Meanwhile in Pakistan, the natives (Sindhis) of the largest revenue-generating province, Sindh, of Pakistan took to the arteries of Karachi to demand independence from Pakistan. They alleged that Pakistan was not acknowledging their culture and historical status of a ‘nation’, whose roots are in the Mohen-jo-Daro, the ancient civilization.
It was not long ago that a bill was tabled in the US Congress in support of giving Balochistan – the land of the Baloch – the right to self-determination against their ‘forced accession’ into Pakistan on March 27, 1948. The day is still mourned as a Black Day throughout the Baloch land, including parts of the provincial capital, Quetta.
In the year 1971, the erstwhile East Pakistan had already witnessed a bloody independence war with Pakistan, which culminated in the creation of the country now known as Bangladesh – it was a real bloody war since hundreds of thousands of people were massacred in this ‘genocide’ to crush the Bengali freedom-fighters.
In the present times, however, it is not just Balochistan which has the separatist sentiments, but Sindh under the leadership of Mr. G.M. Syed, has also been fighting for independence soon after the creation of Pakistan. Continue reading
Sindh has been known for its Sufi culture which has kept pushing the extremism off its borders. It has in it several shrines, religious harmony, coexistence and tolerance, not to mention the centuries-old civilization, Mohen-jo-Darro. Sindhis have always claimed to have secularism and Sufism to be present as if in their gene and, thus, they wouldn’t ever side with religious intolerance and extremism.
Well, this is true to a great extent since we can see that where Pakistan has seen surge in extremism throughout the post-9/11 period, Sindh has remained comparatively more peaceful and, especially, incidents of extremist activities have been equal to none. There definitely was an incident of burning NATO oil tankers in Shikarpur, Sindh, but the same was condemned by the Sindhi nationalist parties attributing the incident to the agencies trying to tarnish the soft image of Sindh; in fact, there were massive protests against the blazing up of the oil tankers throughout the land. Continue reading
So, the situation of genocide of the Baloch has reached to the point where a bill has been tabled in the US which supports the ‘independence’ of Balochistan! Those fighting the Pakistani state for ‘freedom’ are looking forward to a practical response against the bill and waiting for the action in this regard.
This, however, is not a joke – a bill in the US House of Representatives does not immediately give independence to Balochistan – and may have quite severe repercussions on the land of the Baloch.
Pakistani state has always been blamed to protect on permanent basis the Punjabi interests and exploit the southern units of the ‘federation’ – Sindh and Balochistan – and has been fought back by the Sindhi and Baloch nationalists. How the Punjab started grabbing the country’s reigns was such loud that the first person to present the Pakistan Resolution in the Sindh Assembly, Saeen GM Syed, started campaigning against the exploitation of Sindh which, after the massacre of the Benglis in the then-East Pakistan resulting in the independent Bangladesh, turned into a strong movement of independence of Sindh. The slogan of Jeay Sindh turned out to be Jeay Sindhudesh referring to the proposed independent Sindh to be named, Sindhudesh.
Our Sindhi nationalists are simply not aware of the world trends. They have no idea how powerful and strong the social media has become in today’s world!
In contrast, the Baloch political activists are now quite alert and actively propagate their message to the world through the use of the social media — blogs, social networks, microblogs, etc.
The proof that the world hears them speak is that BBC has now covered the political activists’ efforts on Twitter and blogs. According to the reports, in the backdrop of the biased and selective (under-)reporting of the mainstream Pakistani media, it’s the blogs and micro-blogs (Twitter) which have been the source of information for the world on the brutality of the Pakistani state in Balochistan, that is, their kill-and-dump policy against the Baloch nationalists and freedom fighters.
Saleem Shehzad, 40, bureau chief of Asia Times Online (Hong Kong) and Italian news agency Adnkronos, was abducted on May 29, 2011 in Islamabad and later, his bullet-riddled body was found after three days on May 31 in a river in Jehlam. Shehzad’s body bore marks of extreme torture, similar to that of more than 180 of Baloch journalists, freelance writers, lawyers, human rights defenders and political activists who were first abducted, tortured and subsequently killed. The journalist and human rights organizations allege secret agencies of the state for the murder of Shehzad.
Private TV channels, newspapers and magazines have fully focused the case and are demanding a probe into the extra judicial killing of the murdered journalist. Continue reading
Although it is a question of simple ‘recognition’ of cultures which actually form the ‘federation’, this issue has always been dealt with purely on political grounds, not knowing that this simple act of recognition (the government has nothing to show for actively promoting its cultures) will add to the strength of the country.
It’s not diversity but uniformity which has been propagated through the state or the so-called ‘national media’ – notion of being ‘one’ nationhood has been propagated so much so that the country has inappropriately been called a single nation. This concept has been propagated by the state and inculcated in the minds of the people to the extent that the real identities of the nations – Sindhi, Baloch, Pakhtoon, Seraiki, etc – have virtually evaporated, and the ones speaking for their separate identities are thought of as a threat to the country and, thus, should be ridded. Continue reading
The post first appeared on Global Voices (found here!) on May 03, 2011 and is a part of its special coverage, The Death of Osama Bin Laden. It is also available in 繁體中文, Français, Italiano, Español, and 简体中文.
Osama Bin Laden, the iconic figure of religious extremism-based terrorism, is dead – finally! Operation Geronimo ended his life yesterday, in an event which will surely leave its marks on history of the world, and politics, in general. The news literally gripped the world media so much that it was hard to find other news being reported on television channels.
In the wake of Bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan, Pakistan’s image as a haven for terrorists has, perhaps, been reinforced. However, the liberal class of urban Pakistanis have always welcomed any move to eradicate extremist elements from the country. Continue reading
The city of Karachi was, literally, rocked by the tremors triggered by thebiggest blast of the city’s history on November 11, 2010. It was an attack on the Criminal Investigation Department’s centre, later on, owned by none else than the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan.
The blast was preceded by a transient phase of firing on the spot which, now we know, was actually a battle between the security forces personnel and the attackers. After putting the security personnel to sleep, a truck heavily loaded with explosives slammed into the CID building leaving it almost flattened. And where the blast instigated a wave of shudders encircling its circumference of many kilometers and smashing glasses of buildings to pieces, I wonder if it could also reach to the noticeably protected buildings of the nearby CM House and the US Consulate, not to mention the five star hotels dotted around. Continue reading