Awami Tahreek held a national conference on “National & Democratic Question in Pakistan and ways & means to uproot terrorism and lawlessness” in Karachi on Sunday May 24, at Regent Plaza Hotel.
Some 500 delegates of various political parties, civil society, NGO activists, writers and intellectuals participated in the day long conference from all four provinces. More than 40 reporters/representatives of media houses were also present to report/cover the event.
24 political parties attended the conferences. On National Question, only Aitzaz Ahson called for abolition of concurrent list and giving maximum provincial autonomy to provinces under 1973 constitution, while PML N remained silent over ‘National Question’ issue, their spokesman Siddiqul Farooq made loaded attacks on army’s political role, even said “down/death to army’s political role “foj ka siyasi kardar murdabad”.
Conference passed a unanimous resolution calling for new social contract based on “1940 Lahore Resolution’. Conference also called for settling refugees of Swat operation in NWFP province, it called on people of country to extend full support to the victims of the conflict. Another resolution stated “allowing these refugees to enter in Sindh would create law and order situation, would create an opportunity for some political groups to create and cause disturbance in Sindh.
Conference demanded constituting a “High Power Commission” to investigate and find out the crimes committed in formulating country’s defense, foreign and economic policy, to investigate how recklessly wars have been fought, and find out who is responsible for letting country go to these wars and misleading the people.
AT Chief Rasool Bux Palijo in his presidential address said “ Karachi is ours, we will fight, Sindhis take time in getting warmed up but once they wake up, you can not calm them down.”. He said ‘ Pakistan was not created by religious bigots, people in British India did not respond to the political line of religious lines, Muslims of Sub-continent followed the person whom Moulvis called “Kafar-e-Azam”. He said Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and Iqbal did not believe in creating a theocratic state. Sir Syed believed the Sharia laws could solve problems of backward societies while Iqbal called ‘Ijtehad’ reforming the sharia laws. He said that these politico-religious forces are ignorant of modern knowledge and state affairs. He said Prophet Mohammad and his close associates were not moulvies likes these Mullahs, Sallahuddin Ayobi was not a mullah. These extremist forces were created, funded and sponsored by America , they are not creatures of our land and region. People never believed in them, never supported them. He said Pakistan has not been a free country for a single day since its inception. This is a client state run incompetent generals who were not above than brigadier’s level but were made commander in chiefs of Pakistan army, these generals have failed Pakistan and us. America used Punjab against three provinces and Punjab foolishly allowed itself to play that role, and now three provinces are being used against Punjab by America , but we will not be used against Punjab . Without naming MQM, Palijo said terrorist group is inflicted terror on citizens of Sindh forgetting that all those who were backed up by Americans have no place to live, from Shah of Iran to Saddam and Pinochet, the once who side with Americans go for forever. He said that separatist movements are now supported by imperialist forces in order to create Bhutan like small states, easy to swallow and dictate. He said we have serious complains and problems with Punjab, but it is thanks to their rule that we can meet and speak here but there been a “Desh” MQM and Pagaro would not have even allowed people like you and me to speak”
Among the prominent speakers at the conference were:
1. Rasool Bux Palijo, Awami Tahreek
2. Aitzaz Ahson, Leader of layers
3. Munir A Malik, former President Supreme Court Bar Association
4. Siddiqul Farooq, Central information Secretary of PML N
5. Abid Minto, President National Workers Party
6. Dr. Qadir Magsi, Chairman STP
7. Amin Khattak, Provincial General Secretary ANP
8. Abdul Rahim Mandokhel, General Secretary PKMAP
9. Syed Jalal Mahmood Shah, Sindh United Party
10. Mujib Pirzado, Convenor, Sindh Autonomy Council
11. Shah Mohammad Shah, Save Sindh Movement
12. Dr. Hayee Baloch, National Party (Balochistan)
13. Dr. Ishaq Baloch, National Party (Balochistan)
14. Sarwar Bari, Intellectual from Punjab
15. Prof. Jamil Umar, Convenor Awami Jhamhori Ithad ( Lahore )
16. Rauf Sasoli, Jhamhori Watan Party (JWP)
17. Ayob Shar, Sindh National Front
18. Azhar Jatoi, Sindh Hari Committee
19. Mohammad Ali Shah, Fisher Folk Forum
Aitzaz paid glowing tribute to workers of Sindhiyani Tahreek (women activist of Awami Tahreek) for their brave role in lawyers movement, “participation of Sindhiyan Tahreek activists actually made lawyers movement as true peoples movement, five minute long clapping tribute was given by audience and lawyers to Sindhiyani Tahreek, who were present in the conference in a good number. Workers of Sindhiyani Tahreek were conducting the proceedings of the conferences.
MQM and JUI-F was not invited in the conference, while PPP and JSQM stayed out of the conference, did not show up. Sindhi leadership of JI was invited but Asadullah Bhutto and Dr. Mumtaz Memon did not come.