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Thursday, October 25, 2012

'Bantustanaisation' of Sindh — Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

The 18th Amendment had ostentatiously devolved powers to the provinces but the First Schedule of the new ordinance reintroduces a hybrid concurrent list in Sindh

I never thought that Sindh, the land of the legendary Makhdoom Bilawal who preferred pulverisation by the Arghun ruler’s oil seed grinder to submission in 1523 AD (929 AH); where on February 17, 1843 in Miani, 6,000 plus martys, including Mir Jan Mohammad Talpur who was buried there as his wounds made shifting impossible, would see this day when it would capitulate to selfishness and abandon the rights of Sindhis just to retain their privileges. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has done just that by passing the Sindh People’s Local Government Ordinance 2012 in an indecent haste.

The perfidious ordinance sounds the death knell for Sindhis’ rights by giving the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) the unchallenged right to rule urban Sindh and confines Sindhis to rural areas. The ordinance is unadulterated mischief because only the First Schedule has been published yet, and it is mischief personified, while all other schedules still under wraps must certainly carry more trouble and harm. The people of Sindh are resisting this perfidy but it seems the PPP government and party is bent upon inflicting this deadly wound on Sindh, bartering away its destiny.

This skewed ordinance weakens the already emasculated provincial government by creating the Metropolitan Corporation with Mayoral office, which in many respects is more powerful than the chief minister and his ministries. That would thus create a diarchy but not a simple diarchy for as per the ordinance, the urban local government has untrammelled powers in cities where the gerrymandered constituencies and bogus elections ensure that the MQM has the sole right to rule while the rural areas where decrepit governance prevails, languish.

Under this ordinance, the mayor with unbridled powers heads the Metropolitan Corporation with its separate bureaucracy under a Chief Officer, chosen or requisitioned by him. His autonomy from the provincial government in matters of administration, planning, allocation, taxation, supervision, audit, budgeting, works, communication, environment, transport, works, execution, inspection, enforcement, etc, will create a parallel power centre. He enjoys some magisterial powers plus Section 144 CRPC. His removal requires a two-thirds majority; the mover/seconder loses his seat if the motion fails. Even if he is prima facie guilty of transgressing laws, the chief minister cannot remove him but refers to the Provincial Local Government Commission with a 90-day inquiry deadline. A mayoral autocracy will thrive in the name of democracy.

The NFC Award, supposedly the guarantor of fiscal independence, has been nullified by this ordinance. Its section 124 establishes a Provincial Finance Commission, headed by the provincial finance minister and ‘shall comprise of such other members as may be prescribed, and would recommend the distribution of funds between the provincial and local governments on the basis of such vague, subjective and potentially contentious principles as “fiscal need, fiscal capacity, fiscal effort and performance.” The finance portfolio will not be difficult for the MQM to pry away from the spineless PPP government. It ensures perpetual deprivation for Sindhis and hostility along the ethnic fault lines.

The 18th Amendment had ostentatiously devolved powers to the provinces but the First Schedule of the new ordinance reintroduces a hybrid concurrent list in Sindh. That will allow the metropolitan areas, particularly Karachi and Hyderabad, to exercise almost the same range of powers and functions as are enjoyed by the provincial government, thus accentuating the urban-rural divide for all intents and purposes. This means that the urban centres will be ruled at the whim of the MQM muscled in by bogus elections. Under an unfettered MQM rule, they will become increasingly active and dangerous.

The warped ordinance will allow the MQM to forge laws and create conditions that will exclude people of other ethnicities from all political and economic benefits and force them into ghettoes in the cities it will control. The rural areas as it is receive only crumbs from the urban rulers. This inequitable ordinance creates conditions for political and economic apartheid for all ethnic groups with the exception of urban muhajirs and this is the first systematic step for creating ‘Bantustans’ for Sindhis in Sindh so that the indigenous Sindhis do not even get half a chance to progress.

Bantustans, the black homelands, were created by the South African apartheid regime to ensure that the blacks and coloureds were excluded from all benefits that the whites enjoyed. These Bantustans were a major administrative device for the exclusion of blacks from the South African political and economic system under the policy of apartheid. The new ordinance in Sindh follows Hendrik Verwoerd’s apartheid policy principle known as “separate development”. It will ensure that the development in rural, read Sindhi, areas will be condemned to absolute neglect.

