Welcome address by Dr Safdar N. Sarki, Deputy Secretary General, World Sindhi congress
Mr Chairman, distinguished guests and my dear comrades, It is my pleasure and privilege, as Deputy Secretary General of World Sindhi Congress to welcome you all from the deep core of my heart to this International Conference being organised by the World Sindhi Congress.
It is not my intention to remind you the objective of this conference. It is quite obvious that when people of your calibre and conscience get together, something of great importance to human civilisation is, very likely, going to be discussed. of course, it is undoubtedly a matter of great importance for the international community to discuss the fate of one of the oldest civilisation of our planet, i.e. Indus Civilisation.
Before I embark on today’s “Sindh Case” I would like to give you a bird’s eye view of our Motherland. There could be no better brief description of Sindh than what has been described by one of the modern historians in the following lyric:
“Laden with legend and ringing with history, SINDH, has a spell of its own. A land of deserts and rivers, green pastures and golden sand, Sindh presents a unique picture of contrasts. Its people are hard working and pleasant, romantic and chivalrous. While this has been a land of warriors and despots, it has also been prominent for its scholars and poets who have continuously lend serenity and softness to its rugged surface. Buried in its sand-dunes are remarkable stories of love, rivalries, braveries and betrayals. A cradle of civilization, the cultural supremacy of Sindh dates back to pre-historic times. The legends of Sindh are, in fact, a treasure, embalmed in tales of splendour. Numerous such legends have been immortalized by the celebrated poet of Sindh, Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, who has left an indelible impression on the minds of all of us. His stories of valour, love and patriotism like Noori-Jam Tamachi, Sasui-Punhoon, Mumal Rano, Leela-Chanesar, Umar-Marvi are a pride and delight for every Sindhi educated or uneducated, poor or rich, man or woman, old or Young.”
Let me first lay down the framework of today’s “Sindh Case” which I will be using to build my argument for the legitimate claim of Sindhi people for the right of self-determination.
First and foremost, Sindh had always been an independent State since prehistoric period except for a few times when it was ruled by foreign conquerors. Despite long periods of foreign rule on their motherland the people of Sindh never lost their distinct and homogeneous texture. The chronology of rulers of Sindh reveals the freedom-fighter character of Sindhis and provides sufficient evidence that the people of Sindh have fought back with conquerors to regain independence. Let me walk you through the chronology of rulers of Sindh to have clear sense of our legitimate claim of an independent state. Way back in prehistoric period we trace the first dynasty of Achaemenians (? 19-450 BC), followed by dynasties of Sindh Principalities (450-325 BC), Alexander and his successors (325-323 BC), Mauryans (323-187 BC), Bactian Greeks (187-70 BC), Scythians (70 BC – 46 AD), Parthians (46-78 AD), Kushans (78-283 AD), Sassanians (283-356 AD), Vahlikas (356-415 AD), Sindh Principalities (415-475 AD), Huns of Malwa (475-499 AD), Rais (499-641 AD), Brahmans (641-711 AD), Umayyed governors (711-750 AD), Abbasid governors (751-854 AD), Fatmids (854-1011 AD) Soomras (1011-1351 AD), Sammas (1351-1524 AD), Arghuns (15624-1554 AD), Tarkhans (1554-1351 AD), Mughals (1591-1736AD), Kalhoras (1700-1783 AD), Talpurs (1783-1843 AD), British (1843-1947 AD) and Pakistan Army (1947-19? AD).
Third, before the creation of Pakistan in 1947, Sindh was a separate province under the British rule, with its own legislative body and local government. During British rule, on the Indian Sub-Continent, people of Sindh while keeping up their ‘genetic’ freedom-fighter character, organised two insurgencies against colonial powers, but in vain. as I mentioned earlier, the people of Sindh have always struggled, to their tooth and nail, to regain their independence status. Feeling pulse of the time – the likelihood of bifurcation of India – the political leaders from Sindh initiated negotiations with concerned parties on terms and conditions of the new agreement.
This new agreement was the 1940 Resolution which provided guarantees to contracting parties of full autonomy and right of self-determination. Sindh entered into this agreement through its Legislative Council’s supporting resolution in 1937. Of course like any contracting party, under contractual relationships, the expectations of the people of Sindh were to prosper and grow both economically and politically under the new government set up. Political legitimacy henceforth was to derive from popular support; governmental authority was based on the consent of the people in the territories where power was to be exercise, the sovereignty of the sovereign became the sovereignty of the people popular sovereignty.
Fourth, the breach of contract started from the very first day after the creation of Pakistan when Mohammad Ali Jinah held the offices of the Governor General of Pakistan and the President of Muslim League, concurrently, in violation of party’s constitution and democratic norms of the time. Subsequently, a series of violations occurred at the hands of central government including, use of force to suppress political opponents, settlement of indian refugees in Sindh province with an ill intention to convert the original population into a minority, recruitment of indian refugees in government jobs on the basis of nepotism and favouritism, human rights violations, frequent army rules, political assassinations, extra-judicial killings, subjecting political opponents to mental and physical torture, etc. Hence, the rulers of Pakistan undermined the true spirit of the creation of Pakistan and betrayed the trust of contracting parties, thus, flagrant violations of terms of agreement by succeeding rulers subjected the ‘sovereignty’ of Pakistan at question (with big ‘Q’). the new State was no more a sovereign state but changed its face and character to a ‘coercive state’ by imposing tyrant rule against the will and consent of people. How could people consent to the rule of plunders, thugs, and tyrants ?
The contemporary change in content of the term “sovereignty” has changed the case of characters who can violate sovereignty. Of course, popular sovereignty is violated when an outside force invades and imposes its will on the people. One thinks of invasion of Afghanistan or of Grenada. But what happens to sovereignty, in its modern sense, when it is not an outsider but some home-grown specialist in violence who seizes and purports to wield the authority of the government against the wishes of the people, by naked power, by putsch or by coup, by the usurpation of an election or by those systematic corruptions of the electoral process in which almost 100 percent of the electorate purportedly voted for the incumbent’s list. May I ask the participants of this conference that is such a seizure of power entitles to invoke the international legal term “national sovereignty” to establish reinforce his own position in international politics.
Fifth, the right of free political expression was brutally withhold to perpetuate illegal rule under new so-called federal structure, which was contrary to Pakistan’s obligations under the international law. the people of Sindh were entitle to the right of free political expression under the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the General Assembly on December 10, 1948. We understand that as a mere resolution, the Universal Declaration does not have the force of a treaty, yet it was passed with such overwhelming support, and such prestige has accrued to it in succeeding years, that it may be said to have become a customary rule of state obligation. More to the point, its text manifests considerable determinacy, specifically recognizing a universal right to freedom of opinion an expression (Article 19), as well as to peaceful assembly and association (Article 20).
These entitlements reappear with even greater specificity in legally binding Covenants on Civil and Political Rights. Spelled out in that treaty, to which Pakistan is a signatory, are specific rights to freedom of thought (Article 18) and freedom of association (Article 22). Article 19 (2) is an pecifically important component of the democratic governance. it states: “Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression, this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.” Right to opinion, expression and association contained in Article 18, 19 and 22 look both backward and forward. They are a refinement of an aspect of the older right of self-determination; they also constitute the essential pre-conditions for an open electoral process.
These entitlements, guarantied by the international law to everyone, never crossed Pakistan’s borders; only a selective pro-establishement crony enjoyed such freedom and abused it to an extent that what they expressed was regarded as ‘patriotic’ and everyone else with little variation here and there was dubbed as a ‘traitor’. For example, the late Chairman of World Sindhi Congress, His Excellency GM Syed, who died recently under police custody, remained under unlawful detention for almost 30 years, since the creation of Pakistan. The charges levelled against him were in clear violation of guarantees provided by the international community to ‘everyone’ on this planet. Had he ever been allowed the freedom of expression the life of Sindhi people would have changed a long time ago. Similarly, the Vice-Chairman of WSC, His Excellency Muhammad Yusuf Jakhrani, was killed extra-judicially by the armed forces on June 12, 1992. Thousands more to count who gave their life for higher values of human civilisation.
We contend that the internal political situation in Pakistan has always been murky and constitutional procedures for the orderly transfer of power are non-existent. In a flurry of coups and putsches, it has been next impossible to ascertain the popular will, especially when the disorder and tyranny has prevented it from being consulted or expressed. Indeed, even when there are “supervised elections”, it has often been clear that the vast majority of the people detest those who have assumed power and characterised themselves as the government.
It is, of course, difficult to say who the people would wish instead. For this reason, WSC demanded designing of international legal supervision of elections to include an adequate period for candidacies to be developed and to allow campaigning, so that voters can make the informed choice that is at the centre of free and fair elections. However, realising the fact that the international community can only monitor the elections but could not provide guarantees for free and fair elections – especially adequate period for campaigning without any fear or threat, of whatsoever kind – the World Sindhi Congress demands the legitimate right of the people of Sindh for self-determination.
The case of Sindh’s right of self-determination constitutes a challenge to international order and legitimacy. The international community ought to resume its responsibilities and afford its support to implement, in word and spirit, the 1940 Resolution which was the building block of present Pakistan. The illegal occupation of Sindh’s territory, the presence of thousands of Indian refugees, the flagrant violation of any elementary concept of human rights, constitute an insult to the principles on which present Pakistan was founded. Its moderate and condescending stance towards the coercive rule in Pakistan, where violation of fundamental human rights is the order of the day, diminishes the credibility and the prestige of international communities’ joint effort for world peace.
