KARACHI – SINDH, Aug 12: Speakers clarified the misconceptions regarding Sindh’s famous politician G.M. Syed and touched on his philosophy of life at the launch of the book Fikr-i-G.M. Syed Aur Aaj Ka Pakistan by Abdul Khaliq Junejo at the PMA House on Friday.
The book is an Urdu translation of three of the politician’s known speeches.
Dr Jaffer Ahmed, who presided over the event, read out a few excerpts from the preface. He said two different behaviours and attitudes vis-à-vis the state’s functioning had existed from the time Pakistan came into being. The first (which had turned into an ideological paradigm) was to do with a strong centralised system, which was usually considered necessary for the country’s unity and progress. Those who held this view often used religion and patriotism to support their standpoint. He said in 1951 no less than 32 religious scholars came up with a programme in favour of that kind of rule, despite the fact that East Pakistan was also part of the country at that time. They were doing so in a country which was multiethnic and multilingual.
Dr Ahmed said the other view that ran parallel to the first one was in favour of provincial and regional autonomy.
The Centre often labelled those who held that view as separatists. He said G.M. Syed was unfortunately one of those politicians who after partition became a victim of the Muslim League’s wrath and was not only ignored in the national discourse but was also dubbed as a ‘negative force’. Such politicians were often accused of something that they never committed or believed in.
He said the book contained some predictions made by G.M. Syed which were now proving true. In the book, he’s seen welcoming those who’d migrated from India to Pakistan and in a speech delivered in Vienna in 1952 he condemned the western powers for adopting the policy of supporting religious forces to counter communism. G.M. Syed had pointed out that if the West continued doing that, the religious extremists and regressive forces would take advantage of the situation and reach the corridors of power — something that later happened.
Prof Dr Tauseef Ahmed said time had proved G.M. Syed right on the things that he disagreed with Mr Jinnah. It was in 1946 that he first took issue with Mr Jinnah and his ‘confederation’ approach was not liked by the Muslim League. He said his address at the formation of the Pakistan People’s Organisation indicated that G.M. Syed wished for a state where there’d be a socialist system, where there’d be protection of everybody’s basic rights.
Columnist Muqtada Mansoor, Amanullah Shaikh,Dr Habib Soomro and Ms Saliha also spoke.—Peerzada Salman.