IN SEARCH OF JUSTICE:
The last eight years of Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Government in Sindh is characterized with the poorest of the poor governance, execution of non-transparent deals, rampant corruption, loot and plunder of the public resources and discriminatory treatment meted out to the people of Urban Sindh.
The ordeal of the people of Urban Sindh is not a new phenomenon. The discriminatory treatment and injustices meted out to the Mohajirs and others in Urban Sindh dates back to early 70s when the first PPP government came in power both at the Federal level as well as in the Province of Sindh.
The introduction of Quota System for jobs in Government and in Educational Institutions, in the Province of Sindh to the exclusion of other provinces, by the PPP led government laid the foundation of a permanent rural – urban divide between the people of Sindh.
The plight of Mohajirs and people of Urban Sindh, because of the unjust and discriminatory policies by the Federal Government since the inception of Pakistan, is together a different story, which will be unfolded through a separate ’White Paper’.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) seeks nothing but justice for the redress of the socio-economic and political grievances of Mohajirs and other communities living in Urban Sindh, knowing that this world is neither completely just, nor do we live in a utopia. However, there are clearly remediable injustices around us, especially in a pluralistic society, that need to be eradicated.
It is a hard fact that the present PPP and its preceding Government has wreaked havoc in the realm of Urban-Rural harmony in this province. The sense of deprivation, alienation and insecurity amongst the people of Urban Sindh is, especially, due to their non-representation in the political, social and administrative spheres of national life, which has escalated during the last nine years. Needless to add that the ever increasing number of disgruntled youth, if not provided, immediately, the level playing field and the required relief, may be constrained to opt for nefarious activities to vent their feeling of utter frustration and disgust.
Undoubtedly, the common Sindhi speaking people are very simple, generous, loving and caring towards their fellow-beings, but it is the Waderas and feudal-cum-hereditary politicians that are the main agents of the division between Sindhis and Mohajirs.
- Inequitable distribution of resources between the province and the local governments/ districts/cities:
The Seventh National Finance Commission (NFC), after decades of protracted debates and discussions, finally resolved the dispute between the Provinces and the Federation over the equitable distribution of the resources when the distribution of Revenues and Grants-in-Aid Order, on the recommendation of 7th National Finance Commission was notified under Article 160 clause (4) and (7) of the Constitution on May 10, 2010 and was enforced with effect from 1st July, 2010. Annexure “A”.
It was expected that the Province of Sindh would replicate the agreed formula of NFC while allocating the resources to the third tier government (Local Governments including Metropolitan and other District Municipal Governments) but all in vain. Instead, all the funds are being retained and utilized arbitrarily by the PPP-led Government to enrich unlawfully the feudal hereditary politician to the exclusion of the people of the rest of Sindh. The purpose seems to be two-fold. Firstly, to keep the rural populace under their thumb and secondly to keep the urban residents, especially, of the five cities- Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas and Nawabshah in a state of flux and dependency. The gross revenue receipts-Federal Transfers and Provincial own receipts, thus need to be equally distributed between the province and the districts/local governments in the ratio of 42.5 : 57.5 respectively on the formula of 7th NFC AWARD. Similarly out of the 0.66% (share of OZT) of the net proceeds of divisible taxes, be distributed to the cities in accordance with the formula evolved on 1st July 1999. Annexure “B”.
- FISCAL MEASURES–INCIDENCE FALLS MOSTLY UPON THE RESIDENTS OF URBAN CITIES:
The PML(Q)- MQM coalition government that came to power in 2002, despite scarcity of resources, instead of levying additional taxes or raising the rates of existing taxes, opted to declare all the five budgets(2002 to 2007-8) free of additional taxes and put a squeeze on the non-development expenditure. Unfortunately, ever since the PPP Government came to power in 2008, despite the enhancement of the share of the provinces substantially, it has been increasing the rate of existing taxes and levying new taxes continuously, the incidence of which falls upon the urban cities and particularly on the people of the cities of Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur. This may be substantiated by producing the Receipts and Expenditure figures. It will be seen that the gross current revenue receipts of the PPP Government increased fromRs.207,836 million in 2008-09 to Rs 627.946 million in 2015-16. Similarly the Revenue Expenditure has increased from Rs. 180,900 million to Rs.502,771 million excluding Development expenditure of Rs,158,451 million in the corresponding period. The interesting part of it is that bulk of the taxes, non-taxes and fees were collected from urban areas, especially from the cities of Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas and Nawabshah. The details of the taxes paid by Urbanites and a copy of the letter on the subject written to the Chief Minister Sindh before the passage of Budget are enclosed. Annexure “C”.
