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  • sindhis world sindhi congress 95‏

 
ranjha heerda (nimroz80@yahoo.co.in)
8/14/11
 
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International Conference
“SINDH & SINDHIS – AT THE CROSSROADS”

7th – 8th October 1995 
held in 
LONDON. 
REPORT: WSC/IC/96/95 
Dated: 16 October 1995 
INDEX:

Speeches/Papers:

 
 

Return to WSC Conference/Meeting Page


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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Long live Sindhu Desh, long live Sain G.M. Sayed.

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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.

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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.

The autonomy enjoyed by the people of Sindh even during the British Rule and guaranteed in the 1935 Act, is being denied to us presently.

I came here today because I realised that this is an august gathering of various communities and people who sincerely believe and work for democracy, secularism and human rights. I request you to consider our difficulties and exert your efforts to come to our rescue. One day in the family of nations we may also be there to listen to your complaints and problems. Let us help each other.

This is a free world but, as Dr. Halepota narrated, in Sindh you cannot call a conference, would it be on law and order, on Muslim brotherhood, on human rights, or whatever. Here at least we can associate, meet, discuss and communicate with each other. We should use these forums. Therefore, I am grateful to Dr. Halepota and the WSC for organising this meeting and I hope this will lead us to a brighter future.

THANK YOU.

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National and International Implications of Increasing Conflict in the Region – Statement by Claire Galez, Representative of IR&HRRC and Human Rights International

Mr President, Distinguish Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great privilege and honour for me to participate in the International Conference organized by WORLD SINDHI CONGRESS. Since a couple of years, I have tried to study the region, I am particularly happy today to see that this gathering is successful and I congratulate World Sindhi Congress (WSC) for its long-standing efforts in promoting peace, development and Human Rights in Sindh. It must also be appreciated that WSC has an open and enlarged vision of the problems faced all over the world by oppressed, deprived and suffering populations. This gives a special meaning to this Organisation.

I have been asked to talk on “National and International Implications of Increasing Conflicts in the Region”. This is a vast and complicated subject but I may try nontheless to shed some light on it from my modest point of view.

Both the Organizations I represent, IR & HRRC and Human Rights International have been increasingly concerned with the subject of prevention of conflicts. In this regard, we have some projects for the future which have received a very encouraging and positive response from a number of international governmental and non-governmental Organizations and Unions. This shows two things:

1. The end of cold war has unveiled the internal convulsions of several types of societies. Where law and order was maintained by the unnatural grip of the whole policy based on the two blocks, it is clear now that people were disatisfied and felt oppressed. The truth is that there is no leadership without people to be governed, there is no economic and social system with no people to implement them on. People are essential for the realisation of an harmonious, progressive society.

2. World Organizations such as the United Nations, economic, social and political unions are realising the limits of the present set up and are in search of new approaches.

Moreover, from the angle of those countries and Unions which promote democracy as a political system and free trade as an economic revolution, the actual tendency of world politics is to take Human Rights as a pre-requisite to bilateral and international relations. This seems a positive step, but how much can it be trusted ? There are obvious contradictions in the values promoted in today’s world politics: the decentralisation of power from State’s politics to the growing power of private interests, free trade and global market economy act as a single arrow shot at two different targets.

In the present context, I will focus on some regions of Asia where the social, economic and political developments are combined with deep rooted problems of internal and international security. China, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Former Soviet Republics appear to be important actors on military and economic fronts. Some of these countries, beside being nuclear or potential nuclear powers, depend heavily on their military strenght and/or their strategic location.

Analysts agree that one of the most serious threat to world peace is in South Asia. One may think about the region as under-developped but in fact the economy of some of these countries has develop to a point whereby it could support a military conflict if it had to. Presently both internal and trans-border conflicts occure or could increasingly occure in the region. One must understand that the likelihood of war or peace in South Asia depends on the balance of powers in terms of military capability, potential nuclear balance of terror and the political-economic balance in the region. The stability of political systems, governments and regimes also determine the questions of stability.

In terms of international relations, during the conflict in Afghanistan, some analysts argued that the USA does not have direct interest in South Asia. Indeed American leaders, since at least the time of Eisenhower, have sought to “include” South Asia into either Southeast or Southwest Asia rather than handle the region as an entity of its own. It is important to note that the US State Department had refused to create a separate bureau for South Asia, preferring to keep it within the bureau of Near East and South Asian Affairs. Nontheless, the key-role attributed to Pakistan in the 1979-1989 Afghan war, contributed to undermine the already very weack social and political set up of the country.

To continue on the line of contradictions in world politics, one wonders to which extend foreign back up and interference in Pakistan do take into consideration essential social and cultural factors. In 1990, the Pressler Amendment was aimed at restraining Pakistan’s nuclear programme. Military and economic ties with the US narrowed considerably. This situation continued until a couple of weeks ago when the Brown Amendment passed the US Senate. The measure still has to be passed by the US House of Representatives. Some observers feel that chances are good for its approval in the House. Looking back into Pakistan’s 48 years of existence, it should be remembered that the country has undergone 27 years of military rule and martial law. In several occasions, Pakistan’s army was capable of turning its guns on its own people.

In the present context, the return to power of Ms Bhutto brought some hope that she would succeed in structuring a more stable and modern political system. There were several reasons to be optimistic. Firstly, the armed forces, the most influential element in Pakistani power structure, appeared to be encouraging democratic process. Secondly, Ms Bhutto’s victory underlined the rejection by the people of Pakistan of the extremist Islamic forces which had become influential since Zia Ul Haq’s time. Thirdly, in the light of her experience during her first term in office, expectations were raised that she would be able to address more appropriately conflicts between and within the provinces of Pakistan. But today, the threats to Pakistan’s political system remain essentially internally driven. Disappointingly, as the current state of affairs in Pakistan indicates, the ethnic, social, political, economic and cultural imbalances between the provinces continue to exert a negative influence on the domestic political situation. Punjab dominates every aspect of Pakistani life. It provides 75 to 80 per cent of the army personel and almost 90 per cent of its officer cadre. Punjab also dominates the senior civil bureaucracy, constituting nearly 85 per cent of its cadres. Punjabis also dominate trading, banking, industry and technology.

A complicating factor has been Punjab’s intrusion into the most self-conscious province of Pakistan, Sindh. During the long periods of military dictatorship, a large number of retired Punjabi military personnel were settled with land grants and other facilities in Sindh. Sindhis, already under pressure from the growing population due to illigal imigration, religious violence and economic depravation feel further alienated. The impact of the drug and Kalashnikov culture that has been particularly felt in Sindh and Southern portions of Baluchistan plus the intolerable pressure from political movements backed by illegal acquisition of arms, make the people of Sindh the most sufferers of the present situation despite Zulficar Ali Bhutto being in power earlier and Ms Benazir Bhutto being in power now.

Frustrations of the Sindhis, Baluchis, certain sections of Pachtoons and Saraikis, if not addressed properly are a serious threat to national development and security.

The problems faced by Pakistan become now widely exposed. The best that can be expected in that the International Community will take all these important factors into consideration in order to encourage the people of Pakistan in their search for peace and stability and that, internally. the real issues will be addressed with the best will and collaboration of all parties.

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New Developments in South East Asia – Statement by Mr Pierre Porret, Swiss Representative of Democratic Alliance of Burma and Human Rights International

Mr President, distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

After the liberation of Aung Suan Suy Ky and the internal revolts that distabilised some of the main ethnic resistance groups, it is a temptation to believe that all the major problems of Burma have been solved. In fact it is very far from the real situation.

The mind openness to the opposition both inside and outside the country did not occur yet and we see no sign of evolution to a democratic regime in the near future. The main objective of the military government is to attract foreign investments and to play a more important role in International Policy in particular within ASEAN.

There is a tendency among some of the military leaders in Rangoon to follow the Indonesian model. In Indonesia the military and family regime of old General Suharto is widely supported by economic world powers where the private enterprises exploit at will both the natural and human resources with great liberty in the exact line of today’s neo-liberal way of thinking.

During the summer some events lead to the closing of the Thai-Myanmar border. Many Thai fishing boats employ Burmese sailors in their crew, one of this boat was controlled on the sea by the Burmese custom who discovered illegal fishing material. After the departure of the Burmese Custom boat, the Thai sailors accused their Burmese colleagues of treachery and consequently laid hand on all the Burmese sailors who didn’t jump in the sea. They bound them and beat them to death with iron bars. This horrible crime has been denounced by the survivors. A great emotion followed, the border was closed and the construction of the bridge in Mae Sot stopped, at the great amazement of the Thai business men. Thai General Chavalit, a personal friend of several generals in Rangoon was send to a good will mission.

A great number of Karen took shelter in Thailand but the refugee camps were attacked even on Thai territory. The KNU still controls some territory and established new headquarters close to the Thai city of Umphang (Tak Province). The Karen of the KNU are still powerful enough to negotiate with the SLORC. Many of the Karen who took shelter in Thailand are in a difficult position, they are arrested and expelled at any time. We can highlight the case of two young secretaries to the former minister of the KNU. They appealed to the UNHCR for the status of refugee but it has been refused. One of them told me “if we are not accepted as refugee who can then be a refugee ?” They do not yet understand the hidden language of the United Nations system !

Even the Thai non-governmental organisations, active in the field of Minority Development (many of these minorities live on both sides of the border) face difficulties. Some of their people have been arrested and tried on charge of helping illegal migrants. The charges prove to be false, for example in one case an organisation was helding a 15 days’ seminar on agricultural development, the seminar was deliberatly interrupted by the Police forces.

Aung Suan Suy Ki is free and able to make statements but she is still under surveillance and her movements are undirectly restricted. She was not able to go to Bangkok to receive a Honourary Doctorate awarded to her in 1992. The Thai Ambassador in Bangkok could not meet her under the pretext that “it was not the right time”.

The year of Tourism is going to start, it may contribute to a change and to a better understanding of the situation. In that case, it is highly required that future tourists in Burma understand that the very confortable infrastructure at their disposal has been set up by people suffering deep injustice and constrained to unforced labour.

