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.
What does the actual text of the Article 149 say?
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.
— abdullah mirani (@abdullahmiran16) September 12, 2019
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.
— Asim Alii (@jazZy_asim) September 12, 2019
Some Sindhis are even willing to set out on protests and fight for Karachi, no matter the price.
— Muhammad Ali Hisbani (Janbaaz) (@MAliHisbani786) September 12, 2019
IKhan Sindh is replete with beautiful cities, only focusing on Karachi and avoiding remaining sindh show your hypocrisy… Don’t play game of dividing sindh
— Muzafar Joyo (@Alijoyo446) September 12, 2019
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.
Sindhi civilization, land and language are oldest having thousands old history, culture. This is land of peace. Sindhi is one and our soul
Karachi is integral part and heart of Sindh#UnitedSindhUnitedPakistan pic.twitter.com/spu1eQjFMO
— M.Abrar Gujjar (@gujjarabrar48) September 12, 2019
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.
If federal government didn’t end up #KarachiCommittee, we’ll close roads to #Punjab#RashidMehmoodSoomro#JUI_Sindh#SindhRejectsArticle149#SindhRejectsKarachiCommittee#UnitedSindhUnitedPakistan#BigNoToKarachiCommittee#SindhIsOne pic.twitter.com/ZosqAN9SD8
— khalid hussain kori (@khalidkoree) September 12, 2019
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.
— SaQib BalOch saQib B (@saqibbaloch065) September 12, 2019
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.
— Mohammad Mansoor (@Mansanpk2009) September 12, 2019
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.
— M Sufyan Basra (@msufyanbasra) September 12, 2019
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.
Don’t impose #Article149 it might bring peace, merit based jobs, clean streets, better solid waste management, lower cases of HIV, re-engineered economical plan, defence against feudalistic mindset & much more. Please don’t impose it. People will die, through “Happiness” though. pic.twitter.com/kZuFVBnCvu
— Prosecutor 🇵🇰 (@Krizwanistan) September 12, 2019
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.
As a Karachiite, I want my city to prosper. I want my city to be developed. I want my city to be an iconic city
— Mir Mohammad Alikhan (@MirMAKOfficial) September 12, 2019
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.
People who are against Article 149 can go fuck themselves. Karachi needs a major makeover which clearly Sindh govt can’t do.#Article149
— Jane Doe (@girllitasf) September 12, 2019
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.
Dear Sindhi fellows article 149 is not about to usurp rights of Sindhi people.
Its about to save karachi from PPP mafia & goons, it’s about to save city from destructions. Nothing more. Plz don’t be fool, its need of hour to make karachi a model city#Article149
— MoizSyed️ 🇵🇰️ (@MoizSyed_) September 11, 2019
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.
Sindhi is a beautiful language but why do karachi kids (zabardasti) have to study Sindhi??
I support Karachi separated from Sindh and operated under federal Government. Bohut hogya!!!#Article149
— Uroosa Khan (@Uroosakhan_isf) September 12, 2019
Make Karachi great again
One simple line to sum up all the sentiment.
Make Karachi Great Again #article149
— Haji Professor Dr. Z A Q (@Xia_Ahmad1) September 11, 2019
Despite raging tensions, some people tried to lighten the mood
#Article149 to be invoked
— o (@wannabepakii) September 12, 2019
They wittily summarized the whole situation as
— Khurram 🇵🇰 (@Khurrammkhaan) September 12, 2019
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