An influential US lawmaker has supported the idea of the creation of ‘Greater Karachi’, saying that such a move will address the plight and human rights situation of Mohajirs and other ethnic groups in and around Sindh’s urban areas. The US’ relationship with Pakistan cannot move forward until it recognises the rights of its minorities and treats them the same way as the majority group, Congressman Scott Perry said. “I certainly think that (the creation of Greater Karachi) is an option; if Pakistan is not going to recognize its minorities and not give them the same rights as everyone else has then they will have to find or be forced to seek another way,” he said. The lawmaker, who is a member of the House of Representative’s Foreign Relations Committee, was responding to a question on the demand of creation of ‘Greater Karachi’ by Washington-based Voice of Karachi (VoK), representing the Mohajir community in the US, at a reception hosted by the South Asia Minorities Alliance Foundation. The member of the US Congress from Pennsylvania said America has to continue with putting more pressure, including diplomatic isolation and suspending military aid, on those countries that deny their citizens basic human rights. South Asia Minorities Alliance Foundation chairman Nadeem Nusrat, who also heads the VoK, said ‘Greater Karachi’ is the only viable solution to address the decades-long grievances of those living in Sindh’s urban areas. Handing the people of urban Sindh control over their affairs will end their alienation and help them bring in the mainstream, which will make Pakistan stronger. An autonomous region in that part of the world will also make Pakistan economically stronger and bode well for world peace, he said. “The rise of extremism and persecution of people based on faith and ethnicity is deplorable and we must set aside all our differences and stand united to put an end to this,” he said. There is the even greater irony of Mohajirs being viewed as a fifth column or, even worse, as Indian agents by many in Pakistan today. Then there is the historians’ debate about the Pakistan movement: was it a bargaining chip which acquired a life of its own, an ‘insufficiently imagined’ Pakistan or one into which great deal of thought went, or was there a more elemental process at work of Muslims deeply cherishing the notion of living in a well-defined Islamic space? These debates will continue as indeed will Pakistan’s evolution into something different from what was originally envisaged.
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