It is rare that a country’s top leaders are seen virtually bawling over the death of its enemy number one. But Pakistan’s Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and the chief of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Mr Imran Khan did pull that off. The two leaders have led the national wailing over the killing of Hakeemullah Mehsud and his cohorts in a drone attack on his house in Dande Darpa Khel village, North Waziristan Agency (NWA). The two Khans made it sound like a helpful boy scout and not the ringleader of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had been assassinated. The most brutal terrorist is being presented like an apostle of peace who was about to lead his country to the Promised Land. And, of course, the big bad US is the vicious villain according to the Interior Minister and his former college mate Mr Imran Khan.
The lamentation for Hakeemullah Mehsud and the vitriol against the US is literally a replay of how Pakistan and its leaders had reacted to Osama bin Laden’s 2011 killing. After bin Laden’s death there was a lucid interval of a few days where the then president Mr Asif Zardari and his close aides sought to take the opportunity to make a clean break with Pakistan’s dubious past association with jihadist terrorism. But they could not withstand the drummed up anti-US sentiment and caved in. The leaked bin Laden Commission Report, which has still not been released by Pakistan, essentially identifies the US, not bin Laden or the terrorist outfit(s) he sired, as Pakistan’s enemy number one. The report said that the US had “acted like a criminal thug”, and it termed the US raid on bin Laden’s lair “an act of war”. Similar rhetoric was codified in the September 9, 2013 All Parties Conference’s declaration that condemned the US actions as “illegal and immoral” and responsible for the terrorist ‘blowback’. The same document, which elevated the murderous thugs like Hakeemullah Mehsud to ‘stakeholder’ level and threatened to take the drone attacks issue to the UN, now serves as the guideline for negotiating peace with the TTP.
London – Tens of thousands of people will take part in a “mass sleep out” tonight to protest against the “bedroom tax” and other welfare changes.
People will gather in towns and cities across the UK, including London, Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff, Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds, and sleep on the streets to draw attention to the effects of the controversial measures.
One of the organisers, Rick Victory, 46, of Cheltenham, said: “We expect at least 3,000 people to take part in the 60-plus events.
“We fear that the cuts will push people who cannot afford to move into the private rented sector towards homelessness.
Pakistan Peoples’ Party’s “Reconciliatory” Provincial Government’s Five-Year bad performance and National Interests of Sindh
SWTF will launch mass movement if SPLGA-2012 is not annulled before next elections!
Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) is generally considered as the party mainly belonging to Sindh and Sindhis, which is enjoying the power of being the largest parliamentary party on the basis of Sinshi vote. However, unfortunately instead of safeguarding Sindh’s rights, it has caused fatal damage to the integrity, economy, human development and developmental infrastructure of Sindh through bad governance, corruption, nepotism and misuse of people’s mandate. PPP Government’s notorious decision of Sindh Peoples’ Local Government Act (SPLGA) 2012 has caused an unprecedented damage to ethnic harmony and social cohesiveness of society of Sindh.
We, the intellectuals, writers, poets, journalists, civil society activists and concerned citizens strongly believe that PPP’s sitting government has betrayed the democratic mandate of majority of people of Sindh.
Chief on hunger strike demands action within 72 hours
BY: GLORIA GALLOWAY
OTTAWA — Canada’s native leaders have petitioned the Prime Minister and the Governor-General to gather three weeks from now to discuss perceived failings in the treaty relationships – but an Ontario chief on a hunger strike to force such a meeting says she can’t wait that long.
Theresa Spence, the chief of the impoverished community of Attawapiskat, who has been fasting for 24 days to demand the face-to-face discussion, has told her supporters and other native leaders that a meeting must occur within the next 72 hours, and she will not start eating until it has begun. Raymond Robinson, an elder from the Cross Lake First Nation in Manitoba, is forgoing food along with her. ….
By: Olivia Ward, Foreign Affairs Reporter
…. An Amnesty report released Wednesday says that committees on racial discrimination, prevention of torture and children’s rights found “a range” of “ongoing and serious human rights challenges,” especially for indigenous peoples.
“By every measure, be it respect for treaty and land rights, levels of poverty, average life spans, violence against women and girls, dramatically disproportionate levels of arrest and incarceration or access to government services such as housing, health care, education, water and child protection, indigenous peoples across Canada continue to face a grave human rights crisis,” it said. ….