Historical Perspective of Right of Self Determination for Sindhis – Syed Ghulam Shah, ex Chairman Jeay Sindh Mahaz, Member Governing Body, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz
Honourable Chairman, Delegates, Ladies and GentlemEn,
JEAY SINDHU DESH !
I am thankful to the World Sindhi Congress for inviting me to speak at this Conference. My subject is one of the utmost importance in the world today when many nations are struggling for the survival of their nationhood.
All the people have right to self determination under the international law. This principle is now well established in the international law and is recognized by the Charter of the United Nations. People could exercise their right to self determination in a wide variety of forms, as per the dictates of their particular circumstances.
Nonetheless, it should be emphasized that this right to self determination, in its present form, as recognized by the international law, is subject of controversy. Therefore, each nation is justified to formulating the terms and conditions of what it means by self determination. The creation and formation of the states, countries, is a process that has been going on since human beings have organised themselves in societies. Geographical boundaries are both, a natural and a subjective achievement. Natural in the sense that, a territory where people have organised themselves for ages, where they have common references in terms of culture, language, habits, customs and codes of conduct, would be defined as the natural boundaries. Subjective boundaries are territories defined according to the post war treaties or any other agreements between the parties involved, whose people may not have the same characteristics as stated before.
In today’s world, an increasing number of conflicts, that have taken place or are on the verge of taking place, are due to the peoples’ will to reaffirm their identity and redefine the natural boundaries which permits them to run their affairs according to their specific needs and aspirations. This can be achieved through the peaceful exercise of their right to self determination, if the world does not want to witness more violent confrontations between nations.
However, the international community should keep in mind that this right to self determination does not become a bargaining tool to serving the vested interests or false causes. The right to self determination, therefore, must be rooted in the historical perspective of the nations concerned.
Now let us look at the history of the State of Sindh: Sindh through centuries has remained independent, civilized, progressive and a peace loving country. The territory of Sindh has always been defined by its natural boundaries. Sindh has contributed to make the world a beautiful and happy place to live in. Unity, love, liberty and economic freedom, religious tolerance and peaceful co-existence have been the main contributions of this great nation of Sindh.
The excavation of the ancient archeological sites, like Mohen-jo Daro, Kot Digi, Aamiri and Debal are witnesses to the civilisation of Sindh through centuries. For more than 5000 years Sindh enjoyed a refined culture, a highly developed civic system in both the rural and urban areas. There are evidences of Sindh’s socio-political system and of its international diplomatic and trade relations. Sindh also proved to be of great importance in the developments in the Indian Sub-continent. For example, at the time of Maha Bharat and of the great wars in Bharat, Sindh intervened as an independent, sovereign state with its own government of Sindhi natives. It is mentioned in the Maha Bharat that Sindh contributed positively towards the peaceful settlement in the Bhartia wars. At the time of Ashoka, Sindh remained a symbol of peace and tranquillity. Sindh meant help, honour and contentment in the whole politico-religious, economic and cultural history of the modern Sub-continent.
The richness of Sindh has made it attractive to other nations, who from time to time intended to attack and colonise Sindh. But it is a fact of history that Sindh has always defended itself from foreign invasions and has always protected its sovereignty. Sindh has protected its sovereignty against the Greeks, the Persians, the Arabs, the Mughals, the Portugese and the British. Throughout history, there has never been an ultimate defeat of Sindhis. They have never surrendered to any aggression. Sindhis have always prolonged and stretched the warfare; by appropriate, timely strategies, they have always achieved the goals of independence and sovereignty.
Attacks, aggressions and occupations are part of the history of nations and Sindhis have also suffered a lot in making a history of defending national rights and the right to self determination. Any physical aggression and occupation of land was taken as temporary phase. Sindhis have always tried to change the course of history for satisfying their national aspirations and maintaining sovereignty. The temporary phase of national occupation has always been thrown away by long, untiring struggle for national independence and sovereignty.
Writing about a war between the Greeks and Sindhis in Bakkar, an ancient town of Sindh, a Greek historian wonders as to how bravely the Sindhis fought against the massive Greek army: fighting and dying, not surrendering, inspite of a small and insignificant army. The said historian records that the Sindhis never surrendered in that war and died fighting to the last man. The aforesaid war did not end there: by continuous political struggle and guerilla warfare, Sindhis were eventually able to drive the Greeks out of their land, and thus regained their sovereignty.
Sindh was also attacked by the Arabs because the followers of Imam Hussain, the grand son of our Holy Prophet, were given asylum in Sindh. Even though Sindh came to be ruled by the Arabs, the Arab rulers were forced to give independence to Sindh.
Allaudin Khilji, the King of Delhi, attacked Sindh with a huge army, killing in one day, approximately 20,000 soldiers, including the King of Sindh, Dodo Soomro. Even then Sindhis resisted and made the attempts of Allaudin Khilji unsuccessful.
Arghuns attacked Sindh many times, but after their heavy casualties, they were forced to withdraw. Finally, King Shah Beg Arghun in person, along with a huge army attacked Sindh at the time when the popular King, Jam Nando died. Sindhis continued to fight under the leadership of Retired General Doolah Darya Khan, who never surrendered and died on the battlefield.
Sindhis suffered the cruel and tyrant rule of the Arghuns, but they continued their struggle to get rid of this foreign occupation in different ways. Makhdoom Bilawal, a religious Sufi, along with Shah Hyder Sanai (forefather of Sain G.M. Sayed), organized Sindhis from all parts of Sindh against the Arghuns. Makhdoom Bilawal was arrested and held responsible for the movement for freedom. He was awarded with the unique, the cruelest punishment, which had no example in the world. He was ordered to be pushed in the crusher and was crushed slowly to death. Following is the example of Sindhis’ love for Sindh in the words of Makhdoom Bilawal: at the time of his death, when he was asked his last wish, he said, “Crush me through my feet, make a hole in it, so that I am able to see my land to the last moment”.
Mughals also tried to rule Sindh and make it a part of their empire, but they could not succeed in ruling Sindh directly or to change its political make up. Shah Inayat Sufi was killed with thousands of his followers, but Sindhis did not accept any subjugation.
In the days of Kalhora rule in Sindh Madad Khan Pathan attacked Sindh and destroyed the cities, killing civilians and burning libraries, but this rule of tyranny could not be imposed on Sindhis.
Finally, I would like to touch briefly upon the British Rule. Rulers of Sindh at the time were weak and the British arrested them. However, General Hosh Mohammad, with 20,000 of his men, fought courageously to the last man, but never surrendered.
Despite the sufferings over long periods and fighting for their independence, Sindhis have always remained peaceful and never tried to grab other nations’ territory. The peaceful nature of the people can be found in the fact that Sindhis have fought and resisted the enemy, but they never had a regular army.
The struggle for the self preservation of nationhood abounds in the books and museums of the world. Sindhis of today are the descendants of people, who prospered about 5000 years ago in the celebrated Indus Civilisation.
Even during the recent history of the British rule and after many decades of British conspiracy to merge Sindh with Bombay, Sindh was given its right as an independent state.
Coming to the history of Pakistan, Sindh voluntarily surrendered its independence in order to contribute to the creation of a new state (Pakistan), under the conditions that full autonomy would be guaranteed to all the Federating Units and by the pledge to protect the social, cultural, linguistic and other rights of their inhabitants.
But as soon as Pakistan came into being, the rulers of the day established their authoritarian rule over Sindh and the process to deny the right to Sindhis, began. The first Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liquat Ali Khan, who came from India, had no knowledge of the history of Sindh and took upon himself to encourage immigration and settlement of large number of Urdu speaking population in Sindh, particularly in the large cities, so that he could establish his own constituency. Over the time, Sindhi schools were closed down, Sindhi language was abolished from education, our resources were allotted to non-Sindhis and Sindhis were prohibited from buying or owning any property vacated by the non-muslim population of Sindh.
As time passed, military rules were imposed on the nation. The process of colonisation had began. Nine million acres of fertile agricultural land has been allotted illegally to the army and the civil bureaucracy of Punjab. All important jobs, natural resources, such as oil, gas, coal, ports, etc. are controlled by non-Sindhis. Millions of non-Sindhis continue to immigrate to Sindh, with a systematic plan to convert Sindhis into a minority in their own homeland. Kala Bagh and over 32 other dams are planned up-stream on the Indus River to provide irrigation water to Punjab, depriving Sindhis of their natural share of water. This results in turning the fertile land of Sindh into a saline and water-logged, thus adversely affecting the whole economy, and particularly the agrarian economy of Sindh.
In order to harass and frighten the simple and peace loving Sindhis, the army continues to grab land from the local inhabitant to build army cantonments. Urban terrorism and rural dacoits are trained under disguise, and organised and protected by the vested interests of the exploiters
Drugs are openly sold in the streets of Sindh with the collaboration of the same parties. Thus the whole culture of Sindh is being destroyed in a systematic way. All successive governments of Pakistan have detained, tortured and murdered many Sindhi nationalists without any recourse. Even today thousands of Sindhi nationalists are languishing in the jails or are being tortured in the army camps.
The greatest peace loving leader of Sindh, His Excellency G.M. Sayed, was detained for over 30 years without trial because he raised the voice for the just rights of Sindhis. He was not even allowed to address his own people. The government of Pakistan did not provide proper medical treatment for his ailment and he passed away as a martyr in the hospital as a prisoner in April 1995. He was the soul and spirit of Sindh. He was also a great Sufi and spiritual leader. He has left many books and other publications as a legacy for the nation, to inspire Sindhis to continue their struggle.
