Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday urged National Assembly members from Sindh not to create an impression for the world that there is “a wave of provincial discrimination” in Pakistan.
In a reference to remarks made by PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Qureshi said that it was not reasonable for him to speak about “Sindhu desh” and “Pakhtunistan”.
“Those who spoke about Pakhtunistan, pit gae (were defeated); those who speak about Sindhu desh will also be defeated,” he warned. “I am hopeful that every Sindhi will support Pakistan,” he said.
Qureshi’s remarks come after Bilawal on Thursday lashed out at the federal government for “trying to occupy Karachi” following Law Minister Dr Farogh Naseem’s statement that the centre was considering taking over the administrative affairs of Karachi through a little-known constitutional provision.
“This country has already been broken once in the past when Islamabad tried to control a state,” he said in reference to the secession of Dhaka. “It’s not like those people were less patriotic than you or me […] If PPP and other like-minded parties don’t stand up, tomorrow, separate Sindhi and Pashtun states might be formed,” Bilawal had warned.
Addressing members of the National Assembly from Sindh, Qureshi on Friday said: “You should have no fear; Sindh is an important unit of this country.”
“I am giving a policy statement on behalf of this government: we have respected the Constitution in the past, we respect it now, and will continue to do so. “We have no intentions to mess with your government for no reason,” he assured.
Additionally, Qureshi said that Dr Naseem had clarified his remarks regarding invoking Article 149 in Karachi. The foreign minister said that Dr Naseem had said his remarks on the matter were being distorted and misrepresented and now that the minister had issued a clarification, there was nothing to be fearful of.