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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Notes From My Memory, Part 2: Mir Thebo

The Sann conference, which I mentioned in my last note, was a closed-door meeting. I was in the meeting. During the discussions, Comrade Hyder Bux Jatoi confronted G. M. Syed on the question of feudal lords. Comrade Hyder Bux Jatoi was a friend of G. M. Syed. He was Syed's ally on the national question but he always disagreed with Syed on the question of the feudalism. On the other hand,  Comrade Hyder Bux Jatoi was with ‘the party’ (Communist Party) on the question of the class struggle but he differed with 'the party' on the national question.
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
Anyway, all the landlords came to G. M. Syed including Jatois, Makhdooms, Wassan, Pirs and Syeds. In the evening, after the meeting came to a close, there was a musical program arranged by Rais Karim Bux Nizamani. He was a great fan of Syed. He had a colorful personality. He was a romantic person with great sense of humor. He drank a lot and was fond of music with great knowledge about it and had a fair voice quality too. He had brought some musical instruments with him for the program. When he sang Shaikh Ayaz’s ‘Keenjhar Kinara, Asaara Asaara’, I became gloomy and Syed wept silently. I was always curious to know why Syed would cry on such moments. Sometimes he would cry when he expressed some sad situation about Sindh.
Yousuf Laghari

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

Continued …

(Read about the politics of G. M. Syed and Z. A. Bhutto in next installments).


  1. a very informative description of the turns and twists in sindhi politics. some politicians and their intentions in representing sindhis at nationatialand local political arena are coming to our knowledge through these blogs. mir thebo has taken a courageous step and others should follow him ttoo. thanks mir thebo. dr.qamar wahid

  2. Mir you have done a great job history made easy please keep writing,I hope you remember me.
    Shafik Sidiki

  3. nice effort sir you have done great job but there is no your own point of view or perspective there that struggle of hyder bux jatoi is better in the name of class struggle or g m syed was in the name of national question i think both basic elements are essential in revolution thanks sir


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