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PAKISTAN’S CRIMES AGAINST ITS OWN PEOPLE – SINDHIS, AND THEIR ENDORSEMEMT BY THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY MEDIA. Statement by Ms Suraiya Makhdoom

Mr President, friends, ladies and gentlemen,

The theme of my paper is Pakistan’s crimes against its own people, specially the indigenous Sindhi speaking People of Sindh, and international community and world media’s apathy towards, rather endorsement of the same. Indeed Pakistan’s crimes as such are so gross that it is impossible to even enlist them in one paper, let alone to elaborate them. Then Pakistan’s criminal record against Sindhis, their land, language and culture is as old as its creation 48 years ago. Since there is no accountability for Pakistan in the international community, it faces no charges of genocide, imperialism, even war crimes, it is tightening its hold on its sub-colony, Sindh day by day by continuous denial of democratic rights, ruthless state censorship, arrest without trial, and so forth. Thus Pakistani state’s crimes against Sindhis keep piling up, making our task of summarising the same quite difficult.

No wonder then that G.M. Sayed, the life-long champion of the rights of the Sindhi People, started opposing the very creation of Pakistan since 1946, which he continued to his death in April this year. G.M. did get the Sindh Assembly accept the creation of Pakistan 1n 1943, but immediately after that, he realised what was being plotted behind the scene; so being a natural born patriot, he started opposing its very creation. Even when it did became a physical reality, G.M. Sayed refused to recognise it and then stood against every injustice that was to be the destiny of Sindhis. Because of the enormity of the issues affecting Sindhis, this paper would try to briefly deal with some of the major ones in a historical perspective. Accordingly, the main issues confronting Sindhis in particular and the people of Pakistan in general are:

1. Democracy, rule of law, rights as citizens, etc.:

One of the greatest myths surrounding Pakistan is that it is a `democratic’ country. But the fact of the matter is that of 48 years of its existence, Pakistan has been directly run by the military junta for most of the time with worst human rights record. The first ever constitution of Pakistan was finalised after eight years of its creation in 1954, which could only be implemented in, and hence came to be known as the 1956 Constitution.

Pakistan’s troubled constitutional history doesn’t end there. Since Pakistan and constitution, or the rule of law cannot go together, this Constitution was replaced by General Ayub Khan’s military regime in 1962. However, with all the ruthlessness and dictatorial laws, the tailor-made Constitution, Ayub’s regime had to succumb before the popular pressure, and the next military dictator Yahya Khan had to promise a fair and freely elected Constituent Assembly, which he duly fulfilled. But what happened? Pakistani establishment refused to accept the verdict of the people.

Consequently, In 1971 a war was declared on a people whose only crime was to ascertain their democratic rights: to be governed by the majority party. Thus on the night of 25 March 1971, the innocent people were militarily attacked in their sleep, killing, according to the claim of Mujib-ur-Rehman, 3 million, and of that of Pakistan’s military general Tikka Khan, 30,000 people.

However, Pakistan was mistaken this time: with all its ruthlessness and international support (China, America), it lost its battle in Bangladesh. The government in the rest of the country was then formed by the next largest party. This Assembly gave us the 1973 Constitution, which first time in Pakistan’s history was made by the people who were elected on the basis of Adult Franchise. However, it should not be forgotten that even that Assembly come to power after forcefully alienating the majority Party, the Awami League. Pakistan thus retained its privilege of a designer state, a state that chooses the government and not vice versa: people to choose a government.

But again, due to Pakistani establishment’s natural born dictatorial tendencies, even this Constitution, and this government, which was very much a designer one, was overthrown, and we got the world’s most amended Constitution devised by the longest and severest Military rule in Pakistan, that of Zia-ul-Haque (1977-1986).

After the fall of the Zia regime, when PPP (Pakistan Peoples Party) was elected to power in 1988, its leader, and thus the Prime Minister, Benazir, in her first press conference, pledged the restoration of the 1973 Constitution, and that even if they could not bring about the required constitutional changes, their government’s conduct would be according to the 1973 Constitution. But the facts reveal the reverse: not only does she take no interest in getting rid of the military Constitution, she actually refuses to give Sindhis rights as per the present laws.

The irony is that even this brand of democracy as is the destiny of Pakistan, is denied to Sindhis. For example, the Students’ Union activities that were banned during the last Martial law, were restored by the last PPP government (1989-90). However, the SU elections were held only in Punjab ( where Nawaz Sharif was in power), not in Sindh, where the ruling PPP was not winning. Then the Nawaz Sharif Government (1990-93) continued the same policy, since they too were not winning; and now the present PPP government is doing the same: no SU elections in Sindh as the Sindhi nationalists, and not the ruling party are the prospective winners.

This example also shows how Pakistan is following a typical imperialist policy of allowing democracy to its own people (Punjab), and denying the same to its colonies (Sindh). Secondly, democracy is not about the elections alone, not about giving the `freedom’ to people to `elect’ the party the establishment wants them to, but about the freedom of expression, about the right to form an association, and so forth. Since Sindh is a colony, the people of Sindh are deprived of any such rights. Many Sindhi periodicals, books, etc. have been banned. Almost all the books written by G.M. Sayed (he has written about 60 books) as well as by others have been banned.

Sindhis cannot form even a non-political organisation. Many a small, non-political, even petty, even the organisations that work under the aegis of the establishment, have been banned; and in many cases those working in them declared `traitors’.

Thirdly, democracy is also about the rule of law. As already stated in this paper, there is no law in Pakistan. Most of the atrocities are committed without any approval from the Legislature. Then even when they exist, the laws in Pakistan are confined to Statues books. What is practised, however, is the eternal will of the establishment.

2. Economy:

Being a colony of Pakistan, almost all the natural resources (oil, gas, coal), revenues (form exports, etc.) of Sindh are subjected to exploitation by the Central government without paying Sindh its due share in royalties, investment or the jobs.

Secondly, Sindh is the only province whose vast, fertile lands in tens of thousands of acres have been awarded to non-Sindhi Pakistani military personnel, the sportsman, etc. as rewards for their `services’ to Pakistan, to refugees in illegal claims, and so forth . Even a Pakistani wrestler, who defeated his Japanese counterpart, Anoki was given land in Sindh. According to an estimate about 9 million acres of Sindh’s fertile lands have been thus awarded.

Thirdly, Sindh economy is going to be further paralysed by the intended controversial dam, the Kalabagh Dam, on the river Indus to boost up the Punjab economy.

Finally, in terms of the jobs, in the written laws of Pakistan, there is a Provincial quota for the same. But of course, this law is not supposed to be enforced. The Sindh quota (if there is a quota at all) goes mainly to the refugees and the illegal domicile holders from the Punjab. Nobody, and especially a Sindhi officer, can refuse issuing domicile certificates to refugees and Punjabis for the fear of being branded as a traitor, an atheist, and persecuted accordingly.

3. Refugee settlements:

Huge number of Indian refugees were settled in Sindh in violation to the pledges made by the to be Pakistani establishment at the time of the partition. Sindhis were banned from buying the properties left by the Hindus, which were allotted to many an illegal claimants, the refugees from India, and so forth. The issue of refugees in Sindh, is based on Pakistani establishment’s policy of reducing Sindhi into a minority in their own province and showing the same to the world.

That is why Pakistan has not published its 1991 Census report which shows Sindhis in majority in Sindh. Pakistan still follows the 1981 Census deliberately assuming, and making the world to assume that in the period that followed, Sindhi population has decreased and the non-Sindhi one increased! Yet Pakistan enjoys a respectable place at such international forums as the World Population Conference.

4. Political prisoners:

Even now, under the so called democratic government, many Sindhi speaking political activists, writers, intellectuals are in jail without trial. Many Sindhi political prisoners have been dying, are continuing to die in police/prison officials’ custody. In 1981 a leftist Sindhi student died in the police custody, the death in prison of a student leader, Nazir Abbasi, sent a wave of anger throughout colleges and universities in the province. The recent cases of death in custody is that of Shaheed Mohammed Yusuf Jakhrani Vice Chairman of World Sindhi Confress, who died on June 12th 1992 according to the Amnesty International, “in military custody, apparently following torture” .

The leader of the Sindhi people, His Excellency G M Syed , died on 25.4.95 at the age of 92 years under house arrest. The fact of the matter is that G.M. Syed never applied for bail throughout his over 30 years of imprisonment. He kept on asking for a trial, but the Pakistani establishment could not afford even a Kafka style trial for a Sindhi nationalist, as it would open Pandora’s box of the Pakistani state.

G.M. Syed was indeed the longest serving political prisoner in Pakistan, perhaps in the world, who had been either in prison or under house arrest without trial for most of the time ever since Pakistan came into being for more than 30 years. During his last days, he was in hospital and in coma for over a month, yet a big police contingent remained at the hospital gate. So he lived and died as a prisoner for more than three decades. The world put sanctions on South African Apartheid regime for imprisoning Nelson Mandella for 24 years; but nobody realised the plight of a Sindhi leader, whose only crime was to demand freedom of Sindh and to refuse to accept the designer view of Pakistan.

5. Language/culture:

According to the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Urdu is the National Language of the country. There is nothing wrong to have many languages as the national and official languages. For example, the Indian Constitution mentions 15 languages as “the Languages of India” (11), Switzerland has four (German, French, Italian, Romansch) official languages, Canada two (English and French), and so on. But Pakistan cannot allow such a settlement as it is fascist country, which declares that it is one country with one language, one religion, one leader, and so forth.

The practical implications of this one language theory can be found virtually every where. For example, the government award money is almost double on the books written in Urdu as against the ones written in Punjabi, Sindhi, Pushto, etc., the `regional languages’ (the `national’ language of the country does not belong to any region!), as they are called. So is the case with the allocation of newspaper quotas, awards, and so on. Here too, the Sindhi press, which has maintained itself despite all odds, is discriminated against. The Sindhi press is the `regional’ press, whereas the Urdu and English press are the national ones. Then on the television, programmes in Urdu are given the maximum time and are broadcast on national scale as against the ones in the other languages, which are given insignificant share of time and are shown on the respective Provincial (`regional’) TV stations where that language is spoken.

Sindhi was the official language, as well as the medium of instruction in Sindh even during the British period. Any non- Sindhi serving in Sindh, including the high-ranking British officials, had to pass the Sindhi Language Exam. Not so any more. Although Sindhi is a recognised Provincial Language , its status as such could not implemented. The so called `independence’ has robbed Sindhis, among other things, of their language as well.

