Pakistan's plan for federal control over Karachi faces backlash, netizens demand separate nation for Sindhis

Islamabad, PakistanUpdated: Sep 13, 2019, 09:57 PM IST
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File photo: Imran Khan Photograph:(Reuters)

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Apart from the common public, several politicians, writers, and civil society activists have also condemned the federal government's plan to invoke Article 149.

As Pakistan government is planning to take over the control of administrative affairs of Karachi, it has received fierce opposition from social media users across the country with people calling for a separate nation for Sindhis.

As the reports surfaced that the government is planning to invoke Article 149 in Karachi, hashtags such as #SindhRejectsKarachiCommittee" and "#UnitedSindhUnitedPakistan" became top Twitter trends in Pakistan.

Apart from the common public, several politicians, writers, and civil society activists have also condemned the federal government's plan to invoke Article 149.

This all began when Law Minister Farogh Naseem said that the centre is considering taking over the administrative affairs of Karachi by enforcing a constitutional clause.

"After getting approval of the cabinet the provision will be exercised and in case of any resistance shown by the provincial government we will approach the Supreme Court under Article 184 (1) of the Constitution to seek a directive in this regard and if the province still shows reluctance we will file a contempt petition in the SC," Dawn quoted Naseem as saying.

The opposition reacted immediately and pointed out the government's hysterical nature.

Pakistan People's Party Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the government is trying to build a narrative against India meanwhile doing the same in Karachi
"You try to build a narrative against [Indian Prime Minister Narendra] Modi, saying that he unconstitutionally captured Kashmir, and at the same time you try to occupy Karachi. This is bizarre," Bilawal said in his press conference.

Meanwhile, Twitterati has termed the government plan a"dirty tactic" to divert public opinion from the core issues.

"Mangi sb! #Article149 is just a dirty tactic to divert public opinion on other core issues. But remember Karachi is going to be an 'albatross around IK's neck','' said a user Zakir Darban.

Few have also called for a free country for Sindhis--Sindhudesh.

"Sindhis of Pakistan should start demanding #Sindhudesh ... a free country from Pakistan if there is even the slightest threat of Karachi being separated from #Sindh #SindhIsOne #SindhRejectsKarachiCommittee #Article149," tweeted a user.

"Karachi is a part of Sindh If anyone tries to divide Sindh We will divide Pakistan into 4 parts," tweeted another user.

"And it is #Karachi that gives you parasites free money.#Article149," tweeted another user.

"I like how PTI manages to give lollipop to Karachiites after every one month or so #Article149 #KarachiIsSindh," tweeted Abdul Hasseb Khashklei.

Twitter users have also accused the government of gaining complete control over Karachi because of it being an economic hub.

"National security state strikes. #Article149 Army wants the golden goose Karachi to lay eggs for them. #AnnexKarachi for that. Without Karachi's finances, there is no Pakistan, no Army. One Unit, Martial Law and now #Article149 @BBhuttoZardari @BakhtawarBZ @AseefaBZ RIP Karachi," TeenJay tweeted.

"Yes things aren't good in Karachi but they are also not that good in other parts of Sindh. Strangely no concern from Fed Govt for citizens living there. Also not convinced about overstretching #Article149 to handover Karachi to those who are quickly making a mess of Punjab and KP," said another twitterati.