There is a massive humanitarian crisis going on in the country, with over 2 million people displaced. We have heard and seen harrowing tales of despair, misery, poverty and more over the past two weeks alone. A war rages on in the country, and there are reports of over 200,000 people unable to leave their houses in Swat and the Malakand Division.
Yet Sindh’s politicians, are crying themselves hoarse over the entry of IDPs in the province. From Sassi Palijo of the PPP, to MQM’s various leaders to the regional parties, everyone has their own reasons for why they don’t want these beleaguered citizens of the country to enter their province. The latest statements can be found here.
The Constitution of Pakistan guarantees, lest the politicians forget, the right of freedom of movement to its citizens.
“Every citizen shall have the right to remain in, and, subject to any reasonable restriction imposed by law in the public interest, enter and move freely throughout Pakistan and to reside and settle in any part thereof.”
Honestly, when I read the different statements these politicians make, the only thought I am left with is: “Have they lost their marbles?!!?” For the love of all that one holds holy, these people have been displaced from their homes. They do not have anywhere to go back to for the time being, no resources – they literally have nothing. Are this province’s politicians that callous, that cold-hearted and that, well for the lack of a better word, senile, that they can’t let these people stay here? If there is a threat of Taliban members entering the city, why not deploy police at bus stands where they disembark from and run thorough security checks? And having followed the movement of IDPs to some extent in Karachi, I can safely assure you that there are not hundreds of thousands of people that have entered the city.
I don’t think I’ve been as disgusted by politicians as I am today.
UPDATE: 16 vehicles have been burned, three people (including a woman who was coming back from a wedding) have been killed and eight people have been injured. Traffic is extremely thin, and most of the shops run by Pathans have been closed.