|G. M. Syed|
Comrade Hyder Bux Jatoi had a great and dynamic personality. I had been with him many times. I will try to write on him separately later.
|Comrade Hyder Bux Jatoi|
Rasool Bux Palijo, Qazi Faiz Mohammad, Shaikh Ayaz and Mohammad Ibrahim Joyo sided with G. M. Syed on the question of feudal lords’ inclusion in the democratic movement. We, in the left, were caught in a difficult situation. We were against feudalism but ‘the party’ needed G. M. Syed in the democratic movement. We didn’t want to be isolated.
|Rasool Bux Palijo|
Later, when feudal lords thought that Syed was going to be the future leader of Sindh, they started coming to him. G. M. Syed thought it was the right moment and took a decision to form a broader anti One Unit front. He called for a preparatory committee meeting to be held at Keenjhar Lake to finalize arrangements in that regards.
|Mohammad Ayub Khuhro|
But another event took place before the Keenjhar meeting that created a storm. News came to us that Mohammad Ayub Khuhro and Pir Ali Mohammad Rashdi were to join the front too along with other landlords. This was the break up point with Syed for ‘the party’. Jam Saqi and I talked to G. M. Syed about the matter. Agha Ghulam Nabi Pathan was also present during that meeting. Syed tried to convince us that big landlords were necessary to win the elections. (Z. A. Bhutto did the same thing later. He took all the feudal lords in his party).
|Pir Ali Mohammad Rashdi|
We threatened that ‘the party’ will not join the front if they will be taken in. Syed, after a brief moment, replied softly that, "I’ll take all of them”. Then Agha Ghulam Nabi Pathan also tried to convince us but we couldn’t agree as ‘the party’ had already taken the decision not to join hands with the feudal lords. So we broke with Syed. It was a sad moment for Sindh and for the left. Rasool Bux Palijo, Shaikh Ayaz and Mohammad Ibrahim Joyo remained with Syed. Although after sometime, Palijo also left the United Front.
|A view of the Keenjhar Lake, near Thatta|
In the follow up to the Keenjhar meeting, a big gathering of almost all the landlords of Sindh was held at the Makhdoom House in Hyderabad, Sindh. A large number of activists and leaders also attended that meeting. A firebrand speaker and a student leader, Yousuf Laghari (he was not in ‘the party’ but he was a friend of ‘the party’) came to the stage and severely criticized the arrogant feudal lords. He said that these were the same people who supported One Unit Bill and they will betray again. He said that they were not friends of Sindh.
After his speech, some of the feudal lords came to the stage and apologized in front of the public. Only two feudal lords were furious: Ghulam Mohammad Wassan from Sanghar and Abdul Hamid Jatoi from Dadu. They denied the allegation and claimed with pride that they had opposed One Unit from the beginning and didn't vote for it. The formation of Sindh United Front was announced at the meeting to work against One Unit and actively participate in the politics in Sindh.
|Z. A. Bhutto at a rally|
Then a very big factor came into politics, like a tidal wave that would wash away all the old ways the politics was done. It was Z. A. Bhutto. After his resignation from Gen Ayub Khan's cabinet as a foreign minister, he challenged all: the right, the left, the democrats and even the nationalists. In the beginning, he didn't oppose G. M. Syed. He went to Sann to meet Syed for his support and to show respect, he called Syed as uncle. But Syed had only one question: Sindh! And a demand to oppose One Unit!
Soon Syed would be alone, as all the feudal lords would leave him and join Bhutto because they sensed that it was Z. A. Bhutto who would come to power and not G. M. Syed!
|Z. A. Bhutto with some Sindh politicians|
(Read about the politics of G. M. Syed and Z. A. Bhutto in next installments).