Sindh is a separate and distinct nation with its own language, culture and social system. The contract on which Pakistan was created, is no longer valid and all the conditions under which Sindh joined to become a part of Pakistan have been violated and stand dishonoured. Now, Sindhis must be given a chance to determine their own future under the recognized international law. The nation of proud Sindhis, who believe in love and harmony, international peace and unity must be saved from destruction. Otherwise, this will not be only the loss to a small nation of Sindh, but would also affect and harm world peace in that part of the world.
In the end, I do sincerely believe that the independent and sovereign Sindh would be a great gift to the world for the 21st Century.
Right of Self Determination – Mr. Erkin Alptkin, Chairman, UNPO and East Turkistan Union in Europe
Honourable Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I was announced as the Chairman of UNPO, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation. It is true that I am the Chairman of UNPO, nevertheless, today I chose to speak on my behalf since we have strict rules and procedures which include to present a request in front of the steering committee and getting a clear cut mandate for participating in a seminar, so as the Chairman I am the first who should follow this rule.
First of all I want to thank you for inviting me to be among you and share your experiences and grievances here today. I hope this Congress will continue its efforts to bring peace and stability to your country.
I am a Uighur. Uighurs are the original inhabitants of Eastern Turkestan, what China call Sinkiang Uighur Autonomous Region. Uighur are a Turkik people. I am the descendant of Subkutkin Mahmood Ghaznavi, the babris, what you call Mughals. As you may know Akbar the Great, my great grand father, was born in Sindh at Umerkot. They unfortunately came to conquer your country and I am here to apologise for their mis-deed and extend a friendly hand to all of you. I hope we will work together in the future and help each other to bring peace and prosperity to our respective countries. I am also here to thank you, the people of Sindh, for giving us refuge when our country was attacked and occupied by the Chinese Communists in 1949. I went to Karachi and lived there at the time. It is from there that I then went to third countries. I was in Sindh when I was a child, 10 – 12 years old. I have a lot of friends there.
In those years, Sindh being on the Southern edge of the Silk Road, there lived many different ethnic groups, religious groups and linguistic groups. They used to live in harmony with each other, in peace with each other and tolerant for each other. But when I was there last December, it was a tragedy. It seemed to me that everybody was against everybody and that the country was systematically destroyed. Bombing are going on in the streets. You can walk in the streets and see people getting killed. Women, men, innocent women and men are getting killed. It is difficult for me, as an outsider to assess who is doing this or who is behind these killings in that country. But it is time that if the central government has difficulties solving this problem and bring peace and stability to the area, then the International Community must really do something to persuade the Central Government to solve grievances in this area.
Ladies and gentleman, 45 years have passed since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was proclaimed. That document, the foundation for all ensuing Covenants, Conventions and Treaties on the subject, set out 3 fundamental principles: that rights are universal and indivisible, applying to all world’s people and that the Human Rights records of every government are subjected to outside scrutiny. Yet many countries still reject these principles. Thus, the United Nations, which is made of these kind of countries, does not function anymore. On top of that, the disinterest of the international community to solve the boiling problems of peoples like us has turned the world into a time bomb.
In my country, we have the same problem. Refugees, large amount of refugees, Chinese, are moved into my homeland and directed to assimilate our people in that country. The educational system is such that it is directed to assimilate my people and everybody who comes up, speaks and ask for his rights, is imprisoned, tortured and even executed. Can you imagine, in a huge China, according to Amnesty International’s reports, the highest death penalty execution is carried out in my homeland.
Sindhi people are 40 millions, if I am not mistaken. We are about 10 to 12 millions, imagine 29 concentrations camps in the country. It makes more than 70 000 people who are detained in those concentration camps just because they ask for their rights.
The International Community today claims that they are promoting democratic principles throughout the world. As you may see, many nations, peoples and ethnic groups are striving for democratic rights. Even in China, we have all seen in front of television, students staging peaceful demonstrations, demanding democracy, they were crashed under tanks and many died and the whole world watched how the Chinese army massacred these innocent students. They are demanding respect for Human Rights but even in the most civilised countries, human beings are from different ethnic groups, linguistic and religious backgrounds, they are humiliated in all walks of life, their house are shot….. temples are attacked, men, women and children are burnt alive, even in the most civilised countries of the world. We are talking about self-determination. Self-determination is supported by the International Community, they claim it at least. But when countries like Bosnia and Chechnya declare their independence, the international community watches the slaughter of these people in those countries. Now they are trying to bring some peace in Bosnia but how long will it last ? God only knows ! They want to prevent conflict, but the international community only responds when violence is used to draw attention. Thus many nations, peoples and ethnic groups are abandoning the path of non-violence to draw the attention of the International Community. Some terrorist even got the Nobel Peace Price. Today, they want to establish peace and stability but how can nations, people and ethnic groups contribute to peace under the great fear to loose their cultural identities due to lack of international interest many nations, people and ethnic groups who are faced with the danger of cultural genocide are forced to choose armed resistance. In other words, they are choosing the path of heroic death instead of a coward one. There is a saying: ‘ Heroes do not think’. Those who chose armed resistance often forget that armed resistance could also lead to self-destruction.
On the other hand, history has proven that victims often become victors through weapons. Despite policies of political oppression, cultural genocide and economic exploitation, peoples like us must continue their struggle for democracy, respect for Human Rights and self-determination, through non-violent methods, because this is only way for peoples like us to carry on our struggle without providing our opponents a pretext for slaughter and the increased repression that already burdens our people at home. We all know that the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights does not function for peoples like us who are struggling through non-violent methods.
We all know that the Universal Declaration for Human Rights does not work in the case of peoples like us but we need a criteria to base our demands. Thus, despite its short comings, the Universal Declaration is the only criteria for us. It means that peoples like us have to mobilise the International Community to make the principles of the declaration function. While doing that we should never surrender our causes in the hands of others. We must be the ones to carry out our struggle for ourselves.
Patience has an end, we are all human beings. We cannot endure oppression forever. We must continue to urge the international community to give a serious hear to the grievances, desires and demands of our people before fierce violent conflicts break up in our respective areas. Many experts on China say today that in case fierce armed resistance breaks up in Tibet, Eastern Turkestan or Mongolia, or in any other area of China, it would have a devastating effect on the whole Asian Continent. Hopelessness can lead to violence. The worst can happen if people loose hope. If we don’t continue to give hope to our people, if they go for armed resistance in one area, it could easily spread all over the continent. This is why we must continue our efforts to pressurise the International Community and tell them that unless they take important steps, the danger of more conflicts really exists in the area and we don’t want that.
We must also urge our governments to sit with us, with the representatives of our nations in order to find peaceful solutions. How can we establish peace and stability – how can we co-exist in that part of the world ? We must tell our governments that one day we will all be independent and free so is it better to base our future relationship on animosity rather than on brotherly relations ? We should tell them that by force they will never win our hearts but by friendly relations they can win our hearts. We should tell them that we want to base our future relations on solid foundation and co-operation because we need each other. We have to tell them with bombs, canons and guns, they cannot beat us. If they have bombs, canons and guns, we have a will of steel which cannot be broken.
Human Rights and Democratisation of United Nations – Rt. Hon. Robert Parry, MP., President, Human Rights International
To expand the frontiers of freedom and democracy with the aim of improving Human Rights, we must continue to call upon and press the developed countries and nations of the world to extend their economic support to peoples who are being denied their basic and lawful Human Rights. Often suffering horrific abuse, torture and death at the hands of their oppressor, we must further urge that these influential countries refrain from the exploitation of such peoples in the form of massive loan and aid debts as a means of vested interest and monetary claim.
Appalling Human Rights catastrophes continue in every corner of the globe, with abuse and violations running at a horrifying level. The situation in the Sindh Province of Pakistan, the intensity of torture and the inhuman behaviour of Law enforcement agencies in Pakistan, the scale of such carnage is beyond comprehension and seemingly beyond control, Governments and Organizations around the world have responded to proclaim that Human Rights must be defended, yet politically motivated selectivity has continued to be the norm for governments when dealing with Human Rights issues, freedom and democracy.
I tabled a motion in the House of Commons, earlier this year concerning the house arrest of the Late G.M. Syed, the father of the Sindhi nation, calling for Her Majesty’s Government to make urgent representations to the Pakistan government for his immediate release. Over 52 Members of Parliament signed that motion which showed their support for him and the great work he did for the Sindhi nation. Unfortunately, G.M. Syed died in hospital on the 25 April, and I think the best tribute we could pay him, is to see that his work for the Sindhi nation continues.
International Treaty Obligations have been ignored and abused when convenient, self-interest has guided government’s responses to such issues for too long, and has prevented or hindered positive action in many countries where it is desperately needed.
I have received an invitation to visit Cuba later this year, as a member of the Nino Pasti Foundation. Cuba has had to suffer with sanctions for many years, these sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council which is dominated by the United States of America. I visited Libya, on a ship of solidarity with the Nino Pasti Foundation earlier this year and saw for myself the suffering that sanctions cause to innocent civilians. I took part in a demonstration in Tripoli and a delegation to hand a petition to the United Nations, not to extend the sanctions on Lybia. I did meet Saddam Hussain during an all Party Parliamentary visit, during the Iran/Irak war. The sanctions imposed on Iraq since the Gulf war are still in place even though it is more than four years since Iraqi Forces quit Kuweit, the blockade of Iraq continues, despite it having already led to the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands of innocent people. The old, weak, babies and children being particularly vulnerable. It is these people who suffer the most from any United Nations sanctions. I also met the Catholic Archbishop of Baghdad, who begged us to oppose the sanctions because of the effect this has on the vulnerable, in particular the Archbishop mentioned medical supplies and supplies of baby food.