The Bantustans of rural areas here under the ordinance are a double whammy for Sindhis as it benefits the MQM by making cities Pretoria and Johannesburg for them; and secondly, making the rural areas Vendaland, Transkei, Kwa-Zulu, etc, for Sindhis, thus depriving them of their rights and opportunities and keeping them mired in the Middle Ages. This ordinance creates the optimum conditions for dividing Sindh between the Urdu-speaking and Sindhi-speaking people, initiating a perpetual conflict between them. The PPP in its anxiety to retain power has recklessly forsaken Sindhis and agreed to the Bantustanaisation of Sindh.

This ordinance will exacerbate the already acute ethnic conflicts. Inevitably, along the existing ethnic fault-lines, tectonic scale fissures will appear and result in an irreversible ethnic and social meltdown because when a single ethnic group pockets all the rewards and the rest are denied even the basic essentials, there is bound to be unprecedented turmoil. It carries the germ of division and can only result in violence. During the civil war in Cyprus, the Greek and Turkish populations generally inhabited separate areas while here they intermingle, which means more bloodshed.

There however is a glitch in this plan. The people of Sindh have realised that their rights have been bartered away for personal benefits by the PPP and MQM and its beneficiaries stand to prosper further, therefore they are bravely resisting the attempt to permanently consign them to ghettoes. They have to understand, if they have not yet, that once they are corralled in their Bantustans there is no escape because they have neither a Nelson Mandela nor an ANC to lead them. They will have to man the barricades for the salvation of Sindh and Sindhis themselves.

The writer has an association with the Baloch rights movement going back to the early 1970s. He tweets at mmatalpur and can be contacted at

(Courtesy daily Times, 21 October, 2012)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sindh Bachayo Committee's Stand On New Local Govt System In Sindh


Sindh has been subject to continuous onslaught against its sovereignty and unity particularly
during last sixty five years of Pakistani Federation.   The recent attack on its sovereignty has
been hurled by no other than Pakistan People’s Party who claims to have the mandate of the
people of Sindh.  This attack on the unity and sovereignty of Sindh in the shape of so called
Sindh Peoples Local Government Act, 2012 reminds us the era of July, 1948 when Karachi was
snatched from Sindh and placed under the suzerainty of centre.  Sindh Assembly had to take
refuge in Hyderabad. At present, Sindh Assembly’s  very existence at Karachi will also be
devoid of any utility as it has transferred the executive authority of Provincial Government to
Metropolitan Corporation, Karachi making itself and the Sindh Government a puppet in the
hands of Karachi Mayor.

Unfortunately, Sindh Government is  undeterred by its capitulation and surrender.   Its
Ministers, advisors and PPP office bearers have been making  baseless allegations against the
leaders of National and progressive Parties of Sindh who have been  spearheading a heroic
struggle against this black law. Ignorant of the very letter and spirit of SPLG Act, 2012, the
Government is defending the defenseless.  We would like to present the case of Sindh against
this law by pointing out various provisions of this black law.  For the sake of convenience and
understanding, we have divided the Act of 2012 into three parts: First relates to the constitution
of Councils, Second enumerates the powers of the Metropolitan Corporations and third is about
the financial powers conferred on the councils and resources made available to them.

(1) Constitution of Councils:

Section 8 of the SPLG Act, 2012 declares Karachi as a single district abolishing five districts for
the sake of municipal purposes.  It creates a single Metropolitan Corporation out of five districts
in Karachi and five other single district Metropolitan Corporations in Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas,
Sukkur, Khairpur and Larkana. Constituting single district metropolitan corporations in no case
affects  the demographic balance of population.  However, it badly affects the demographic balance and representation  of various communities particularly sindhi and Baloch in Karachi when their majority districts of Malir, South and West as well as large parts of district East are placed under the central control of Mayor who is elected indirectly on the basis of fraudulent electoral system and belongs  to a particular ethnic community not forming majority of the population in Karachi. Under section 8, the Zonal Municipal Committees of the districts and District Council, Karachi representing rural areas of all the five districts have been done away with thus completely eliminating the representation of Sindhi, Baloch and other people living in Karachi. Under Section 9, eighteen towns have been created without respecting the boundaries
of the revenue districts thus political Gerry  maundering has been ordered in the shape of
section 9.  The town boundaries, at present,  run across district boundaries only in Karachi
whereas in other districts of Sindh, town or Talukas are the part and parcel of the same district.

