By Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia, USA
All the points mentioned below apply to Pakistan and all four provinces. Corrupt officials, bad landlords, ruthless jagirdars, and corrupt politicians are not unique to Sindh. To a greater or lesser degree, these exist in other provinces and other countries. So what makes it unique to talk about Sindhi interest. The following are few things that explain the Sindhi interests that only apply to Sindhis:
1. The Sindhi interest is to see protection and preservation of our heritage, culture, and language. We want to resist the programs that threaten these core attributes of Sindhiat and advocate compulsory teaching of Sindhi in Sindh, and at least 60% Sindhi programming on TV and radio stations of Sindh.2. The Sindhi interest is that we get jobs in proportion to our population in all sectors of Sindh and Pakistan. Where, Sindhis are in fewer numbers, we want to pursue initiation for affirmative actions programs (in similar lines as there are for blacks and other minorities in the USA). The military, senior civilian positions and commercial sectors have much lower percentages of Sindhis and an urgent need for affirmative action programs.
3. The Sindhi interest is that Sindh gets are share of royalties and benefits from the oil and gas industries in Sindh (currently Sindh and Balochistan gets about 12.5% royalties vs. about 30-35% in Canadian provinces.
4. The Sindhi interest is that educational and health facilities in rural Sindh be of comparable levels as in other provinces.5. The Sindhi interest is that its historic water rights be protected. The federal government should guarantee that Sindh will receive its share of water in accordance with the last signed accord of 1991. There should be guarantees that no new dams capable of holding water will be built on River Indus.
These interests have their roots in our historic rights and are part of the fundamental rights recognized universally.
Instead of paying lip service or adapting some other pseudo definitions of “Sindhi Interests”, I try my best that my actions are guided by these interests.
I hope the above makes sense to every one as it makes to me.