6. Universities:

Although we have the University Act (1972), drastically amended like the Constitution by the last military regime, it is not meant to be practised–even in its amended/distorted form. The Vice Chancellor is the law; so as long as he/she enjoys the confidence of the establishment, he has a free licence to destroy the university in every respect. Hence illegal appointments, admissions, etc. are the order of the day. Many university teachers’ services have been arbitrarily terminated all over Pakistan. Indeed, during the last Martial law regime a special Ordinance was issued (the MLO 51), which empowered the Chancellor to terminate any university teacher’s services at his will.

Added to this is the unwritten power to the vice-chancellors in Sindh to kill the Sindhi students. For example, in 1984, the military junta, on information from a Vice Chancellor, attacked a bus load of students, that was carrying them to attend a function, at the Thori Phatak (the Thori Railway Crossing), killing 5 on the spot and arresting many of them.

Pakistan Bar Council conducted its independent inquiry and found the military guilty, but of course nothing was done to redress the issue. Due to public pressure, the Pakistan regime also set up its Inquiry Tribunal headed by a Judge of the Sindh High Court. But foreseeing a possible adverse outcome, the military junta dissolved this Tribunal before it could finalise its findings.

The universities in Pakistan operate under a permanent State of Emergency, according to which, the VC takes all the actions under emergency powers: appointments, transfers, awarding and withdrawing scholarships, admissions (illegal), even changing the examination system, and so on. The irony is that the state of emergency has been lifted even from the country, but the fate of the universities seems to have been perpetually sealed.

7. Minorities:

By the notorious amendments, and especially the Eighth Amendment (brought about by the unrepresentative military regime), the minorities (religious) have been virtually put at apartheid: there are separate electorates for the believers of different religions, and so on. This shows the apartheid nature of the Pakistani state.

Then the world has already seen the treatment meted out to two young Christians, Salamat and Rahamat Masih earlier this year, let alone the Sindhi speaking minorities, since it is in these areas where Pakistan emerges as an imperialist, fascist, a country that is committed to genocide.

Furthermore, whenever there are religious riots in India, say for example, the Babri Mosque incident, Pakistani terrorists take their revenge from the Sindhi Hindus, whose temples as well as their very lives are attacked.

Role of the international community, media, organisations:

Indeed, Pakistani establishment’s Gestapo style censorship machinery has committed the Western media to presenting a designer view of Pakistan, to dancing to its tune, according to which Pakistan is the most democratic, the most united country, which has one language, one religion, and so forth; and that there is no existence of Sindh, the Sindhi speaking people or the Sindhi language.

Following this tune, the Guardian, for example, reporting the 1993 elections, describes the refugees as “better educated than the native Sindhis”. I cannot understand the basis of this contention of the Guardian. What does it mean by education? Well, if education means the art of exploitation, that of colonisation, of enslaving other people, looting their resources and destroying their language and culture, then we are not only poorly educated, but uneducated.

But if education means academic degrees, then we are second to none, if not better, despite poor facilities, despite abolition of Sindhi as a medium of instruction from many institutions. Not only do we have Oxford elites, but most noteworthy of all, people educated in the Sindhi medium, pursuing higher University degrees in UK, USA, etc.

Yet another paper, the Economist does publish reports about Pakistan, but only to be rejected by the officials of the Pakistani High Commission. Not only would it not publish other people’s point of view, who would like to question the contentions of the HC people, it would actually dutifully send the said contributions to the said HC to help it update the dissenters’ files. This is what it did to me when I questioned a Pakistani HC official’s false contentions in 1992.

As about the electronic media, BBC World Service is broadcast, among other languages, in Urdu as well, but not in Sindhi. Then there is no Sindhi employed in the said Service in Sindh, whereas in NWFP, for example, there are Pushtoon correspondents as well for the Urdu Service. The Urdu speaking correspondents in Sindh give news that concern mainly the Urdu speaking refugees from India; their terrorist leaders’ interviews are broadcast almost every day; whereas, the Sindhi oriented news get an insignificant share. Then BBC’s “home service” has programmes in virtually all the sub-continent languages–Hindi, Urdu, Gujrati, Bengali–but of course, not in Sindhi.

So is the policy of the BBC television, and to some extent, Channel 4. Both of them have been broadcasting dramas, films, again in virtually all the languages, but not in Sindhi, although Sindhi television dramas are par excellence. A Sindhi TV drama, “Dangi Manjh Daryah” (a boat in the sea), written by a well known Sindhi writer, Ali Baba, won an award in Germany.

Yet another example of BBC television’s partisan attitude is reflected in its “Landmarks” programme, a geography programme for the schools. During this year’s academic season in March/April, it broadcast a few programmes on Pakistan. One such programme was about the Indus Valley, the Sindhi civilisation, which featured Mohen-jo-Daro. It did show Sindhis at work, in fields, etc., but their voices were made virtually inaudible. On the other hand, in a programme about Lahore, people were shown speaking Punjabi language, but Sindh or Sindhi was not used at all! All the time it kept on saying “the areas that now form Pakistan.”

Then on the eve of Christmas, BBC remembers political prisoners and human rights issues in its programme “Human rights, human wrongs”. It must be doing so in collaboration with the Amnesty International as it sends the AI leaflets as well when you phone-in for more information. In the last three programmes (1992-94) no mention was made to either the Sindhi political prisoners or the general human rights violations in Sindh. Whereas, an Indian Kashmiri political prisoner, Shabir Shah (16) and bounded labour in Punjab, Pakistan, were mentioned.

Channel 4 is the only British TV network that has broadcast a documentary specifically on Sindh, entitled, “where peacocks dance”. In this programme, Pakistan’s apathetic attitude towards Mohen-jo-Da ro is exposed. Pakistan received aid from the UNESCO to protect Mohen-jo-Daro, which lined the pockets of Punjabi and refugee bureaucrats, who did not even quality to do the job. Fundamentalist, in this programme, say shamelessly that Mohen-jo-Daro is not meant to be preserved, since it belongs to the pre-Islamic age.

Channel 4, to its credit, has also produced a documentary on Pakistan’s and some Pakistanis’, now British citizens, war crimes in Bangladesh in its “Dispatches” programme (19). By powerful proofs and passionate arguments, C4 urges upon the British authorities to fulfil their international commitments of trying the war criminals as soon as they are found, but C4 perhaps forgets that there is no law for Pakistan, that its atrocities cannot be questioned.

Coming to the institutions, the Department for Education (DFE), allows GCSE in Urdu as well as in many other languages. But, of course, not in Sindhi. After all, British establishment has to see to it that the future Pakistani rulers are well educated so as to be in a better position to rule over Sindh.

The public libraries in Birmingham categorise the books written in Sindhi language as the books written in Urdu language, which is worse than having no Sindhi book at all. After all, we are now used to being unrepresented, but not misrepresented. When I noticed this I wrote a letter to this effect to the Birmingham City Council’s Department of Leisure and Community Services. I was replied by a post card (21 August), which reads, “thank you for your recent comments/suggestions which are receiving attention. We will contact you again shortly.” This `shortly’ have never arrived. All the researchers of the Birmingham City Council seem to have failed to trace the existence of Sindhi language!

Anti Slavery’s advertisement in the NSS states, “in some countries, like Thailand, India and Pakistan we have even pushed them into changing the law”. Well, what law: to abolish bounded labour in Punjab? Of course, Pakistan would agree to changing it, as it would give it more justification to loot Sindh; and above all the future ruling junta cannot be treated as such. Would Anti-slavery or the organisations like it be ever able to question Pakistan’s atrocities vis a vis Sindhis? Would they dare make it abide by its own laws, let along change the same in this regard?

Indeed, as Mat Coward states in the NSS, “When we liberals make a completely random decision to unconditionally support one side in a conflict about which we know nothing, we don’t take kindly to prodnosing trouble-makers trying to make us know something”. So in this conflict between Pakistan establishment and the indigenous Sindhi people, the liberals have taken the side of the former, the oppressor, the mighty, the imperialist.

However, I happen to be a prodnosing trouble maker; therefore, would try to inform them. Hence this article. So not only would I inform them, but would like to suggest some practical measures as well. Hence, in the end, I would like all the freedom loving people, organisations, countries all over the world to consider the following:

1. T reat Pakistan as an unconstitutional, anti-people, anti-democratic, apartheid country; and as such stop all its military and economic aid. General public should boycott the Pakistani goods, sports teams as they did with South Africa and are now threatening to do so with the French ones.

2. U rge Pakistan to realize the democratic, economic and linguistic rights of the Sindhis, as well as those of the people of Pakistan in general. To redistribute the refugee population in all the provinces as per formula agreed upon through an International Commission. Since Israel can put an end to its Jewish settlements, why can’t Pakistan do so? Then refugee controls should be given to the provinces.

3. Make Pakistan accountable to the international community as well as to the international law: institute public inquiries against Pakistan’s ventures in abuses of human rights. Try Pakistan as a state as well as individual Pakistanis for war crimes committed not only during the 1971 war, but during the other ones as well, like the 1983 movement for the Restoration of Democracy, the 1970’s bombardment of Balouchistan, atrocities of the last as well as the previous martial regimes, and so forth. When Nelson Mandella can institute inquires for the apartheid period, why can’t Pakistan do so for its chequered past?

4. S end fact-finding missions to Pakistan, with a view to meeting all the sections of the society: the members of the Pakistani establishment and the ruling elites, as well as the Sindhi nationalists, intellectuals, members of the religious minorities, and so forth. Don’t feel shy to meet Sindhi nationalists and others here, and give them a sympathetic hearing. If you run a publication, publish their articles, interviews.

5. Urge Pakistan to release all the political prisoners, or at least give them a right to fair trial in normal courts–not the `special’ ones–and improve the prison conditions. Also, to restore the basic liberties and democratic rights of the people.

6. Urge the BBC World Service (which is funded by public) to stop dancing to the tune of the Pakistani establishment; to start a Sindhi Service and appoint Sindhis as well in its Eastern network. Also, urge the British television/radio network to relay programmes in Sindhi as well.

In this age of newness, in search for new political terminologies and agendas, I want a new list of despotic, apartheid, fascist countries, and that of oppressed, colonised, unrepresented, unheard people that includes the people of Sindh.

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New World Order and evolving Geo-political situation – Statement by Mr. Nazrul Islam Bose, Vice President, Human Rights International.