In Karachi, the towns have been created in such a way as to make minority population a
majority one.  No direct elections of the Mayor unlike London will be held.  Thus a dual system
has been enforced which gives complete control to one ethnic community in Karachi at the cost
of others.  Such basis of any law is in clear contradiction of various provisions of constitution of
Pakistan when the Supreme Court of Pakistan has already held that constituencies in Karachi
may be demarcated afresh giving representation to all communities living there.  Thus in the
name of  decentralization, Karachi has been completely centralized  eliminating the
representation of indigenous and other communities by handing over them to the wolves of the
city.  District Council, Karachi which comprised of 70% of the rural areas of Karachi has been
done away with, thus dealing a severe blow to Sindhi and Balochi population of Karachi.  The
fate of Sindhi and Baloch people has been consigned to an extremist group who has a history of
terrorism,  vandalism, torture, mass killings, murder and mayhem.  This system of ethnic
supremacy reminds Sindhi people one of the sad parts of their history when Prime Minister,
Liaquat Ali Khan within one year of Indian  partition in 1947 separated Karachi from rest of
Sindh in July, 1948.  Again in 1954, the central government imposed infamous  one unit
abolishing the provincial status of Sindh and making it a part of Punjab.  Throughout the
history of Pakistan, Sindhis have waged struggle against various onslaughts on the sovereignty and unity of Sindh.  PPP Government has again violated the sovereignty of Sindh by enacting
SPLG Act, 2012 which is no less harmful than Establishment of West Pakistan Act, 1955.


Without any iota of doubt, so called Karachi  Metropolitan Corporation of Karachi has been
created like a state within state.  Under sections 14, 38, 39 and schedule 1 of the Sindh Peoples
Local Government Act, 2012, it has been given vast authority and list of subjects much wider in
scale than the powers and subjects given to Federal Government under schedule 4 of the

Under Section 14(5) it has been empowered to establish any office or activity
which power even the Federal Government does not possess as it can establish only those
departments, divisions or Ministries which are enumerated in schedule 4 of the Constitution.
Under Article 137 of the Constitution, Sindh Assembly has no power to transfer the executive
authority of the Provincial Government to any other authority.  Since there is trichotomy of the
powers under the constitution, one organ of the state, particularly a legislative organ  cannot
snatch executive authority from the provincial government. Sindh  Assembly acted in gross
violation of law by passing a piece of legislation which it had no authority to enact.  Despite
opposition and uproar and a missing chapter 18 and 7 schedules from the statue called SPLGA,
Act, 2012, the speaker of the Assembly went ahead with the passing of bill thus repeating
history of his traitor uncle Ayub Khuhro who in the same manner had cajoled and coerced the
members of Sindh Assembly in 1954 to pass an infamous one unit Bill in 1954.  Speaker, Nisar
Khuhro, being a custodian of the house, not only violated rules of the Assembly but committed
an act of treachery.

Under the aforesaid sections and Schedule 1, the Metropolitan Corporations will have 43
departments with their own administration headed by a grade 20 Chief Officer who will be the
head of District administration. Strangely enough, Sindh government has also 43 departments.
Following departments will work under Mayor of Metropolitan Corporation.

