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.
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
بـــي مــوت مُــئــا ، تـو لاءِ ڪُــٺـــا انـســان هــزاريــن مــان نــه رڳـــو،
هـــــن دنـيـا ۾ اي ديــس ! هُـيـا نــادان هــزاريــن مــان نــه رڳــو .
Deeply shocked, I strongly condemn the barbaric killing of three Baloch nationalist leaders, Ghulam Mohammad Baloch, Sher Mohammad Baloch and Lala Muneer Baloch, by Pakistan’s intelligence agencies. They were kidnapped from the office of their solicitor about a week before they were killed brutally.
Another incident which has uncovered the ugly face of Pakistan’s intelligence agencies which have been involved in killing of thousands of people of the country. However, their rage falls more on the ones who raise voice against victimization of their land and struggle for the rights of their people. Samiullah Kalhoro, a Sindhi nationalist, also fell prey to the same monster not many years back. Dr. Safdar Sarki remained in illegal detention by the intelligence agencies. He was released when the SC took notice of his disappearance.
The martyred Baloch leaders had been quite active in the struggle against the operation in their land carried out by the Pakistani military for the last many years. Several Baloch people have been killed and many arrested by the agencies.
Who can forget the case of Zarina Mari?
The only ‘crime’ they commit is that they speaks against the victimization of their people, land and natural resources. They, like Sindhis, want the ownership of their natural resources and wish to utilize them for the welfare and development of their people. Is this a crime?
Pakistan is — let’s face it — a country where nations have always been oppressed in the name of (one-)nationhood and religion! However, the malicious intentions of the controllers of the country have been uncovered and the world has started paying heed to the cries coming out from the lands of Sindhi and Baloch nations.
Martyrs are the people who die fighting for the rights of their land and their people; all other definitions are faulty and misguiding!
Every martyr challenges the killers in the following words of Shaikh Ayaz:
تون چئه نه ڪُڇان، تُو ن چئه نه لُڇان، پر توکان هڪڙي ڳالهه پڇان؟
تُون ڪنهن ڪنهن کي خاموش ڪندين؟ اعلان هزارين مان نه رڳو!
I reiterate my words and condemn severly killing of the three brave nationalists. However, I believe, there are thousands of such brilliant people who would not hesitate to die in the name of their land… I salute those sons of the soil!
Highlights of life of legendary, Saain GM Syed.
Saeen G. M. [Syed was] son of Syed Mohammed Shah Kazmi, descendant of a famous saint of Sindh, Syed Haider Shah Kazmi, of whose mausoleum, he [was] the Sajjada-nashin. He was born at the village Sann in Dadu District, Sindh, on January 17, 1904. His father passed away when he was only sixteen months old. He has had no formal schooling. Whatever he learnt was self-tutored. By dint of hard work, he attained mastery over Sindhi and English languages. He was also conversant with Arabic and Persian languages. History, Philosophy and Political science were his favorite subjects of study.
- At an early age of fourteen years, he started his career as an activist.
- In 1919 he became Chairman of School Board of his own Tahsil.
- Subsequently, he was elected as a President of Karachi District Local Board in 1929. He later became its President.
- In 1930, he organized Sindh Hari (peasants) Conference and became its Secretary.
- In 1937, he was for the first time elected a member of Sindh Legislative Assembly.
- In 1938, he joined the All-India Muslim League. In 1940, he became Minister of Education in Sindh.
- In 1941, he became one of the members of the Central Committee of the Muslim League.
- In 1943, he became President of Sindh Muslim League.
- In 1944, he played a pivotal role in politics and got a resolution passed in the Sindh Assembly in favor of Pakistan, which was the pioneer resolution of its kind in the whole of undivided India.
- In 1946, conditions compelled him to dissociate from the Muslim League, and formed a new party named Progressive Muslim League. The same year he was elected as leader of the Coalition Party in the Sindh Assembly.
- In 1954, he acted as Chairman of Sindhi Adabi Board.
- In 1955, he played an active part in the formation of Pakistan National Party.
- In 1966, he founded Bazm-e-Soofia-e Sindh.
- In 1969, he formed Sindh United Front.
- Getting disappointed from All-Pakistan national politics, he founded in 1973 the ‘Jeay Sindh’ movement.