By contrast, rural agriculture sector remains exempt from the levy and collection of Agriculture Income Tax, though all taxable income needs to be taxed as is the practice in vogue in Urban Sectors. The land revenue which used to be paid as rent to the Government (Owner) by the tillers of the soil since centuries stands abolished and substituted by Ushr on the orders of General Late Zia-ul-Haque. But after the exit of Gen. Zia, Ushr was also abolished. On the pretext of imposing income tax, a fixed Land Tax of Rs.100, 200 and Rs.500 per cultivated land on non irrigated, irrigated land and orchards respectively was levied in year 2000. However, even this fixed tax was never revised upward for the last fifteen years, when the prices of wheat, cotton, sugarcane and rice increased manifold. Similarly the water rate has not been revised since 1999.
The details of land tax and water rate collected and the expenditure incurred on agriculture and irrigation during the last nine years may be seen at Annexures D & E. It may, however, be clarified that MQM is all out for the government support price paid to the peasants and small farmers, but strongly advocates that landlords having large holdings must pay all taxes and fees as levied on all taxable incomes.
- The Denial of Rightful share of Urban Sindh in Federal AND Provincial Resources:
Needless to add that Karachi- a city which generates 68% revenue for the country and 88 % revenue for the Sindh province has totally been denied its statutory rights to run and exercise its authority to manage its statutory functions. Strangely enough the three to five urban cities of the province are forced to pay taxes, against the accepted dictum-, “No taxation without representation”.
It may be elaborated that Karachi hardly gets 2-3 % share from the Federal Government and about 7-8% from the Province of Sindh. It needs to be appreciated that the benefits of 18th Amendment, especially, empowerment of the provinces to levy sales tax on services, is denied to the people of the three urban cities, who contribute more than 90% tax under this head. This may be substantiated by the fact that the revenue generated under this head was to the tune of approximately Rs. 63 billion during 2015-16–out of which Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur alone contributed about Rs.60 billion. And guess how much the people of these cities got from this head- just a trifle sum. What a justice!
MQM is constrained to say that the PPP government in its tenure from 2008-13, allocated only Rs. 28 billion to Urban Areas of Sindh out of the provincial development outlay of Rs. 700 billion. Such instances of the victimization of the Urbanites in term of development schemes are replete and being enclosed as “Annexure -F”.
Needless to say that Billions of Rupees on Development Schemes and Projects have been misappropriate. The case of misappropriation of funds in Larkana is a living example. “Annexure -F” and “F-I” may be seen in this context.
- Transfer of resources from MIDDLECLASS DOMINATED urban AREAS TO THE feudal lords OF RURAL AREAS.
“to rob peter to pay Paul”.
A cursory glance over the budgets of 2007-08 2016-17 would reveal that almost 85% of the funds allocated by the Federal Government under NFC Award and the 88% revenues generated and collected by the
Provincial Government are contributed by the tax payers of Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur Cities. The data below will prove our contention.
During the financial year 2015-16 Federal Transfers amounted to Rs. 517,751.6 million, while the Sindh Government collected Rs.134,899.1 million on its own. So out of 652,650.7 million more than 80% of these taxes were paid by the residents of the three urban cities alone. Similarly, OZT Share of 12,199.7 million was received (in lieu of the octroi abolished, out of which only Rs. 5,837.2 million or 47.8% were paid to Karachi and Hyderabad,- against their share of Rs.972,000 or 81%.
Even out of the Property Tax OF Rs.1795 million collected in 2015-16, Rs305 million or 17% were deducted for payment to rural districts,
“ANNEXURE G” shows the share of octroi and zilla tax of each district as determined on the abolition of OZT in 1999.
On State Trading (wheat procurement) during the 2015-16 Rs.48.0 billion were invested on the purchase of wheat, while it received Rs.42.8 billion, with a short fall of Rs.5.2 billion. There is no explanation of this loss. However, Government paid 11% interest on the amount borrowed for the wheat, which is a straight subsidy to the growers but amazing out of this subsidy 85% goes to feudal who hold large holdings against the provisions of Land Reforms of 1960 and 1977. But there is no proportionate subsidy to the atta consumers of the urban areas. Does it not require rationing of atta at subsidized rates in the low income colonies in urban areas?
- Usurpation of Metropolitan and District Local Governments powers by the Provincial government.
The years 2009-16, witnessed naked defiance of the constitutional provisions of 140-A, when not only the edifice and spirit of participatory democracy was substituted by a bureaucratic syndrome laced with adhocracy, but also the reformatory mould of 2001-08 was razed to the ground.
