SIR SHAHNAWAZ BHUTTO ON KARACHI
Dr. Dur Muhammad Pathan.
Sindh minus Karachi, is like Body without Soul. I did Ph.D in 1979 on the Contribution of Karachi and had indicated that in future, some quarters will try to snatch Karachi. Major mistakes were committed by Sindh politicians. They remained silent when Karachi was being converted into ‘One-sided Constituency.’
Accepting migrants was act of Pakistan-loving, but settlement of them in one city was not fair-play, on the contrary with malfeasance intension two separate two important cultures were deprived of right to amalgamate into each other. It paved way to an ugly situation that today some people have started demanding creation of Karachi as a Province and as have tried to coin a new term for Sindhis as ‘Red Sindhians’ in history. Un-conditional and based on purely humanitarian grounds, the unique hospitality of Sindh and Sindhis must not pay them back in disintegration and division of Sindh. Majority of people from old and new Sindhis will never vote for that division knowing the fact that some politicians are bent upon ‘divide & rule’. People has sustained great loss because of ‘division of hearts’ by politicians and now nobody can afford ‘conflict of cultures’ and selection of Sindh as its fire-place. Some people are dodging themselves and others by saying that in spite of raising slogan ‘We will die, rather to surrender Sindh’, Hosho Shedi and Sindhi lost battle resulting fall of Sindh. People having no knowledge of Sindh history can blame Sindhis, but the real fact is that imposing of war by Charles Napier on Sindhis was a historical fraud. British army, returning back from Afghanistan with shame and defeat, usurp Sindh without declaring war. Napier, informed his Government about this ugly act in one sentence, and it was “I HAVE SINNED”. It is on record and it is history. Today, Sindhi will not anybody to ‘sin’ again and fight of Sindhis will be unique nature this time if it is imposed upon them with aim to divide Sindh.
It is also baselessly blamed that Karachi never belonged to Sindh. No doubt, illiterate can think in such a way. Otherwise, Sindhis have been singing songs of Moririo (Fisher man) and Mangar Machh (Shark). It is very much there in Sindhi classical literature since centuries.
Since the creation of Pakistan, the status and issue of Karachi has been mishandled with intention to teach Sindhis a lesson. In spite of tough time, Sindhi have been accepting every challenge relating to Karachi problem. In 1954, ‘Karachi Status Committee’ was formed by the Government to prepare comprehensive report on the subject. ‘The Karachi Joint Sindhi Committee’ submitted its Memorandum to that Committee and it is worth to read. Whole of document is not necessary to reproduce here, but it is very important to quote a few lines from it to prove the attachment of Sindhis with the subject. In 1954, it was not the matter of making Karachi as a province, but the separation of its area known as Federal Area. I quote :” All considerations, legal and constitutional, military and administrative, financial and economic, moral and political, social and commercial ,and geographical and historical, demanded that Karachi which was and is the capital of the province should not be separated from Sindh…….The only perhaps was, to create one more unit and to convert Karachi into a colony of new settlers from Bharat, to the eternal detriment of the old and loyal inhabitants….”
Sindhis have been advocating the importance of Karachi since long. In 1919, Shahnawaz Bhutto suggested British Government to make Karachi as permanent capital of India. The story is recorded in the pages of history as follow: “ The Hon. Khansahib Shahnawaz Bhutto,O.B.E., Additional Member of the Governor-General’s council, speaking in Council on the question of locating the Government of India at one permanent centre, said;- If I may be allowed to make a suggestion in this matter, it is this. To my mind there is no part of India so conveniently situated for the location of the Government of India as the permanent centre as Karachi I need hardly say. Sir, that from geographical, climatic, industrial, and what is more, from a strategic point of view the city of Karachi stands second to none should the Government of India decide to remain in one place. The city of Karachi is capable of considerable expansion. It is pregnant with immense possibilities in the future. The Council is perhaps aware that it is proposed that the main station of the Baghdad Railway should be established at Karachi. It is also proposed to establish the main station for the World Air Route at Karachi. It is also very close to Aden, the gateway to India. The officials in Karachi, Sir, feel no necessity to move to hill station in the summer, as the climate is temperate and salubrious and as such there will be no need for the Government of India if its headquarters are located at Karachi, to seek another summer headquarters. I therefore hope that the Government and this Council will not in deciding the matter overlook the case of Karachi”.
So, my dear all ! Sindhis have dream about Karachi, they know the importance of Karachi. Please, do not disturb their dream, otherwise, most of us will be disturbed forever.