Mr. Syed is the author of more than sixty five (65) books. His books are on numerous subjects, ranging from literature to politics, religion and culture etc. He was himself a mystic had a lot of love and regard for mystics of all faiths. Besides being a man of immense learning, Mr. Syed possesses a personality that was graceful and poised. Highly cultured and refined manners, hospitality and geniality were the two glaring traits of his character. Wit and humor were the keynotes of his personality. He respected all genuine difference of opinions. For decades, Sindh and Sindhi people had constituted the center of his interest and activity, and all his love energies were devoted to their good. GM Syed proposed the Pakistan Resolution, 1940 in the Sindh Assembly, which ultimately resulted in the creation of Pakistan. However, he became the first political prisoner of Pakistan because of his differences with the leadership of the country, as he believed that they had deceived the Sindhis.
In 1971 , disappointed with the national politics, GM Syed found no option but to demand the Right of Self Determination for the people of Sindh. Mr. G.M. Syed is founder of ‘JEAY SINDH’ Movement which is aimed at achieving SINDHUDESH. For his bold expression of opinion and views after the creation o Pakistan, he was been kept either in jail-or in solitary confinement for the: period of more than 30 years.
On 19th January 1992, GM Syed was put under house arrest and his house was declared a sub-jail. He has been detained without trial until his death and has been adopted “Prisoner of Conscience” by Amnesty International (ASA 33/WU02/94).
Following is the shair of a Sindhi poet, Juman Darbadar, that Saeen GM Syed would like a lot:
Translation (literal): Taking life after life, o dear! we’ll return to meet in Mehran (Sindh); Darkness will disappear, (and) we’ll meet in brightness (when there’ll be peace and prosperity)!
“Punjabi Power” overwhelms Zardari
Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:47 am (PDT)
Manipal, India – Regular readers of this column will not have been surprised at recent developments in Pakistan, in which army chief Ashfaq Kayani enforced the surrender of the Pakistan People’s Party-led government to the demands of the Pakistan Muslim League (N) chief, Nawaz Sharif.
The core purpose of Kayani’s institution is to ensure the continued supremacy of Wahabbi Punjabis over all other groups in Pakistan, a mission that it has fulfilled thus far. Uppity non-Punjabis, such as assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, were shown their place for daring to talk of a genuinely federal structure for the country. Now it is the turn of her husband, President Asif Ali Zardari, to be at the business end of Kayani’s swagger stick.
The “honest” former – and soon to be reinstated – chief justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Chaudhry, has been a member in good standing of the Punjabi supremacist brigade since his years as a lawyer. He detests Zardari and has only kind words about his champion and fellow Punjabi, Nawaz Sharif. This despite the fact that the Sharif family has acquired an asset base of close to US$2 billion, entirely because of its proximity to the military and other levers of patronage in Pakistan.
The Sharifs are far wealthier than the Zardaris, in a culture where wealth comes less from initiative or from enterprise than from muscle power. The difference is that the Sharif family is Wahabbi, and has been active in funding the Jamaat-i-Islami (Pakistan) since its early days in business four decades back, while the Zardaris are Sufi, a philosophy that places them in opposition to the military-backed Wahabbi network in Pakistan.
Sharif ally Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, who from the start has sought to ensure the elimination of his nominal superior Zardari, also has Jamaat links, having been an early backer of the founder of Wahabbism in Pakistan, General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq.
According to individuals in the PML(N), the humiliating climb-down by Zardari came as a result of the silent backing given to the plans of General Kayani by Obama advisor Colin Powell and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, both of whom backed the reinstatement of Justice Chaudhry and the return to power in the Punjab of the Sharif brothers.
What Powell and Clinton perhaps failed to take serious note of was the fact that the street uprising orchestrated by Kayani and Sharif had the support of the Jamaat-i-Islami (Pakistan), an organization that believes in the feasibility of establishing a Wahabbi Caliphate throughout the world, and certainly in India, a country ruled for more than six centuries by Mughal dynasties.
It is the Jamaat that has been orchestrating the opposition to Pakistan’s participation in NATO’s attempted war against the Taliban, and seeks a total Allied pullout from Afghanistan and Pakistan. Jamaat leaders have been in regular contact with the Sharif brothers and army headquarters since Zardari took office less than a year ago, working in tandem with Prime Minister Gilani to force the president’s removal.
