Tag Archives: IDP

In the shadow of the gun – I

By: Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

During the 1973-1977 army action in conflict zones, thousands of innocent people were killed, tens of thousands were internally displaced

Mr Ikram Sehgal’s “Of Empire and Army” (Newsline, March 2012) is a bundle of misinformation and bias against the Baloch. Perturbed that the media holds the security establishment solely responsible for the Balochistan crisis, he claims, “Most of our problems stem from jumping to conclusions that are based on misinformation, and then deliberately distorting those half-truths to suit mass perception.” He feels, “Disproportionate media projection of the separatist leaders encourages ethnic divisions and violence.” He probably thinks the Baloch struggle and the atrocities by the state are a figment of the media’s imagination.

The state’s brutal kill and dump policy seems justified to him. He half-heartedly admits, “No one denies the fact that targeted killings of the Baloch are taking place, that people are being picked up and that state actors are involved in the killing and the disappearances.” Then he offers a lame justification that “sons of the soil” are killing an equal number of settlers. Balochistan Home Department’s recent report said that the majority of the ones killed are ethnic Baloch.

Sehgal tells us that on December 29, 1973, as his son was being born in Karachi, his company came under heavy fire from Marri insurgents near Kahan, after the dismissal of Ataullah’s representative government. The Baloch considered them aggressors rightly, and could not be expected to throw a party. He then says, “Throughout that year, many soldiers were martyred and several injured,” and adds, “In one instance, the insurgents beheaded 19 of our soldiers.”

Well, I too was in the Marri area with the Baloch nationalists then and assuredly, the Marris never indulged in such abhorrent practices. His claim defies reason as no guerilla could possibly have time to ambush and behead soldiers. Ambushes invite response and with helicopters, jets and motorised transportation at the army’s disposal, only fools would linger after an ambush.

The columnist adds that the army could have retaliated against the Marris in kind but relented because they understood that their Sardar (tribal chief), who was living comfortably in Kabul, misguided the Marris. Incidentally, Sardar Khair Baksh Marri and other Baloch leaders, including Sardar Ataullah Mengal, were in jail until 1978. He blames the media for misinformation and distortion. During the 1973-1977 army action in conflict zones, thousands of innocent people were killed, tens of thousands were internally displaced, social and economic life was disrupted, flocks were stolen, crops destroyed, and the entire Balochistan was terrorised. Eight persons, whom I knew personally, including my dear friend, Daleep Dass, aka Johnny Dass, went missing, never to be heard of again. Sher Muhammad Aliani — a sept, an elder, a septuagenarian — was picked up because of an ambush in the vicinity of his settlement near Kahan; his brutally tortured corpse was later recovered. Murad Khan Ramkani of Tadri too was similarly killed. The valiant Asadullah Mengal and Ahmed Shah Kurd were abducted and killed in Karachi. The examples of the ‘consideration’ shown are too numerous to note.

Continue reading In the shadow of the gun – I

The sham operation in Kurram – Dr Mohammad Taqi

A side benefit of the chaos created in the Kurram Agency is that it would be a lot easier to hide the jihadists in the midst of the internally displaced people, making the thugs a difficult target for precision drone attacks

On July 4, 2011, the Pakistan Army announced that it has launched an operation in the Central Kurram Agency with the primary objective of clearing the ‘miscreants’ and opening of the Peshawar-Thall-Parachinar Road (why Tal has become Thall in the English press beats me). The geographical scope of the operation is rather circumscribed, if the army communiqués are to be believed, and its focus, ostensibly, would be on the Zaimusht, Masozai and Alizai areas. But speaking to the Kurramis from Lower, Central and Upper Kurram, one gets a different sense.

At least one General has reportedly been heard saying during the recent operational meetings leading up to the military action that he intends to teach the Turis (in Upper Kurram) a lesson that they would never forget. The Corps Commander’s communication delivered to the tribal elders of the Upper Kurram literally ordered them to acquiesce in and sign on to the operation. But quite significantly, many other leaders among the Turis, Bangash and Syeds of Upper Kurram have vehemently opposed the military action as well as their own elders who seem to have caved in under duress.