“It is indefensible that many who were promised visas to take part in this Conference, have been unable to attend”, the opening Salve of Hillary Roldam Clinton in the 4th International Women’s Conference, Beijing, 4th-15th September 1995. Five thousand women from various backgrounds in 189 countries attended (the Conference). there was an impressive array of prominent and well known ladies, Chief among them: Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan, Shahl Habibi, the presidential adviser on women’s affairs (holding rank of vice-president of Iran), Miriam Siral Hatim, Minister of Social Welfare, Sudan, representing the Islamic view points, and Howard University Professor Mary Ann Glendon, Head of the Vatican delegation. It is just short of a miracle that the Conference could be held in Beijing, the capital of the Peoples Republic of China at all. Harry Wu, the renowned human rights activist spent 19 years languishing in one of numerous “Reform Labour Camps”, located in the remote regions of China. For all intent and purpose, these camps are Slave Labour Camps. Wu called them “Chinese Gulag” and exposed their existence to the world.

For this crime he was recently arrested and later thrown out of the country, instead of being confined in prison–only after Washington exerted intense pressure on Beijing. Incidentally, Harry Wu is now an American citizen.

In the aftermath of the Tiananmon Square massacre Wang Zlen, the late Vice President publicly advocated that 400 prominent intellectuals in Beijing, who had sympathised with the human rights activists, be sent to a reform labour camp in Eastern Turkestan for transformation. Isa Yusuf Alptekin, the 94 year old veteran leader of the Turkestani people, now lives in Istanbul in exile. His exiled son Erkin Alptekin, is engaged in a vigourous struggle with the Chinese authorities from his base in Germany. He is the author of dozens of books on his native land, he is on lecture tours or attending meetings and international conferences all over the world.

In 1954 the armies of the Communist China invaded Tibet. Their spiritual leader, Dalai Lama, was granted asylum in India–for which India paid very heavily. The Chinese have been carrying out a well planned ethnic cleansing programmes ever since. Millions of settlers of Chinese origin have been inducted into Tibet, replacing the evicted and the exiled Tibetans. This evil practice has turned the natives of Tibet into a minority in their own homeland, with the result that at present the population of Llasa stands at a ratio of 55 and 45 in favour of the Chinese settlers.

If this ethnic cleansing and displacement of the native population continues unabated, soon hardly any native Tibetan will be left in Llasa. The World Community bears a heavy responsibility for allowing this wanton destruction of Tibet by the Chinese Communists; the peoples army of liberation has demonstrated how efficiently it can turn un-armed, peaceful student demonstrators into human mincemeat under the wheels of tanks. But the demolition of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union should be a reminder to Beijing that nothing is permanent. The Tibetan struggle for freedom will triumph in the end, may be sooner than Beijing thinks.

Application for visa by the delegation from Arunachal, the Northern State of India, was blatantly rejected without the normal courtesy of the “diplomatic” explanation. Was it due to the fact that Beijing considers Arunachal a disputed territory?

Evidently, India failed to protest to the Chines for their behaviour. Is it because India is still suffering from the trauma and is haunted by the memory of the humiliating defeat at the hands of Chinese invaders in 1962? Or it is an exercise of pragmatism? No doubt political pundits will ponder over this subject for many a year to come.

“My message to all is one of peace and amity. We all have to work together for peace and progress in this world. On that alone is the security and prosperity of our children. Let us bury prejudices, all hatred, all ill-will to give a place to love, amity and good will”. This humanitarian clarion call had been made by Prime Minister Bhutto of Pakistan from the platform of the Beijing Conference.

Notwithstanding the existence of the close ties of friendship and co-operation between Beijing and Islamabad, PM Bhutto deserves universal credit for the expression of such noble thoughts. It was like the sound of music to the hearts and minds of millions of victims, suffering from injustice, poverty, hunger, illiteracy and abuse of human rights the world over. Her speech has special iron for the people of Sindh. The entire region is aflame with infights and civil war Kabul, Karachi and Kashmir, to name a few.

But charity begins at Home. Madame Bhutto should consider turning into practice what she has professed in Beijing. Not Words, but Works. Not only the people of Pakistan, but the people of the entire war-torn regions of the world will remain indebted to the lady.

In conclusion, may I say a few words on the demise of G.M. Sayed, the father of the Sindhi Nation. When asked why G.M. Sayed was denied a trial in the Courts of law, the Minister of the Interior (a dreaded retired army general) replied “….. we will not try G.M. Sayed 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”.

PM Bhutto may well care to counsel her minister on both these points her minister has singularly failed: (1) No civilised human being considers the death of G.M. Sayed a natural death. G.M. Sayed died in prison as a prisoner of conscience, an old man of 92, half blind, partly paralysed–without vital medical attention, and languishing in prison without trial for about 40 years. Not even Nelson Mandela was so ill-treated by his persecutors, who could never be described as belonging to his very own people. No, this is not a natural death. (2) No power on earth, however draconian, could deprive him of martyrdom. He has passed away and is no more with us, but his memory is immortal. For the Sindhi nation he will go down in history as the great son of Sindh and the greatest martyr of our time. ay be his martyrdom will hasten the arrival of the day when a peaceful, democratic, secular and happy Sindh Desh comes into being — Jai Sindh .

Finally, Muslim Turkistanis deserve all possible help, diplomatic and moral from all the countries of the free world, and more so from the Muslim countries. Being a close ally, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is in an unique position to exert moral pressure on China. PM Bhutto, if she so desires, must tell the Mandarines of Beijing that they must stop persecuting the innocent Turkistanis, whose only sin is their desire to follow the teachings of Islam and live the life as Muslims. PM Bhutto may like to remind Beijing that the person who entered into close alliance with China was none other than her father, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

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The Historical Perspectives of the Subcontinent – Prof. Riyaz Punjabi, Dirrector, Centre for Peace Studies, New Delhi.

I had been invited to several conferences before by Dr Halepoto, but could not attend, since I was touring the areas of South Asia to find out what are the roots of disturbances in parts of South Asia. What are the basic problems; and I am very happy to have come all the way here to attend this Conference. It is a great source of knowledge and understanding, but since this morning I am caught with a feeling of nostalgia. I am thankful to Dr Halepoto for giving me the opportunity to meet with people from Sindh and talking about their problems, and also meeting with experts on Human Rights.

I was given this card representing an alphabet. It looks like an Arabic script. It could also be Urdu, but ultimately I discovered that it is the Sindhi script, and it reminded me of my Kashmiri homeland. I also saw you people wearing these caps. It shows * which essentially has roots in the Sufi tradition. We also have similar caps. To offer them the way we honour people. It has a long historical, cultural background. You started the proceedings by reciting excerpts from your national poet, Shah Abdul Latif. It reminded me of Shaikh Burhani. We also start our proceedings like that. But there are numerous similarities, because we all belong to cultural nationalities of Asia.

In the present context, the basic idea that comes to my mind, I want to focus on that. Sindh is a nationality. Sindh has a culture, a language. Sindh has a territory. Like Kashmir has a 5000 years of history. We also have deep roots into 5000 years of continuous history. You will find amazing that Sindhis being in Pakistan, then started the call for Jeeay Sindhu Desh, while we in Kashmir also call for Painda Kashmir. This is how these nationalities are being diluted and ultimately oppressed, which has been in process for the lat 45 years.

With all respect, due tribute must be paid to your great leader G.M. Sayed, I must say that our great leader Sheikh Abdullah provided in dealing with Mohammed Ali Jinnah. The issue of nationalities was at the agenda of the Conference also: the 1939 Conference in Lahore, and in 1941 in Karachi.

After all, South Asia is a mosaic of nationalities. Conference realized the relevance of the nationalities, and said, “once India is free, we will emerge as a Confederation of nationalities. The first man in South Asia, who recognized the issue, was Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan. When he was asked why did he join the Congress, he said that it was not a matter of religion. Ultimately the emergence of India as a free country is a matter of the people, which will come forward. Therefore, I see opportunities within Congress, and Congress was broad-minded enough that when they opened a branch of Congress in NWFP, they did not name it Congress, they allowed Khan Ghaffar Khan to call it Unionist Party, although it was a faction of the Congress.

Similarly, when Sheikh Abdullah saw the opportunities, we will be allowed on the big scale, but as far as our region is concerned, we are the masters of that land. Therefore, we will have our own party, the National Conference. Then Sheikh Abdullah talked to M.A. Jinnah on two occasions. At that time M.A. Jinnah was living in New Delhi, and all those issues that are coming forward now, were discussed by Sheikh at that time. Ultimately, the Sheikh said that the medicine prescribed for the Muslims now, I am afraid, it will become poison for them later.

We have our own problems with the notion of a nation, but we could solve them, Pakistan jumped in and said, “No, it goes back to 1947. It is basically because you didn’t accept the Islamic religion to rule us. So they imposed Jehad on us. After 6 years, there are more than 20,000 deaths in Kashmir. Kashmir has become another Afghanistan: our own people killing each others.

This is not happening in Pakistan. taking the illustration of Sindh, the rehabilitation of refugees from other interior land into Sindh: this was done by design. Let us know one thing: we also had refugees in India. They were dumped in Delhi. We did not impose refugees on Kashmir, or in Bengal, or in Punjab, although there are 10 lakh refugees from Muzzafarabad. Although they come from `Azad’ Kashmir, they cannot settle in Kashmir, they cannot buy property.

This did not happen in Pakistan, because they understood this nationality has a potential. They may one day assert themselves. Now this nationality is not asserting itself to the extent that it poses a challenge to Pakistan or integrity of Pakistan.

The basic issue is and that is posed in the Conference, you make this area a colony. One realizes that Sindh is reduced to be a colony in the hands of a few people, a few people, who are manipulating the whole country in the name of Islam, in the name of two nation theory. It is an irony of the fate that both Sindhis and Muhajirs are being neglected in their position. I have sympathy for these people who are called Mohajirs. At the same time, it should not be at the cost of the Sindhis, because they are the indigenous people, the natives, who have the right to their resources, to their governance, the right to participation, the right to self determinmination.

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WRITTEN PAPERS

Social Contract among Sindhis – Mr. Ali Nawaz Memon, Director World Bank, Washingtonm USA.

Distinguished guests and fellow well wishers of Sindh,

Assalam Alaikum (Peace be on you)!

I regret that I am not able to join you in person to share my thoughts during this important international event. I feel that the subject of the conference “SINDH AND SINDHIS-AT THE CROSSROADS” is very important and timely. I thank WORLD SINDHI CONGRESS and Dr Munawar Halepota for organising it.