1. Primary, vocational and continuing education. (2)  Literacy (3) Health including
basic  and rural health  centers, child health, women health and  hospitals (4) Civil
Defense (5) Community development and organization (6) Fisheries (7) Social
Welfare (8) Sports and Sport Boards (9) Culture (10) Co-operation department (11)
Finance, Budget and  Accounts (12) KDA, KMC lands and Estate department (13)
Property Tax (14) Housing (15) Physical planning (16) Public health engineering (17)
Transport (18) Master plans, zoning and clarification of lands (19) Water Board and
other water authorities (20) law and order (21) Law and legal drafting (22)
Encroachments (23) Market Committees  (24) Natural Disasters (25) Co-ordination
(26) Environment (27) Human Resources (28) Information technology (29) Works
and Services (30) Land control and land use (31) Land Revenue Co-ordination (32)
Enterprises (33) Investment (34) Industry and Industrial Estates (35) Dams and water
reservoirs (36) Energy (37) Police and crimes control (38) Planning and Development
(39) Data Base (40) Historical and cultural sites (41) Regional markets and
commercial centers (42) Coastal Development (43) Prosecution of offences under
chapter XVII of the Act.

It is astonishing that Sindh government has 43 departments and the  Metropolitan
Corporations will also have same number of departments.  Apart from above departments,
the MCs have been given judicial powers under sections 109, 133, 143, 144 and 145 of the Cr.
P. C.  They shall also exercise powers under sections 30A to 34-B of the Police Act, 1861.
Section 109 pertains to preventive detention, 133 and 143 to public nuisances, section 144 to
ban any sort of activity including freedom of movement. Under section 145, Mayor has been
empowered to attach a property of any citizen in case of dispute over title of the property.  
Interestingly, these powers, at present, are being exercised by Judiciary  and police and
previously, they were conferred on  District magistrates and sub divisional  Magistrates.
Under section 201, the Mayor could be chairman of development authorities of Malir, Layari
and Hyderabad. Under Section 64 and 149  he will exercise complete control over town
Chairmen unlike Mushraff system.  Under Section 23, Mayor could only be removed by two third majority when the Chief Minister can be removed by simple majority of the house.
Under section 28(e) Mayor will implement Provincial and Federal Laws, under Section 29,
he can take disciplinary action against officers of Administration headed by Chief Officer
and he has been empowered to initiate ACRs of the officers.


Under this arrangement, two parallel administrations will be working in the province:
one under the Chief Officer controlled by Mayor and another under  Deputy
Commissioner who shall be responsible to Chief Minister.  The administration headed
by Mayor will be all resourceful and powerful whereas the administration working under Deputy Commissioner  and instructed by Chief Minister will be nominal, weak
and toothless having no authority whatsoever.  This system is more lethal than
Musharaff’s SLGO of 2001 as under that system power and authority over 12
departments was shared by the Provincial as well as Local Governments.  Under this
system, Metropolitan Corporation will have 43 departments instead of 12 under
Mushraff system which stand completely transferred to them. Under this black Act, the
departmental authority will not be shared by provincial government and councils
rather it has been transferred to MCs to the total exclusion of Sindh government.  This
system will  sow the seeds of conflict and  enmity between Sindhi and Urdu speaking
Sindhis and will divide mother Sindh on ethnic basis.


Municipal institutions throughout their history in Sindh right from 1910 to 2001 catered
to their needs from their own taxes including octri tax, local cess, rents and other fees.
However, with the sharing of authority over 12 departments under Sindh Local
Government Ordinance, 2001, Provincial  Finance commission was created on the pattern of National Finance Commission under Article 160 of the constitution to divide tax revenue between Federal and Provincial  governments.  Similar arrangement has been made under section 124 and 126 of the SLGA 2012. Under section 116, the accounts of the councils shall be kept in a manner approved by the President of Pakistan. Besides, property tax has also been transferred to Metropolitan Corporations. Thus Metropolitan corporations will have their own taxes,  plus property tax as well as right over the
finances of the Provincial Government. The Metropolitan Corporations will be fed from
the finances of provincial government and provincial governments will only be serving
as post offices.  History is witness to the fact that encroachment over the powers and
authority of the Province of Sindh has been anathema to Sindhis.  On the one hand,
centre has usurped the sovereignty and resources of the province and on the other Local
Government system has been tailored to snatch the sovereignty and authority of the
province.  It is beyond any shadow of doubt that all powers and authority of the
Province including coastal islands and finance has been transferred to the Karachi
Metropolitan Corporation which will be established on the basis of undemocratic
Principles eliminating the representation of Sindhi and Baloch people and will be a state
unto itself.