Read more » The Toronto Star
JALSO of PML-F – A rejection to SPLGA – An emerging Alternative to get off forty years prison of PPP
Misfortune of one yields fortune for another. The prevailing leadership of PPP has provided an opportunity to PML-F to launch itself in a manner that deprived & betrayed masses by PPP-P Government may find rescue & comfort in the folds of PML-F. Since the day PPP- MQM coalition government tabled SPLGO in Sindh Assembly & got it passed hurriedly. The very moment PML-F on Assembly ground & the Nationalists on the roads opposed it with tooth & nail. The arrogant PPP neither paid attention towards public resentment nor responded to any political party opposing this barbaric bill.
On the one hand they started joking on opponents then criticized severely & finally conducted public meeting (jalso) in Hyderabad on 10th October 2012 which proved a flop show. On the other hand Sindh Bachayo Committee (SBC) under the convener ship of Syed Jalal Shah along with Jatoi Bros & Shahryar Mahar gathered at Pir Sahib Pagaro to accelerate the struggle against controversial Dual Local Government System. Due to Government’s tough & unfavorable stand on this controversial black bill there was a growing frustration among masses of Sindh.
In the mean time Pir Sahib Paggaro appeared as the gigantic voice of Sindh & Sindhis which raised a new hope among downtrodden masses of Sindh. His patriotic stand, vision, attitude & dealing with recently erupted political affairs earned for him a “leadership” role. Thus genial Pir Sahib Pagaro got consensus to lead all parties who are struggling against dual bill in particular and are willing to form a grand alliance against PPP in Sindh in coming elections in general.
In Punjab, the PML-N is set to face competition from the emerging PTI, PML-Q and PPP. However, one never thought that the political scenario in Sindh would be similarly fraught with stiff competition. This is because PPP has historically enjoyed a monopoly over Sindh.
But nobody knew what December 14, 2012 would bring forth.
December 14, was the day when the unprecedented monopoly of PPP was finally challenged. It was not PML-N nor the PTI, but the Pakistan Muslim League – Functional (PML-F) led by Syed Sibghatullah Shah Rashdi, popularly known as Pir Pagaro, that did so.
Hyderabad : Pakistan Muslim League Functional’s Chief Pir Pagara did the historical Jasla (Public Gathering) PML-F shows strength in Hyderabad; rejects [controversial, black and apartheid] SPLGA 2012 the new LG Law introduced by MQM and PPP in Sindh, in which the Slogan was ” Hik Sindh Hik Kanoon Hik Dharti Hik Pakistan ” ( One Sindh One Law One Land One Pakistan).
In the history of Sindh, Hyderabad never before 1.2 million people gathered from across the sindh to attend such public gathering and PML(F) Chief Pir Pagara addressed to all including Sindh Nationalist Parties, those who appose against the New Local Government, through out the event was captured by Sindhi media channels and all went peaceful, instead of the chairs, on 70 acres Carpets were laid to sit on the floor and the security duty was given to HUR’s as well as Police and Rangers. …
By: Shahab Usto
While I am writing this a hugely big gathering is taking place in Hyderabad against the controversial local government law. The stage is adorned with the leaders belonging to NPP, PML-N, the Nationalists and the PML-F. The atmosphere is echoing with a slogan: Bhej Pagara! which originates actually from a war cry of the followers of Pir Pagaro during the British era. But in the present context, the slogan has less a political message and more a shown of personal allegiance to the person/institution of Pir Pagaro. And that is worrisome. For one, we need a political leader whose popularity is rooted in the common masses on his political rather than religio-sectarian appeal, of which Sindhi masses have already suffered much in the past. The oppressed people need not just a powerful person but a political leader who should also be a social reformer, humanist, and eternally committed to the redemption of the downtrodden masses from the feudal, state and ethic fascist tyranny.
For another, the leaders who are claiming to be the custodians of Sindh and its people’s interests don’t hold an enviable political past. They have always been in alliance with a powerful establishment and even today except for this catchy and populist anti-local bodies ordinance, they have nothing else to offer to the common men, the unemployed youth, the oppressed minorities, the crime-ridden cities and towns, the kidnapping-for-ransom-afflicted middle class traders, professionals and government employees, the people who have lost their lands to Qabza mafias in the towns and villages, the poor hapless women who have been killed in the name of karo kari, and forced marriages, the poor hapless Sindhi people who took to Karachi after being ejected from their villages and towns by the increasing law and order and worsening economic conditions during the Musharaf-era and present government’s urban-based politics of appeasement, the rural students who were denied admissions in Karachi against all norms of law, ethics and constitution. Indeed, they have always thrived no matter which government/system has prevailed because they have never opposed the status quo and always bargained with the powers that be for their own individual, class and personal interests.