Though the Federal Government passed 18th Amendment and transferred most of its Power, Authority and Resources to the Provincial Governments, still the Provincial Government of Sindh through legislative measures by brute majority introduced regressive, colonial and obsolete Local Government Laws, whereby the hitherto devolved powers, authority and resources were rolled back to the detriment of fair-play and even-handed justice. And this volte-face made the provinces unwieldy, unmanageable, non-responsive and tardy that failed to redress the grievances of the people in general and especially of the populace at the grass root
Even the Elections to the Local Governments in 2015 were held on the orders of the Honorable Supreme Court of Pakistan. But the denial of power and authority to the Mayor and Chairman of local governments has rendered the third tier government a mockery.
It may be added that the Sindh Building Control Authority, the Karachi Water & Sewerage Board, the Solid Waste Management, the Master Plan, the Mass Transit / Transport, Levy of Municipal Taxes, Karachi Development Authority, Lyari Development Authority, Malir Development Authority, Hyderbad and Sehwan Development Authority – all these authorities which should have been an integral part of the Metropolitan and District Governments are now under the absolute jurisdiction of the Provincial Government Annexure “H”.
The height of unacceptability and intolerance of MQM in the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) by the PPP Government of Sindh is evident from the facts like transfer of some compulsory and mandatory functions of the Metropolitan Corporation of Karachi to six District Municipal Corporations, made it further ineffective when even Primary Health functions, Adult and Primary Education , Local Taxes Administration, removal of solid waste, sanction of Hoardings and Billboards, town planning, have been taken over by the Government. The usurpation of powers of the elected representatives of the local governments, after their elections and that too on the orders of the highest Court of Judicature, proves it to be conspiracy of the PPP led government to render Mayor ineffective and inefficacious to perform its statutory functions and that too in the biggest and the only Metropolitan Government in Pakistan.
It is thus not only reiterated but warranted that for the effective and efficient delivery of the services to the people, the provisions of Article 140-A be implemented in letter and spirit without further delay.
In case of non-devolution of authority to the local governments, MQM will be left with no choice but to demand twenty Administrative Units instead of four.
- DEMANDING DEVOLVED/DECENTRALISED GOVERNANCE OF THE PROVINCE
Since long the Governor of Sindh used to exercise the powers to nominate the Chairman and Members of the Sindh Public Service Commission, the appointment of the Chairman of the District Education Boards and the Chairman of the Universities but all such powers have been withdrawn and transferred to the office of the Chief Minister so that he may have all the discretionary powers to be utilized for the use by his handpicked PPP Ministers and their henchmen.
7- Mismanagement in Cooperative Societies, land scams & irregularities in Board of Revenue & other Provincial Agencies:
Mismanagement of Cooperative Housing Societies and such Societies in Urban Areas, particularly in Karachi, including Fishermen Cooperative Society is in itself a story of usurpation of the urban people’s rights over their precious resources of the Province.
The details of the land scams, irregularities and loot and plunder committed through Sindh Board of Revenue, Sindh Building Control Authority and some other similar Provincial Agencies will be dealt at length in the Part-2 or the 2nd Version of this White Paper. However, just to show a glimpse of the land scams & misuse of authority in the conversion of plots and passing Building Plans beyond Zoning Regularities to the tune of billions of rupees as also taken cognizant by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is being Annexed as Annexure “I”.
8- quota system & its non-observance in higher grade appointments:
Great injustice has been done to fix a quota of 60:40 (Rural Urban) for forty years to demolish the time tested formula of appointment on merit. The worst part of it is that even 40% quota in services reserved for the Urban residents have not been observed in higher grades transfers & postings as given below.
Revenue Divisions, Districts, Sub-Divisions and Talukas and Board of Revenue.
- Out of five Divisions of the province, none of the Commissioner is Urdu speaking of the designated urban cities.
- Out of 29 Districts, there are only two Urdu speaking Deputy Commissioners in the whole of province.
- Out of about more than 150 Talukas in 29 Districts, there are only five Assistant Commissioners of the designated urban cities.
- Out of more than 151 Taluka Mukhtiarkars, there is not a single Urdu speaking Mukhtiarkar of the designated urban areas.
- Board of Revenue of Sindh. Out of eight Members – Senior Member – Member LU, Member Registration, Member Gothabad, Member R&S and three Judicial Members and a Relief Commissioner not a single one is from the designated urban areas.