PPP Government, through its inept and treacherous policy, has repeated history when
Chanesar, a  local  traitor entered into an agreement with Alauddin Khilji of Dehli to
attack Sindh.  Great Dodo Soomro fought a valiant struggle against Dehli Rule.  This
black law on the basis of  PPP-Mutahida agreement could be compared only with
Chanesar-Khilji agreement to snatch sovereignty of Sindh.  Therefore, we call upon all
the loyal sons and daughters of Sindh to resist this fascist and anti-Sindh black law by
following in the  footsteps of Great  Dodo and defeat the PPP government who has imposed a war-like terms on Sindh.

Hyder Manzil, Karachi

Monday, September 10, 2012


Full Text of "The Sindh Peoples's Local Government Ordinance, 2012".

Please beware that  it is not official text because the govt has not published it yet & they might make any changes in it secretly before publishing it. They are so secretive & conspiratorial.!408

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Who Wants To Live In A Taliban Pakistan?

Photo taken from internet

1. Who Wants To Live In A Taliban Pakistan?

2. Who wants to live under a system in accordance with the lives & the philosophies of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, Sachal Sarmast, Bulhe Shah, Waris Shah, Shah Hussain, Khowaja Ghulam Farid, Baba Farid Shakarganj & other such poet-philosophers?

Friends, these two are very important questions. May be THE questions of our LIFETIME!

One must understand that the Taliban didn't take birth from nowhere. That they did not come to this world by any accident or a chance or just by the planning of one or the other individual or a power. The Taliban sentiment has been here for long. Even before the creation of Pakistan. In different shapes & forms.

Hindu-Muslim riots during, before & after the partition, JI's later day slogans of 'Pakistan kaa matlab kiya? La Ilah Illallah' (Why Pakistan? La Ilah Illallah), JUP's campaigns of Nizam-e-Mustafa during, before & after the infamous PNA movement & the creation of many of 'jihadis', 'jaish' & 'lashkars' (religious warrior groups) have been some of the manifestations or the symptoms of the malaise before the inception of present-day Taliban.

People having an eye on the history would agree that the religious extremism is ON THE RISE. Despite many well-meaning efforts by the left & the moderate people, it has not gone away. Nor it is going to go away. Right now it affects some parts of Pakistan but it certainly is making inroads in the parts where historically extremism has never been a norm of the day. Ultimately, it is going to take over whole Pakistan.

I think it is essential to save the parts of present day Pakistan that don't want to live under a rigid extremist Taliban Pakistan but instead want to live under the philosophies of their highly respected poet-philosophers as mentioned above.

The best possible & the most peaceful way is to hold a referendum in Pakistan on above two questions. Whoever wants to live in Taliban Pakistan may do so happily but whoever doesn't want to live under extremists must be allowed to chart their own way.

This may save the lives of millions of people & avoid an unprecedented bloodshed. The intellectuals, activists & statesmen in Pakistan & world leaders must pay attention to this important issue, which has international implications too.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Victims Of Karachi Massacre Of 12th May, 2007 Still Await Justice

Mobile upload by Asif Ali

It is 12th May again. 5 years ago today, a reign of terror was unleashed on the city of Karachi by London, UK based Altaf Hussain & his MQM & the Musharraf regime. Scores of people were killed & many more injured. Deposed Supreme Court judge, Iftikhar Choudhry was not allowed to come out of the airport & the city roads were forcibly blocked to stop the processions going to the airport to receive him. The whole city was held hostage by the MQM goons. The people were fired upon, terrorized & harassed.

Now that deposed judge is back in his seat. A democratically elected government is in power. But it is unfortunate that none of them has gone after the terrorists. The government has shook hands with them & is sitting together with the killers of the political workers, lawyers & others. It can't & doesn't want to hold the terrorists accountable.

The judge is taking suo motu actions against anyone & everyone under the sun but not the MQM terrorists or ex-military dictator, Musharraf.