I feel that it is essential for all the well wishers of Sindh to put their heads together and try to find an optimal path at this crossroads. We face spiritual, economic, political, cultural, and security issues. You will no doubt discuss many related subjects and hopefully agree on solutions relating to each of these critical areas. I wish to devote the short time allocated to me to emphasize the great need for increased co-operation among all Sindhis, which will hopefully result in a Social Contract Among Sindhis.

As it is well known to the organizers of this Conference, I love Sindh and Sindhis and stand ready to make any sacrifice. However, based on my almost thirty years of experience in working with developing countries in Asia, Africa, and South America, I feel that this is the right time to be a part of greater unions and not to separate from them. Even the mighty Europeans have elected to form the European Union. Accordingly, I strongly feel that Sindh should always remain a part of Pakistan, and struggle to obtain its rights within Pakistan. In fact, as I have argued in my recently published book, “The Islamic Nation: status and Future of Muslims in the New World Order”, Pakistan should be actively promoting the cause of the greater Islamic Nation. Hence the Social Contract among Sindhis must be in the context of Pakistan.

The basic foundation for the social contract lies in the fact that, based on our religious and cultural heritage, all Pakistanis, including the minorities, should consider and treat each other as members of their extended family. Each Pakistani should be free to follow his or her own dreams, and to advance to the extent he or she can. However, they should treat each other as members of their own family in terms of striving to advance their welfare and protection of their rights.

The concept is particularly valid for minorities and weaker segments of Pakistan. in case of Sindh, for example, non-Sindhis repeatedly ask why Sindhis do not help each other. After all, many Sindhis have come into power at the national, provincial, and local levels. Starting with Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Z.A. Bhutto, Junejo, Benazir Bhutto, Jatoi, and again Benazir. Why have they not done more for their own community? Similar questions have been asked of many minorities around the world, for example, the Blacks in america. In case of Sindhis in Pakistan, the reasons may include:

(1) Determination of the Sindhi leaders to fill their own pockets during the uncertain duration of power.

(2) Fear of annoying the more powerful non-Sindhi communities and provinces.

(3) Personal animosities against fellow Sindhis, who may not have voted for them while forgetting that as elected leaders, they represent the whole constituency and not just those who have voted for them.

(4) Desire of the powerful feudals to keep Sindhis down in order ot perpetuate their own power.

They forget that if members of one’s own community do not help each other, who will? based on our religion and all other religions of the world, charity must begin at home. One’s own “kin” is prescribed as the most deserving of assistance. It is consistent with our culture too! In addition, most civilized nations have accepted the concept of “affirmative action.” It means providing an extra helping hand to those in need. Common Sindhis should enter into a social contract among themselves. All Sindhis should treat each other as members of their own family in terms of working to advance their welfare, and protection of their rights.

Under the proposed Social Contract, I propose a few simple components.

A. Right to pursue own personal interests

Under the social contract, every Sindhi will be free to:

(a) live own life in any way one chooses;

(b) Pursue profession of own choice;

(c) join political party of own choice

B. do not participate in activities which will hurt the Sindhi family in any way:

(1) do not participate in any conspiracy to deprive the family members of their rights;

(2) do not take a personal cut from any funds allocated for the family’s benefit/development;

3) d o not rob the community through theft, dacoities, or corruption; and

(4) do not engage in lawless activity which leads to retardation of development and economic growth.

C. Find and participate in activities which will advance the Sindhi family:

(1) Give preference to Sindhis (e.g., members of the extended family in jobs, contract awards, and other opportunities. However, the choice among the Sindhis must be based on merit and not on the basis of immediate family or financial benefits;

(2) insist that the federal and provincial governments implement the already approved projects expeditiously, and increase allocations for Sindh in order to ensure building of the required urban and rural infrastructure; increase employment opportunities; and encourage private sector development for the same purpose;

(3) promote Sindhi language and culture at home, within the extended family, and Pakistan;

(4) treat every Sindhi like a member of the extended family, that is, with respect and courtesy. Do not treat them as second class citizens when they come to your offices or bungalows for their work;

(5) find a mechanism for conflict resolution among Sindhis; do not allow others to divide and rule us; and

(6) strengthen the hands of those who seek peace and prosperity in Sindh. While the present government must improve its performance in many areas, it must be applauded and thanked for its efforts to restore law and order in Sindh. Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto deserves our thanks for standing firm in the face of many pressures at home and abroad.

D. Learn self defence.

Sindhis are often accused of being a “non-martial race” and even cowards on an individual and collective basis. Sacrifices of Sindhis in the 1983 struggle for the restoration of democracy provided an opportunity for proving the charge false. Sindhis showed that they can stand up for their own rights. There have have been other occasions since then too. However, Sindhis need to do more. The rural Sindhis are already comfortable with the use of guns and cruder weapons in day to day life. The urban Sindhis ought to become more familiar with martial arts and techniques of self defence too. Sindhis should join the armed forces of Pakistan in as large numbers as possible. This approach will help remove the stigma, put Sindhis at par with other communities in the country, discourage potential trouble makers, and improve general health standards. Sindhis should use their physical power to face and defeat:

(1) dacoits and kidnappers among them or outsiders who are holding many parts of Sindh hostage. The improved law and order will remove fear within the community and permit implementation of much needed infrastructure and other investment projects in Sindh;

(2) inhuman and cruel ones among the feudals who keep rural Sindhis in line with the help of a few criminals under the system of feudal protection;

(3) non-Sindhis who are trying to exercise their will over the majority population, and in fact over the whole province, with the help of a few thousand guns; and

(4) Sindhi leaders (e.g., in politics and bureaucracy) who are sacrificing the interests of Sindh for personal gains.

While learning the art and technique of self defence, Sindhis need to learn to fight fairly and intelligently. They should use their brains. Power must not be used against the week and defenceless. Similarly, as mentioned earlier, long term interests of Sindhis lie within a united Pakistan. Accordingly, there is no need for, or justification for, fighting against the government of Pakistan or other people who can cause unnecessary pain. the fight should be chosen carefully and as a last resort to defend the community.

Satisfaction for making the contribution

Sindhis who meet their obligations under the social contract shall have:

(1) pleasure of participating in the advancement of their extended family;

(2) the protection of their own rights and those of their children and future generations; and

(3) recognition within their community.

Penalty for not keeping the social contract

Sindhis who do not follow the social contract shall be boycotted by the rest of the community. This approach has been successfully applied by many around the world including the followers of Pir Pagaro. Even today, the murids who do not follow the rules are boycotted effectively. In the case of Sindhis, those who defy the social contract can be boycotted in several forms:

Socially: They shall be disgraced publicly. The rest of the community shall not participate in their happy or sad family events–either marriages or funerals.

Economically: No member of the extended family shall have any economic dealings with them. Even after the traitors die, the standing of their children shall not be restored in the family until they have returned their ill-gotten benefits to the extended family.

Politically: No member of the extended family will support them in elections or any other political activity. If Sindhis really want to win their rights, they will have to defeat those among the extended family who violate their trust. It is a very basic political idea. No political party gives an election ticket to traitors among the party. The Jewish community and the Black community in the United states regularly punish traitors politically. Sindhis will have to learn to do the same.

This is not a conspiracy

The Social Contract does not mean that Sindhis should conspire against non-Sindhis or other fellow Pakistanis. Sindhis remain a part of Pakistan and continue to be good Pakistanis. This is simply one way of allowing Sindhis, a weak and under-developed community, to reach a certain level of development in order to meaningfully touch shoulders with fellow Pakistanis. The social contract should be for a period of say 15 to 20 years to allow meaningful development of Sindhis. It can be phased out.

I wish to draw your attention to two important aspects–the destructive implications of the urban and rural divide among Sindhis, and the benefits of a constructive role for the Sindhi press–for the future of Sindh.

Urban and Rural Divide: There is an urban/rural divide within Sindhis. the urbanites tend to look at the rural population as illiterate, irrational/unpredictable, unsanitary and violent. The rural ones look at the urbanites as greedy, selfish exploiters, who have essentially sold their souls. The urban Sindhis generally speak Sindhi language at home, while rural Sindhis tend to speak Sindhi as well as Siraiki. While the urban and rural Sindhis join hands in times of common threat, they extend little co-operation for the overall development of Sindh. In order for the Social Contract to succeed, a way has to be found to bridge the urban/rural divide.

Sindhi Press: The Sindhi press is alive and well in spite of cyclical ups and downs. In 1995, a multitude of daily newspapers and monthly magazines exists. The papers are filled with news of the world, Pakistan and Sindh.

The hands of the journalists are tied to a large extent because they must

(a) protect the political and economic interests of the newspaper owners;

(b) treat government with kid gloves in order to obtain at least a minimum number of advertisements, maintain the quota for paper, and have the government permit for publication; and

(c) sensationalise the headlines in order to attract al sufficient number of readers in small towns and villages.

In addition, Sindhi journalists are generally poorer than their colleagues working for Urdu or English papers simply because the market for others is much larger. Their working conditions are generally not as good either. They operate from limited office space and cover a broad spectrum of news and information with fewer and much less experienced colleagues.

Nevertheless, almost all of the Sindhi journalists are dedicated to Sindh and Sindhis. They feel their pain, and tend to unite to protect the broad interests of Sindhis vis-a-vis those of other ethnic groups. They are well motivated for the cause of their language, culture, people and province. They have already played a significant role in providing political education to the masses. They can be a great source of motivation for the further awakening of the masses, and a vehicle for bringing about the much needed reform in political, economic and cultural fields. I salute the Sindhi press and urge the owners, editors and journalists to redouble their efforts for the welfare of Sindh and Sindhis, and to help us promote and implement the Social Contract among Sindhis.

Who will work our the details and implement the Social Contract?

Sindhis will have to do that themselves. We all have to play our own part. This Conference can endorse it if we choose to. it can be presented ot the people of Sindh directly or through other groups and forums. The Sindhi press can play a big role in publicizing it, clarifying it, promoting it, and inshallah implementing it. Common Sindhis in general are bound to support it because it benefits them. It is the powerful feudals, bureaucrats, and political leaders who will oppose it because they will have to agree to help the community, and eventually share their power with other Sindhis. Frankly, it will be “big shots” like some of us who will oppose it. However, the smart ones among the big shots will realize that the “Social Contract” will be far less painful for them than the alternatives that the enemies of the masses have faced at other times in revolutions in France, Russia, China and Iran.

