A meeting of Awami Tahreek’s Central General Council’s session has condemned budget for year 2009-10 for allocating funds for the construction of controversial Greater Thal Canal which was unanimously rejected by Sindh Assembly, years back during Gen. Musharraf’s era. General Council Session termed budget without new NFC award unconstitutional and resource-distribution on sole criterion of population not acceptable to people of Sindh. Session added that “this Pakistan’s budget for year 2009-10, announced by PPP led coalition government, is another fraud with people of Sindh and a continuity of loot and plunder of Sindh since last 60 years.
The session expressing surprise over extra-ordinary increase in defense budget called it continuity of dictatorships’ era, that a civilian democratic government in Pakistan has same priorities as unelected dictatorships in the past. “Mere Rs 6 billion for health sector out Rs 2.4 trillion budget shows that government is not sincere for providing basic health facilities to people, it also reflects on government how serious it is in making a difference in lives of the people.
The session considers “budget as means to strengthen centralization process in the country, because law & order, health and education are purely provincial subjects but over Rs. 80 billion have been allocated by federal government, this is unjustified, we demand transfer of these funds to provinces.”
The people Sindh reject the distribution of resource on the sole criterion of population and are of the opinion that new budgets without constitutionally mandated fresh National Finance Commission (NFC) Award are unconstitutional, and PPP government’s act of presenting budget without announcing constitutional NFC is unconstitutional, the act has disappointed people of Sindh and people are angry over the move.
The Session also observed that President Zardari, while on a visit in Karachi held assured and announced that Sales Tax on Services would be transferred to the provinces but government did not fulfill this promises when budget was announced. This session now demands a sui-moto action from Supreme Court of Pakistan to undo the unconstitutional practice of federal government of collection and turning GST on services as federal tax, Pakistan’s existing 1973 constitutions gives ownership to collect and provinces collect and own the tax, federal government should be hold accountable for violating and not honoring constitution.
Session demands that at least 50% of income of Rs 170 billion (estimated in fiscal budget 2009-10) from two ports of Sindh province be given to Sindh as it is a natural resource of Sindh, and Sindh has been deprived from income of its ports for last 60 years.
Session demanded allocation from development budget for districts of Badin, Thatta, Dadu, Naushahro Feroze, Sanghar, Shikarpur and other areas for construction and mentenance of Roads as NHA continues to ignore roads network development in province of Sindh.
Awami Tahreek while welcoming the development package for Karachi and Hyderabad observes that people of Sindh are of the view that since Gen. Pervez Musharraf’s era why development packages have focused just two cities of Sindh, the trend shows that governments have been appeasing terrorist mafia in these urban centers of province.
This session believes that governments in Pakistan have never taken administrative and institutional steps to stop decades long flooding of province by the outsiders, today more than 19% of Karachi’s population comprises of illegal aliens. Migration from up country, inter-provincial migration and of outsiders to Sindh continues to date and Sindhis fear being converted into minority in their own historic homeland.
Awami Tahreek expresses deepest sympathy with the displaced people of Swat and feels their pain, urges on government to make all necessary arrangements to accommodate these displaced in their home province. If these displaced people come to Sindh, their return would be very costly and the issue is already creating law and order problem in province, large scale migration also creating insecurity among citizens of Sindh being converted in minority.
Session is very critical of PPP-led provincial government which failed to manage this refugee crisis and address the concerns of Sindhis and protecting their interest. AT also condemns the police shelling and firing on political demonstration in Sindh, considers these tools of torture as legacy of dictatorships and condemns killing of three Sindhi political activists in Karachi on June 10, and holds PPP responsible for these killings.
This session believes that target killing in Karachi by terrorist mafia is result of governmenrt’s reconciliation policy with terrorist by which is condoning killings of political activists in city. The criminal silence and lack of action is major factor behind continued target killing in city. Sindh government seems helpless, powerless and clueless on issue of law and order in Sindh, especially in Karachi and is of the view that government is hijacked by the urban terrorists and Sindhi is literally under their control.
This state of affairs is not acceptable to people of Sindh, thus Awami Tahreek decides to launch peaceful and democratic struggle with the support of people of Sindh.
The four months long peace struggle would be on these four main points
· end to terrorism in province
· Restore right to rule on Sindh of Sindhis
· Getting rid of illegal aliens in province
· Ownership over natural resources of the Sindh
Following is the schedule of struggle
– June 20 to 30 public contact campaign would started demos and protest sessions will be held
– July 1st to 31st July, rallies, long marches, public meetings would be done in districts and divisional head quarters
– August, district conferences would be held
– First September Central Election and Council Session will be held
– From September 24, Peoples Long March would start from Sukkur to Karachi.
Decision taken at D-10, Qasim Abad Hyderabad.
Meeting was attended by Abdul Qadir Ranto, President Awami Tahreek, Chief of Awami Tahreek Rasool Bux Palijo, Syed Alam Shah, Jami Chandio, Hakim Halepoto, Zahida Shaikh, Sartaj Chandio and 250 members of Central General Council of AT. (June 14, 2009)