If there is no justice for the victims of the Karachi massacre of 12th May, 2007, how could there be justice for anybody else?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

How Punjabi Babus Rule Pakistan? Deprivation In Sindh, Balochistan On The Rise In The Present Government

According to a daily Jang report, the present government, instead of redressing the injustices against the long suffering provinces of Sindh and Balochistan, has been committing even more discrimination against the two. It is creating more resentment in the two oppressed and subjugated provinces as people in Balochistan have waged struggle for independence while many in Sindh want to take the same route.

According to the report:

- The government has appointed 43 out of a total of 49 federal secretaries from Punjab
- All the four chief secretaries in Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa and Balochistan are from Punjab
- Chief Secretary of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chief Commissioner of Islamabad are also from Punjab
- The government has appointed heads of various government organizations from Punjab and officers from Punjab are appointed on major positions in those organizations/departments.
- Officers from Punjab have been appointed in Islamabad Capital Territory Authority and the Capital Development Authority.
- Similarly officers from Punjab have been appointed in Intelligence Bureau, Federal Investigation Agency, National Police Foundation, National Highways Authority, Motorways, NADRA and several other organizations.
- Seven members in the Federal Public Service Commission are also from Punjab.
- JSQM leader Bashir Qureshi had said at a public rally in Karachi on 23rd March that Sindh produces 69% of country’s gas & 75% of oil but it doesn’t have a single director among the 13 directors with the Oil & Gas Development Corporation Limited (OGDCL).
- According to him, there is not a single Sindhi General Manager either from among the 12 GMs with OGDCL.

This is the Pakistan for Sindh and Balochistan. Then they say why there are the feelings of deprivation in Sindh and Balochistan and why the people there are against Pakistan?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

MQM Strike Against Itself In The Name Of Protest Over Bhattakhori (Extortion). What Did They Want To Achieve?

Almost every one in Pakistan, including the membership and the leadership of MQM and the business community in Karachi and other urban areas in Sindh know very well who are the biggest bhattakhors (extortionists) in Sindh. Why did the MQM then bring this issue to the fore with an ugly incident in the Sindh Assembly and a shutter down strike in Karachi and some other cities in Sindh knowing fully well that the fingers would certainly be pointed at them?

The recent history is the witness to the fact that whenever the MQM has agitated or initiated a wave of violence and terrorism in Karachi, Sindh, the real issues and the demands had not been the ones that were stated publicly. So what do they want to achieve this time? Is it related to the issue of the hundreds of thousands of voters that they have manipulated to get excluded from the voters' lists in Karachi, Hyderabad and some other areas in Sindh? Is it the inclusion in the voters' lists the names of about 3 million illegal aliens living in Karachi, Sindh? Or is it a matter related to some other vital financial, political or other interests? One thing is certain the MQM eyes are now fixed on the next elections as their hold on certain urban areas faces serious threat from some other stake holders.

The question is will Zardari government succumb to pressure again to accept some insidious and stealth MQM demands? Have they already done it?

Whatever the situation may be, the people should stand up to the MQM blackmail and demand that the party should not use any of the issues to divide the people in Sindh, pitch one community against the other and spread hatred among the people based on the ethnicity, language or any other grounds. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

MQM Protest Over Bhatta Collection (Extortion)! Wow! All Of Them Must Carry Mirrors In Their Hands!

The joke of the day in Karachi: MQM is to observe protest over bhatta collection (extortion)! This should give new meanings to the words hypocrisy, deception and blackmail. The party is generally believed to be the champions in the bhatta collection in the Sindh capital and Pakistan's largest metropolis, Karachi. Their protest is like Taliban protesting the suicide bombing, Jamaat Islami calling for death sentence to Aafia Siddiqui or Advani of BJP and Bal Thakrey of Shiv Sena calling for restoration of Babri Mosque at the controversial 'birthplace' of Rama in Ayodhiya, India! What else could be more unthinkable or absurd?

But it provides a good opportunity to the government, law enforcing departments and the Supreme Court to hold a robust inquiry into the bhatta collection (extortion) in Karachi, Sindh. Although nobody would expect it from Zardari led most opportunist government or highly biased justice system in the country.

So continue to suffer at the hands of the murderers, blackmailers and bhattakhors (extortionists) and look for some more spectacles from the terrorist outfit of MQM and the inept PPP, the two coalition partners in the provincial government of Sindh and the federal government of Pakistan.

