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Muhajir identity

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Muhajir identity
« on: May 05, 2008, 05:18:23 PM »
Muhajir identity

Muhajirs had never liked the idea of identifying themselves on the basis of race or nationality and were always supportive of "Pakistani nationalism" instead of "regional nationalism." But circumstances forced them to seek their identity on ethnic lines.[3] The Muhajir sense of isolation came into being through a series of events. The three most important being the 1964 presidential elections, the 1972 language riots, and the post-1985 ethnic clashes between Muhajirs and non-Muhajirs in Karachi. "During the December 1964 presidential elections, the Muhajir population of Karachi experienced a wrath of a Pathan backlash when Gohar Ayub Khan, son of President Ayub Khan, launched a series of attacks on Muhajir communities because of their support for Fatimah Jinnah, the sister of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, against Ayub Khan.".[4] At this time Ayub Khan moved the federal capital from Karachi to Rawalpindi, causing further anger amongst the Muhajir community.

The 1972 language riots were caused by the passage of a language bill by the Sindhi Assembly declaring Sindhi to be the provincial language along with Urdu.

The Muhajir community received another blow when "Bhutto, a closet Sindhi nationalist, bowing to his native constituency, the Sindhis, instituted urban-rural quotas that resulted in a precipitous decline in the number of jobs to which the predominantly urban Mohajirs were eligible."[5] His regime's policies denationalized banks, insurance companies, and other big businesses. Initially, two banks were transferred from government to private management. Soon the government had earmarked 125 industrial units for privatization.[6]

In June 1978 the All Pakistan Muhajir Student Organization formed and took on the task of uniting the Muhajirs and demanding their rights. From the APMSO, in March 1984, was created the Muhajir Qaumi Movement. Now called the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), its ideology is based on Realism and Practicalism. "Acceptance of reality with an open heart is Realism, a concept based upon the philosophy of its Founder and Leader Mr. Altaf Hussain. Based on Realism positive achievement made through ideologically supported pragmatic programs is called Practicalism." [7] Because of its ideology, MQM was not welcomed by any part of the government, any political party, or any bureaucratic elite.