Videos of demonstrations by Pak's Mohajirs emerge
Videos of Mohajir protests against the Pakistan establishment emerging in the social media are causing consternation in Pakistan. Last week, a large group of Mohajirs, organized by Pakistan's mainstream Mohajir Quami Movement (MQM), protested outside the UN building in New York. The protestors in the video were seen chanting "azadi" allegedly against "state terrorism on 50 million Mohajirs in Pakistan."
Overview of separatist movements
Separatist movements in Pakistan are polarized along ethnic and provincial lines. In the past, separatist movements led to civil war and subsequent separation. (1972, Bangladesh ) Separatist movements calling for their own identity have risen in most provinces of Pakistan . These movements though have been side-lined by ethnic based political parties demanding more rights within the framework of a federal Pakistani constitution.
Major separatist movements in Pakistan include Baloch Separatist movement, Sindh movement, Pashtun movement, Mohajir movement, Waziristan movement etc.
Balochistan is the largest province of Pakistan. The Baloch movement emerged during the creation of Pakistan. Baloch nationalists have led four major insurgencies in 1948, 1958-59, 1962-63 and 1973-77 — which were brutally suppressed by the state. There are three major insurgent groups operating in the province; they are the Balochistan Liberation Army, the Baloch Republican Party and the Baloch Liberation Front.
Mohajirs are Urdu-speaking migrants from India, who settled in Sindh after the creation of Pakistan in 1947. MQM (Muttahida Qaumi Movement), intially known as Mohajir Qaumi Movement, is the political party founded for representing Mohajirs. The party kept its influence over Pakistan's federal government as a key coalition partner since the late 1980s (1988-1990, 1990-1992, 2002-2007, 2008-2013).
Pak blames India for disturbance
Pakistan many a times has blamed India for its increasingly fractious domestic politics, saying India is fomenting the unrest by backing separatist Mohajirs and Baloch.
Pashtuns are an ethnic group with presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Pashtuns in Pakistan make up a minority ethnic group with about 15% of population. Since the independence of Pakistan, Pashtun nationalists proposed merging with Afghanistan or creating Pashtunistan as a future sovereign state for the local Pashtun inhabitants of the area. The Pashtun separatist movement has been dormant in the recent past.
Altaf Hussain seeks intervention by UN, US, India
MQM leader Altaf Hussain, asked his followers to seek intervention of the UN, NATO, US and India, to save the Mohajir ethnic group from persecution by Pakistan's military. The explosive call from Hussain came in the backdrop of Pakistani military's crackdown in Karachi against workers of the MQM. This outraged Pakistani's military establishment with charges of treason erupting against the exiled Mohajir leader.
MQM USA rally statement
The US wing of MQM, acknowledged its role in the protests, saying, ''While PM Nawaz Sharif was addressing the United Nation General Assembly, raising the Kashmir issue and atrocities of Indian state in Kashmir, MQM USA chapter was protesting against state terrorism on 50 million Mohajirs in Pakistan.''