The Social Contract means

(a) m aking some contributions or sacrifices for the extended family;

(b) s topping participation in activities which will hurt the extended family in any way; and

(c) finding and participating in activities which will advance the extended family. Some will say that the few minimum requirements will be too hard and perhaps impossible for Sindhis. They forget that some other groups, including Muhajirs, have been following these basic principles for years. They are even making regular financial contributions. The Jewish population around the world has been following a much harsher covenant. Even the Blacks in America have come a long way in a similar direction. We cannot avoid such elementary actions for the sake of our family.

If we are serious about Sindh and Sindhis, let us make sure that Sindhis do not betray other Sindhis. Let us be United on the basic interests of Sindhis. The Social Contract among Sindhis will achieve just that. In fact, at this crossroads, we need to do for Sindhis only what we will do for the members of the immediate family. No more, but no less!

May Allah bless our efforts for the humble and deserving people of Sindh!

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Where we want to be? A strategy to self assurance of Sindhi Nation – Mr. Iqbal Tareen

Mr President, General Secretary World Sindh Congress,

Honourable guests, ladies and gentlemen,

I thank you for inviting me to international conference on “Sindh and Sindhis–at the crossroads”. Although I am unable to attend this Conference, my heart and soul goes out to your effort in this regard. I hope this Conference shows us a clear path towards establishing peace, prosperity, liberty and justice for people of Sindh. I have taken this opportunity to focus my thoughts on possibilities of durable peace in Sindh. First step towards that lasting peace will have to be taken by conscientious and selfless leadership. Mere existence of contradiction or a conflict does not lead to a resolution. Leaders must fully analyse the situation and articulate a fair and moral solution to the problem.

I am not a leader of the Sindhi people, but as an ordinary worker, I submit the following recommendations before this leadership Conference. My recommendations are divided in three parts. First part describes our past as a nation (as we were), second part explains the state of our nation (as we are), and in the third part identifies opportunities in future (where we can be?). These are my personal thoughts which do not represent any group or a political movement. My thoughts are focused on Sindhi people and their real problems. I believe philosophers are made for people, people are not made for philosophers. Human conflict starts when we place ideas above people and quantify them by their ideas and beliefs and not by their actions. These conflicts translate into wars when we impose our brand of ideology on others as if it was the only best brand in the world.

AS WE WERE

The status of nationhood is a fundamental right of Sindhi people. Sindh has at least five thousand years of recorded history as an independent country. Even during the Sumerian period, the candle of Indus Valley Civilization was burning very bright and high over many nations of the world.

In 3500 BC, Sindhi people were engaged into an organized agriculture. Evidence suggesting use of bronze and copper tools, fine painted pottery, mounmental structure of great bath and great brick basins at Mohen-jo-Daro speak of our rich heritage. there is also a vivid evidence of trade between Indus valley and other civilizations. Distinctive stone seals bearing carved inscriptions and subjects from Indus Valley Civilization are found in Mesopotamia around 3500 BC.

The traces of Indus valley civilization are found as farther as Shortunghai in northeast Afghanistan. The area under the influence of this civilization i said to be larger than present Pakistan. People of Sindh do not require a certification of their national legitimacy from any authority in the world, especially from the one which is surviving through its amputee days of infancy.

Past two centuries have been rough on nation. Between Moghuls, Mirs, and the Babus Sindh experienced very small economic progress. Through instutionalization of grants and jagirdari system, the economy was further stifled, thus producing a new and a very large class of landless peasants.

British wanted to create a new elite with Sindhi society to consolidate their rule. Apart from other social and cultural consequences, the majority of Sindhi Population was reduced to an non-productive mode of life style and economic activity. A vast section of population was tied to the tilling of land and was deprived of economic transformation into professional and mercantile classes.

As a result, uncontested control of cities was left into the hands of Sindhi Hindus. Over the time, the economic gap between Muslims and Hindus grew large enough to create the tremors in Sindhi society. The disparity between to two sections of Sindhi population was rationalized into a religious conflict. Although it looked like a quick fix at that time, but the people of Sindh paid heavy price for this expediency.

Partition of India caused unparalleled human migration. Never in the history of mankind, laws governing the transfer of fortunes were designed as in the case of “laws of evacuee property” in Pakistan. The departure of Sindhi Hindus left behind a gap that was very comfortably filled by new immigrants. The spirit behind this divide did not last longer.

The honeymoon of the “Two Nations Theory” ended when during the first national assembly session, an East Pakistan MNA was refused permission to speak in Bengali language. This was happening in his own free country. The insult to the injury was caused when first Pakistani Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan declared Urdu as a Muslim, thus the only national language of Pakistan. Many such policies of preferential treatment were designed to favour selective population groups in Pakistan. From this womb of this statecraft, a new Pakistani Brahman class was born. This class of Pakistani military and bureaucracy ruled the country to its disintegration and fragmentation.

AS WE ARE

Policy making in Pakistan has been governed by this class regardless of civilian or a military rule. The effects of discriminatory policy making are evident in almost all walks of Pakistani life, which includes: education, communications, human resource development, government contracts, employment (Public and Private sectors), government assistance programmes, allotments of public and private agricultural, commercial, and residential lands, allocation of strategic resources in development sectors, creation of new agencies, development of new cities and manufacturing centres, defence, and public health sectors.

Subsequently, 70% ti 80% of foreign loans and grants were also spent in the sectors and cities of choice of new Brahmans. The fact that the absolute majority of this class came from Punjab and Indian immigrants, feeling of alienation in population of have-nots took an ethnic turn.

This struggle between the haves and have-nots still continues to challenge the existence of Pakistan. Ordinarily in a culturally homogeneous society, political movements are directed towards universal reforms. Because the State and its governance is designed to maintain the economic dominance of selected population groups, the reform movements in the rest of the country are seen as a direct threat to their interests. Due to this colonial nature of governance, the economic disparity between various provinces of Pakistan and urban and rural Sindh keeps growing at an exponential rate.

Population

From 1971 to 1988, the population in Pakistan grew from 56.5 million to 105.4 million (the Economist). Women constitute 48% (50.5 million) of the total population. During Zia’s eleven years alone, Pakistan added to its population 29.2 million people (Lee L. Bean: Contemporary problems of Pakistan). The uneven increase in population during Zia’s days is largely attributed to illegal immigration of Biharis, Indians, Bengalis, Burmese, Afghans and Nepalis.

Education

Pakistan has 40% literacy rate (15 years and older) in men vs. 19% in women. In Sri Lanka, 91% of men and 83% of women are literate. There is no evidence of mandatory education in Pakistan. Enrollment at primary level in boys is estimated to be 51% comparing to 28% of such enrollment in the girls. The reality gets much bitter when we look at the secondary education. Only 19% of the boys and 11% of the girls get to the Secondary level education in Pakistan.

Pakistan, in its Sixth Five Year Plan (1983-1988) spent only 2.02% of its GNP on education. Although better than its past records of (1.5%), Pakistan still had the lowest expenditure on education against other Asian countries, such as, Malaysia (5.%), Iran (3.1%), Sri Lanka (3.0%), Thailand (3.2%), India (3/2%), Singapore (3/4%), Bhutan (3.7%), Nepal (2.8%), and Bangladesh slightly better than Pakistan at (2.2%). According to Pakistani Planning and development division, approximate GNP in 1991 was U.S. $40,277.00 (Million) or $387.28 per capita. During the same fiscal year, only 2.3% of the GNP or 8.9 per capita was allocated to education. Out of $8.9 per capita expenditure on education, $7.74 per capita was spent on its non-development sector, which includes salaries and other operational expenses.

Defence

Pakistan spent $2649 (Million) or 29% of $9292.00 revenues (estimated by the Economist based upon period (1985-1988) during fiscal year 1988 or $25.47 per capita of its total GNP on its defence during fiscal year 1991-92. Defence expenditures of other South Asian countries during 1988, such as, India were at 11%m Nepal 6.8%m Bangladesh 10%, and Sri Lanka 9.6% of their total revenues. Whereas Pakistan’s day-to-day government spending (current spending) was estimated to be 88% and its development spending (capital spending) at 12%. India being the second culprit has 81% current and 8.2% capital expenditures respectively. Bhutan being the best example in South Asia, spends only 40.1% on current and 59.9% on capital accounts.

Although 30% of our revenues are spent on defence, Sindh and its people do not benefit from it at all. 90% of the so called active border between India and Pakistan happens to be along the Punjab province. From foot soldiers to the officers corp, overwhelming majority of the military personnel is recruited from Punjab or Frontier provinces. Major military installations and strategic facilities are also situated either or along the coastal lines. Even when the small cantonments are built in Sindh, most of the contracts and employment opportunities are offered to people from selective groups rather than the local communities.

The irony is, when in free countries, military bases are withdrawn from the inner cities, people residing in those areas experience severe economic set-backs. In Sindh and in Baluchistan, establishment of military bases of our own army are perceived to be a threat to the local population. Something has certainly gone wrong here. Pakistani military brass and the policy makers should take the responsibility for this perception and must take measures to win over hearts of their fellow citizens first.

Public Health and Housing

Pakistani government spends on average about 2.6% on public health and 8.7% on housing. The allocations for housing also include loans extended by government and semi-government agencies to builders and individuals, including non-development expenditures related to this activity.

Government number crunchers have managed to take credit in this field by simply working the numbers to their advantage. Although there has been increase in number of physicians from 10,777 to 51883 from 1982 to 1987, number of nurses rose from 5336 to 16948, dentists from 928 to 2077, hospitals increased from 4068 to 4447, number of beds expanded from 47412 to 71897, but the demographic distribution of these services did not improve at all. Also many errors have been made in including poorly equipped facilities or even counting small dispensaries as hospitals. Population in Pakistan has been excluded from the gains made in the public health sector.

Runaway Immigration and Conversion of indigenous Population into a Minority

According to 1981 study on religious composition in South Asia (The Cambridge Encyclopedia of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh), out of 238.1 million Muslims in subcontinent, 82.5 million live in India, 78 million in bangladesh, and 77.6 million in Pakistan. In 34 years, the majority (66%) of the Muslims of Indian Subcontinent either decided to remain in India or opted out of Pakistan.