- Sub-Registrars: Out of 29, only 7 Sub-Registrars come from the designated urban cities.
Central Police Office
- Out of One Inspector General of Police, 4 Additional Inspector General of Police, 13 Deputy Inspector General of Police only (3 posts are lying vacant) only one DIG at Central Office represents the designated urban city.
- Out of 5 DIGs of Karachi, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Sukkur and Larkana, none is from the designated urban cities.
- Out of 6 DIG (three vacant) while out of the three there, only 1 is from City of Karachi. Out of 14 SSPs, 5 are from the designated urban cities and out of 7 SPs, 3 are from the designated urban cities
- Out of 2 DIG (1 vacant), 3 SSP, 2 SPs (1 vacant) none from the designated urban cities.
Out of 1 ADIG (vacant), 3 SSP, 2 SPs (1 vacant) none from the designated urban cities.
- Out of 2 ADIG (vacant), 1 SSP and 2 SPs, only 1 ADIG and 1 SSP are from the designated urban cities.
- Out of 1 ADIG, 6 SSPs (1 vacant) and 1 SP, only 1 ADIG and 1 SSP are from the designated urban cities.
- Out of 1 ADIG ( 1 vacant), 3 AIG ( all vacant), 3 SSPs (1 vacant), 5 SPs, only 1 DIG is from the designated urban cities.
- Out of 1 AIGP (vacant), 1 DIG (vacant), 4 AIGP (2 vacant), 2 DIG and 6 SSPs only one ADIG is from the designated urban cities.
- Out of 3 AIGP, 4 ADIG and 11 SPs, 4 SPs are from the designated urban cities.
Counter Terrorism Dept (CTD):
Out of 1 ADIG, 1 DIGP, I SSP and 8 SPs, only AIG, 1 SSP and 1 SP are from the designated urban cities.
Technical & Transport:
- Out of 01 DIG, 01 ADIG and 02 AIG, one ADIG is from the designated urban cities.
Research Development and Inspection (R&D):
- Out of 01 AIGP (vacant) 02 AIGP, none is from the designated urban city.
- Out of 01 AIGP (vacant), 01 DIGP, 1 ADIG (vacant), 6 Principals and 01 Commandant, only 4 Principals are from the designated urban cities.
Rapid Response Force (RRF):
- Out of 1 DIGP, 1 ADIGP and 02 SPs, only 2 SPs are from the designated cities.
Sindh Reserve Police (SRP):
- Out of 1 DIGP, 1 ADIGP and 04 SPs, none is from the designated urban cities.
Out of 501 ASPs/DSPs, hardly 76 come from the designated urban cities.
Inspectors, Sub-Inspectors and ASIs:
- Out of 1920 Inspectors, 4867 Sis and 9463 ASIs, not more than 150 Inspectors, 756 Sis and 1200 ASIs come from the designated urban cities.
Head Constables and Constables:
- Out of 15868 Head Constables and 87457 Constables, only 2500 Head Constables and 5500 Constables comes from the designated cities.
- Besides 1 Chief Secretary, 1 Additional Chief Secretary, there are 40 Secretaries to Government of Sindh. Out of these only 6 Secretaries are from the designated urban cities.
- Out of 19 Special Secretaries, 47 Additional Secretaries and 138 Deputy Secretaries, there are hardly 9 Special Secretaries, 11 Additional Secretaries and 42 Deputy Secretaries who come from the designated urban cities.
(IV)- EDUCATION MANAGEMENT:
- Out of 5872 officers in BPS-16 to 20 in Management of Education Department, there are hardly 560 officers in these grades who belong to the designated urban cities.
(V)- MANAGING DIRECTORS, DIRECTOR GENERALS:
- There are about 37 Managing Directors and Director Generals of various Corporations out of which hardly 5 come from the designated urban cities.
(VI)- SINDH PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION:-
- Besides the Chairman, there are 9 Members out of which none comes from the designated urban cities.
(VII)- SINDH BANK – OWNED BY GOVERNMENT OF SINDH:-
- Out of about 17000 employees, hardly 1000 employees come from the designated cities.
- (a) QUOTA SYSTEM’s non observance in general recruitment & worst financial governance:
PPP Government since its inception in 2008 has unleashed a reign of injustice, inequality, discrimination and prejudice to the people of Urban Sindh recruited more than two hundred & fifty thousand (250,000) people mostly from Rural Sindh. The legal share of 40% quota earmarked for Sindh urban which includes Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur has been devoured, gulped with impunity as hardly 20% of the candidates are reported to have recruited against their domiciles and half of them are not urbanites and posses fake domiciles of Urban Areas.