But alas, today some of our friends are agog with this new ‘anti-PPP alliance”, because they believe, and are therefore even ready to glorify this alliance of the so-called ‘friends of Sindh’. But they forget that the stalwarts of this alliance very well know that the Sindh card has been recharged by the PPP’s disastrous economic policies and the politically treacherous local government law and that the Sindhi masses are very angry with the PPP, hence, they can once again manipulate and exploit the electorate in the elections.
Thus the situation is really tragic. On the one hand, the Sindh’s urban areas are becoming an ethnic slaughter-house due to the mushrooming of fascist ethnic and criminal militias; on the other hand the Sindh’s vast swatches of rural society inhabiting millions of age-old exploited people are once again being targeted by the same retrogressive political forces who have always maltreated and dehumanized the Sindhi masses.
Indeed, this is not the first time. Sindhis have been exploited by various ruses and subterfuges—national security, democracy, Islam, the trickle-down economics, Sufi culture, tradition of worship and so on. But now the time has come to reflect:
- For how long are we going to allow our larger historical and human rights to be trampled by this predatory and unscrupulous elite?
- Since when have the PML-F, N, Q or NPP, or Jamiat-e-Islami and so on have, become ultra-Sindhi nationalists?
- Aren’t they are using the nasty and unpopular local government ordinance for their narrow political and class interests in the same way as the PPP has for decades used the popular Sindh-related causes: anti kalabagh dam, and anti-thal canal movements?
- Therefore, aren’t the PPP and these born-again nationalists (PML-F et al) the two sides of the same coin?
- Isn’t it time that we, those who understand the currents of history and broader principles of politics, must not let ourselves to be taken in by the hollow nationalist semantics and slogans used by the PML-F et al.
- Aren’t our political elites very clever, if not devious; they coalesce with each other when needed and they oppose each other too but never allow their political hostilities to threaten the socio-political status quo in the province and beyond?
- Isn’t the PPP’s national reconciliation an apt case in study? Imagine, when the PPP brought all the pro-status quo forces, including the PML-F and Q, under the government:
- When the country had undergone major cultural shift from closed to open society, and per force, effected constitutional reforms to check the egregious corporate and political strangleholds of the military establishment,
- When for the first time the international community, led by the USA, for its own interests, also seemed sincerely to be invested in the country’s democratic system,
- When the judiciary, civil society, media and varied interest groups were closely allied to protect, if not strengthen, the fledgling institutional reforms and democratization of society.
- When for the first time the Sindhi intelligentsia, nationalists, and other sections were finding their independent political moorings, rejecting the tradition political leadership, and building up intellectual and political mass to defend Sindh’s political and economic rights which had long been denied by the Musharaf regime; and when they were at the same time countervailing the urban-based politics of violence and blackmailing,
By Hassan Siddiqui
Karachi: The nationalist parties of Sindh have announced to observe PPP’s formation day (November 30) as ‘black day’ and lodge protest during the president’s address in Sindh Assembly.
Awami National Party, Functional League and opposition parties have agreed to support the protest. Moreover, chief PML-N, Nawaz Sharif has phoned Chairman Sindh Bachayo Committee (Safe Sindh Committee), Jalal Mehmood Shah and assured him of complete support on the issue.
The protest of nationalist parties seems to be against the controversial local government ordinance in the province.
Courtesy: The News Tribe
KARACHI: Speaker Sindh Assembly Nisar Khoro Thursday announced the approval of Sindh People’s Local Government Bill (SPLGB) 2012 amid opposition’s uproar in the assembly.
During the assembly session, the speaker announced that the Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad signed the draft of SPLGB 2012 turning it into an act.
Following the announcement, member of the opposition Nusrat Sehr Abbasi tore copies of the agenda which lead to a heated exchange of words with Sharjeel Memon.
Abbasi was also told to shut up by Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq and by Murad Ali when she was interrupting his speech.
MPAs of the government also chanted slogans against the enemies of democracy.
Earlier, PML-F, PML-Q, ANP and NPP had staged walkout from the assembly session in a protest for failing to get opposition benches in the assembly.
Sindhi writers lend voice to opposition’s movement
HYDERABAD: Over a hundred Sindhi writers, poets and intellectuals who attended the Sindhi Writers and Thinkers Congress have criticised the Pakistan Peoples Party for enacting the new local government law that was detrimental to the unity of the province. The gathering on Sunday, arranged by the Sindhi Adabi Sangat, dealt another blow to the PPP, whose leaders have claimed in the past that opponents of the new law are “illiterate nationalists”.