I have been active over many years on the question of Southeast Asian Foreign Affairs, with particular reference to Human Rights, democracy and peace. As a democratic Labour Member of Parliament since 1970 and a member of Amnesty International, the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, and the Hong Kong and British-Taiwan Parliamentary Groups for many years, my deep felt love for such principles are paramount. My support for such freedom and democracy was expressed in May 1992 when I took part in a demonstration in Tienanmen Square at the special request of the International Inquiry Commission of the Democratic Labour Movement Against Repression in China. This was in representation of Human Rights, particularly in honour and remembrance of the thousands of people, mainly students, who were killed at the Tienanmen Square massacre in 1989 by Chinese Security Forces, and its attitude toward free trade unions. I was subsequently arrested with my colleagues who were unionists, academics and parliamentarians from France, Switzerland and Germany. In May of this year I was invited by the North Korean Government to take part in the celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the ending of the Japanese war. I had to travel via Beijing on my way to Pyongyang, when I landed at the Beijing airport I was issued with a transit visa, which was then revoked by the State Security in the airport, I was sent back to london by the next available plane back.
In Europe we have seen the collapse of Communism in the Eastern Regions, which has given a hope to millions of people enjoying new found freedom. Yet, the elation and expectations of these people are quickly turning sour as a result of failure in the economic market and transition period which has followed. Many people in these former communist States are economically or socially no better under the new policies being projected, with the infrastructure of such countries still very weak.
The lifting of superpower status and communist rule has created the freedom and democracy promoted by all of us here today. Yet, it is a well known fact that in Europe long term unemployment is soaring, with absolute poverty the norm for millions of people. The EEC, the IMF and World Bank have now taken a stand in support of “Social Clauses” as part of the Gatt Agreement.
Although the cold war has ended, East Asia and the Eastern European regions are still threatened by political and social instability. China and Korea remain divided, whilst there is optimism on the Korean Peninsula between Seoul and Pyongyang with a considerable improvement in diplomatic relations between North and South. Beijing still refuses to guarantee not to invade Taiwan, and China has continued to claim sovereignty over the dispute territories in the South China Sea. Southeast Asia has maintained its drive as a force in global economics with taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea and Singapore leading the way in such growth, yet instability with the threat of war constantly menaces regional stability.
I have recently been very concerned at the situation in Rwanda, with atrocities being committed by both sides in this internal conflict on a daily basis. Pope John Paul, made a plea for a peaceful conclusion to the conflict in Rwanda. I agree with His Holiness that a peaceful solution must be found, so that the suffering of the innocent people of Rwanda can come to an end and they can live their lives in peace once again.
I would call on all countries to adopt an international constitution to give a guarantee that rights such as religious beliefs, the right of expression, economic rights education, housing, food, clothing, medication, the right to demonstrate peacefully, the right to form trade unions, political rights, voting rights and equality for all equality for all citizens. These are basic rights and people should not be persecuted for trying to achieve such rights.
This year is the 50th anniversary of the forming of the United Nations, which I have tabled a motion on, that over 74 MPs have signed. The question of Human Rights is taking ever increasing momentum, whether on the level of the United Nations, on government level or on NGOs. There is a need to mobilize public opinion around the issue of Human Rights.
I think the structure should be changed of the United Nations Security Council, to make it more democratic and accountable. The United States have too much influence on the Security Council. The structure and composition of the Security Council are in contradiction to the democratic spirit of the UN Charter and the democratic structure of the General Assembly where every member has one vote and there is no power of veto. It seems to me that the democratic forces, East, West, North and South, need to get together and agree on a common basic programme for UN democratisation.
Finally, the UN will soon need to choose an new General Secretary. Irish President Mary Robinson has always said she would only serve one term in the Presidency. She is a leading international and constitutional lawyer and a human rights champion, a supporter of the third world, with radical democratic, anti-povery sentiments. She courageously visited Somalia, Rwanda and other African countries. Ireland is a unique country, being in Western Europe but having been a victim of colonialism where a peace process is now going on. The country is highly respected in the third world for her neutrality, history of struggle, contribution to peace-keeping forces and the educational and other work carried out by her missionaries, priests and nuns over long years in many countries.
May I take this opportunity to thank the organisers of this conference, for all their hard work, which has given the chance for delegates from all around the world, to be updated on the current situation in the Sindh Province and to discuss the question of Human Rights across the world.
Violations of Human Rights in Sindh – Mr. Gul Mohammed Jakhrani, ex President Jeay Sindh Tehrik, Member Central Committee World Sindhi Congress.
Honourable Sayed Imdad Mohammed Shah, Secretary General WSC, distinguished ladies and gentlemen,
Long live Sindhu Desh,
I thank you all for coming to the Conference. My friends and honourable guests are speaking in the English language. I would like to speak in our national language, Sindhi. So please permit me to do so.
Today all of us have gathered here to attend an International Conference “Sindh and Sindhis–at the Crossroads”, organised by the World Sindhi Congress. In this Conference we will discuss the future of Sindh, and how we Sindhis, a cultured, historical and civilized nation should get rid of this great difficulty and the chains of slavery.
Ever since the creation of Pakistan, Sindh and Sindhis have entered into a new era of slavery. Sindhis joined the state that is called Pakistan, voluntarily. Sindh Assembly was the first Assembly in the Indian Sub-continent to pass the Pakistan Resolution under the leadership of His Excellency, G.M. Sayed.
Pakistan came into being in 1947, and we have seen that ever since its coming into being, those patriots, who dedicated all their lives to humanity and their nations, were bestowed with the labels of the enemies of state, traitors and atheists; and were kept in prisons. Within a few months of the creation of Pakistan, Sain G.M. Sayed, who got the Pakistan Resolution passed, was put in prison, and became the first political prisoner of Pakistan. It was said that since he was against the very ideology of Pakistan, he had been put behind the bars.
However, this a big story. The world has seen that it is those, who have been calling themselves the guardians of Pakistan and Islam, and not the ones who have been declared traitors and anti-state by the rulers from time to time, have taken this country towards the path of destruction.
During that time One Unit was announced, which denied the existence of historical nations, that were rich in culture, language, civilization and were distinct geographical entities, subjecting their status to the `former’ provinces. Nonetheless, the historical nations did not accept this perpetual denial of their existence. People were harassed by the pressure of time, torture and ruthlessness.
But they could not harass all the people. The well wishers and heroes of the nation (Sindh), being ready to fight the rulers against such an anti-nation decision, told them they that they (the historical nations) did not join Pakistan to have their historical existence denied and national identity de-recognized. So by the political and democratic struggle, the leaders of the people tried to achieve the restoration of their nations’ historical rights. For this purpose, Sain G.M. Sayed, along with his colleagues, taking into confidence the representatives of all the nations, succeeded in getting the West Pakistan Assembly pass the Resolution against the imposition of One Unit. But instead of dissolving the same, Ayub Khan, with one kick of his foot, dissolved the West Pakistan Assembly and declared the Martial Law.
Nonetheless, by the political and democratic struggle, the movement against the One Unit continued, and it was because of that that Sain G.M. Sayed, along with his associates, was continuously kept behind the bars.
Due to the continuous political struggle, Ayub Khan had to leave. Then entered Yahya Khan, and even though only in words, the dissolution of the One Unit was announced. Coupled with this was the announcement to hold the elections.
It was hoped that the election results would bring about the change; the rights of the nations would be restored; and that Pakistan would be run on the basis it was created (the 1940 Resolution) upon. Hence the leader of Sindhis, Sain G.M. Sayed too supported the Awami League, as the Six Points guaranteed the rights of the nations.
In that election, Awami League achieved a great success. Thus Awami League should have been asked to form the government, but the rulers of that time, accused Awami League of treason, and instead of asking him form the government, they locked up its leader Shaikh Mujeeb-ur-Rehman, and started the military operation in Bengal. Consequently, 30 lakh (3 million) Bengalis were massacred. Tens of thousands of women were raped. Such a criminal operation resulted in the break-up of Pakistan.
In order to promote their specific interests, the rulers, in the name of the ideology of Pakistan and that of Islam, have been locking up the the nationalist leaders behind the bars, declaring them traitors and anti-state. Because of those leaders, the country was ultimately divided into two parts.
Thus Pakistan, which was basically the name of an agreement, reached between the five nations of Sindhis, Balouchs, Bengalis, Punjabis and Pakhtoon, came to an end as such after the separation of Bangladesh. The break-up of Pakistan, in 1971, was not brought about by G.M. Sayed, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan or Mujib-ur-Reham, who were known by the titles of traitors, but by the character of its rulers, that is, the military, bureaucracy, and political stooges.
After that, an other situation was created: Bhutto was appointed as civil and Martial Law Administrator of the rest of the country. Those responsible for a great tragedy, should have been exposed and hanged, but on the contrary it was told that a new chapter of Pakistan has been initiated. In the old Pakistan we were enslaved by the denial of our historical rights. In the New Pakistan too our slavery remained intact; our resources, our factories, our lands continued to remain under the control of the aliens. Urdu was imposed upon our language by an Ordinance. Our very lives and honours were not safe in the New Pakistan. A Son of the soil, Ashok Kumar was martyred, and to this day we do not know about his dead body. Assad Mengal was martyred. His father, Sardar Attaullah Mengal has still not received the dead body. Abdul Razzaq Soomro, Abdul Qadir Halepoto and Bashir Ahmed Tunio were martyred. Sain G.M. Sayed was attacked, in which Dost Mohammad Paracha was martyred.
