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Calling yourself muhajir which means refugee will take all rights from you as of normal citizen

Either stop callin muhajir and become Pakistanis or be muhajir and live as refugees with no rights to vote and to get govt jobs etc

Stop playing duplicity games we gave you nationality which you do not charish and keep calling your self refugees look like you will return to india
 

SurvivoR

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A thought provoking article which definitely needs a read.

However, the labels we need to adhere foremost are to be Muslim and Pakistani first and then any other ethnolinguistic or xyz labels. We need to think and look beyond our small wells of identity and be part of the ocean that has been prescribed for us 1400 years ago.
 

Sugarcane

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I guess it's time to introspect for "Muhajirs / Urdu Speaking" to figure out why the couldn't assimilate in 7 decades instead of keep coming up with victimhood. It's also time to give up this myth that it's because you retained your ethnic / linguistic identity because "Muhajir" is not an ethnicity and Urdu wasn't mother tongue of all those 2 million migrants - Many tribes are settled in Sindh & Punjab who are not local, they didn't give up their ethnic identity but nobody dares to tell them that they aren't Sindhis or Punjabis. In short, If you have bothered to learn Sindhi, and tried sync yourself with locals instead of coming up with new ethnic and linguistic identity to segregate yourself then you would have been in different position by now.
 

Syed Atiq ul Hassan

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I guess it's time to introspect for "Muhajirs / Urdu Speaking" to figure out why the couldn't assimilate in 7 decades instead of keep coming up with victimhood. It's also time to give up this myth that it's because you retained your ethnic / linguistic identity because "Muhajir" is not an ethnicity and Urdu wasn't mother tongue of all those 2 million migrants - Many tribes are settled in Sindh & Punjab who are not local, they didn't give up their ethnic identity but nobody dares to tell them that they aren't Sindhis or Punjabis. In short, If you have bothered to learn Sindhi, and tried sync yourself with locals instead of coming up with new ethnic and linguistic identity to segregate yourself then you would have been in different position by now.
I spent most of life on this subject and I claim I have much study, experience and knowledge on the issue. Certainly by the definition of book, the Muhajirs means immigrants and it was taken place just after the creation of Pakistan, in the last 70 years, those Muhajirs by definition are become an ethnic identity of those who live and were born in Sindh particularly in Urban areas, they don’t all speak Urdu as their mother tongue significant. Sections of these Muhajirs and their 2nd and 3rd generations speak Gujarti, Memoni, Katiyari, Punjabi, and many other language of sub-continent, until sometime I used to define them as Urdu-speaking, and as time went on, this community is now identified as Muhajirs same as Sindhi-speaking are identified as Sindhis whereas many of them don't speak Sindhi at home, similarly in Punjab who call themselves Punjabi don't all speak Punjabi at home. Therefore, Muhajirs are now become an ethnicity for their identification of those in Sindh whose parents and grandparents were migrated from India at the time of Participation. If you call them Urdu-speaking then again it is wrong by definition as many of them don't speak Urdu as their mother tongue. Hence the word is now largely accepted in Pakistan and referred in media, politics and social environment addressing to those who are the next generation of immigrants of 1947. Even these people are addressed in the parliament discussions as Muhajirs. I don't understand why people have problem if this community call themselves as Muhajirs or Urdu-speaking, this should not be the issue of others. It is now unavoidable fact which has a long political history. Similarly, people should not mix the ethnic identity of Muhajirs with their rights of the land where they live in. By province they are as much as Sindhis as others and by country they are as much as Pakistanis as others. When Pakistanis identify themselves as Punjabi, Sindhi, Balloch or Pathans not has any issue as soon as a large community in Sindh call themselves as Muhajirs some racist minded people have problem. So, when I am addressing to Muhajirs the whole knows whom I am referring to. When those in Sindh whose elders belonged to other lands than Sindh and migrated to Sindh in different times for their own vested interest no one had any issue and happily accepted them as Sindhis but when Muslims migrated from India into their newly created home ‘Pakistan’ they are still considered as HISDUSTANI, PANAGHIR, BHAIA ETC. If these people identified themselves as Muhajirs why someone has a problem. Pakistanis are multicultural and multi-ethnic nation where all other ethnic communities are accepted as what and how they identified themselves, so the Muhajirs should also be accepted. And if someone raise a question on Muhajir that person just demonstrate its hatred against them.
 

