Rulers ignore Karachi, Karachiites

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An exclusive interview with Barrister Farogh Naseem

The love for Pakistan is essential part of our blood as my elders were closely associated with the freedom movement and its undisputed Leader Qauid-e-Azam. My paternal uncle Justice M.B Ahmed and maternal uncle Matloob Hussain Syed were close aides of Father of the Nation. Quaid-e-Zaam explaining the demand for Pakistan told uncle M.B. Ahmed that he wanted “ Iron clad protection for Indian Muslims “ while keeping India united but it was made impossible by Hindus and thus establishing a ‘ Nation State ’ was the only solution for Indian Muslim who were relegated to abject poverty and being treated as Third grade citizens or even worst. Pakistan and Israel are only two states of the world who came into being in the name of religion. Israel still has open door for Zinoists from any part of the world who were treated equally but unfortunately in Pakistan fell to ethnicity, provincialism, linguistic divide which resulted in the dismemberment of Pakistan. I know the importance of Pakistan even with these ills being a member of Urdu speaking community, said Barrister Farogh A Naseem opening his heart in an exclusive interview with National Courier. Irrespective of grave injustices with the people of Karachi and younger generation, we have to live in the system, fight against the prejudices and ill wills of the rulers and make them realize that our community cannot be marginalized, that we too have likes and dislikes like them, have to stand up against corruption and set the things right, he said. Great Sufis and saints have prayed for establishment of Pakistan. It was their dream and it came into being to exist and flourish for ages. Every one living in Karachi may be a Baloch, Pathan, Sindhi, Mohajir must work for making it strong and prosperous, he said adding that no one has the right to harm the national integrity, speak or work against national interests and institutions. “ There must be a clarity on fundamentals” and interest of Pakistan must always be kept supreme, he added. Asked about sit-ins, protest movements in Karachi by political parties he said sudden activity may be a part of election campaign as general elections are nearing but the deprivation felt by people was also a driving force as Karachi today faces multiple issues. Karachi contributes 70 per cent of the revenue but not a single penny is spent on it. The rulers are devouring Karachi. The major blame is on provincial government but federal government is also equally responsible as it attaches no importance to biggest city of the country, Dr Farogh said. Sindh government can be named for its inclusion in Gunniess Book of Records for “ worst governance, incompetence and corruption “, he said adding that if rulers are criticized they term the critics to be “ traitors, trouble mongers and what not”. The undemocratic rulers then attempts to take refuge behind “ Democracy “ but they in fact trample all basic principles of democracy, Dr Farogh said. Asked about political vaccum after demise of Muttahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM-Altaf), Dr Farogh Naseem said “ Altaf Hussain’s chapter has been closed after his Aug 22 speech “. In all encounters with him Altaf Hussain asked me, Khusbakht, Rauf Siddiqui, Dr Farooq Sattar to work for every poor irrespective of his community , to wage struggle against status quo and land lords etc but the line was drawn on Aug 22 as no Pakistani can remain with him after his Aug 22, 2016 speech. Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) has no public following, no acceptance and therefore MQM Pakistan alone can fill the void. MQM P and PSP must be given fair chance to do politics, participate in next general elections as people alone are the real judges, he said. Giving a word of advise, Farogh said “ MQM P is the party to which Mustafa Kamal belong, he must merge his party into MQM-P in the interest of the community or he will be wasted away. When asked about legal challenge to alleged irregularities in census, he said that Ghotki, Tharparkar, Larkana and other areas are shown to have population more than Karachi. This is great and grave injustice in which both the federal and provincial governments are involved, he said. These are report by independent international observer and fact was reported by Forbes Magazine and we have submitted these reports to Supreme Court of Pakistan in petition filed by Dr Farooq Sattar on behalf of MQM-P, he said. We have demanded and pressing it that census be done by Armed Forces of Pakistan alone without involvement of any official of the provincial government.

Farogh-Naseem2Since Bhutto era census does not reflect actual figures and purposely population of urban centres of Sindh was shown less, said Barrister Farogh. To me 70 per cent of population lives in urban areas of Sindh and 30 per cent in rural area, he added. To a question about suo moto taken by Supreme Court of Pakistan regarding lawlessness in Karachi, he said complainant and intervenors ( political parties including Jamaat-e-Islami, PPP ) said they moved the court anticipating that apex court will pass order restraining MQM from political activities but I defended the party and brought facts on record to prove that multiple forces , bad governance and a politicized police are responsible for the lawlessness in Karachi. Asked about future of Urdu speaking community in Sindh under present scenario, Dr Farogh Naseem said Sindhis are our brothers. One day the division between urban and rural people would come to an end.I pray and wish the same, he said adding that it is dawning upon people that co-existence is the only way to progress and prosperity of the pronvince. If the resources are shared on the basis of merit, employment and other opportunities are equitably divided there would be long lasting peace and improved law and order situation. Commenting on Panama case, he said there are a number of “ possibilities “ . The apex court may allow petition, dismiss it or order a commission to probe in detail. Any comment will be pre-mature, he said. Criticising Imran Khan of PTI he said he ask Imran that why he is only targeting PML-N and ignoring huge corruption by others. Imran must make a commitment with the nation that he would not spare any corrupt, Dr Farogh said. Asked about the top most jurist, he said Justice Munir although controversial due to “ Doctrine of Neccessity “ was the best jurist of Pakistan followed by Justice Cornelius and Justice Hamood-ur-Rahman. Commenting on Movement for Restoration of Judges , he said that recently lawyers of Punjab have said that they will never be misused ever again. The movement proved beneficial for few and failed to benefit the bar or the bench, he said.

Elected Senator on MQM ticket, Dr Farogh said from submission of nomination fee with Election Commission of Pakistan to the results every penny was spent by MQM. The party still has the honor of getting poor elected to highest echelons, elected forums.


Dr Farogh A Naseem is a PhD from University of London, Bar at Law from Lincon’s Inn. LLM from London School of Economics and Law bachelor from University of Wales followed in the foot step of his illustrious father who served in Pakistan Revenue Board as Income Tax Officer and later emerged as a renowned Income Tax practitioner. Dr Farogh was appointed Advocate General Sindh (Jan 200- May 2008), youngest ever AG Sindh. He was offered appointment as judge of High Court of Sindh, as Chief Justice SHC and also direct elevation to the Supreme Court of Pakistan (2007-2008) but he choose to remain in practice as a lawyer. He has to his credit constitutional challenge to sacking of Abdullah Shah’s government, General Pervez Musharraf case of Article 6, Pervez Musharraf ECL case, Local Bodies case on behalf of MQM.

Interview by: Ashfaq Hussain Photos by: Sultan Soomro

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