KARACHI - Political leadership from various mainstream political, nationalist parties and members of civil society on Monday reiterated their stance to safeguard the unity of Sindh at any cost and would foil any attempt to divide the province.

Chairing the Sindh Solidarity Conference - organised by Sindh Bachayo Committee at a local hotel - Sindh United Party leader Jalal Mehmood Shah read out the joint handout of the conference.

He said under the Article 2 of the 1973 Constitution, all the four provinces had complete constitutional and legal safeguard. “People talk about the Article 239 (4) of the constitution but they should read it carefully as it do not have any point that permits formation of new province,” he said. The Article 239 could not be amended as the apex court had ruled out any changes in the basic structure of the constitution.  He said that the conference had consensus that any attempt aimed at harming the unity and solidarity of the provinces would endanger the federation of the country.

The conference agreed that Sindh is a state and national unity for thousands of years and its entity should be maintained at any cost. He said any conspiracy against the Sindh’s entity would be considered betrayal from the basic Charter of the country.  The conference considers all permanent citizens of the province, who believe in safeguarding the political, economic, cultural rights and geographical demarcations of the province, as the people of this province.

It condemns any mindset or statements aimed at creating provocation, divide and hatred instead of unity among the permanently-settled citizens of the province. It also flayed intolerance, violence, torture, terror and hegemonic thinking in politics besides particular thought and acts of terrorism in the form of sacred slogans that communicate religious, ethnic and linguistic supremacy and discrimination.

PML-N leader Mumtaz Bhutto said they would not let anyone divide Sindh and if this happens they were ready to fight for their motherland. Ghous Ali Shah said Sindh was a bouquet comprising people from different communities and they could not be separated from each other. Former Sindh chief minister Arbab Ghulam Rahim said if Punjab and KPK want division of their provinces they could do it but Sindh should not be dragged in this debate. “Whenever the MQM has problems with the government they raise slogan of Sindh division,” he said.

Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan leader Owais Noorani said the slogan for division of Sindh had been raised several times in last four years but the political groups were not able to give an effective reply to it giving more encouragement to such people to raise slogans of division again and again.

He said speaking against the entity of Sindh was an act of treason and the security agencies should nab people responsible of inciting violence and hatred among the citizens of the province.

PML-N Sindh lawmaker Irfanullah Marwat called for census and referendum in the province to know about the representation of other communities in Sindh and the number of people who want division of the province. “I am sure that that the massive majority will vote for Sindh unity,” he said.

He said if PPP leader Bilawal Bhutto was raising slogan ‘Marson Marson Sindh Na Deson’ then why he was having an alliance with the party which was calling for the division of the province.

PML-F leader and MPA, Mehtab Akber Rashidi said people of the province would not compromise on three things including water, land and language.

 She said the political leadership of the province should work for raising the living standards of the people in the province instead of working for their vested interests.

Another PML-F lawmaker Nusrat Sehar Abbasi said Sindh division would not be tolerated at any cost and the Hur Jamaat of Pir Pagaro would lead the fight against people who would go for dividing the province.

The conference was also attended by the political leadership from Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl, Pakhtunkhua Milli Awami Party, Awami National Party, Qaumi Awami Tehrik and others.