PPP MNA Zafar Ali Shah was the only political leader who was invited to the event, and he did not disappoint the participants by going all-out against the policy of his own party. Shah termed the new local government system “a big injustice to Sindh” and said that it would “serve the interests of a minority [population]”. Outgoing Pakistani ambassador to the United Nations, Abdullah Hussain Haroon, said that the new law was passed contrary to the wishes of the people of Sindh.
Sindh Democratic Forum’s Zulfiqar Halepoto presented a list of “anti-Sindh” pieces of legislation that were adopted by the present government. They included the Zulfiqarabad Development Authrotiy Act, Thar Coal and Energy Board Act 2011, Colonisation of Government Lands (Amendment) Act 2010 and the Sindh Peoples Local Government Act 2012.
He added that the Sindh Assembly had passed a law in 2005 which asked the provincial government to ensure that multinational companies and other private enterprises in Karachi recruit people that have local domicile. “It meant that residents of 22 districts of Sindh were not allowed to come for jobs to Karachi, which is the only commercial and industrial city in the province.
Jami Chandio, a researcher, stressed upon his fellow intellectuals to continue to acquire knowledge and to impart that to the people. “We need to make people understand these things, so that they can choose their leadership while keeping in mind the threats and opportunities that we face.”
Today on November 10, 2012 in Hyderabad Press Club’s SAFMA Media training Workshop, three journalists, Mehwish Abbasi, Haseen Musarat Shah and Ameen Lakho, refused to receive award Certificates from the PPP Senator & Minister in protest because the PPP has imposed a black, dual and apartheid SPLGA on Sindh that has effectively separated Karachi from the rest of Sindh. Later Advocate Hussain Bux Thebo put Ajrak in recognition of Miss Mahwish Abbasi’s refusal to accept certificate from PPP Senator at Hyderabd press club.
Source – Above news based on facebook
MQM’s nationwide referendum postponed till Nov 14
…… a constitutional petition was filed in Sindh High Court (SHC) against Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) referendum.
The petitioner, Haji Gul Ahmed, pleaded that holding referendum on sensitive issues was the sole prerogative of prime minister with the approval of parliament. Any political party or individual cannot hold such referendum, he said adding.
The petitioner also prayed that MQM’s referendum is treason against country’s law and constitution besides an act against parliament.
Courtesy: Geo Tv News
By Usman Liaquat
KARACHI: Local government systems are meant to empower, but experts referring to recent Save Sindh rallies pointed out that in this country, they are not sufficient for democracy and have led to feelings of alienation among some ethnic groups.
At a seminar on the devolution of power organised as a part of Karachi University’s international conference on federalism, academics argued that the country’s political landscape is more complex than most people believe and that local government systems turn a blind eye towards the aspirations of some groups.
Dr Aasim Sajjad Akhtar from Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, highlighted the historical tension between local government systems and the provinces in Pakistan. “Unfortunately, almost all of the local government system experiments in the country have been conducted under military regimes. They have been used to legitimise fundamentally undemocratic rules.” Through these pliant local regimes, the authoritarian regimes at the centre bypassed the provincial governments altogether, protecting themselves from any challenges. Dr Akhtar claimed that in doing so, local government systems had actually hindered any real devolution of power to provinces in Pakistan and aggravated ethno-national movements.
“Historically, local government systems have been used as a means to co-opt the middle and lower classes. But at the same time, they have ignored the demand of certain ethnic groups and alienated them,” said Dr Akhtar. “The democratic material was removed from local government systems and they were simply converted into instruments to distribute patronage.” Because the systems have been so apolitical, ethnic groups have viewed them with great suspicion. The spate of protests that nationalists organised against the Sindh Peoples Government Act (SPLGA) is the most recent manifestation of this.
Dr Akhtar also lamented the fact that people fail to recognise the numerous claimants to power in Pakistan – the SPLGA is the result of negotiation between only two groups and hence cannot claim to accommodate the needs of other ones in Sindh. “In military regimes, leaders co-opt only the groups they want to. But [with the SPLGA] we are still seeing various claimants to power, saying that they have been left out. This points out that we are simply ignoring the numerous divisions that exist in Pakistan.”
ISLAMABAD: A petition challenging the Sindh People’s Local Government Act 2012 was filed in the Supreme Court on Friday, DawnNews reported.
The apex court admitted the petition, filed by Barrister Zameer Ghumro, for hearing on Nov 8.
Ghumro stated in the petition that the Sindh Assembly had violated the Constitution by passing the local government bill.
He also stated in the petition that the Sindh government had transferred executive powers to metropolitan corporations without having the power to do so.
