SINDH & SINDHIS – CRISIS IN ISLAMIC WORLD

London – The World Sindhi Congress AGM and International Conference “SINDH & SINDHIS – CRISIS THE ISLAMIC WORLD” was held in Sindh House & Conway Hall, London, on 18th – 19th June 2011. The conference was held in the background of increasing conflict, violence, bloodshed and unnecessary loss of innocent lives. The world is going through a historic change, and there is an unprecedented ‘Crisis in the Islamic World’ partly because of the misunderstanding and religious & cultural difference and partly because of the slowness in adapting the change and progression. As a result we are witnessing war in Iraq, Iran, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Yemen and not to mention Bahrain, Indonesia, Philipines, Nigeria, Sudan, India, Afghanistan & Pakistan.

The delegates discussed the ongoing issue of ‘Kala Bagh Dam’ resulting from the intransigence and arrogance of Punjab, violating all the treaties and accords, along with other important issues of economic collapse, unemployment, settlement of illegal immigrants, military colonisation and victimisation of Sindhis by the security forces.

The conference recognised the gravity of the law & order situation and enormity of the problems, and the worsening crisis threatening the geo-political integrity of Sindh and emphasised that ‘WSC Sindhi Unity Forum’ has to play its crucial and vital role in the historical process in the struggle for the survival of Sindhi nation. It will participate directly and indirectly in the democratic process and other legal civic political activities in Sindh and internationally to protect and promote the mandate and historical national rights of Sindhis. The conference discussed in details and unanimously agreed on the resolutions.

RESOLUTIONS:

1. The house expressing grave concern at the increasing violence throughout the world, specially in the Middle East, in the background of religious polarisation,

a.. realising the resort to militarization of the conflicts, bypassing the negotiated settlements of the conflicts by the UN, resulting in unnecessary loss of life of the innocent civilians

b.. emphasising the importance of establishing peace through negaotiated settlement through UN system,

· demands that the basic human rights must be ensured as per the ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights’.

a.. resolved that basic Human Rights as unanimously agreed upon by the member states in the ‘Vienna Declaration and Plan of Action’ must be implemented without delay.

b.. calls upon all concerned to ceasefire immediately to prevent further unnecessary loss of life, and abide by the ‘Geneva Convention’.

c.. Further calls upon all the member states to respect and promote the ‘Right to Self Determination’ of all peoples as per international covenants, to prevent further conflicts

d.. appreciating People of Sindh being peace loving and believing in Peaceful co-existence, emphasise on the peaceful resolutions of conflicts around the world, including Palestine, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and other conflicts around the world.

e.. Appeals to all the people of world for tolerance and mutual respect for religious, cultural and other differences, and respect the human diversity.

2. House recognising that Sindh has always remained independent, apart from short periods in its ten thousand year history, until it was conquered by British Empire in 1843 and merged with British India:

a.. Remembering that Sindhis having been given no other option by the British rulers but to join Pakistan or India, instead of restoring their pre-colonisation independent status, opted to join the newly created state of Pakistan in 1947 on the basis of Pakistan Resolution of 1940, promising ‘… autonomous & sovereign status of constituent units’.

b.. recognising the failed promises and threat posed to the geo-political integrity of the motherland, threatening the survival of Sindhis, and Sindh being denied its socio-economic, cultural, civil, political and historic national rights, continuing violation of constitutional and human rights of Sindhis,

c.. expressing extreme resentment at the interference in the democratic process, and blatant violating the mandate of the Sindhi people, tantamounting to worst form of neo-colonisation, by the federal authorities at the behest of terrorists, who have made a mockery of the constitution and law & order,

d.. upholding the inherent & inalienable Right to Self-Determination of all the people, including Sindhis, and calls upon the Member states to promote the Right to Self Determination of the peoples as per the United Nations charter, International Covenants and International Law.

e.. realising that the ‘Self-Rule’ is the only viable option, to protect the historic national rights and basic human rights of Sindhis as per international bill of rights, and allow the democratic process to develop

f.. demands the referendum under UN supervision and international observers, to allow Sindhis to decide their future, exercising the right to self determination, as per recent international law and practices.

g.. Calls for the restoration of the pre 1836 borders of Sindh to rectify the historic injustice to the people of Sindh and restore the historical integrity and independence of Sindh.