Pakistani sipahi

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I spent most of life on this subject and I claim I have much study, experience and knowledge on the issue. Certainly by the definition of book, the Muhajirs means immigrants and it was taken place just after the creation of Pakistan, in the last 70 years, those Muhajirs by definition are become an ethnic identity of those who live and were born in Sindh particularly in Urban areas, they don’t all speak Urdu as their mother tongue significant. Sections of these Muhajirs and their 2nd and 3rd generations speak Gujarti, Memoni, Katiyari, Punjabi, and many other language of sub-continent, until sometime I used to define them as Urdu-speaking, and as time went on, this community is now identified as Muhajirs same as Sindhi-speaking are identified as Sindhis whereas many of them don't speak Sindhi at home, similarly in Punjab who call themselves Punjabi don't all speak Punjabi at home. Therefore, Muhajirs are now become an ethnicity for their identification of those in Sindh whose parents and grandparents were migrated from India at the time of Participation. If you call them Urdu-speaking then again it is wrong by definition as many of them don't speak Urdu as their mother tongue. Hence the word is now largely accepted in Pakistan and referred in media, politics and social environment addressing to those who are the next generation of immigrants of 1947. Even these people are addressed in the parliament discussions as Muhajirs. I don't understand why people have problem if this community call themselves as Muhajirs or Urdu-speaking, this should not be the issue of others. It is now unavoidable fact which has a long political history. Similarly, people should not mix the ethnic identity of Muhajirs with their rights of the land where they live in. By province they are as much as Sindhis as others and by country they are as much as Pakistanis as others. When Pakistanis identify themselves as Punjabi, Sindhi, Balloch or Pathans not has any issue as soon as a large community in Sindh call themselves as Muhajirs some racist minded people have problem. So, when I am addressing to Muhajirs the whole knows whom I am referring to. When those in Sindh whose elders belonged to other lands than Sindh and migrated to Sindh in different times for their own vested interest no one had any issue and happily accepted them as Sindhis but when Muslims migrated from India into their newly created home ‘Pakistan’ they are still considered as HISDUSTANI, PANAGHIR, BHAIA ETC. If these people identified themselves as Muhajirs why someone has a problem. Pakistanis are multicultural and multi-ethnic nation where all other ethnic communities are accepted as what and how they identified themselves, so the Muhajirs should also be accepted. And if someone raise a question on Muhajir that person just demonstrate its hatred against them.
Name yourself whatever you want but don't play victim card.why didn't you guys joined the locals as others did . You have only yourself to blame.

As Said by LoveIcon

I guess it's time to introspect for "Muhajirs / Urdu Speaking" to figure out why the couldn't assimilate in 7 decades instead of keep coming up with victimhood. It's also time to give up this myth that it's because you retained your ethnic / linguistic identity because "Muhajir" is not an ethnicity and Urdu wasn't mother tongue of all those 2 million migrants - Many tribes are settled in Sindh & Punjab who are not local, they didn't give up their ethnic identity but nobody dares to tell them that they aren't Sindhis or Punjabis. In short, If you have bothered to learn Sindhi, and tried sync yourself with locals instead of coming up with new ethnic and linguistic identity to segregate yourself then you would have been in different position by now.
 

Sugarcane

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I spent most of life on this subject and I claim I have much study, experience and knowledge on the issue. Certainly by the definition of book, the Muhajirs means immigrants and it was taken place just after the creation of Pakistan, in the last 70 years, those Muhajirs by definition are become an ethnic identity of those who live and were born in Sindh particularly in Urban areas, they don’t all speak Urdu as their mother tongue significant. Sections of these Muhajirs and their 2nd and 3rd generations speak Gujarti, Memoni, Katiyari, Punjabi, and many other language of sub-continent, until sometime I used to define them as Urdu-speaking, and as time went on, this community is now identified as Muhajirs same as Sindhi-speaking are identified as Sindhis whereas many of them don't speak Sindhi at home, similarly in Punjab who call themselves Punjabi don't all speak Punjabi at home. Therefore, Muhajirs are now become an ethnicity for their identification of those in Sindh whose parents and grandparents were migrated from India at the time of Participation. If you call them Urdu-speaking then again it is wrong by definition as many of them don't speak Urdu as their mother tongue. Hence the word is now largely accepted in Pakistan and referred in media, politics and social environment addressing to those who are the next generation of immigrants of 1947. Even these people are addressed in the parliament discussions as Muhajirs. I don't understand why people have problem if this community call themselves as Muhajirs or Urdu-speaking, this should not be the issue of others. It is now unavoidable fact which has a long political history. Similarly, people should not mix the ethnic identity of Muhajirs with their rights of the land where they live in. By province they are as much as Sindhis as others and by country they are as much as Pakistanis as others. When Pakistanis identify themselves as Punjabi, Sindhi, Balloch or Pathans not has any issue as soon as a large community in Sindh call themselves as Muhajirs some racist minded people have problem. So, when I am addressing to Muhajirs the whole knows whom I am referring to. When those in Sindh whose elders belonged to other lands than Sindh and migrated to Sindh in different times for their own vested interest no one had any issue and happily accepted them as Sindhis but when Muslims migrated from India into their newly created home ‘Pakistan’ they are still considered as HISDUSTANI, PANAGHIR, BHAIA ETC. If these people identified themselves as Muhajirs why someone has a problem. Pakistanis are multicultural and multi-ethnic nation where all other ethnic communities are accepted as what and how they identified themselves, so the Muhajirs should also be accepted. And if someone raise a question on Muhajir that person just demonstrate its hatred against them.
There's nothing new in your argument, it's same thing which is being said for 7 decades. As I said it's time to introspect as blaming others is not a solution, haven't achieved anything good till now and will not achieve anything in future. Don't compare situation of "Muhajir" with other settler because they did opposite to others, those others didn't demand that they should be called Baluchis, Pakhtoons, Punjabi (or any new made up ethnic identity) etc. instead of referring them as Sindhis or Punjabis. They didn't expected locals will learn their language to communicate with them but learned local languages which is logical thing which any settler does all over the world. Now most of them speak local language as primary language or bilingual and integral part of Sindhis & Punjabis. Although Muhajir tag has become acceptable but it still carries psychological aspects of being "Others / Immigrants". For others hierarchy of identity is Pakistani --> Provincial (Sindhi, Punjabi etc.) --> Tribe / Clan / Bridari not Pakistani --> Muhajir (i.e. Immigrant). If Muhajir have gone for Pakistani --> Sindhi --> Memon or whatever their ethnic identity was and learned Sindhi then today they would have been as much part of Sindh as others are.
 