The apex court admitted the petition for hearing and issued notices to Attorney General Irfan Qadir and Advocate-General Sindh Abdul Fateh Malik, for the hearing on Nov 8.
Previously, the passing of the Sindh People’s Local Government Act 2012 had received relentless resistance from the main opposition parties in the Sindh Assembly, as well the nationalist parties in Sindh.
MY VISIT TO MOTHERLAND
By: Dr. Valeed A. Shaikh
I was able to visit Karachi, Hyderabad and Larkano. Stopped multiple time to visit and talk to folks on the road, shops and schools. The overwhelming feeling of betrayal is evident and obvious. Sindhis did not expect this from the PPP they thought was their saviour. People are upset. One teacher made the following observation ” If PPP had performed in the last four and half years and life was somewhat better for ordinary folks, we may have given them a pass” Sindhis have been stung by their own and don’t know who to trust. ….
I must say the voice of Sindhi Diaspora also played a very important part in this equation. … We were able to give our Advertisement in Sindhi Media both print and electronic. ….
I did get the chance to meet most of the stake holders and exchanged ideas. In fact I did most of the listening. Following is my observation.
. There is a very strong feeling that if Sindhis are unable to revert this controversial & black law now, they will be behind the curve for a very long time. Something needs to happen and happen NOW.
…. I was unable to arrange conference of stakeholders during this trip. Logistics and time constrains were the limiting factors. We are extremely fortunate to have reservoir of goodwill in Sindh. We must use this to the advantage of our motherland Sindh.
I propose that we hold a grand conference of all stake holders in Karachi, Sindh in February. Given enough time to arrange, we will be able to move the dialogue. I am more than willing to arrange this with permission of incoming SANA EC and whoever wants to volunteer.
I will be arranging a teleconference soon to continue our efforts and seek your advise and input.
Courtesy: SANA list, October 31, 2012
By: Shahab Usto
These days a very interesting discourse is going on among the Sindhi intelligentsia and public intellectuals as regards the need and creation of an alternative political platform/forum to fill in a potential gap that is supposedly to be left by the ‘dwindling popularity’ and ‘mass appeal’ of the PPP. This is primarily a courtesy to the controversial and ‘perfidious’ Sindh Peoples Local Government Ordinance 2012 (SPLGO) and the ruling party’s failures on its socio-economic and governance-related score card.
One can sum up the gamut of the discourse in three possible questions:
. Is there any other political alternative available, or which can be created, to replace the PPP in Sindh? If yes then, then the next question that arises is:
. What are the other possible players who can play a pivotal role in the creation of an alternative leadership?
. A related question has also cropped up as to whether the people of Sindh throw their weight behind the PML-F, NPP et al to get rid of the divisive SPGLO?
.Is there any other political alternative available, or which can be created, to replace the PPP in Sindh?
Obviously, the immediate answer that comes in the mind is, of course, the Sindh nationalist parties. After all, it is their moment of truth. The people are probably for the first time clearly resentful of the PPP’s policy of ‘appeasing’ the MQM. Sindhi nationalism is finally speaking out whether through the media, intelligentsia, political workers, academia and men in the street. The long-awaited train has finally pulled up in the nationalists’ terminal. Whether they board it, or leave its cozy compartments to be occupied by the recently pro-establishment-turned-Sindhi-nationalists parties, is yet to be seen.
By: Sohail Sangi
The situation in Sindh is grim after the recent passage of the Sindh People’s Local Government Act 2012 by the provincial assembly. Differences over the law have pitted the ruling Pakistan People’s Party against nationalist parties and other opponents of the law in the province.
Both supporters and detractors of the new law have tried to demonstrate their political strength by staging public meetings. The PPP – considered the most popular party in Sindh – held a rally in Hyderabad on Oct 15 while the Sindh Bachayo Committee (SBC), a grouping of forces opposed to the local government law, and its component parties also staged similar shows.
The law, which envisages six powerful metropolitan corporations, has been reportedly passed to appease the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. It is believed that the MQM, an important ally of the PPP, wanted more powers in Karachi and Hyderabad. However, it has been opposed by many Sindhi leaders who term it a ‘dual system’ which may deepen the ethnic divide in Sindh. They have apprehensions that mayors of the two cities will be given the same powers as enjoyed by a chief minister.
Protests started on Oct 1 when the controversial bill was adopted by the Sindh Assembly without considering the objections raised by the PPP’s estranged allies in the house. The protests turned violent when gunmen opened fire on a PPP rally in Khairpur killing several people and improvised explosive devices were left outside the houses of PPP’s ministers and MPAs.
Some observers say People’s Party’s mandate in Sindh has suffered a setback.