MQM Terrorizes Sindh Assembly

Photo courtesy, daily Jang
Sindh Assembly saw worst terrorism in its history yesterday when MQM members terrorized the house, manhandled the members from other parties, didn't allow anyone else to speak, broke mikes, waived posters, shouted slogans, threats, abusive remarks & made it impossible for the house to hold its session. This exposes  one more time the party known as the biggest terrorist political outfit in the country.

Where is the law?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Who Should Be The Prime Minister of Pakistan

Prime Minister of Pakistan Should Always Be From Punjab. Why? Pak Army Will Never Kill Him/Her!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sindh Being Taken Away From Sindhis

By Aziz Narejo

Sindh is home to the Indus Valley Civilization with thousands of years of glorious history behind it. It has its own distinct culture, language, literature, heroes and villains. It has remained an independent country for hundreds of years during the known history. It has also been invaded and occupied at times. At all the times, Sindhis have owned, protected and promoted their distinctive social and cultural values, language, music and common heritage. They have resisted invaders and jealously guarded their identity throughout the history. Their heroic struggles in 1930s for the separation from Bombay and the anti-One Unit movement during 1950s and 1960s for the revival of the provincial status are but just a few examples.

When a resolution was presented by G.M. Syed in the Sindh Assembly in 1940s to become part of Pakistan, a number of Assembly members had resisted it fearing that Sindhis will lose their basic rights, language and culture as they will be a voiceless minority in the new country. They had instead favored a Dominion status for Sindh with an eventual independence.
G. M. Syed
They were assured by Syed and other pro-Pakistan leaders of that time that Sindh will have complete sovereignty over its territory according to the 1940 Lahore Resolution (also known as Pakistan Resolution) and all of its rights will be fully protected. It is most unfortunate that the fears expressed in Sindh Assembly in 1940s have come true and Sindhis have suffered immensely since the creation of Pakistan, as their life, culture, language and common heritage has been under an unprecedented and continuous attack and their lands, properties and resources have been encroached. 

The aspirations of Sindhis who participated overwhelmingly in the struggle to end the British rule in the earlier half of the 20th century were dashed soon after the “independence” in 1947. They had hoped to regain their lost glory at the end of the British rule but instead were enslaved by the immigrants and the rulers of the newly established country. They have since then faced state terror, aggression, suppression, murder and incarceration of their leaders, loss of political power and continuous denial of their basic rights. It is most tragic that they have endured the worst kind of violence and brutality in Pakistan.

It is a historic fact that the movement of population on a mass scale was not foreseen at the time of the partition nor was it part of the plan announced on June 3, 1947 for the division of India. Nonetheless, a huge population movement took place and Sindh was inundated with a sea of refugees. Taking into account the impacts of the migration on such a large scale and the bloodshed accompanying it, the leaders of the two countries signed an agreement in 1950 aimed at stopping the movement of population. It is regrettable that the immigration has continued unabatedly since then raising the fears in Sindh that Sindhis may lose majority in their own province in near future.
M. Ayub Khuhro (first from left) seen with M. A. Jinnah, Liaquat Ali Khan & other Muslim League leaders during the  ML Working Committee meeting in Bombay in 1942
It may be noted that the government of Sindh’s Premier Ayub Khuhro was dismissed in 1948 mainly because he refused to take more than 150,000 refugees and also because he had refused to handover Karachi to the Center and had intervened personally in the provincial capital of Karachi to end the violence against the Hindus, a religious minority in Sindh. It was said at the time that the first Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan, an immigrant from India, and his supporters had instigated the riots to force the religious minority of Sindh to migrate to India.
Liaquat Ali Khan
It is also said that the leadership of Pakistan at that time had planned to settle a large number of refugees in Sindh to establish dominance over the province. In this context a conversation between Altaf Gauhar, information secretary in Ayub regime and Chaudhry Mohammad Ali, ex-prime minister of Pakistan on 15th March 1969 on the grievances of the people of Sindh is most revealing. Chaudhry Mohammad Ali in the conversation, as quoted by Altaf Gauhar said, “The Sindhis were extremely unhappy about the growing presence of “outsiders” in the towns of Sindh. The Muhajirs had taken over the whole of Karachi, the Punjabi officials had acquired the large tracts of barrage lands and the Pathans had acquired a monopoly of all transport and construction business”. Muhammad Ali thought these worries were all unnecessary because his “government in the 1950s had foreseen the problem and had planned the induction of Muhajirs into Karachi and other major towns of Sindh to forestall Sindhi nationalism”. (Please see pages 466, 467 of “Ayub Khan” by Altaf Gauhar).
Chaudhry Mohammad Ali
It is indeed part of the history that new laws were formed and immigrants were settled in the urban and rural areas of Sindh on a large scale. No verifications of claims were made for the allotments of evacuee properties and agricultural lands. Similarly no verifications were made for degrees or certificates of education for the employment of refugees. Simply a claim or a letter by the applicant cosigned by an officer, both immigrants, was deemed enough for allotments of lands, properties and employment.
Altaf Gauhar with president Ayub Khan & a civil servant M. H. Shah on the morning after 1965 presidential elections
On the other hands Sindhis were virtually banned from buying urban properties and agricultural lands in their own province. Later on when barrages were constructed to irrigate more lands in the province, the advertisements for the allotments of lands were published in the Punjab and the people from that province and every where else where encouraged settling in Sindh.