During that period, His Excellency G.M. Sayed sent a detailed letter to late Zulfiqqar Ali Bhutto, in which he made it clear to him that he (Bhutto) was playing in the hands of Punjab, and that he had been made to do their dirty jobs. Punjabis are vested interests. So having used him, they would either make him a target of the bullet or hang him at the gallows. But at that time Bhutto had been intoxicated by power. He did not pay heed to Sain (a respectable address form in Sindhi, like Sir) G.M. Sayed’s contentions. Ultimately, on 5 July 1977 the military of Punjab, staging a coup de tete, removed Bhutto from power. Maybe at that time Bhutto did not recall the letter of Sain G.M. Sayed, but on 4 April 1979, when he was sent to gallows, he must have remembered the 1972 letter of Sain G.M. Sayed: that whatever that old man wrote to him, had proven correct.
After the fall of Bhutto regime, Martial Law was declared in the country, and the people, especially the Sindhis, could see the true colours of Punjab. During that Martial Law period, villages of Sindhis were bombarded. Then constituting the military courts, many innocent Sindhis were sent to gallows. Sindhi political leaders and activists as well as students were martyred through torture and by bullets. Shaheed (martyr) Nazir Abbasi was killed ruthlessly in the military camps. In the University of Sindh, Ihsan Memon was made a target of the bullets. Banning the Students Unions, student leaders were rusticated. The educational institutions of Sindh were closed for months and months. Thousands of Sindhis were martyred during the 1983 struggle of MRD (Movement for the Restoration of Democracy).
As a result of such a higher form of cruelty and ruthlessness, the national question in Sindh came to emerge clearly. Sindhis felt that this Pakistan is a yoke of slavery for them. That all of them are not the Muslim brothers there, but are the slaves of the slaves of Punjab.
I am, myself a living proof of the extent to which the cruelty reached. on 17 October 1984–I was President of JSSF (Jeeay Sindh Students Federation)–I was going to Chandka Medical College, Larkana with my friends, who were the students of Sindh University, LMC and Mehran University in two buses, when the Pakistan army opened indiscriminate firing on our buses at Thori Phatak (railway Crossing at Thori, a village in Sindh) as a result of which five of my comrades, viz., Maalik Khushik, Amanullah Vistro, Mitho Buledi, Anwar Abaasi, and Zakariya Memon were martyred in front of me, and 35 students were wounded. We were arrested and made targets of torture. The wounded as well as the rest of the arrested students were subjected to mountains of cruelty in the Hyderabad Central Prison.
Sindh became an embodiment of protest because of that incident. Every person of Sindh, belonging to every school of thought, condemned this barbarous act of Pakistan army. Because of the mounting public pressure, an Inquiry Tribunal was constituted under the supervision of Justice Abdul Abdul Razaq Thahim, the report of which has not been published to this day. Dissolving the Tribunal, they tried to try us, the prisoners, in an special army court on false charges.
It does say in the books of law of Pakistan that if someone kills an innocent person, then under Section 302, he has to be put in prison, and that he is liable to punishment. But here, we the heirs of martyrs, were continuously kept in the prisons of Sindh, Punjab and Balouchistan for 5 years. Not a single hair was touched of the killers of Sindhi martyrs. On the contrary, preparations were made for our hanging.
Nonetheless, due to the public pressure and the conduct of 1985 (on non-party basis) elections, the leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly, Sayed Imdad Mohammad Shah, raised voice for us, which made the National Assembly too to follow suit. Consequently, we are out today, but the killers of our comrades, who are no more with us, are free even today. One one hand, the Sindhi nation is being subjected to massive state cruelties, and on the other, during the Martial period, the establishment created a terrorist organisation, the MQM, and arming it, got started taking criminal actions against Sindhis. In the cities of Karachi and Hyderabad, and even in their private homes, indigenous Sindhi people got martyred. The terrorists of MQM were bestowed with thousands of klashinkovs. It was done only and only to keep the Sindhi nation perpetually slaves by creating a conflict between them and Urdu speaking refugees, so that the Sindhi nation forget about the tyrannical actions of the Punjab and get involved in a fight with the speakers of Urdu.
After the 1988 crash of Zia-ul-Haque’s plane, Ghulam Ishaque Khan became the President, and elections were held. Immediately after the elections, Benazir Bhutto, who had spent most of the 11 year period of Zia-ul-Haque in London, claimed nonetheless that she has struggled for those 11 years; and that when the time permits, she would take revenge from the establishment, as well as from the collaborators of Ghulam Ishaque Khan and Zia-ul-Haque. But on the second day of the 1988 elections, she entered into a pact with all the agents and apologists of the military generals, Ghulam Ishaque Khan and the establishment, the people who were involved in the murder of Bhutto. She reached an agreement with the killers of her father only to achieve power, sitting thus on the chair as a show piece of the establishment. As a result of that pact, she visited the residence of the leader of the terrorists, Altaf Hussain, in Azizabad (in Karachi), to offer her humble greetings, so as to negotiate with the party created by the military, MQM. She then gave them the ministries of their choice. Having MQM included in the government, she released the terrorists, the murderers, those who were responsible for imposing martyrdom on the Sindhis, on 1 October 1988. Even then, and being in the government as well, MQM continued to shoot Sindhis like birds of prey in Karachi and Hyderabad, and the government of the Peoples Party kept looking at it as silent spectator.
The acts of the terrorists kept increasing so much so that even the Sindhi ministers of the PPP were not safe in their homes. Even today it is the same situation. The massacre of innocent people in the cities is the daily routine. On the other hand, dacoits activities are increasing day by day in the villages, which has made life difficult for the Sindhi people to such an extent that some employees of the PIA were taken as hostages from Larkana, the home district of the Prime Minister. But government failed to get them recovered. This state of affairs has been continuing for many years. The change of the governments does not make any difference, as the real rulers have deliberately created such massive difficulties for the Sindhis, so that depriving Sindh of Independence, the people be kept busy in the crucial war of saving their life and honour.
Despite the fact that ever since the creation of this country, to this day, the government has been run directly or indirectly by the military, to keep people in darkness, in 1992 it was said that they wanted to put an end to the terrorists and dacoits by the military operation. Consequently, in June 1992 military operation started in Sindh, which was initiated by the ruthless massacre of nine innocent Sindhis of Tando Bahawal. From the soldier of the state to the Prime Minister it was announced that those villagers were the terrorists trained in India; and thus they were killed in an encounter with the police.
Immense public pressure and media (Sindhi) campaigning unveiled this lie of the Pakistan establishment. So after three days the government had to accept that they were innocent; therefore, those military personnel involved would be punished in court martial. But to this day, Major Arshad Jamil, the murderer of Sindhi martyrs, has been saved of the punishment.
Then, during the same operation, Ali Hyder Shah was martyred in Dadu, and his dead body handed over to his family. Even before his blood could be dried, Yusuf Khan Jakhrani, a nationalist leader, was picked up and martyred by extremely brutal torture at the Pano Aqil Cantonment. The videos of his death, which showed clearly the marks of torture, were shown to the world through various international forums. Apart from that, the act of massacring innocent Sindhis in tens of thousands kept going on.
Coupled with this is the fact that nothing happened to the dacoits and to the terrorists during the aforesaid operation. It thus proves that it was also a fraud with the Sindhi nation. The fact of the matter is that these acts of the terrorists and dacoits have been imposed upon the Sindhi nation by Pakistan army.
Furthermore, even today, in this so called democratic era, hundreds of political activists are locked up in prisons, including Bashir Qureshi, Dodo Maheri, Bashir Khaskeli, Sattar Morio, as well as many others young people are in prisons without trial. Ex MPAs, Ghulam Hussain Unar, Kazi Shafique and Rais Nabi Bux Lund have been implicated in false cases, harassed by putting them in various jails and lock-ups of Sindh, because of their refusal to change political loyalties in favour of the government of the day.
At the top of it, Sain G.M. Sayed, whom I have already referred to earlier, was imprisoned as soon as Pakistan came into being, and remained in prison until his last breath. Although he was in prison for more than 31 years, he was not tried in a court of law. On the contrary, he was denied even the right to medical treatment, which a prisoner is entitled to. Since he could not get proper medical treatment, our great leader took his last breath fighting for the freedom of Sindhi nation on 25 April in Jinnah Hospital under a heavy police guard.
After that it has been proven to us, the Sindhis, that this Pakistan, which Sindhis joined voluntarily, is a criminal state. Hence what we thought was our beloved Pakistan, has proven a parasite.
Through this Conference we appeal the nations fighting for the independence and the international organizations all over the world to help save a historical and civilized nation, which is being pushed towards death and destruction.
The Pakistan, that Sindh joined voluntarily, is finished; now it is indeed Punjabistan. Pakistan, which is said to be created by Jinnah, Iqbal or Bhutto, had to come to an end. Countries that are man-made, are subject to annihilation and extinction. But the country of Sindh, whose creator was neither Sain G.M. Sayed, nor Shah Abdul Latif, nor Doolah Darya Khan or the great King, Raja Dahir–they have been heroes and freedom fighters, who protected their land and did not hesitate to give their lives for its cause–has been created by God. No power in the world can put an end to the nations and countries that are created by nature.