The Turis and Bangash tribesmen are of the opinion that on the Thall-Parachinar Road, the only extortionists bigger than the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) are the officers of the army — and they specifically name two colonels — who have made life miserable for the people of Parachinar. These security officials levy protection money even on the supply of daily provisions and medicine to Upper Kurram, resulting in jacked-up prices and in many instances unavailability of life-saving drugs, resulting in deaths that otherwise could be preventable.

The more ominous and geo-strategically important aspects of the current army operation are twofold and are interconnected. We have noted in these pages several times that the Pakistan Army has no problem securing Central and parts of Lower Kurram for its jihadist asset, i.e. the Haqqani terrorist network, who have essentially had a free reign in this region for almost a decade using the Sateen, Shasho and Pir Qayyum camps. The army has also helped the Haqqani and Hekmatyar groups set up humungous compounds on the Durand Line such as the Spina Shaga complex.

The problem the security establishment has faced is to secure a thoroughfare between Central Kurram and the assorted jihadist bridgeheads along the Kurram-Afghanistan border, including but not limited to the Parrot’s Beak region. The key hindrance to such movement is the resistance by the Turi and Bangash tribesmen, which neither the security establishment nor its jihadist proxies have been able to neutralise, coerce or buy off. Projecting the Haqqani network and Hekmatyar’s operatives into Afghanistan from Tari Mangal, Mata Sangar, Makhrani, Wacha Darra and Spina Shaga and other bases on the border is a pivotal component of the Pakistani strategy to keep the US bogged down in Afghanistan and for the post-US withdrawal phase. But with the recent wave of drone attacks on the hideouts of these groups, their vulnerability to the US/ISAF — buoyed by the OBL raid — has also become evident and hence the need for secure routes to retract the jihadists back when needed.

Several attacks on the Turi and Bangash, including by Pakistan Army helicopter gunships last year killing several Pakistanis, have not dented the resolve of the locals to fight back against the jihadists. I had noted in these pages then: “The Taliban onslaught on the Shalozan area of Kurram, northeast of Mata Sangar, in September 2010 was part of this tactical rearrangement [to relocate the Haqqanis to Kurram]. When the local population reversed the Taliban gains in the battle for the village Khaiwas, the army’s gunships swooped down on them to protect its jihadist partners” (‘Kurram: the forsaken FATA’, Daily Times, November 4, 2010).

The option that the army wants to exercise now is to disarm the Upper Kurram’s tribesmen, especially the Turis. The security establishment has told them that they will have to surrender their “qawmi wasla” (an arms cache that belongs to a tribe as a whole). To disarm and thus defang the tribesmen, who have held their own against the disproportionately stronger and state-sponsored enemy for almost half a decade, is essentially pronouncing their death sentence.

Without their weapons, the Turis and Bangash will be at the whim of an army that had literally abandoned Muhammad Afzal Khan Lala and Pir Samiullah in Swat and the Adeyzai lashkar (outside Peshawar). Afzal Khan Lala lost several loyalists and family members and Pir Samiullah was murdered, his body buried but later exhumed and mutilated by the Taliban, while the army stood by and did nothing. My co-columnist and researcher, Ms Farhat Taj has highlighted the plight of the Adeyzai lashkar several times in these pages, including the fact that it was left high and dry by the security establishment against an overwhelming Taliban force. And lest we forget, it was this same army that made Mian Iftikhar Hussain and Afrasiab Khattak of the Awami National Party (ANP) negotiate with Mullah Fazlullah’s Taliban, with suicide bombers standing guard on each men and blocking the door along with muzzles of automatic rifles pointed into their faces.

