Please convey the views and demands of SANA members and SANALIST subscribers to Sindhi leaders as SANA delegate meets them over coming days. I am attaching below a copy of the SANA resolutions that were passed at the the 25th SANA convention and express the key demands and sentiments of the convention attendees. In addition, the recent concerns expressed on SANALIST include the following:
1. It is imperative that the government fairly and equitably allocate funds and implement improvements in all cities, towns, and villages of Sindh. Many overseas visitors to Sindh have noticed tangible improvements in the non-Sindhi areas of Karachi and Hyderabad. But, the situation in the Sindhi areas and the other localities continue to remain hopeless.The basic services such as garbage collection, sanitary and sewage, roads, and drinking water supply have worsen each year. The Sindh government must select five (5) cities, ten (10) towns, and twenty (20) villages in Sindh as models and immediately implement a program of improved municipal services. This program should include training of local volunteers and incentives that encourage residents to create a self-supporting system for maintaining of the basic civic services. Once these models become showcase and a “best practice”, the program should be extended to other cities, towns, and villages of Sindh.
2. Demand from the Sindh Government officials to do their best to secure the release of Aakash Mallah, Vice Chairman of the Sindh nationalist party Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM), and JSQM activist Noor Mohammad Khaskheli. These political workers were abducted on 30th October and are believed to be the victims of enforced disappearances by government security officials.
3. The “Friends of Indus Forum”, a group associated with World Wide Fund (WWF) have recently expressed grave concerns over the worsening situation of the wetlands and Indus eco-region sites of Sindh and said the acute shortage of water in Indus River has badly affected the general ecology of the province. The SANA delegate should demand from the government to create a nation-wide awareness campaign about this calamity and secure agreement from all provinces to allocate some amount of water to save the dying wetlands of Sindh.
4. Effective yesterday (January 1, 2010), the local government system has become a provincial subject in three provinces of Pakistan except in Sindh. Click the following link of a recent article published in DAWN for more details: http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/12-system-continues-in-sindh-nazims-reign-ends-in-three-provinces–bi-09
All district Nazims in Punjab, Balochistan, and NWFP are supposed to stop functioning and the provincial governments are said to have appointed local administrators until fresh elections can be held. The Article 140-A of Pakistan Constitution says: “Each province shall, by law, establish a local government system and devolve political, administrative and financial responsibility and authority to the ‘elected representatives’ of the local governments.” Thus, denying this important provision of provincial autonomy is injustice to Sindh.
The newspaper reports say that MQM is prepared to accept this change provided that no new administrators are appointed and local government elections are held within three (3) months. Ironically, this ill-advised move of the present government indirectly supports the plan to separate Karachi and Hyderabad from rest of Sindh as it strengthens the claim that Karachi and Hyderabad city governments are operating without being the subject of Sindh provincial government. This is a serious setback to the geographic integrity of Sindh.
On behalf of the SANA members, the visiting SANA leaders must demand from the federal government to extend this provision to Sindh and hold local government elections in Sindh under the new provisions within three months.
I hope that SANA leaders will take courageous stands for promotion and protection of Sindhi rights and effectively represent the views and demands of SANA community.
Wishing you success in your meetings!
Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia, USA
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