Speaking on Pakistani military action in East Pakistan before a gathering of Sindh University students 1n 1972, Baluchi leader Sardar Attaullah Mengal said, “Between the clash of two Allha-o-Akbar slogans, the Two Nations theory is drowned in the Bay of Bengal”. Numerically, and ideologically, the religious foundation of Pakistan has now been proven invalid. When Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto spoke of New Pakistan, he actually meant Pakistan as a new political entity. The new Pakistan can only derive its strength by learning from mistakes of the past and not repeating them.

The Pakistani statehood designed on principles of religious illusions and coerce allegiance, with no regard to its founding nationalities will lead to another disaster. Converting indigenous people into an insignificant political, economic and cultural minority through state sponsored illegal immigration has to stop.

The migration of Indian Muslims to Pakistan lost its legal credibility after Liaquat Nehru Pact. Any population transfer beyond the scope of this agreement becomes an economic immigration is not protected under any human rights charter.

Argument that some Pakistanis are left behind in Bangladesh and they have right to immigrate to Pakistan is falser and without moral and legal grounds. Simply holding a Pakistani passport or citizenship for a short period of 34 years, without any original roots in New Pakistan does not establish their right to immigrate. Historic example of Hong Kong refutes such an argument.

British flag was raised on Hong Kong in 1841. In 1842, Hong Kong ceded to Britain under the treaty of Nanking and it was opened to foreign trade. Sir Henry Pottinger was appointed as a first governor of Hong Kong in 1843. The country’s population grew from 33,000 in 1950 to 5.2 million in 1980.

The Anglo-Chinese agreement of 1984 will return Hong Kong to China in 1997. The agreement bringing an end to a 150 years of the British rule was entered without the consent of the people of Hong Kong. They were not even offered an option of self-rule by either negotiating parties. In spite of all this, the agreement does not only enjoy a status of peaceable diplomacy, but is registered in United Nations for legal recognition.

Till recently “Hong Kong Chinese had full citizenship of the empire with freedom to travel and settle anywhere under the British flag. The successive parliamentary acts in London have now ensured that a very few citizens of Hong Kong are qualified to possess full British passports, or have the right to settle in Britain itself”. In other words, the Britain a crucible of human rights and democracy disowned its 150 years old citizens, soon after drying of the ink with which signatures to the agreement were inscribed. All former citizens of Britain will revert back to Chinese citizenship after nearly one and a half century.

In a historic referendum of 1971, the majority of Pakistani passport holders in East Pakistan decided to revert back to original status of their independent state. The independence of Bangladesh was an outcome of a unanimous mandate given by the people of East Pakistan Immigration based upon an ex-Pakistani status will mean a right of immigration to everyone claiming disapproval of the creation of Bangladesh. In order to pursue economic immigration, millions of Bangladeshis would like to exercise this claim.

Some will say, Hong Kong was a colony of Britain. Well, so was East Pakistan a colony of West Pakistan. The people of Hong Kong would have preferred to stay with Britain as opposed to East Pakistan, who shed their blood to runaway from West Pakistani rule.

Reasons behind the Behari issue:

There are three reasons behind the proposed Bihari immigration from Bangladesh. The first reason is the historic role played by the Biharis before and during Bengal’s struggle for freedom. Unfortunately, during the West Pakistani Army action in East Pakistan, the large sections of Bihari population collaborated with the Army in the genocide of the innocent East Pakistani men, women, and children. This has put some pressure of accountability on this population in Bangladesh. The second reason is that the Bihari population constitutes natural vote bank for Muhajir Quomi Movement and other religious fundamentalist organizations in Pakistan.

The Bihari population in East Pakistan was the breeding ground for paramilitary groups which were organized by the religious West Pakistani organizations and armed by the Army. The story of these groups is worse than Nazi SS guards in Germany. The current wave of violence and terror in Karachi is also attributed to this group which haws managed to immigrate to Pakistan. Their immigration was facilitated during the days of Zia and Nawaz Sharif governments.

These groups have formed similar paramilitary organizations in Karachi. They practice enforcement terrorism against the citizens of Karachi and other cities in Sindh to gain political allegiance for a particular political organization. The third reason behind their immigration from Bangladesh is the perception of better economic opportunities in Pakistan.

In case there are human rights abuses against this group, the government of Bangladesh has a moral and legal obligation to prevent such persecution against its own citizens. Bengalis will have to embrace Biharis as citizens with equal rights. If there is any evidence of such cleansing, Biharis must bring it to the attention of international organizations to put pressure on the Bangladeshi government.

Like Israel, if Pakistan aspires to be a promised land of the Muslims of the subcontinent, then it will have to offer the right of settlement to all the Muslims living in India and Bangladesh. Can Pakistan subject itself to such a never ending immigration policy? Let us take the example of the United States of America. It is a nation of immigrants, its citizens have come from the distant lands. Today the great “melting pot” has one of the toughest immigration policies in the world. There is obviously an issue of drawing a line.

WHERE WE WANT TO BE?

Before addressing this question, we must have our premise right. As I have mentioned throughout this argument that the people must come first. Our goals and strategies must focus interests of the greater number of people, and not merely a philosophy or two.

Some will sincerely argue that the above statistic will change when we have right to choose our own destiny. First of all, that right will not be serves on a silver platter, we will not be able to sustain economic freedom to the benefit of our people. It will be repeating the same mistake our leadership made when they created Pakistan.

I have always wondered how Japan could survive two major defeats and yet emerge as the world’s greatest economic powers? One and the only reason for Japanese re-assertion was its large pool of skilled people. Allied powers grounded its industrial machine, infra-structure, communication, financial institutions, and the political machinery, but they could not take the skills away from the Japanese people. As a result, people of Japan were able to reconstruct their country overnight. As a matter of fact, the rate of growth in their GNP resumed right from where they had left before the War. Same was true for Germany.

There are many nations, which in spite of their national independence, are striving to survive on a daily basis. We must not join the club of these insignificant nations. Independence means nothing without the economic sovereignty. Countries are not simply drawn on the pieces of paper, but are drawn from sacrifices and hard work of the people who create them. We must earn the freedom. Then it shall be granted to us.

Whatever the quality of life the native Sindhis enjoy today, is an outcome of products and services which are rarely produced by them. Sindhis as in the pre-partition era are excluded from manufacturing and commercial sector of the economy. Almost all financial, marketing, distribution, manufacturing and communication institutions are owned and run by the non-indigenous Sindhi people. Any change without qualititative improvement in the skills in our population is enhanced, they will be able to assert their right of self-determination regardless of political environments.

As I have always believed, all the battles and wars for Sindhi peoples’ salvation will be fought and won in Sindh. No matter how sophisticated the stimulation be, it cannot be replicated or produced outside its natural grounds. Such battled cannot be won without the mandate and support of Sindhi people. Any encounter lacking legitimacy will remain to be just a quarrel and nothing more.

The greatest of all the wars, probably will have to be fought and won against ourselves. We must take a good look at ourselves and eradicate all our national and social sins, which have tied us down to present dismay. The greatest of all the sins is condoning corrupt and incompetent political, social and state institutions. Nations which embrace meagre, will always earn mediocrity.

Freedom is not something that one acquires, it is the state of mind that nations attain at the peak of their will and desire for liberty. In order to generate this will, we must create conviction in our people. This self-assurance will only come about when they are able and equipped with skills and tools of leaving the 20th Century behind and embark upon a new journey of the 21st Century. The details of this movement can be formulated after taking realistic inventory of our national assets. We shall find many opportunities and challenges. The path that leads from a desire of freedom to the freedom itself, involves soul searching, hard work, conviction, clarity of purpose, fairness and the morality of the goals.

The responsibility of our generation is to provide people with the opportunities to acquire such skills. Only then, they will be able to assert their economic freedom and national dignity. Our national movement should be directed to satisfy this historic need.

There is a need for rising beyond politics of issues. We must have a grand strategy. This strategy must not repeat the mistakes of the past. It is important not to subject our people under undue sacrifices. We must not practice politics which may push us into isolation.

We must also address the issue of ethnic integration in Sindh. Issue of immigration should not be confused with the responsibility of redressing problems of urban Sindhis as well. Let us quit politics of partition. Prosperity comes with multiplication and not the division. In order to love our people, we must not hate others. Me must respect diversity within our nation. In the time of globalization, geographical and ethnic divides are meaningless. We must expand the markets of our people in the world community.

In any civilized society, mobilization of public opinion and political change is sought through political parties. Party as an initiator of change must be structured and designed to reflect its beliefs and principles.

We must form a political party in Sindh that presents a comprehensive political, economic, social and cultural programme to the people od Sindh. The essence of the programme should be based upon fair share for the people of Sindh. The right of self-determination should be defined as: “Sindhis’ right to its resource generation and allocation”. We must stop the talk of cessation. We could not protect sovereignty of our cities, how can we protect the sovereignty of a new country?

In order to attain our goals, we must participate in the electorate and democratic process. The validity and legitimacy of our cause can only be proved through the mandate of the people. There is no other measure in today’s civilized world for the legitimacy of any cause other than consent of the people whose interests it claims to represent. Here are some suggestions on the nature of such a programme:

1. Through the legal and peaceful means we must resolve in the provincial Assembly of Sindh the desire of Sindhi people to abide and live within Pakistan by the covenant of “Pakistan Resolution” of 1940.

2. Provinces in Pakistan should be renamed as states, each state shall have a right to enter into international commerce and trade with other countries. The states shall also regulate capital movement with the federation. Federal government ot receive a percentage of earnings, which shall automatically be deposited in the “Federal Account”.

3. Must declare total faith in decentralization at the city and council level. Meaningful progress in Sindh cannot be realized without the introduction of city governments. We must address urban problems by empowerment of people through devolution of powers at the lowest possible level. The bottom-up approach towards management of public affairs is the only solution in the 21st Century. The top-down approach of micro-managing the growth has failed throughout the world.

4. We must provide the solution to the ethnic conflict in Sindh, without which no right of government can be carried. Any other approach will only lead to the partition and not the unification of Sindh. Party and the leadership should restrain itself from engaging into politics of violence and confrontation with other ethnic groups. We must guarantee the security of life and property to very lawful citizen of Sindh.
5. We must denounce terrorism wherever it is perpetrated to make political or other ideological gains. Also, a clear position should be taken on the issue of rural lawlessness and indulgence of political groups in social crimes.
6. We must respect person’s right to pursue any religious faith. We must denounce state interference in the matters between God and the individual.
 