The practices have continued depriving the indigenous people of the opportunities in their own province and elsewhere in the country. They have been denied political power since the early days of Pakistan. They have been denied the basic democratic right to self rule and the access to their share in the economic development in the country.

Independent studies and surveys show that poverty in rural Sindh has increased manifold since 1947. It is said that the gross income in the rural areas has decreased since the independence. Experts and historians believe that if the income of a person was Rs. 50 at the time of partition, it has been reduced to Rs. 25 today if one takes into account the respective monetary value.

The indigenous people of Sindh have been made alien to the decision-making bodies in Pakistan. They don’t have their share in the civilian and military bureaucracies. No Sindhi has crossed the threshold of a Brigadier in the military since 1947.

The language, culture and the common heritage of Sindh have suffered the most. A vastly developed Sindhi language has been denied its rightful place in Sindh and Pakistan. The demand to make it a national language of the country has been continuously denied giving that status to a language spoken by a small but very powerful minority in the country. Peaceful Sindhi culture and way of life have been sidelined and an alien and mostly jingoistic culture has been imposed in the province.

Sindhi language has been virtually banned from the urban areas despite laws to the contrary and the doors to education opportunities have been closed on the indigenous population. Sindhis have been denied admission to colleges and universities in Karachi. Similarly laws have been made to refuse employment in Karachi to Sindhis from outside the city. A planned campaign is underway to settle outsiders in Karachi and other urban areas while demolishing old villages of Sindhis in Karachi and Hyderabad. Illegal aliens are being issued national identity cards and migration from India, Bangladesh and other countries is being encouraged to establish an artificial majority in the urban areas of Sindh in order to eventually force partition of Sindh.

Such policies of the Pakistani establishment aimed at denying the genuine rights of the indigenous people of Sindh and efforts to bring demographic changes in the province will cause unprecedented catastrophe and will result in more bloodshed and civil strife. One hopes sense will prevail and the leadership will stop its short-sighted policies.

The article was published in the June 2007 edition of quarterly "Sangat" edited by the author. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pakistan's Embassy in USA & Sindhi Americans

Sherry Rehman continued the tradition of Pakistani ambassadors in USA since last 6 decades to ignore Sindhi Americans as she addressed a so-called Pakistani Americans' gathering in Washington, DC seeking their support on Pak-US ties. No Pakistani ambassador in USA including Hussain Haqqani has ever invited representatives of Sindhi Americans to any embassy programs nor have they ever consulted Sindhi Americans on any issues facing them. It means Pakistani ambassadors in USA have never considered Sindhis as having to do anything with Pakistan. One must make it clear that Sindhi Americans on their part are not that eager to be part of any embassy programs either but this is something that needs to be taken into consideration by the state of Pakistan & its advocates.