3. House condemning all kinds of violence & terrorism to achieve political gains, Expressing concern at the widespread violation of Human Rights in Pakistan and Sindh in particular, including Extra-Judicial Killings, Arbitrary Detention, Summary Executions and death in Custody of innocent civilians, and detention of Sindhi political activists

a.. appreciating that the Government of Pakistan has ratified the International Covenant of Civil & Political Rights,

b.. expresses extreme concern at the recent extrajudicial killings of Sindhi & Baluch Nationalist leaders and the murder of innocent civilians in Karachi by the terrorist groups,

c.. demands on the government of Pakistan to implement and guarantee the civil and political rights as per the ICCPR,

d.. setup immediate independent judicial enquiry by the Supreme Court judges to investigate the increasing extra-judicial killings and terrorist murders,

e.. take immediate action to ensure the safety of life & property of innocent civilians as guaranteed in the constitution of Pakistan, irrespective of religious or sectarian beliefs,

a.. demands that the defence should be decentralised and made a provincial portfolio, allowing each province to have its own military command structure, joining with the federal command in the Joint Chief of Staff Committee.

4. The conference expressed extreme concern at the collapse of the overburdened economy of Sindh, due to the devastating floods last year and damage to the agrarian economy of Sindh by the anti-sindhi policies of the subsequent governments and widespread corruption.

a.. expressed dissatisfaction at the disproportional allocation of the funds in the recent budget to Sindh. It was observed that Sindh contributes more than 70% of the federal revenues and has been allocated less than 1% of the total budget.

b.. demands that the ‘Finance’ should be made a provincial subject as per the ‘Pakistan Resolution of 1940’.

a.. It was resolved that socio-economic exploitation of Sindh must be stopped and control of all the natural resources of Sindh, including Oil, Gas, Coal and other minerals should be handed over to the Government of Sindh, and used for the welfare of the people of Sindh.

5. The house recognising the inherent right of Sindhis over water from Indus River, vital for the survival of life,

a.. rejected the construction of ‘Greater Thall Canal, Kala Bagh Dam, Extension of Mangla Dam & other such projects’ upstream of the Guddoo Barrage, and demanded that such evil projects must be abolished to prevent devastating effects on the agriculture & rural economy of Sindh.

b.. strongly condemned the plans of the Government of Pakistan to settle the displaced persons from such projects in Sindh, and allocate the Sindhi land to the settlers.

c.. further resolved that LBOD & RBOD projects must be completed as originally planned, and discharge of saline water from Punjab into Indus River be stopped immediately to prevent catastrophic disaster as happened recently in Sindh, resulting in loss of human & animal life and environmental pollution.

d.. strongly opposed the creation of Sindh Irrigation Drainage Authority.

e.. appealed to the International Water Commission that Sindhis be made a party in the negotiations on ‘Baglihar Dam’ dispute between Pakistan and India, as Sindhis are directly affected by any developments upstream further affecting the severe shortage of water in Sindh.

6. The house condemning the unpopular administrative and demographic changes imposed by the previous undemocratic minority terrorist government against the wishes of the majority Sindhi population,

a.. condemning the act passed by the Sindh assembly to introduce mandatory domicile of Karachi for employment in Government services and private sector as this tantamounts to de’facto partition of Sindh, and undermines the inherent rights of the people of Sindh as per UN charter.

b.. demands that the sovereignty of Sindhis be recognised over Sindh morally, politically and constitutionally keeping in view the unchallengeable dictates of history and the centuries old continuity between the great Indus Civilisation of Mohan-jo-Darro and present day Sindh,

c.. demands the restoration of previous status and consultation process to improve the administrative efficiency and facilitate the life of citizens of Sindh.

d.. calls upon all the Sindhis, various political parties and groups to unite at this critical juncture and support in the struggle to defend the historic national rights of Sindhis and the integrity of the motherland. Thus all the ethnic minority groups living in Sindh are invited to join the struggle of the Sindhi people to safeguard the integrity of Sindh, the historic homeland of Sindhi people.

