The limitless exodus of people in Sindh is creating problems for natives

KARACHI – Sindh : Impact of migration on Sindh discussed

Courtesy: Daily Dawn, Sunday, 01 Nov, 2009

KARACHI, Oct 31: Mass migration in Sindh has led to a negative impact on its culture and language. This was the consensus reached at an interactive seminar on the “Impact of influx on Sindh”, organised by the Save Sindh Committee on Friday.

Advocate Abdul Khalique Junejo, chairman of the Jeay Sindh Mahaz, in his introductory remarks questioned why the influx had such a grave impact on Sindh, when migration had always been a global process.

“Migration is not the issue here,” said Mr Junejo, “it is the limitless exodus of people in Sindh that is creating problems.” Besides fearing a change in demographics as seen in the case of Palestine, Mr Junejo also highlighted the socio-economic issues associated with the huge influx into the province.

While discussing measures to protect the rights of the native community, Mr Junejo emphasised that the people of Sindh were not opposed to the migration of other ethnic groups to Sindh; however, he stressed that certain restrictions, as seen in Kashmir, needed to be enforced.

“Even today in Kashmir a non-Kashmiri does not have the right to procure property or vote,” he claimed, adding that “this was the sole reason why 98 per cent of the population is still Kashmiri there.”

Discussing the negative impact of the massive influx of migrants on health and education, Dr Tipu Sultan, a renowned medical professional, cited statistics that illustrated the gravity of the situation in Pakistan asserting that the issue due to the movement of various communities was much worse in Sindh.

According to Arif Hasan, a well-known architect and city planner, influx — especially with reference to Sindh — had had a strong impact on society.

Identifying the reasons that compelled people to migrate, Mr Hasan stressed that this happened as a result of weak feudal institutions and dearth of resources. Also the lack of opportunities in areas abundant in skilled labour, as in central Punjab, and with excess capital but lack of investment prospects as in Afghanistan had motivated people to move, he said.

This, he argued, was why 87 per cent of motor mechanics from Punjab had migrated to Sindh and 70 per cent of unskilled labour from the NWFP.

In order to reverse this trend, he stressed the need to develop vocational training centres here, which would give the inhabitants of Sindh more opportunities and thereby protect the land of Sindh from colonisation, as these, he said, were “the centres of political power which would decide the fate of the province”.

He asserted that it was important to find ways to consolidate the people of Sindh for “without this there is no way forward”.

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