Even now, we 40 million Sindhis are very much live and kicking, deeming it their duty to protect their land, will succeed in throwing away the yoke of slavery. No more do we care that you call us anti-state, traitors or atheists, put us behind the bars or hang us. For 50 years we have been suffering, but we will never ever accept the slavery of Punjab. Now we have reached the conclusion that the only way to end all this, is operation, and getting united, we Sindhis should inflict such a blow so that all the oppressed nations are set free. Then the people will fearlessly raise the slogans of liberty and the land will be all milk and honey.
Secretary General’s Report – Dr. Munawar A. Halepoto, Secretary General, World Sindhi Congress
Mr Chairman, Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.
I feel honoured as Secretary General of the World Sindhi Congress, to present the annual report about its Aims and Objectives, Activities and Achievements, Progress and Future Programmes, and role in the future survival of Sindh & Sindhis. This august gathering is the eighth annual meeting, previous such meetings were held in London, Karachi, Hyderabad and Washington.
World Sindhi Congress was launched in 1988, when we were still suffering under the curse of martial law and institutionalised elimination of Sindhis was being carried out for their overwhelming support of the democracy. Unfortunately, nothing has changed for Sindhis, since the much trumpeted return of democracy. However, rather depressingly I notice that situation in Sindh has worsened to alarming levels, due to the emergency rule resulting in suspension of civil and political rights and continuation of the military operation which has resulted in the blatant violation of human rights.
We have received reports and evidence of widespread and systematic practices of Rape, Torture and Death in Custody by security forces. These have also been reported by various human rights organisations, including the UN Commission on Human Rights, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Amnesty International, and has been highlighted by Mr Bacre Waly Ndiave, UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, in his reports E/CN.4/1994/7, E/CN.4/1995/61 and Amnesty International Reports AI Index: ASA 33/05/93, AI Index: ASA 33/01/95 and Human Rights International Interim Report: HRI/03/95.
The most notable among them being the detention without trial and death in custody of His Excellency G M Syed , Chairman of World Sindhi Congress, the 92 year old father of the Sindhi nation, who was declared ‘Prisoner of Conscience’ by Amnesty International and Human Rights International.
His Excellency G M Syed spent more than 31 years in prison, since the creation of Pakistan in 1947, for demanding the Right of Self Determination for his people. On 11th March 1995, he was admitted to hospital in Karachi in a critical state, and was deprived of the proper medical care. Inspite of appeals from Amnesty International, Human Rights International, various NGOs, Parliamentarians and personalities throughout the world, the Government of Pakistan refused to try him in any Court of Law and provide the necessary facilities for his medical treatment abroad.
The Federal Interior Minister of Pakistan, Rtd. Gen. Nasirullah Babar in a statement in the National Assembly said: “… we will not try GM Syed in a Court of Law, as we do not want to make a martyr of him, but we want him to die a natural death” . World Sindhi Congress believes that His Excellency G M Syed was deliberately denied the proper medical care, and holds the Pakistan Government responsible for his death.
His Excellency G M Syed shall always be remembered as a true son of soil and father for all Sindhis. He may not be with us, but his ideology and sacrifices shall forever inspire the struggle of the Sindhi people for the achievement of their rights including the right to self determination.
We are extremely grateful for all the individuals, NGOs, Governments, Parliamentarians and Press throughout the world, who appealed for the release of His Excellency G M Syed, particularly Amnesty International and Human Rights International. I am specially indebted to Rt Hon Robert Parry, MP who tabled the Early Day Motion in the House of Commons for the release and treatment abroad for His excellency GM Syed. I sincerely hope that we will continue to receive the support of all for the fulfilment of the dream of His Excellency G M Syed for Universal Peace and Peaceful Coexistence.
Large number of political activists are being detained, in various prison and tortured cells, either incommunicado or fabricated in false charges. The most notable include Mr Bashir Qureshi, Dr Dodo Maheri, Mr Sattar Morio, Mr Anis Pirzado, Mr Bashir Khaskheli, Mr Qazi Shafique, Mr Ghulam Hussain Unar, Mr Imdad Jakhro, Mr Amir Bux Umrani and others. All the above named have been tortured in custody and denied legal and medical aid, and visits from the family and friends. It must be noted that Mr Bashir Qureshi has a Liver Abscess, and was forcibly removed from the hospital and tortured in prison, and he is denied the proper medical care for the life threatening condition.
Torture and death in custody, specially of the political activists, by the police and security forces is common. It has been widely reported that individuals after being arrested and interrogated by the police and security forces are killed in cold blood showing an encounter, instead of producing them before any court of law. Among such cases include Mr Faiz Jakhro, Sahib Khan Chandio and six other Jeay Sindh activists killed recently in Karachi.
World Sindhi Congress in cooperation with Human Rights International and other NGOs had planned a local ‘Regional Peace Conference’ in Karachi, on 15th – 16th December 1994. All the parties concerned including the Government and the opposition were invited to the conference to help resolve the conflict and bring peace in the region. However, on the eve of the conference, the authorities refused the permission to hold the conference, and the conference hall was surrounded by the Police and Paramilitary force, intimidating and harassing the international and local delegates from various parts of the country.
It may be relevant that two days before the conference, a meeting of the military commanders was held in Karachi, and next day we were informed by the authorities that we will not be allowed to hold the Regional Peace Conference. Retd General Nasirullah Babar, Federal Interior Minister, later proudly boasted in the national assembly that ” …. we did not allow the Sindhis to hold the peace conference”.
World Sindhi Congress was launched in 1988, by Sindhi intellectuals from around the world and its honorary members also include those non-Sindhis who have done extraordinary service to the cause of Sindh, including eminent Professors, Intellectuals, Journalists, Humanitarians, International personalities, etc. The main purpose of World Sindhi Congress is to:
a) Highlight the developments affecting Sindh & Sindhis, inside as well outside the country.
b) Defend the historic national rights of Sindhis, including the right of self determination.
Its aims & objectives include:
1. Support and safeguard the human rights as ensured in the UN charter.
2. Strive for the emancipation of masses from all kinds of exploitations.
3. Establish a society with easy availability of basic amenities of life, including free education and proper health care.
4. Make efforts to bring Sindh at par with other developed countries in the field of agriculture, commerce, science and technology.
5. Preserve and promote the cultural heritage of Sindh, such as folklore & music, traditional arts & handicrafts, historical manuscripts & archives.
6. Promote Sindhi language & history, and special efforts to improve the literacy of masses particularly in villages.
7. Efforts to enhance the political awareness of masses by publications, seminars, lectures etc.
In 1990 communal riots erupted in the major cities of Sindh, at the behest of the establishment, innocent Sindhis were being massacred by the terrorists. Indigenous people of Sindh were forced to abandon their ancestral homes and live in the refugee camps in their own homeland, and Sindh was burning. World Sindhi Congress launched the world-wide campaign to ‘SAVE SINDH’ from terrorism, torture cells, rape, massacre, kidnapping, dacoities, etc. The highlight of the campaign was the International Conference held in Karachi from 5th-7th December 1990. The conference was held successfully, under very difficult circumstances including the threat of terrorist attacks.
World Sindhi Congress also launched the ‘SAVE SINDH FUND’ with the purpose of helping the unfortunate victims of these human created disaster and its draft aims and objectives include:
a) To provide the medical services and other assistance in the areas affected by the natural disaster or situations created due to civil riots, commotions and disturbances, inside and outside Sindh.
b) To further the education and learning of Sindhi language and to establish & support Sindhi educational institutions, and to award scholarships and grant loans for educational purpose to needy and deserving Sindhis.
c) To provide books and writing material to Sindhi children in the rural areas of Sindh, to other poor Sindhi children.
d) To procure to be written, print, publish, issue and circulate, such papers, books, periodicals, pamphlets or other documents or films or record tapes, as shall further these objects and promote Sindhi language and history.
e) To provide clean drinking water in the rural areas of Sindh, and take measures to improve the hygiene and sanitation.
f) To establish hospitals, dispensaries and residential homes, to relieve sickness & infirmity in the rural as well urban areas of Sindh.
g) To provide relief from poverty, distress and hardship amongst Sindhis in case of need.
Save Sindh Fund is in the process of being registered as charitable fund, and we appeal to you all to contribute generously towards this noble cause.
Sindh with its immense richness has always attracted invaders and immigrants including Zarthushtra and his followers, Alexander and the Greeks, Persians, Mongols, Arabs, Portuguese and English. But with the creation of Pakistan, large number of muslims were encouraged to immigrate and settle in Sindh and native Sindhis were forced to leave their country. Sindhis feel threatened by the continued illegal immigration and settlement of Muhajirs in the urban towns and neo-colonisation and settlement of Punjabis in the rural areas, supported by the military dominated by Punjabis. Present prime minister and an ex-chief Minister of Sindh are on record as saying that ‘More than 70000 illegal immigrants enter Sindh every month’ . It is estimated that there are more than 5 million illegal immigrants in Sindh, including Afghans, Bengalis, Burmese, Phillipinos, Vietnamese, etc. The already deprived and fragile economy of Sindh cannot bear the burden of this population explosion. The illegal immigration has resulted in the increasing conflict and breakdown of law and order situation, drug trafficking and terrorism specially in Karachi, where innocent civilians both locals and foreigners, are being killed in their homes and work places.
Furthermore the continued transfer of population has resulted in the disproportionate imbalance of the population resulting in the increasing tension between the native Sindhis and immigrant Muhajirs. This tension between the communities is further heightened by the demand by the immigrants for a separate homeland dividing Sindh into two portions, and the use of force to achieve this objective, evidenced by the present crisis in Karachi, the capitol city of Sindh.