7. The house expressed extreme concern at the confiscation of the fertile rich land of Sindh by the military personnel forcibly evicting. It was realised that more than eight million acres of land has been confiscated or allocated to military generals, other personnel and other outside settlers, forcing native Sindhis to abandon their centuries old ancestral homes and villages.

a.. condemns the forcible taking over of the coastal land and fishing areas of Sindh from Sindh Government and transferring these illegally and unconstitutionally to the Federal Coastal Development Authority/Naval authority, thus denying the fishing rights to native Sindhis and depriving the populous to the means of livelihood

b.. condemns the anti-Sindhi policies of British Petroleum Inc. (Pakistan) for denying the rights of the indigenous people of Badin, and disregard of the responsibility for community development

a.. demands that the land should be reclaimed from these illegal occupants and re-allocated to local Sindhi farmers, and government assistance including technical & financial aid must be provided to increase the agricultural output and relieve economic deprivation and poverty in the rural areas of Sindh.

b.. Calls for the ‘Agricultur Tax’ to be abolished as the Sindhi farmers and land owners are struggling under the burden of different land taxes,

c.. further resolved that the control of the coastal land and fishing waters should be restored to the Government of Sindh and the local population be given free access to the fishing area. The house demanded that the fishermen rights to be restored i.e., contract system of fishing in Lakes and ponds in Sindh should be abolished and trawler of foreign contractors may not be allowed to use illegal nets which trap the small fishes, thus damaging the fish reservoirs and reproduction,

a.. further criticised the biased and anti-Sindhi attitude of multinational companies, called upon all concerned to provide proper training and job opportunities to Sindhi youth.

8. House expressing concern that, recent preparations for ‘Census 2011’ have deliberately been planned and implemented to officially declare Sindhis as a minority not only in Karachi, but throughout Sindh.

a.. refusal of the authorities to register the households in the rural areas, whereas registering the graveyards in Karachi as the residential houses with people living in them.

b.. further concerned the deliberate transfer of population internally as well as from abroad, including Afghans, Biharis, Bengalis, and others encouraged by the establishment and terrorist groups, which has resulted in increasing terrorism, fundamentalism, insecurity, smuggling of illegal weapons and resultant breakdown of law & order.

c.. calls upon the Pakistan Government to immediately review and rectify the current Census process and address the extreme concerns of the Sindhi population and political representatives

d.. failing which calls upon all the people of Sindh to boycott the flawed process of Census and demonstrate by all available means against such ill conceived and ill intended process to reduce the Sindhi into a minoritry in their motherland.

9. Expressing extreme concern at the continued settlement of illegal immigrants in Sindh estimated to be approximately 5 million, including Afghans, Biharis, Bengalis, Burmese, Phillipinos, Vietnamese and condemned the continuous issuing the Identity Cards to such illegal immigrants, thus violating the international law and the rights of the indigenous Sindhis, and regards it as a conspiracy to reduce Sindhis into a minority in their own homeland.

a.. resolved that all the illegal immigrants must be returned and repatriated to their countries of origin, and immediate measures taken to reverse the inter-provincial influx and prevent economic migration and transfer of population.

10. Expressing concern at the indiscriminate destruction of the cultural heritage of Sindh and important archaeological sites including Mohan-jo-Darro, Kahoo jo Darro, Bhambhor, Aamri, Rani kot, Kot Diji, Kalan Kot, Umer Kot, Neroon Kot, Makli, Paqo Qilo, Grave of Hoshoo Shaheed, tomb of Ghulam Shah Kalhoro

a.. Demands that all these places must be declared as official historical sites. Immediate measures must be taken for removal of illegal encroachments and renovation to restore these to their former glory.

11. Expressing concern at the increasing religious intolerance and fundamentalism in Pakistan, promoting Talibanisation and threatening peace in the region as well as internationally, democracy in Pakistan as well as the rights oppressed nations.

a.. Expressing concern at the recent kidnappings by the religious schools, and religious institutions taking law & order into their hands,

b.. Resolved that government must clarify the role of religious institutions and restore law & order situation in the country.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, 19th June 2011

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