In order to counter growing opposition to the new law, the PPP showed its political strength by holding the public meeting in Hyderabad on Oct 15. Some political pundits, however, termed holding the rally another PPP blunder after the passage of the local government law, claiming that the party’s stance on the new law was against popular opinion. The law has been opposed not only by the nationalists but also by writers, intellectuals and common people.
Jalal Mehmood Shah, head of the Sindh United Party and convener of the SBC, says people have rejected the local government law and rulers should respect public opinion and withdraw it. Awami Tehrik’s Ayaz Latif Palejo believes the law insults the sentiments of people. Riaz Chandio of the Jeay Sindh Mahaz also opposes the new law.
Although a PPP core committee’s meeting presided over by President Asif Ali Zardari decided to hold talks with the estranged allies and nationalists. However, so far neither has the PPP approached the protesting parties nor has a conducive environment been created for talks.
Nationalists are not ready to hold any talks till the law is withdrawn. The situation is worsening because provocative statements are being issued from both sides.
Saner elements are trying to find a middle path. They say the MQM can help the PPP get out of hot water by accommodating Sindhi people’s viewpoint on the new law.
Barrister Zameer Ghumro, an SBC member, suggests that by altering three sections and one schedule this ‘divide’ can be bridged, provided the MQM gives up its ‘obstinacy’.
Uncertainty in Sindh continues as a popular party and the popular discourse are in conflict with each other. How can this clash between the two be averted?
Jami Chandio, a writer, says an alternative political party is an ideal solution but he thinks that in the present case such an idea cannot be implemented. A broad-based forum modelled along the lines of the Palestine Liberation Organisation or African National Congress can fill the gap for a transition period, but this seems too idealistic, as for one the nationalists themselves have failed to resolve differences among themselves. However, the Anti-One Unit Movement, when people had created an alternative leadership, may serve as a model that can be emulated to deal with the prevailing crisis.
Must read article to understand the impact of PPP-MQM’s attack on Sindh in the form of new local govt system in Sindh
‘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 martyrs, 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 (splgo) 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.
Press Release – We the writers, poets, intellectuals, artists, and civil society members of Sindh strongly condemn the government of Sindh for unlawfully passing SPLGO-2012 in the Sindh Assembly. This act (illegal) exposes PPP of betraying Sindh and Sindhi people. This act has virtually created state within state in Sindh and has encroached upon the sovereignty of Sindh over its big cities.
This act has seeded permanent division and conflicts among different people living in Sindh. The PPP government did not realize that through this act, Sindh
has been plunged into chaos, unrest and conflicts, making the lives of people of Sindh unbearable. The PPP government in the name of reconciliation
has destroyed the governance, social and economic fabric of Sindh. No peace will return to cities in the presence of the act. This act has given limitless power to mayors and has created big cities as fiefdoms for them.
The PPP government was given mandate to curb terrorism, introduce good governance, promote economic development and protect the rights of Sindh and Sindhi people. But it has sold the people of Sindh and created the division of Sindh. The new political developments indicate that the PPP government is creating conditions, which may destroy peace in Sindh. The responsibility squarely rest on the PPP government.
Sindhi writers and intellectuals have gathered here to take firm stand against the act and pledge to fight against it like they fought against One-Unit.
They will not only struggle against this act in Sindh and Pakistan but all over the world. They will raise voice against the black act in international forums including-the UN. We feel that this black act will not only lead to the division of Sindh. But specially so called metropolitan corporations in Karachi, Hyderabad and Mirpur Khas will facilitate illegal migration from India, converting Sindhis in a minority in their own land, which we will never allow and will prefer to die.
This black act will support terrorism, target killing, ethnic cleansing of Sindhis in Karachi, Hyderabad and MirpurKhas. It will promote all types of organized crimes in these cities.
We appeal to the people of Sindh to be united against this black act. We demand from the PPP government to withdraw the black act and leave to next government to introduce local government bill observing all democratic norms including consultation with the all stakeholders. We do not have trust on the PPP government and it has already betrayed the people of Sindh on all fronts.
We notice that recent events may cause highly tense among Sindhis and the PPP government will be squarely responsible for it. Once again we demand to avert the situation if she calls herself democratic by withdrawing this act immediately, call all stakeholders to concern and introduce new bill acceptable to all.
Resistance in Sindh
Popular Uprising in Sindh: Hundreds of thousands took to the streets, hate-mock actions, road blocks
Four activists have been killed so far by the police in the streets or through torture at police station. Hundreds of activists are detained. Street battles have been reported in the various towns including the Nawabshah, the hometown of president Zardari.