We have received the evidence of the continued involvement of the Muhajir Qaumi Movement (MQM) in the terrorist activities. MQM has reportedly been involved in the kidnapping, torture, rape and murder of many innocent civilians specially Sindhis. On 1st October 1988, more than 200 innocent civilians including women children and elderly people were massacred by terrorists, and the victims identified the assailants as the MQM activists to the then Chief Minister of Sindh, Mr Akhtar Kazi. The cases registered against the terrorists are still pending in the courts, but the offenders have been released for political reasons, whereas the victims are still awaiting legal relief and compensation.
Since then there have been numerous other testimonies of the continued involvement of MQM in the terrorist activities including torture, rape and murder of innocent civilians, political opponents and their own dissidents.
On 26th of January 1995, a coach full of passengers, leaving from Karachi for the interior of Sindh, was put on fire by the terrorists who claimed to belong to MQM, resulting in the death of nine innocent civilians including women and children, and injury to several passengers.
On 16th of June 1995, eight innocent Sindhi government employees, were shot dead by the terrorists who claimed to be the members of MQM Altaf Group. They claimed to have deliberately targeted the Sindhis, from the 300 staff members in the Sub-registrar office in Liaquatabd stronghold of MQM Altaf Group.
Since then everyday the news-media reports the kidnapping and death through torture by the terrorists, of innocent civilians whose bodies are dumped by the roadside, tied up in sacks.
The continued and uncontrolled fighting for supremacy between the two groups of MQM, ie. Altaf group and Haqiqi group, has resulted in the unnecessary loss of the life of their workers and innocent civilians, and paralysed the life of Karachi.
We have proposed to MQM, that immigrant muhajirs and the native Sindhis will have to live and work together in peace, for the betterment of the people of Sindh. We assure the immigrant Muhajirs equal rights if they merge with the majority Sindhi population, but if they wish to maintain separate identity then they will be given the rights of ethnic minority as per the international law. However, Sindhis will never permit the partition of Sindh by violence and terrorism, and will resist such measures by all available means at any cost.
The ever increasing phenomenon of religious fundamentalism and sectarian violence has further added fuel to the fire. Recently various incidents have been reported of attacks and counter attacks on Mosques, resulting in the death of large number of civilians during the prayers and attending the religious gatherings.
So far the authorities have failed to restore the law and order situation inspite of the military operation ‘Operation Clean Up’ which has resulted in the loss of life of many innocent civilians, political activists, police and military personnel. The irony of the situation is that the Sindhis have to bear the expenditure of the Military Operation, which has resulted in the death of their sons and rape of their daughters.
The most notable among them being the cold blooded murder by the security forces of ten innocent villagers from Tando Bahawal, who were arrested from their village by the security forces and shot in cold blood, without even charging them with any crime or producing them before the court. Torture and death in custody by the security forces of Shaheed Mohammed Yousuf Jakhrani, Vice Chairman of World Sindhi Congress, Mujeeb Aijaz Jatoi, Ali Hyder Shah, Khadim and Subho Indhar, Gulloo Machi are some of the example of the utter disregard by the authorities of the human rights of detainees and the disrespect for the human life.
Shaheed Mohammed Yousuf Jakhrani , Vice Chairman of World Sindhi Congress, was arrested by the security forces on 6th June 1992, and taken to the military camp near Pano Aqil, where he was tortured to death, and his body was returned to the relatives on 12th June 1992. The post-mortem of the dead body showed that acid was poured in the eyes, there were marks of electrocution, burning and physical violence.
The relatives have unsuccessfully tried to file the petition in the courts of law, and even the highest court of the law in the country have failed to provide them relief and the culprits are at large, as the security forces are granted legal immunity from prosecution for any crime committed in good faith as per the Presidential Ordinance promulgated on 19th July 1992.
On 17th October 1992, a 14 year old girl Lau, was allegedly raped by three police officers, when she was arrested along with seven other people on their way home from festival. All eight were released after the rape, but were threatened with reprisals if they reported the incident, AI Index: ASA 33/06/93.
In January 1995, a 16 year old girl Kuki was raped by two army soldiers in broad day light, in Hyderabad the second largest city of Sindh, and was admitted to hospital in unconscious state. So far no action has been taken against the culprits and the family is denied any legal relief.
More than 8 million acres of the fertile land of Sindh has been awarded to the Army Personnel and immigrants, evicting Sindhis from their centuries old ancestral villages, without due compensation for taking over their land and homes. New military cantonments are being constructed to colonise Sindh and protect the interest of the settlers.
Sindhis are denied their due share of irrigation water from River Indus, by construction of dams upstream, severely affecting the traditional agricultural based rural economy and causing environmental disaster. In 1991, an water apportionment agreement was signed by the stooges of the unconstitutional and undemocratic governments, violating the historic rights of Sindhis and previous Indus Water Treaty of 1954, which involved World Bank. As if not satisfied, the present government is in a hurry to construct ‘Kala Bagh and 32 other Dams’ . World Sindhi Congress has repeatedly rejected the water apportionment agreement and strongly opposes the construction of the dams upstream, and demands that World Bank must withdraw its support in the fulfilment of such evil plans.
Widespread deforestation has further worsened the situation, as evidenced by recurrent flooding and extinction of many endangered species and damage to the wild life.
The infamous Census of 1991 which was designed to officially reduce Sindhis into a minority in their homeland, was suspended after it was realised that true population figures of Sindhis were beyond everybody’s expectation. The unofficial figures leaked to the press showed that there are approximately 40 million Sindhis living in Sindh, inspite of the manipulation by the agencies and the fact that many Sindhi villages in and around Karachi and Hyderabad were not even registered in the process.
It is estimated that their are about 1400 Sindhi villages within the boundaries of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, with approximately 5 million Sindhis living there, who are denied the basic amenities of life including education, healthcare, electricity, gas, clean drinking water and the right to vote. Some of these centuries old villages are being demolished, evicting the rightful owners against their wishes and without due compensation or alternate arrangements, to build modern high rise buildings for commercial gains. World Sindhi Congress demands that all the Sindhi villages within and around Karachi, should be registered and the residents provided all the essential basic amenities of life and the right to vote.
Sindhis also feel extremely unhappy at the exploitation of their resources including oil, gas, coal, diamonds, gold, uranium, etc., which are being taken away by the federal government without paying due royalty to the people of Sindh, inspite of the fact that Sindh is the net contributor to the exchequer. It must be emphasised that the major benefactor from the federal budget, is the unwanted and unnecessary military repeatedly involved in the massacre of the innocent people of the country. Hence, World Sindhi Congress strongly opposes the continuation of military operation and demands that the natural resources of Sindh must be used for the betterment of people of Sindh.
We strongly believe that the situation in Sindh can not improve unless the immediate steps are taken to improve the deteriorating law & order situation, rectify the social injustice, reverse the economic deprivation and eradicate the rampant corruption. Hence, World Sindhi Congress proposes Socio-Economic Reforms including:
1. Redistribution of Wealth, revised and improved taxation and banking system.
2. Re-allocation of the land to local tillers and cooperative farming, with technical assistance and agricultural loans.
3. Encouraging small business and local commercial enterprise through government assistance.
4. Promoting the cottage and traditional industry in the rural areas.
5. Improving the communication network, including railways, roads, telecommunication, etc.
6. Improving the adult literacy to the internationally recognized standards.
7. Providing the social welfare assistance to the poor, through means testing, etc.
8. Establish a society where every citizen has a free access to education, healthcare, and easy availability of the essential amenities of life.
World Sindhi Congress has repeatedly expressed concern over the deteriorating educational atmosphere in Sindh, and the role of the government in perpetuating the conditions through unnecessary political interference. Sindhi medium schools are being closed down and non-Sindhi teachers are being appointed to teach Sindhi language while Sindhi teachers remain unemployed. Sindh University and other Sindhi institutions are deprived of essential funds for research and advancement of education. Sindhi educational institutions have been turned into army camps and Sindhi students hunted as renegades and dacoits. We have repeatedly demanded that immediate steps should be taken to prevent the total destruction of educational system and unnecessary political interference stopped to improve educational atmosphere.
World Sindhi Congress pronounced 1992 as the ‘Year of Education’ and proposed measures to improve the educational atmosphere and literacy. These proposals include:
1. Compulsory free education upto matric, for all those under 16 years of age.
2. Re-launching the adult education programme, specially in the villages and deprived urban areas.
3. Increasing the number and pay of teachers, specially primary and secondary schools, and their selection strictly on the merit bases, through competitive examination.
4. Regular checks on the attendance and standards of education by inspectors and supervisors.
5. Introducing the modern advanced technological methods of teaching & examination, and ensuring the confidentiality of the procedure.
6. Encouraging the research work by providing the essential funds and peaceful educational atmosphere and other incentives.
7. Providing the scholarships to the deserving students, strictly on merit bases.
World Sindhi Congress celebrated 1993 as the ‘Year of Indigenous Population’ in accordance with United Nations. The highlight of the year was an international conference ‘Sindh & Sindhis – Right of Self Determination’ held in London, on 9th-10th October 1993. The conference upheld the Sindhi nation’s right of self determination in accordance with the International Bill of Rights. The conference condemned the use of force and continuation of military operation to deny Sindhis their historic national rights, including the Right of Self Determination.
We believe that the Right of Self Determination is an inherent and inalienable right of the people, and can not be denied by any government. It has resulted in the increasing violence and bloodshed around the world, as the governments are using the force to suppress the demands for the right of self determination by the historical nations. The situation in East Timor, South Moluccas, Tibet, Kashmir, Kurdistan, Chechneya, Bosnia-Herzgovina and many other places, with its tragic consequences, is well known to all of us. Hence, we propose that the effective measures must be devised by the United Nations, with the help of NGOs and the responsible Governments, to fulfil the right of self determination through peaceful means as per the International Covenants.