This ethnic cleansing of Mohajirs is not by accident rather it is well thought-out policy of Sindhi nationalists who are movers and shakers of PPP decision making body.
The recruitment policy of PPP is ominous to the Urban Sindh which has resulted in higher unemployment, poor living conditions, health and environmental hazards and exponential rise in crime, extremism and so on and so forth. On the other hand, the hold of feudal mindset which has already plagued Sindh’s politics has further strengthened the feudal influence in Urban Centers who perpetuated a patronage-based system by their henchmen.
- (b) Worst Financial MANAGEMENT:
It is worth mentioning that in 2007-08, the strength of total Provincial Employees was 230,000 which jumped to 640,000 in 2015-16. During 2008-09 the total employees related expenditure stood at Rs.36,000 million (36 million) which rose to Rs.227,000 (227 billion) in 2015-16. At present, there are 244000 employees in Education Department, 1533,000 in Sindh Police, 65000 in Health Department and about 35000 employees in Irrigation Department, besides others. It is also learnt that during 2008-2013, 209,000 in the Education Department vacancies have been filled without maintaining the quota and as such, 40% of 209,000 posts have not provided to the residents of the cities of Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur. Thus morally and more so legally, at least 75,000 posts be offered to those who have been denied their due share earlier. A Report published/released by “PILDAT” is also annexed as Annexure “J”and “J-I”.
The feeling of deprivation, especially of Urdu speaking residents of the cities of Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur aggravates when they find that their kith and kin are no where visible in Police, Health, Education, Revenue and other departments despite the fact that 40% of their people should have been recruited to serve the people and the Province.
- RULE OF LAW IN OBLIVION.
Hundreds of innocent descendents of the Mohajirs are languishing in jail without any trial, hundreds have been killed extra-judicially, while more than 125 persons are reported missing and their parents and children have failed to persuade the law enforcing agencies to recover them, though such cases are pending in various Courts.
Before we windup, we may reiterate that word Mohajir is used only for identification as cited in Surah 49, Ayat 13 of Al-Quran. We are as peaceful & patriotic citizen as other citizens of Pakistan. What we pray as we had submitted earlier that the remediable injustices be eliminated so that we may live peacefully and serve the nation, especially the lower and middle class, to our best of ability and efforts.
The pathetic condition, narrated above, of the collaborators of the creators of this Homeland is expressed in the following couplet:
“Ah! taqdeer sadaqat kay paristaron ki.
Mausam-e-gul mein bhi bochar hai angaron ki”
A ray of hope for the future of the political system is embedded in “change” which may take place in the power structure of the Province. Sooner than later the more inclusive economic policies emanating from the Urban Middle class combined with the loosening of the hold of the feudal lords over the teeming millions will gradually result in alleviating the sufferings and inequality amongst the urban residents. Resultantly, this would promote harmony and emergence of an integrated forward looking dynamic society. MQM believes that the prosperous and peaceful future of people of Sindh lies in the unity and integration of Urban-Rural communities living in Sindh.
MQM Demands that:
- The remediable socio-economic and political injustices be eliminated forthwith.
- The principles and provisions set out in Article 25 of the Constitution of Pakistan need to be observed by the State of Pakistan in respect of those who left behind their home and hearth and their graveyards for the sake of their newly created homeland in the words of a poet:
“ Kahani ka ye hissa aaj tuk sub sey chupaya hai,
Key hum mitti ki khatir apna sona chor ayey hain”
The fundamental rights, as enshrined in the Constitution, shall equally be applied to the people of Karachi, Hyderabad & Sukkur without any discrimination or reservation
- The forthcoming Census should be conducted under the strict supervision of judiciary with the assistance of armed forces.
- The electoral units should be formed on the basis of voters list in conformity with the NADRA’s data.
The preferential treatment through the Constitutional Urban-Rural Division be avoided at all cost in future.
- The Balkanization of Karachi be abolished and its status be restored as a Metropolitan Government.
- The foundation be laid for a participatory democracy, as in vogue in all modern States, by ensuring autonomous effective & responsive local government system with a consultative mechanism to connect with the downtrodden at the grass root.
- The allocation of funds by the Province to the Metropolitan/District local governments be made on the same formula, both vertically and horizontally, as adopted by the Federal Government through the National Finance Commission (NFC) for the allocations of funds to the provinces.
- “People are the masters of their destiny”. And Political, Financial and Administrative empowerment of the people is the only guarantee for the bright and secured future of democracy in Pakistan.