A Pakistani's Guide To Article 149 And Why Sindhis And Karachiites Are Having A Phadda Over It

By Janita Tahir | 13 Sep, 2019

Recently, Article 149 of the Constitution of Pakistan has given rise to one of Pakistan’s most heated debates. Social media is rife with hot-headed Pakistanis, each passionately arguing their own opinion. It all started when Farogh Naseem- a federal law minister- spoke on national television regarding the possible invocation of Article 149 in Karachi due to its aggravating circumstances.


Under Article 149(4), the federal government will take control of Karachi. Since the article means that Karachi will not be under the jurisdiction of Sindh government anymore, there are dividing opinions on it.

The Federal minister talks about Article 149.
Source: geo.tv


What does the actual text of the Article 149 say?

Source: pakistani.org


The people of Sindh are extremely against this move

They criticized the “Karachi committee” responsible for invoking the article. Especially because it consists of both PTI and MQM: the two opposition parties in Karachi.



They think breaking Sindh is like breaking Pakistan

Sindh houses the second largest population of Pakistan after Punjab, and people think breaking it into parts will directly mean doing the same with Pakistan on the whole.

Some Sindhis are even willing to set out on protests and fight for Karachi, no matter the price.



They feel that Karachi shouldn’t be taken away because it is the heart of Sindh, and being a financial capital doesn’t hurt either

Karachi, the most populous city of Pakistan, and the capital of Sindh is for sure a significant part of the province.


They even threatened to close roads

By threatening to close roads, they mean to stop all activity in the city so that it ceases to function. In this case, there would be no option left but to listen to the demands of the Sindhi people.


Sindhis took this moment as an opportunity to unite

The outrage resulting because of this article has caused all Sindhis to unite as one and voice their grievances.


On the other hand, most Karachiites themselves welcome the article

Karachi has constantly been in the news for deteriorating conditions. And for Karachiites, this is a golden opportunity for reform.



They expect the city to finally be  better managed

Karachi has recently been ranked as the worst city to live in. People are tired of seeing the city of lights turn into a garbage dump.

Karachiites think Article 149 means death… by happiness.

After the less than mediocre results of the Sindh government, people of Karachi feel like the article is their only hope.



They want to be free of the feudal lords

For years, Karachi has been under feudal lords that are accused of promoting corruption, robbing the city of its pride and filling their pockets. It seems like they don’t want to deal with all that anymore.


They feel that Karachi needs a major makeover 

Some people straight up don’t want to hear anything anymore, they want results as soon as they can. They think attention by the federal government can improve the various problems in Karachi that the Sindhi movement has been unable to tackle.


To them, Article 149 is to save Karachi and make it a model city

Karachiites have urged one another to think of this article as the only savior the city can have and support its implementation.


Some even brought their grievances against learning Sindhi into it

While the beauty of the language can’t be denied, no one should be forced to learn it.




Make Karachi great again

One simple line to sum up all the sentiment.


Despite raging tensions, some people tried to lighten the mood


They wittily summarized the whole situation as




Regardless, the debate about the invocation of article 149 is a serious matter. While Sindh’s outrage upon being divided is understandable, the longing of Karachiites for the revival of their beloved city also demands sympathy.

What are your thoughts on this? Sound off in the comments below.


Cover image via: Imran Malik / Pinterest

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