People express their anger through mock-anger practices by embossing the names of the PPP Co-Chairperson President, Chief Minister of Sindh and other ministers Sindh Government on the stray animals. A large number of the PPP parliamentarians have been thrown upon the Bangles and their houses have been pelted with the stones.
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.
Iqbal Tareen is an author of “Harvest will come – Embracing diverse Pakistani heritage”, President of Silver Lining International, Inc., Chief organizer of “Democracy, Individual and Collective Human Rights, Education and Skills Development, Fight against Hepatitis in Pakistan”, former president of Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) & and founder president of Jeay Sindh Student Federation (JSSF). The language of the interview is Sindhi.
Courtesy: Awaz Tv
Mammoth rally rejects LG law
By: Ramzan Chandio
KARACHI – The participants of a huge public gathering of nationalist and other political parties on Wednesday rejected the Sindh People Local Government Law, terming it a plot of ruling PPP and MQM to plunge the province into civil war-like situation, which may pave way for division of Sindh in future.The protest sit-in, which was organised by the Save Sindh Committee, comprised of nationalist parties. They staged sit-in outside the Karachi Press Club and demanded immediate withdrawal of the controversial local government law.The workers’ caravans of the political parties while hoisting their party flags and chanting slogans against the PPP government reached the venue of sit-in on Wednesday’s afternoon, which converted into huge public gathering.Besides Sindh’s nationalist parties,
Local government backlash: Amid song and dance, anti-Sindh mantra goes on
…. Wearing red caps and holding placards inscribed with anti-government slogans, the protesters, men, women and children, staged a sit-in in front of the press club.
A sea of red flags of different Sindhi nationalist parties filled the roads from Karachi Press Club to Fawara Chowk and from Arts Council to Zainab Market.
The protest call was given by the Sindh Bachayo Committee (Save Sindh Committee). Different political parties, including Awami Tahreek, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, Jeay Sindh Tehreek, Sindh Tarraqi Pasand Party, Sindh United Party, Pakistan Muslim League-Functional, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party and Jamaat-e-Islami, joined in.
And almost every leader of the party vented his anger against the government for passing the Sindh Peoples Local Government Ordinance 2012.
Jalal Mehmood Shah, the Save Sindh Movement convenor; Dr Qadir Magsi of Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party; Dr Safdar Sarki of Jeay Sindh Tehreek; Sanan Qureshi of Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, Saleem Zia of the Nawaz Sharif-led Pakistan Muslim League; Masroor Jatoi of National Peoples Party; and Jamaat-e-Islami’s Asadullah Bhutto were among those who spoke.
Sindh is our motherland and no one would let the PPP and its coalition partner to divide it, said Dr Qadir Magsi. Criticising the ruling party and its leadership, he said that people of Sindh should not expect good things from the PPP any more. ….
In his speech, Jalal Mehmood Shah announced an “unending” struggle against the new local government system and termed the rally a referendum against the system. “This large gathering proves that people of Sindh will not accept the black law, which has been imposed in the province at gunpoint,” he said.
The nationalist leader reiterated that rallies, hunger strikes and all other protests will go on in the province until the law is withdrawn. ….
Read more » The Express Tribune
My view we diaspora Sindhis should let everyone in Sindh, Pakistan, and rest of world know that (SPLGO) 2012 is an illegal act passed without due process and that it denies historic rights of Sindhis. For the time being, we should play a crucial role in creating awareness about this ill-conceived scheme among the following two groups:
1. Tell the heart-less PPP Assembly members that their action is a serious blunder which will hurt coming generations of people who live in Sindh and that they must go back to the Sindh Assembly and vote to withdraw this foolish regulation. We must make it clear to them that if they do not that as soon as possible, Sindhis will neither forget nor forgive them for this act of betrayal.
2. Create awareness in the general public of Sindh that (SPLGO) 2012 law undermines Sindh and will divide various ethnic people living in Sindh and keep rural Sindh under the shackles of poverty and dominance by urban and rural waderas/feudals. If PPP does not move fast to dismantle (SPLGO) 2012 immediately, we should play our role in encouraging them to vote for any one but PPP.
In doing so we must not align ourselves with any political party or a grouping of political parties. Our (SANA) actions should be transparent and inclusive and any appearance of supporting any faction must be avoided at all costs.
There are several actions that we can take but in the immediate future – for one we should call and write to PPP members to take immediate action to dismantle the ill-conceived action they took. We should also call other political and NGO leaders, writers, poets, teachers, student leaders, social writers, intellectuals, professors and other leading persons in Sindh and urge them to start and strengthen the movement to have one uniform system of local bodies in Sindh and restore equal rights for everyone who lives in Sindh.
