by Nadeem Jamali, Canada
Sindh is a confused mess. The biggest problem, in my opinion, is that Sindhi elites do not trust Sindhi people. Different groups in Sindh rely on Sindh’s adversaries to keep a type of balance that helps them stay relevant to the twisted reality of Pakistan. Many do not want Sindh to be governed by Sindhis. Many make opportunistic alliances with adversaries of Sindh for short term goals.
This is the key problem. Should they be ridiculed for that? Probably yes! Ridicule is an important motivator for action in Sindhi and Baloch societies. People of Sindh are broken and exhausted. So exhausted that they can let opportunities pass by.
Baloch mindset is not hostile toward Sindhis. Baloch mindset is hostile toward murderers of Baloch people.
Late Bhutto appears to be implicated in some very serious crimes against the Baloch. In their struggles, the Baloch are hopeful that Sindhis will coordinate with them for greater effect. Late Bhutto’s legacy is little more than a distraction.
Baloch leaders are making key mistakes in dealing with Sindhis. First, allying themselves with MQM is completely insensitive to the mass murder Sindhis suffered at MQM’s hands through the 80s and 90s.
It undermines Sindhis and legitimizes MQM, and delivers few short term benefits. Bad move. Second, they have to separate allegations against late Bhutto with the fact that his name and image serve as important icons for Sindhis, especially after his hanging. Showing contempt toward Bhutto will not help them make friends in Sindh. They should try to be respectful, just as Sindhis are respectful toward Baloch despite atrocities committed by Baloch invaders against Sindhis in somewhat distant past. Move on!
At the same time, Sindhi leaders should be more understanding of Baloch feelings about late Bhutto. Their feelings about Bhutto are about a person who they believe was complicit in mass murder of their people in not so distant past. These feelings are not about Sindhi
people and their national icons. Don’t try to turn them into something they are not. Baloch are natural allies of Sindhis in their struggle. It does not serve any useful purpose to divide the people.
From everything I know, at the level of average citizens, Sindhis and Baloch respect and sympathize with each other’s struggles. It is now for the leaders to get over their personal egos and grow up!