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RESOLUTIONS

An International Conference organised by World Sindhi Congress, ‘Sindh & Sindhis – At The Crossroads’ held in London on 7th-8th October 1995, resolved that:
1. The conference upholds the inherent inalienable rights of self determination of the people as per mentioned in UN convents. It was resolved that all the historic nations must be ensured the right of self determination by the United Nations and guarantied by the superpowers.
2. Sindh has been denied its socio-economic, cultural, historical and political rights, beside much trumpeted status of an independent, autonomous and sovereign state as envisaged in the Pakistan Resolution of 1940. Therefore, this august gathering demands that all discrimination against Sindhis must be brought to an end, and historic national rights of Sindhis including the `Right of Self Determination’ , as ensured in UN Declaration of Human Rights, must be restored forthwith.
3. Sovereignty of Sindhis be recognized over Sindh morally, politically and constitutionally keeping in view the un-challengable dictates of history and the centuries old cultural continuity between the great Indus Civilisation of Moen -jo-Darro and present day Sindh. Thus all the minority ethnic groups living in Sindh are invited to join the majority struggle for the self determination and enjoy the full rights and benefits collectively.
4. Conference demands an independent international enquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of His Excellency G M Syed, and condemns the Government for denying him proper medical care and permission to travel abroad for medical treatment.
5. Extreme concern was expressed at the widespread violation of Human Rights in Pakistan and in particular Sindh and detention of many Sindhi political activists, students and intellectuals. It is resolved that basic Human Rights as per UN declaration must be guarantied and implemented. The conference further demands that all the political prisoners should be tried in proper court of law or released honourably.
6. The conference resolved that `Special Courts’ which violate the international law and independent judiciary, should be abolished, and all the cases be transferred to civilian courts of law. It further demands that the cases pending since long periods should be expedited or innocent Sindhis incriminated in false and fabricated cases must be released honourably.
7. Extreme concern was expressed at the continued settlement of illegal immigrants in Sindh estimated to be approximately 5 million, including Biharis, Bengalis, Afghans and others, which is causing unbearable burden on the already shattered economy of Sindh, and resulted in breakdown of law & order, terrorism, drug trafficking, smuggling of arms & ammunition. It is resolved that the ‘Repatriation of Biharis’ to Sindh must be stopped and all the illegal immigrants returned to their countries of origin.
8. Conference rejects the ‘Water Apportionment Agreement’ signed by an undemocratic government without proper mandate from people of Sindh, violating previous international agreements. It is resolved that ‘Kala Bagh, Ghazi Gharryala & other such projects’ must be abolished to prevent devastating effects on the agriculture & rural economy of Sindh. It is further resolved that LBOD project must be expedited to eradicate the increasing salinity and water logging in Sindh.
9. That socio-economic exploitation of Sindh must be stopped and control of all the natural resources of Sindh, including Oil, Gas, Coal, Gold, Uranium and other minerals should be handed over to the Government of Sindh.
10. That the revenues raised in Sindh from agriculture, taxation, customs duty from airport & seaports, etc., must remain under the control of government of Sindh and the funds should be utilised for the progress & development in Sindh, and the betterment of people of Sindh.
11. The conference condemns the forcible accesation of the coastal areas of Sindh and transfer to the Federal Coastal Development Authority and denying the fishing rights to native Sindhis and depriving the popular to the means of livelihood. It is resolved that the control of the coastal land and waters should be returned to the Government of Sindh and provide free access of the local population of the fishing area.
12. Sindhis must be ensured their due share of jobs in the provincial and federal governments, semi-government & autonomous agencies including civil, military and foreign services.
13. Conference demands that the land should be reclaimed from the absentee landlords and re-allocated to local Sindhi farmers, and government assistance including technical & financial aid must be provided to increase the agricultural output and relieve economic deprivation and poverty in the rural areas of Sindh.
14. Concern was expressed at the deterioration of educational standards in Sindh, and it was resolved that all kind of political interference in the educational institutions must be stopped and immediate steps taken to improve educational atmosphere and quality of education through introduction of computerised methods of examination, encouraging research work granting the scholarships, establishing libraries & providing modern technology.
15. Concern was also expressed at the failure of ‘Sindhi Language Authority’ to fulfil its duties and it was resolved that government should provide immediate resources to promote Sindhi language & culture by providing proper representation in the mass communications media specially television & radio.
16. That urgent efforts must be made to protect the cultural heritage of Sindh and save Moen-jo-Darro & other important archeological sites including Bhambhor, Aamri, Rani kot, Kot Diji, Paqo Qilo, Grave of Hoshoo Shaheed, tomb of Ghulam Shah Kalhoro, etc. All these places must be declared as official historical sites. Immediate measures must be taken; i.e. removal of illegal enchroachments and renovation, to restore the former glory of these sites.
17. The conference condemns the demolition of villages in Karachi and further demands these centuries old villages should be registered without delay and provided with basic amenities of life such as clean drinking water, proper health care and education facilities.
18. The conference condemns the increased terrorist activities by the militant groups, resulting in unnecessary loss of life of innocent civilians, specially in Karachi. This conference demands an immediate end to the terrorism and invited MQM and the government to establish peaceful negotiations with the Sindhi nationalist leadership. Any agreement reached without the participation of Sindhi nationalist leaders will not be acceptable.
19. All the totalitarian governments have always manipulated with the population census by which the manipulating the census results. This conference demands an honest population census and publish the results.
20. WSC expresses a great concern on the discrimination of women and their deprivation of basic rights all over the Pakistan in general and in Sindh in particular. This conference demands that federal and provincial governments should take special effort to assure women’s rights, specially regarding domestic violence, equal access to jobs, education and commerce, and proper health care.
 

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HONORARY MEMBERS

Following persons were proposed as the Honorary Members of the World Sindhi Congress, for their Extraordinary services for the cause of Sindh.
Mr. Henry Bandier – Vice President, I.A.E.W.P.
Mr. Antoine Keller – Geneva Representative, I.C.E.S.C.
Ms. Claire Galez – Chairperson, I.R. & H.R.R.C
Dr. B.B. Chaudhary – President, B.H.B.C.U.C.
 
 

LIST OF PARTICIPANTS

INTERNATIONAL DIGNITARIES:
Rt. Hon R. Parry, MP. – President, Human Rights International.
Mr. Nazrul Islam Bose – Vice President,
Dr. B.B. Chaudhry – Information Secretary
Ms. Claire Galez – Brussels Coordinator
Mr. Pierre Porret – Geneva Organiser
Mr. Emanuel Decrits – IR&HRRC, Brussels
Mr. Erkin Alptkin – President, East Turkistan Union in Europe
Dr. Sahib Al-Hakim – Secretary General, OHRI.
Dr. Beyan Alaaraji – ICMW.
Mr. Rashid Nutkani – Secretary, Siraiki International.
Mr. Afzal Tahir – President, Kashmir International.
Mr. Hamid Ghazi – Ahmadiya International/
Dr. Michael Schied – St. Antony’s College Oxford.
Dr. Ramachandran – Research Associate, IDSA.
Mr. D. Wattemena – Permuda RMS Maluku.
Mr. R. Lawalatta – ” ” .
Mr. J.H. Warrinussa – BPPRRMS.
Rep. Members of Eastern Turkistan Union in Europe.
Prof. Riyaz Punjabi, Jawaher Lal University, Delhi.
Mr. Khar, Pakistan High Commision, London.
Mr. Ali, Pakistan High Commission, London.
 
SINDH
Rt. Hon. Syed Imdad Mohammed Shah s/o His Excellency G M Syed.
Rt. Hon Syed Bashir Shah, MNA.
Syed Ghulam Shah, Ex Chairman, Jeay Sindh Mahaz.
Mr Gul Mohammed Jakhrani, Ex President, Jeay Sindh Tehrik
Sardar Khalid Ahmed Khan Dombki, Sec Gen, Jhamoori Watan Party.
Dr Pir Khalilullah Jan Sarhandi.
Mr Noor Mohammmed Thebbo
Mr. Jam Tamachi.
 
USA
Dr. Safdar N. Sarki – Deputy Secretary General, WSC.
Mr. Saghir Shaikh.
Dr. Khurshid Mangrio.
Mr. Israr Ansari.
 
UK: Dr. M.A. Halepota – Secretary General, World Sindhi Congress and Human Rights International.
Dr. H.U. Bhatti.
Dr. G.M. Panhwar
Mr. R.A. Siddiquie
Mrs. F. Siddiquie
Miss Maria Siddiquie.
Mr. Jamil Ahmad Siddiquie
Dr. Hidayatullah Bhutto.
Mr. Nazir Qureshi
Mr. Umer Memon
Mr. Mujeeb Metlo
Mir Sher Mohammed Talpur
Mr. Aslam Pirzado
Mr. U.A. Laghari
Mrs. Laghari.
Dr. G.M. Bhurgri
Mr. Siraj Brohi
Mr. Ayub Baloch
Mr. Ghulam Mohammed Nizamani
Mr. Ali Qureshi
Dr. Badar Soomro
Mr. Pariyani
Mr. Raj Daswani
Ms. Padma Vaswani
Mr. G.H. Raisinghaney.
Mr. T.K. Das.
Miss Suriya Makhdoom.
Miss Rubina N. Shaikh.
Dr. Fozia Thebo.
Mr. S.M. Saeed.
Dr. Asadullah Shaikh
Dr. Panhwar.
Mr. Javed Brohi.
Mrs. Brohi.
Mr. Manzoor Hussain.
Raja Hassan Akhtar
Mr. Kultar Singh Dugal
Mrs. Chandra Chaudhry.
Ms. Nola Brett.
Miss Vera Obrien
Mr. Ziaur Rehman Siraiki.
Miss. Anna Schumaker.
 
PRESS:
Mr. Brij Lal – New York Radio
Mr. Dasgupta – Indian Express
Mr. Sanjay Surree – India Abroad News Service
Mirza Farhad Ahmed – Islamic Expositor.
Mr. Robert Govinda – Editor, Asian Telegraph.
Mr. S. Asif – The News International, London.
Mr. Rashid Khan – The Nation Weekly. London.
 
 

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