KARACHI - Various political leaders have slammed the speech of MQM chief Altaf Hussain and termed his demand of separate province a conspiracy aimed at igniting anarchy in the country.

PPP chairman Bilawal Zardari posted his message on Twitter, saying, “We’ll die but won’t give Sindh."

Opposition leader in the National Assembly, Syed Khursheed Shah said that Altaf Hussain is a ‘king-fellow’ and could say anything he likes. “Sometimes Altaf becomes a Sindhi after wearing Sindhi cap and ajrak and often demands for a separate province, so his remarks should not be taken seriously,” observed Khursheed Shah.

PPP’s Senior Minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro said that Altaf’s statement would impact the sense of harmony and unity prevailing among the people of Sindh. He declared, “The Urdu-speaking people are our brothers, but we’ll not tolerate any demand to divide Sindh.” He said that Sindh is not a piece of cake as ‘it is our motherland, so we’ll not tolerate any demand of dividing it.’

Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon said that demand for a separate province is aimed at diverting attention from the ongoing operation against terrorists and criminals in Karachi.

The Sindh government's mouthpiece further said that Altaf's statement has no logic as the MQM had been a coalition partner in the Sindh and federal governments during the PPP’s recent five years tenure, besides MQM's nominee is still serving as the Sindh Governor for consecutively eleven years.

He said that the agenda behind the MQM's demand of separate province would unfold within few days as the party had never shared its reservations during the last five years when it was enjoying the government both in Sindh and Centre.

PPP provincial minister Manzoor Wassan said, “We are sure about the unity of Sindh, and would approve Altaf Hussain’s demands later, first he should feed us haleem.”

PML-F leader Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh said that the MQM chief's statement is not understandable.

The Sindhi nationalist leaders accused the MQM of not flinching from its objective of dividing Sindh on ethnic lines. The reaction came after the MQM chief renewed his demand for creating a new province.

Qaumi Awami Tehreek president Ayaz Latif Palijo said that the disintegration of Sindh has remained a prime objective of the MQM. He demanded the MQM chief to apologise over his demand’ otherwise a shutter-down strike and protests would be launched across Sindh within 48 hours.

Sindh National Party chief Syed Jala Mehmood Shah said that Sindhi and Urdu-speaking are brothers and Sindh is their motherland. Condemning the statement of Altaf Hussain, the nationalist leader said that the demand is against the interest of Sindh as well against the Constitution of Pakistan.

Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqqiqi chief Afaq Ahmed condemned the speech and demanded the Sindh and federal government to take notice of Altaf’s call to apply 50y-50 formula in the province. In a statement, Afaq said that residents of Sindh especially Mohajirs are united and would defeat any conspiracy aimed at dividing the province.

The Muttahida’s plan to create more division in the rural and urban population of Sindh would not be tolerated, he added.

Pakistan Peoples Party-Shaheed Bhutto chairperson Ghinwa Bhutto said that MQM chief Altaf Hussain speech was against the facts. Terming the speech based on dictator’s vision, she said that it was an exertion to divide the historical population of the province. Sindhis and Urdu-speaking residents of the province are united against conspiracy of division. It is 21st century and the people are well aware of the real facts and would stand against the elements involved in grooming the ethnicity to get their political gains, she said adding the demand for a new province is an attempt to spread anarchy and split the country.

Sindh Assembly Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza said that those, who had enjoyed a dictator’s rule, are now shouting for the local bodies’ polls.