Recently lot of current affairs programs are going on Muhajir Province movement. Most of the anchors & guests repeatedly stress to the Muhajir Sooba Tehreek's representative that instead of calling yourself Muhajir, you should call yourself Pakistani & Sindhi. They also say that when we have Pakistan as an identity then why insist on another identity.
Though this federationist looking suggestion appeals in the beginning in actuality it has many contradiction from our recent democratic history. Lets discuss few examples.
1. Renaming of NWFP
At the time of 18th amendment, the democratic forces all over Pakistan voted for renaming of NWFP to Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa. The president of Federation of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari repeatedly said that it was Peoples Party during which tenure people of NWFP got their identity. Now question arises which identity did they get.? is Pakistan not their identity? Ofcourse it is. But do they need some other identity within the territory of Pakistan and if they need then if some other group ask identity in a similar way then why they are asked to use the identity of Pakistan.
2. Voices for Seraiki Province
President of federation of Pakistan was the first person from the official cadre of Pakistan who strongly voiced in favor of Seraiki Province. Slogans were raised that Seraiki People will no longer be under the tyrannt rule of Takht-e-Lahore. Those who know the history of Punjab the word Punjab was coined during Akbar's era for Lahore & Multan Provinces jointly. Geography also confirms this because the confluence of these five Punj-ab rivers lie in muzaffargarh district, seraiki belt in southern Punjab. If the people of multan region are encouraged not to call themselves as punjabi but identify themselves as another term Seraiki then why a community living in Sindh Province is forced to identify themselves as Sindhi. It also need to be highlighted that multiple speeches by PM Yousaf Raza Gillani has been strongly in favor of Seraiki province.
3. Historic Identity
According to the Oxford Dictionary NATION is a large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular state or territory. After 1947 mass migration took place and a huge influx of refugees in the provinces of Punjab & Sindh changed the demography of these provinces. In case of Punjab after the initial turbulent period, the frictions among local & immigrant community (which came from rajputana, harayana, delhi & western UP along with east Punjab) died down and a new unified culture emerged, which was distinct from the neighboring Indian Punjab culture. So in this regard it can be said that immigrant in punjab province assimilated into the local fabric. But in case of Sindh Province this assimilation did not take place. Though immigrants in sindh Province were from many parts of India like Rajputana, Gujarat, Maharastra, Hyderabad Deccan & north india which had different linguistic and cultural backgrounds but in Sindh they fused together to create a new cultural and linguistic identity which is much distant from the local Sindhi culture. We are not discussing here what were the reason which contributed in creating this new identity (distinct from the regional identity) which did not happen in case of Punjab but it is a ground reality and it can not be ignored. It can be said that linguistically & historically & culturally this new Muhajir Identity is more different from Sindhi identity in Sindh Province than the difference of Seraiki Identity from Punjabi Identity in Punjab Province.
From this whole discussion i am not saying that i am in favor of promoting the regional identities or linguistic provinces within the territory of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Its obvious from my other blogs regarding new administrative units in Pakistan that i am in favor of strengthening the national identity, which is of course PAKISTANI. In reflection to the recent decisions made by the governments and the political parties regarding ethno-linguistic politics, if some group demands something on the streets of Karachi on same ethno-linguistic grounds we cannot force them to identify themselves just as Sindhis and Pakistanis. As the attitude of the government is entirely different for the similar reasons in Punjab & KPK.
As the last words i will say
بتان رنگ وخون کو توڑ کر ملت میں گم ہو جا
نہ تورانی رہے باقی ، نہ ایرانی ، نہ افغانی
Butan-E-Rang-O-Khoon Ko Todh Kar Millat Mein Gum Ho Ja
Na Toorani Rahe Baqi, Na Irani Na Afghani