I believe the above simple but focused actions will take enough of our time and encourage people of Sindh to rise on this critical occasion to force immediate annulment of (SPLGO) 2012.
Why is this revenge imposed on poor people of Sindh who elected those who said that the democracy is the best revenge?
By: Khalid Hashmani
The article of Mehtab Akber Rashdi, in Sindhi daily Awamiawaz, published on Oct. 08, 2012 definitely explains the pain and frustration being felt by Sindhis all over the world. The following are some of the key points from her article for those who cannot read Sindhi:
1. The ordinance in its final form came out of the Sindh Governor House in the late hours of the night of October 1st with only one day’s notice, the assembly of Sindh passed it within minutes and imposed on the people of Sindh.
2. Some had long suspected that the incompetent leadership of PPP would barter away something big to prolong their rule. But, nothing of this proportion and so harmful to Sindh was ever expected.
3. Indeed, generations of Sindhis will remember this revenge imposed on poor people of Sindh who elected those who said that the democracy is the best revenge.
4. Remembering Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto, and Murtaza Bhutto, Ms Rashdai recites the following poem of Shah Abdul Latif:
ويا مور مري، هنج نه رهيو هيڪڙو،
وطن ٿيو وري ڪوڙن ڪائنرن جو
Gone are the principled and sincere heroes and just leaders!
Our homeland is now is in hands of selfish and unjust hoarders!
5. Instead of feeling ashamed of their actions, they shamelessly say that they had the democratic mandate to take these decisions. How can these people abuse the trust of simple, selfless and trusting Sindhi marrooars who trusted them to protect their rights and their future!
6. Once again, Sindhis have been shackled under another black law by their own representatives. Now is not the time to talk to them but to awaken men and women of Sindh to assess the damage that has been done to their future.
7. History is the witness that those betrayed Sindh ultimately fell in the list of traitors and no amount of effort in rehabilitating them.
8. The author assails the provisions that hand-over 41 of 43 provincial powers to mayors and how can one expect that equal rights will be enjoyed by every one Sindh.
I myself don’t understand as to why the PPP government that helped in restoring some provincial powers through the 18th amendment would turn around and give back most of those subjects to mayors. Do they know the consequences of what they are doing?
ISLAMABAD – Awami National Party (ANP) has decided to file a petition against Sindh government for non-implementation of Supreme Court’s ruling in Karachi-unrest case. Sources said ANP’s counsel Iftikhar Gilani has started preparing the petition and will file it in the Supreme Court next week.
The petition will support the stance that the Sindh government has deliberately been indifferent to the verdict of the apex court in Karachi, Sindh, sou motu case and has not implemented it, sources added.
The petitioner will stress upon the notion that all the office-holders of the Sindh government are creating hurdles in the way of peace in Karachi, Sindh. He would state that certain high-level political personalities are backing the criminal elements in Karachi such that workers of some political parties are involved in extortion.
The petitioner is expected to state that political influence dominates Sindh police and the authorities hire the ‘ favorites’ in the department.
Courtesy: Pakistan Today
By Ahmed Farooq
Hyderabad: A man was killed and six others injured during violent protest against Sindh People’s Local Government Ordinance 2012 in Nawazbshah district [Home district of President Zardari] on Monday.
The protesters, belonging to various nationalists parties, …. and set ablaze Airport Police Station in Gharibad locality.
The protesters rallied on Sakrand Road as they observed strike against the controversial local government system, although, supported by two major political stakeholders the Pakistan People’s Party and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. Police also resorted to aerial firing to disperse the charged protesters ….
The dead and injured were taken to nearby hospitals. The Sindh Assembly today (Monday) passed the [notorious, controversial & black ordinance of dictator Gen. Musharraf in the name of] SPLGO 2012 bill which further fueled the already angry nationalist elements.
Courtesy: The News Tribe
Several towns of Sindh observing strike
KARACHI-SINDH: Several towns of Sindh Monday went on a strike on the call of Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) in protest against the FIR of its former chairman Bashir Ahmad Quraishi’s murder not being registered besides the Local Bodies Ordinance, Geo News reported.
Complete shutter down is being observed in Tando Mohammad Khan, while traffic on the roads is thin. Dadu, Khairpur, Jamshoro and Mirpurkhas are also on strike, as the shops are closed and the roads giving a deserted look.
Sindh University, Mehran University and Liaquat Medical University in Jamshoro besides all the educational institutions have joined the strike call, as the classes remained suspended. …
Read more: The News