shahbaz baig

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Sir never ever tell this truth which you told in this thread.
This truth will never be accepted in Pakistan whatsoever.

Urdu speaking should disassociate their political activities with MQM and Altaf Hussain as you rightly mentioned in your article and should not only focus on education but also build business community rather then political one. Business communities just like Ismaili, bohri and Meman.

I am also the victim of similar story but I never told anyone on social media because I know very well my real story will be dragged with hates.

We (urdu speaking) should do whatever we can do for the betterment of Pakistan and for the youth. I know we can't change anything but atleast we can try our best rationally first, secondly practically .
 
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Imad.Khan

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They should go back to India (those who dont have any connection to native Pakistani groups). Government should facilitate their respectable repatriation.
Thats pretty extreme. Why should a person born in Pakistan go to India? They have as much right to live in Pakistan as you do.

I spent most of life on this subject and I claim I have much study, experience and knowledge on the issue. Certainly by the definition of book, the Muhajirs means immigrants and it was taken place just after the creation of Pakistan, in the last 70 years, those Muhajirs by definition are become an ethnic identity of those who live and were born in Sindh particularly in Urban areas, they don’t all speak Urdu as their mother tongue significant. Sections of these Muhajirs and their 2nd and 3rd generations speak Gujarti, Memoni, Katiyari, Punjabi, and many other language of sub-continent, until sometime I used to define them as Urdu-speaking, and as time went on, this community is now identified as Muhajirs same as Sindhi-speaking are identified as Sindhis whereas many of them don't speak Sindhi at home, similarly in Punjab who call themselves Punjabi don't all speak Punjabi at home. Therefore, Muhajirs are now become an ethnicity for their identification of those in Sindh whose parents and grandparents were migrated from India at the time of Participation. If you call them Urdu-speaking then again it is wrong by definition as many of them don't speak Urdu as their mother tongue. Hence the word is now largely accepted in Pakistan and referred in media, politics and social environment addressing to those who are the next generation of immigrants of 1947. Even these people are addressed in the parliament discussions as Muhajirs. I don't understand why people have problem if this community call themselves as Muhajirs or Urdu-speaking, this should not be the issue of others. It is now unavoidable fact which has a long political history. Similarly, people should not mix the ethnic identity of Muhajirs with their rights of the land where they live in. By province they are as much as Sindhis as others and by country they are as much as Pakistanis as others. When Pakistanis identify themselves as Punjabi, Sindhi, Balloch or Pathans not has any issue as soon as a large community in Sindh call themselves as Muhajirs some racist minded people have problem. So, when I am addressing to Muhajirs the whole knows whom I am referring to. When those in Sindh whose elders belonged to other lands than Sindh and migrated to Sindh in different times for their own vested interest no one had any issue and happily accepted them as Sindhis but when Muslims migrated from India into their newly created home ‘Pakistan’ they are still considered as HISDUSTANI, PANAGHIR, BHAIA ETC. If these people identified themselves as Muhajirs why someone has a problem. Pakistanis are multicultural and multi-ethnic nation where all other ethnic communities are accepted as what and how they identified themselves, so the Muhajirs should also be accepted. And if someone raise a question on Muhajir that person just demonstrate its hatred against them.
I heard this from one of my friend's dad who was a first generation urdu speaker. He told me that they choose to be called Muhajirs because when they used to identify themselves as Sindhis, native Sindhi people used to reply that they are not Sindhis but new Sindhis. Now i am not sure if this is true or not, can you confirm? Also if that was the true, what was the harm in being called new Sindhis? Because soon new Sindhi would just become Sindhi as humans have a natural tendency to shorten words.

Also instead of being called a Muhajirs, why can't just become Karachiwalays or Hyderabadis or which ever city you live in
 

Syed1.

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They should go back to India (those who dont have any connection to native Pakistani groups). Government should facilitate their respectable repatriation.
So you will decide who lives in Pakistan or not? And you call yourself Progressive. Kaddu mera
 

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