SINDH MONITOR Publication distributed at UN Human Rights Session (March 2-27, 2009)
by Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia, USA
A delegation of Sindhis is attending the current session of the UN Human Rights Council that is being held from March 2 to March 27, 2009 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. On this occasion, the Sindhi delegation is distributing a publication called “Sindh Monitor”. I have received a soft copy of this publication and as it contains excellent articles on some of the key issues faced by Sindh and Sindhis, I will be sharing these articles in a series 4-5 e-mails for the benefit of those interested in Sindhi Rights.
At the 10th UN Human Rights Session, the UN Human Rights Council is discussing several critical human rights issues including adequate housing as a human right and on the right to non-discrimination. There are presentations on promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism; on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; on enforced or involuntary disappearances; on freedom of religion or belief; on minority issues; and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. A synopsis of the 10th session is reproduced below at the end of this message. For more information click the following link: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/
Reproduced below is the Title Page, Table of Contents and Introduction of Sindh Monitor. Please feel free to share your comments on the content of these articles and whether or not they correctly represent the plight of Sindh and Sindhis.
Council on Human Rights, 10th Session
Geneva, March 02 – 27, 2009
Plight of Sindhis in Pakistan
Sindhi Human Rights Activist
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Introduction of ‘SINDH MONITOR’………………………………………. 1
Future of Sindh in Pakistan…………………….. 2
How does the establishment want to design and see Sindh?
5 Sindhi Hindus – A Forsaken Diaspora………………………………………..11
The Poor people of resource-rich Sindh…………………
13 Facts & Figures about Sindh ……….
15 Introduction of ‘SINDH MONITOR’:
Situation in Sindh, the south-eastern province of Pakistan, has been a subject of much discourse, concern, discussion and debate for more than half a century. A lot has been written, published, printed and documented as evidence of the disparities as well as opportunities in this beautiful and historically important land.
The United Nations Council on Human Rights, 10th Session is a significantly important platform to attempt to share the situation and major issues of Sindh in the light of work done by friends and professionals, as well as personal observation and experiences of the impacts of policies on the people of Sindh.
I am a Sindhi, a Sufi and a human rights activist. With all my limitations of skills and connections, I do not claim that I alone can throw adequate light on the complex concerns of Sindhis. Hence, I decided to introduce to this august forum, a collection of the un-tiring work that my colleagues and friends have put into this critical fact-finding process.
In ‘SINDH MONITOR’, I am attempting to highlight various facets of the issues faced by people of Sindh. These apparently different issues confront daily lives (and deaths) of Sindhis, but the foundation of most of these is based in the root problem of extreme centralization of governance mechanisms in the Federation of Pakistan.
Needless to say that this report is not the ‘result’ of a movement for de-centralization, de-militarization, de-Islamization, de-nuclearization and democratization in Sindh, it is just a small share in the long and challenging movement of Sindhis who are a nation that is traditionally peace loving, progressive and inherently secular. SINDH MONITOR is merely articulation of a hope for well-being of millions of rural, poor women, men and children in one of the most under-developed, yet rich part of the world today. Although we are striving hard towards the dream of equality, freedom and justice for our people, support from like-minded groups from the international community can give an impetus to our movement that can be a win-win situation for all in this global village.
Through this report, I invite your attention, co-operation and support for a humanitarian cause that you will never repent to participate in.
Long live Sindh!
“Beloved within you and you seek him here and there
He is “closer to you than your vein jugular,”
Yourself is the hurdle, between your love and you.”
Quote from Shah Abdul Lateef Bhittai
The Great Sindhi Sufi Poet