A side benefit of the chaos created in the Kurram Agency is that it would be a lot easier to hide the jihadists in the midst of the internally displaced people (IDPs), making the thugs a difficult target for precision drone attacks. Also, the establishment’s focus has been to ‘reorient’ the TTP completely towards Afghanistan. The breaking away from the TTP of the crook from Uchat village, Fazl-e-Saeed Zaimusht (who now interestingly writes Haqqani after his name) is the first step in the establishment’s attempt to regain full control over all its jihadist proxies.

The offensive in Central Kurram is not intended for securing the road; it will be broadened to include the Upper Kurram in due course, in an attempt to bring the Turis and Bangash to their knees. After their arms have been confiscated, it could be a turkey shoot for the jihadists and Darfur for the Kurramis. It is doubtful though that the common Turi or Bangash tribesman is about to listen to some elder who is beholden to the establishment, and surrender the only protection that they have had. The Pakistan Army’s track record of protecting jihadists and shoving the anti-Taliban forces off the deep end speaks for itself.

Pakistan’s security establishment can perpetuate on the US and the world a fraud like the hashtag de-radicalisation on Twitter and buzzwords like de-programming suicide bombers by trotting out the so-called intelligentsia whose understanding of the Pashtun issues is woefully flawed. But it is unlikely that Kurramis are about to fall for this sham of an operation that paves the way for their genocide.

Courtesy: → Daily Times

Crush of Refugees Inflames Karachi

Local government says it can accommodate one million, but with some 30,000 in camps, ethnic tensions are rising


KARACHI, Pakistan—Hundreds of thousands of refugees from Pakistan’s devastating floods are seeking shelter in this city of 18 million, exacerbating ethnic strife that has already escalated this year and threatens to destabilize the government of President Asif Ali Zardari.

Most of the refugees are ethnic Sindhis from areas outside Karachi, the capital of Sindh province, whose homes and livelihoods have been destroyed in the flooding that began more than three weeks ago.


Flood IDPs Camps in Karachi

Due to violent monsoon and floods thousands of people have already migrated from Ghotki, Sukkur, Larkana, Shikarpur and Jacobabad. In a latest development 90% of Jacobabad has been evacuated. Special trains have been mobilized for the refugees, heading towards Hyderabad and Karachi. Humanitarian Community is requested to respond accordingly. There may be some other camps but so far four camps are identified in Karachi by our civil society teams, political parties and media friends.

The mass evacuation of Jacobabad due to flood waters that are approaching fast to the city, Sindh Government has decided to move the IDPs from Jacobabad to Karachi , Hyderabad and Jamshoro. The current update is that CDGK has identified following four locations in Karachi where the IDPs will be brought in 1. Gaddap, 2. Bin Qasim Town, 3. Kiamari, 4. Toll Plaza

KARACHI: Chakra Goth, Korangi: In this camp at least 40 families, migrated from Thul, Jacobabad are living in very vulnerable conditions. To babies were born during floods and they are in a very critical health conditions.

Shah Rasool Colony, near Abdullah Shah Ghazi mazar, Saddar Town: 32 families are migrated from Kachho of Larkana, most are women and minor kids.

Mehmoodabad Graveyard: 45 families from different flood hit areas of upper Sindh are there and looking for help.

Sachal Goth: hundreds of flood survivors, displaced and now living on footpaths in a very pathetic situation. …

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, 13 Augsut 2010

SUP rally attacked by Police and Ragners, one killed, 4 injured, Zain Shah arrested

Jamshoro – Private TV channels ARY News and Express News are reporting that police has resorted to baton charged and airiel firing on protesters of Sindh United Party (SUP) activists who were protesting against arrival of outsiders in province of Sindh. SUP stages a big demo on Super highway, blocking traffic for hours.

Police and rangers arrested several activists including party’s General Secretary Syed Zain Shah. Hearing this news of arrest, party activists blocked National High Way and Super high way. ARY News showed live footage of police beating and firing on workers, several workers were picked up by rangers and police after beaten on super high way.

Workers continue to block National High way at Jamshoro Phatak, while Rangers and Police are clearing the super high way for traffic. TV channels report police have registered cases of treason against activists of SUP.

