Confronting injustices

By Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

There are the many so-called nationalists who allegedly espouse the cause of Sindh. How many of these so-called nationalists succeed in defending Sindhi rights is apparent from the degree of rights Sindh enjoys vis-à-vis Punjab

Colonisation, like slavery, degrades humans because both deprive them of freedom and the ability to live up to their potential. This degradation continues until slaves and the colonised understand the reality of their situation and begin resisting injustices. Resistance is the only salvation available to them. Rosa Luxemburg said, “Those who do not move do not feel their chains.” They have to move to know they are chained.

Last week, the Sindh finance minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, threatened to block the gas supply to Punjab if Sindh’s due share was not respected. He said that Sindh produces 70 percent of the total gas produced in Pakistan and, under Article 158, has the first right to use it. It seems the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government has been in a deep slumber as this injustice has been going on since gas discovery in Sindh. It is only now when the inherently corrupt and privileged establishment has started taking offence at the PPP people taking more than a fair share of the windfall of that corruption, turning a few screws not for the people’s benefit but to increase its share that the Syed Murad Ali Shahs have woken up. Sadly, they will surely sleep again when the pressure eases.

Naseer Memon, the chief executive of the Strengthening Participatory Organisation (SPO), in his paper ‘Oil and gas resources and rights of provinces: a case study of Sindh’, says: “Sindh and Balochistan together contribute more than 93 percent of the national gas production and therefore can be considered an energy basket of Pakistan.” To prove that Punjab devours most despite Article 158, he quotes the Pakistan Energy Yearbook 2008 table, which says: “Sindh consumed only 46 percent of its production whereas Balochistan consumed just 25 percent while Punjab utilised a staggering 930 percent against its production in the national output of gas.” Punjab produced 68,608 million cubic feet (MMCF) but utilised 638,008, which was 930 percent more in 2007. This consumption is a lot higher now. Punjab has 2,162 operational CNG stations compared to only 587 in Sindh, the largest producer of natural gas.

Read more » Daily Times
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