Zardari is the individual who backed an unpopular policy of bringing to account the perpetrators of last November’s attacks in Mumbai, and gave tacit backing to U.S. efforts to take out the Taliban leadership through the use of airpower. Both these policies were sabotaged covertly by the Pakistan army, a fact not unknown to NATO commanders and to the incoming U.S. envoy to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry.
By helping to reward what was essentially a mob masquerading as an expression of “democratic” sentiment, Hillary Clinton has opened the door to a future series of orchestrated street protests, this time by the Taliban and elements friendly to it. This, according to individuals within Pakistan tracking such developments, will “spontaneously” erupt should NATO come anywhere close to taking out the Taliban’s capabilities.
The Sharif brothers, with the blessing of the military, today control the streets. Tomorrow it will be the Taliban’s turn.
Zardari, aware of the financial vulnerability of the Sharif brothers, was confident that a show of strength would have brought them to heel, and that the military would not, in the present international climate, have dared to intervene the way it did in 1999 against Nawaz Sharif.
Ironically, it was those international forces who daily repeat the mantra of a “moderate” Pakistan that sided with the allies of the Jamaat-i-Islami (Pakistan), which – unlike its Indian counterpart, which is moderate and has issued a fatwa against terrorism – regards the Taliban as an associate entity. In Bangladesh, “democratic” protests similarly orchestrated by the men in uniform ensured the paralysis of civil authority and a steady expansion of the influence of jihadists.
Zardari represented an alternative that seems now to have been all but snuffed out. The next stage in the Kayani-Sharif drama is the stripping of presidential powers from Zardari, followed by more “spontaneous” demonstrations. These would lead to a fresh election, in which the Punjabis would return to center stage through the victory of Nawaz Sharif.
By then, Prime Minister Gilani will have understood the dangers of supping with a very short spoon, but it will be too late. The reality is that the PPP can survive the present assault only through unity, which the army seems determined to prevent.
However, it would be premature to write the epitaph of Asif Ali Zardari. Should the Pakistan president deem it necessary, he would be able to mobilize in huge numbers Sindhis, Pashtuns, Baloch and other groups that have been under the heel of the Wahabbi Punjabis since the1970s. Should he press for genuine federalism, and for a more equitable representation of disadvantaged communities within the Pakistan military, such steps would resonate among a people chafing under supremacists.
During the 1960s, what was then West Pakistan ran the eastern part of the country as a colony, using Bengalis in the military to help them in this task. After the liberation of Bangladesh in1971, India’s Indira Gandhi made the mistake of refusing Bangladesh hero Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s request that at least a few officers of the Pakistan army – 93,000 of whom were prisoners of war – be tried for genocide.
She also left alone the Bengali component of the army, which subsequently regenerated itself as the Bangladesh army, and from the start adopted the longstanding policy of subservience to the dictates of the men in uniform in Pakistan.
Gandhi had fallen under the spell of the charming Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the perfume-loving father of Benazir Bhutto, and lost in negotiations at Simla in 1972 all that her military had gained on the battlefield.
Nearly four decades after the Bangladesh debacle, the Bourbons in the Pakistan army have evidently learned nothing. Once the country was vivisected, the western part was itself partitioned into Baloch, Pashtun, Sindhi and Punjabi components, with the latter dominating the other three much as the West Pakistanis had ruled over the East during the two decades prior to the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971.
As this column has emphasized, what is taking place in Pakistan is not a “war on corruption” headed by a fearless judge. Justice Chaudhry’s backers, the Sharif brothers, would not survive the Obama vetting process even for a few hours.
It is not a “battle for democracy” either. Zardari and his party were elected to power, and paralyzing a country is not – except perhaps in the view of the U.S. State Department – the prescribed method in a genuine democracy of resolving differences of opinion.
What has taken place is the assertion of Wahabbi Punjabi supremacy over the country, a victory that will have immediate consequences not only on NATO’s operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but on the unity of Pakistan.
(Professor M.D. Nalapat is vice-chair of the Manipal Advanced Research Group, UNESCO Peace Chair, and professor of geopolitics at Manipal University. ©Copyright M.D. Nalapat.)
Note from the blogger: This post is actually an article which has been published here “as-is”, i.e. not even a single comma or dot has been inserted/removed. This post also might interest you: Help, Beowulf! By the same token, I hope you guyz will like the following image which clearly depicts …. uhh, well, I hope you got it! ;)