We have highlighted this issue in various forums, seminars, conferences and meetings, including the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, Working Group of Indigenous Populations, Human Rights International General Assembly and Seminar on Conflict Prevention, etc. We will continue to highlight this issue with the help and cooperation of other NGOs and individuals on all occasions and all levels until a solution is found to the problem. We request all concerned for the cooperation and support in future to resolve the conflict and bring peace around the world.
We call ‘Sindh – A Country’ and ‘Sindhis – A nation’ , because of ten thousands years history and internationally recognized criteria of nationhood. Sindh has existed for milleniums, extending from the Himaliya to Arabian Sea and from Persia to India. Over the years its borders have shrunk to quarter of its original size because of the geo-political changes. Watered by mighty Indus River, a valley of abundance, it is the cradle of the world’s oldest surviving civilisation called ‘Indus Civilisation’ , considered to be about ten thousand years old, and still surviving in the villages and towns of Sindh. Inhabitated by the descendants of original inhabitants and subsequent settlers, who have lived in harmony and peace with the nature through centuries, developing their distinct culture, language and history.
It must be emphasised that Sindh has remained independent throughout its ten thousand years history, except for few periods in between. Sindhis voluntarily joined the newly created state of Pakistan, on the basis of Pakistan resolution of 1940, which promised that “… the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign” . However, the subsequent undemocratic governments and military dictators never fulfilled the above promises, resulting in instability and unrest in the region, separation of Bangladesh and discontent among the remaining nations.
Sindhis feel that in the absence of any constitutional protection, their social economic cultural civil and political rights are being denied, and that they are being held hostages at gunpoint by one of the ruthless armies, which has repeatedly massacred its own people and innocent civilians around the world. Hence, Sindhis are left with no other option except to demand the right of self determination, according to the international law.
World Sindhi Congress is dedicated to establishing peace not only in Sindh, but also through out the world, by peaceful & democratic means. We believe that peace in the region, which is strategically vital for world peace, can not be ensured unless the expansionist ideas and policies of the military are stopped, and the right of self determination restored to the historical nations including Sindhis, Baluchs, Pathans, etc. We have proposed to the government of Pakistan to stop the military operation in Sindh, end violation of human rights and release all political prisoners.
The people of Sindh have lost faith in the present political system in Pakistan, as evidenced by the lack of participation in last elections. According to the official figures only 16% voted for the ruling party and only 11% voted for the opposition parties, whereas 73% Sindhis expressed their disappointment by not voting at all. World Sindhi Congress demands that a referendum must be held in Sindh under the supervision of United Nations, allowing 40 million Sindhis to decide about their future. This will prevent unnecessary loss of life, and restore peace & stability in the region.
Presidential Address – Rt. Hon. Syed Imdad Mohammed Shah, ex-MPA & Leader of the Opposition Sindh Assembly, son of His Excellency G M Syed, Late Chairman of World Sindhi Congress.
When Dr. Halepota invited me to preside over this meeting, discussing the various aspects of our difficulties in life, I felt that I would also be kept on cross-roads: where to start and where to end? In a presidential address there is not much left to be said, all aspects are usually discussed in the papers presented by the delegates. Nonetheless, since I have the opportunity, your excellencies, honourable delegates, honourable members, ladies and gentlemen,
JEEAY SINDH !
I especially wanted to greet you all with the words of JEEAY SINDH (Long Live Sindh), because the very existence of our country, our race, language and culture, our geographical and political rights, are at stake.
While coming to the Conference, a friend of mine asked: “why are you going around with your Sindhi cap and ajrak in London?” I replied: “since I am not free to wear my Sindhi cap and ajrak in my own hometown, in my motherland, at least in this cradle of democracy, I will take the opportunity to use this privilege”.
The situation created in the interior Sindh and in the cities of Sindh is so hard for the Sindhi speaking population, the true sons of the soil, that we fear to go to our own cities, our own government offices, our own towns. All this is man-made, man-created.
I had the opportunity to work with Sheikh Mujeeb-ur-Rehman, in a United Pakistan and the All-Pakistan Awami League. We saw how in a planned manner, the Bengali nation was separated from the rest of the country, because their only crime was to demand their rights, their rights of equality and brotherhood as preached in Islam.
Sindh, through centuries, remained an independent country with its own distinct culture, natural geographical boundaries, its own land and its own philosophy of Sufism. Sindh has been a cradle of secularism in the present world. History itself gives evidence of that. At the time when Sindh was conquered by the Arabs, there was an official patronage to four leading religions of the world in Sindh: Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism and Islam. Islam existed in Sindh much before the Arab conquest. But today, they are trying to shatter us and our Sufi thought. Our sufi thought believes in and preaches openly love and peaceful co-existence with our neighbours. Islam also teaches that. But today we are preached to hate our neighbours, hate India, hate Afghanistan, hate China, hate all and everything. There are no words of love any more. They are trying to drive us away from our original school of thought, the universal message, preached in all religions. Our poets, in their own language have always preached this philosophy. But today, it is the philosophy of hatred that is preached on our soil.
There is a planned colonisation taking place in Sindh. As WSC may be well aware of, last month, there were big demonstrations by the people from interior rural Sindh and from the coastal areas. They assembled in Karachi to protest and place their grievances in front of the government.
The Federal bureaucracy, with their army and rangers, created for themselves the “Coastal Development Authority” . Sindh is a fortunate land, naturally gifted with 250 miles of access to the sea, warm waters. You know that the Europeans, the Russians and many other countries crave to have access to sea waters. Sindh is blessed by nature with 250 miles of access to sea waters. So the Federal Authorities created the Coastal Development Authority, transferring the control and administration of the coastal areas from the Provincial Government to the Federal Agencies. As a result more than 3 million people, original Sindhis, living on the coastal belt, are deprived of their livelihood. According to the government figures, 1 lakh and ten thousand fishing trawlers remain idle. Can you imagine how many families, how many people are affected by this situation? They have been forced to accept a division in the matter: 115 miles of warm waters had to be surrendered to the Rangers and Federal Agencies. Is this justified?
We are desperately calling for justice and we came all the way from there to appeal and shake the conscience of the world. We appeal to those individuals and nations who believe in democracy, in human rights and in justice to please exert your pressure. We must get our due share and be treated as equals in our own homeland.
My friends here read some papers and narrated several scores of incidents where injustice burdens on us. I am only going to quote one: let us remember that Mr. Bhutto was hanged because he entered into a conspiracy to kill Nawab Mohammad Ahmed Kasuri. Wrongly or rightly he was hanged on these charges. But here, one Major, Major Arshad Jamil indiscriminately picked up 9 innocent villagers and shot them dead. The Federal government agencies and all the media (the `national’ media of Pakistan) announced proudly that he had shot anti-nationalist and dacoit elements. Due to the public pressure, an Enquiry Commission was formed. The findings and recommendations of the Commission were that those responsible, Major Arshad Jamil and those people of the Armed Forces, should be tried by a Court of Law. To prevent this trial, the Army Authorities intervened and imposed that they be tried by the Court Martial, and that the Civil Courts of Sindh will have no right to prosecute them.
Then their own Court Martial found them guilty and sentenced them to death. All their appeals under the army rules were rejected. All their pleas in the Civil Courts have been rejected. Even the clemency appeal to the President (F. Laghari) has been refused. But the man has not been touched. What we cry for is give us equality. If an individual Sindhi, being a Prime Minister, can be hanged for conspiracy for killing, why can’t a man, whose own hands have killed nine innocent people, be sentenced? Why are there are two sets of laws? One is that we are treated in Sindh as 3rd class citizens. We want equality with our brothers from all other regions. We don’t grudge them, but we want equality.
Much has been said about Kalabag Dam and the construction of other dams. If you study the geography and economy of Sindh, you will find that 70% of the land of Sindh is barren and arid. There is no water to cultivate it, but the Central Government now says that there is surplus of water flowing into the sea; so we want to construct 32 dams. When I was in the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly in 1988, they brought a scheme aimed at the construction of the Sehwan Barrage. I opposed it and said there is no water in Sindh, it is not sufficient to irrigate the Kotri and Sukkur Barrages, would you flow sand into this Barrage? So this thing is useless, don’t befool your own people.
The conspiracy is that there are some elements, I will not accuse any community or Province, but there are vested interests who are trying to distabilze the country by creating feelings of hatred amongst the different communities living in Pakistan and in Sindh.
We Sindhis, voluntarily joined Pakistan under an agreement, we were not invaded by any army. Though we read in papers and books that when the British Government, at that time, when they were going away, called Sir Sikandar Hayat and others and said we are leaving the country and we are bestowing these lands, these races, these communities to you. I don’t know if this is the truth, to what extent this is true. But according to that solemn pledge of the 1940 Resolution, whatever was guaranteed to us, that is what we are demanding, and that is what has been denied.
We are even being denied the right to keep the names of our own towns. For example, in the 1950s, Ghulam Mohammad Malik was the Governor General of Pakistan, some ministers in the Sindh Government, to please him, named the Kotri Barrage as Ghulam Mohammad Barrage. Due to the public pressure, the name of the Barrage had to be restored (Kotri Barrage), since the Barrage is constructed in Kotri. But while on my way to London this time, I saw a sign board indicating “the road to Ghulam Mohammad Barrage”. This means that whatever we had, has been erased.