by Dr. Manzur Ejaz
First of all let me state a disqualifier: All Urdu Speaking are not associated with MQM or religious parties of this ethnic group. The very fact that PPP candidates give a hard time to non-PPP/religious/ethnic politicians show that a large section of Urdu speaking population is progressive, forward looking and identifies itself with other Pakistani people. Great Urdu speaking intellectuals have done a lot for mother tongues and enlightenment of the country. Therefore, Urdu speaking term is generically used in the narrative below for the ones who associate themselves with MQM or UP religious parties. It is a chauvinistic mindset that we are analyzing not a community which is as diverse as Punjabi, Sindhi or other Pakistanis.
MQM has made a lot of hoopla against Zulifqar Mirza’s statement in which he indicated that:
(i) MQM, led by Altaf, is more criminal than its nemesis Afaq Ahmed against whom no criminal case has been proved in the court. On the contrary, many cases are proved and guilty punished by courts belonging to Altaf group. Altaf has caused more mothers to lose their sons than Afaq, claims Mr. Mirza.
(ii) MQM’s dream of creating a separate province of Karachi-Hyderabad can only materialize on the Sindhis’ dead body. Sindh provide food and shelter to migrant Urdu speaking and will never give them a right to cut it from Sindh.
(iii) Afaq of MQM (Haqiqi) is a political prisoner not a criminal that Altaf wants us to believe.
After scaring the PPP government and other ‘for-rent’ politicians of Punjab, Altaf has called off the protests. He believes he has successfully pushed the truth under carpet that Mirza told the world. However, in doing so, Altaf has taken a familiar position that Mirza has maligned the ‘Pakistan founders.” In other words Urdu speaking Muhajirs are the only founders of Pakistan. In a way he is right and Pakistan’s ongoing mess is created by its acclaimed founders that Altaf is talking about.
Zulifqar Mirza should clear up his mind that Sindh did not provided food and shelter to runaways from UP (most of them being economic migrant, see Balraj Sahni’s great movie ‘Garam Hawa.” Urdu speaking Muhajirs have a different perception: In their mind they conquered Sindh and other parts of Pakistan. Otherwise how a language of 3-5% could be designated into a national language.
Urdu speaking Muslims always identified themselves with the invaders from the North and always felt and claimed to be their descendents. That’s how from slave dynasty to Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah were presented as heroes of Pakistan. Before creation of Pakistan most of Punjabi and other Muslims of present day Pakistan were poor peasants and artisans were converted from low castes of Hindus. Until 1947 Punjabi-Sindhi Muslims were treated as untouchables by ruling elites of UP etc.
When Muslim ruling elite of UP etc found that the British is going to leave and India will be ruled by Hindus largely they started planning conquering Muslim areas through Muslim League ideology. They successfully teamed up with other Muslim feudal [of present Pakistan] and created a country to be ruled by Urdu speaking elites through ideological mixture of Islam and Urdu. They taught the history of Northern invaders, their acclaimed forefathers, as history of poor people of Punjab and Sindh. Punjabis fell into such hallucination faster than the Sindhis or Baluchis. But for Urdu speaking elite (and the ones who follow them) Pakistan is a conquered land. This what Altaf Hussain means by “Founders of Pakistan”
No wonder Mr. Mirza is as aggrevated by this chauvinistic mindset as Mirza Ghalib was repulsed by decadent UP civilization. I know I am making this very strange relationship between Mirza Z and G. (more later)