According to reports rallies against settlement of displaced people in Sindh have been peaceful, Sindh Taraqi Pasand Parrty (STP) has announced to stage Sit-in on June 10 at Chief Minister’s house in Karachi and another Sit-in on Sindh Punjab border on June 17.

Political parties in Sindh have been of the opinion that influx of Internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Malakand operation area, where Pakistan army is fighting Taliban militants, would convert Sindhis into minority in their own motherland as millions of illegal aliens are already residing in Sindh. Afghan migrants of 1980s still have not gone back to their country. New wave of migration would do a big blow to the demography and culture of the Sindh.

Politics, economy, business and culture of Karachi, the capital of Sindh, is already dominated by non-Sindhis.

4 June 2009.

ISSUE OF I.D.Ps AND THE RIGHTS OF SINDH (A nationalist point of view)

Khalique Junejo’s letter to Dawn in response to Dawn editorial “IDPs in Sindh”

This is with reference to your editorial “IDPs in Sindh” dated: May 24th, 2009 wehrein some points are not presented in proper perspective while others need some clarification.

There is a big difference between the stance and attitude of MQM and Sindhi People regarding the issue of so called IDPs. Sindhis are not opposed to their entry and settlement in Sindh because of their being ethic Pakhtoons or because they are coming from some specific places like Malakand and/or FATA as is the case with MQM. Sindhis are against the influx, into Sindh, of people belonging to any ethnicity and coming from any place, either from another province or another country as Sindh is already over-saturated and over-stretched.

You say that “if IDPs are fleeing their homes, they have no choice as their land is now a theater of war. Yes, they have no choice but to flee. But is their no choice and chance for them to settle in a place along the 2000 k.m. route they traverse to reach Karachi and Hyderabad? In between come the places of Pakhtoonkhuwa, the capital Islamabad and the big brother Punjab. If the only justification is that they have their relatives in Sindh, it proves the point of the Sindhi nationalists; those who came yesterday make ground for more to come today and the ones coming today will create reason for many more to come tomorrow.

Continue reading ISSUE OF I.D.Ps AND THE RIGHTS OF SINDH (A nationalist point of view)

MQM is trying to shift a Muhajir-Pashtoon wedge to Sindhis

by Iqbal Tareen, Washington

Let me join Khalid Hashmani in applauding Sindh Qomi Mahaz (JSQM) for its gallant and timely historic protest. I must also commend the conference called by AT, which raised very important issues. I was very happy to see the the religious right totally absent from this event. Here is a very sincere and candid advice for Sindh Qomi Mahaz (JSMQ) and others. MQM is trying to shift a Muhajir-Pashtoon wedge to Sindhis. It is incumbent upon JSQM and other Sindh Rights movements in Sindh and overseas to make a clear distinction that Sindh was never and can never be against the nation of Ghafar Khan who had eternal ties with Sindh and her national leaders. Sindhis are all for the right of self-governance of Pakhtoonkhwa. We just don’t want our nation to be subjected to ethnic re-engineering and reduced to insignificant minority. JSQM should show its guts to expose an ethnic organization of Karachi and its betrayal in painting Sindhis as Pashtoon haters.

THIS IS VERY CRITICAL FOR SINDHIS GOING FORWARD… We are against Taliban not Pashtoons. Taliban come in all races, nationalities, sizes, and ethnicities. Many of today’s Taliban are successors of Jamaat’s para-militay forces Al-Badr and Al-Shams who were forward blocks of the West Pakistan army in East Pakistan.

Remember my friends, Pashtoons and other ethnic minorities in Karachi are vital deterrent to MQM’s runaway absolute power. Do not lose this goodwill. Make it clear we are not against them and other ethnic groups but against agencies’ cheap tactics to set Sindhis and Pashtoons against each other by shoving mass migration into our homeland.

May 27, 2009

World Sindhi Congress is deeply concerned at the grave historical threat posed to Sindhi people

London: Press release – World Sindhi Congress WSC is deeply concerned at the grave historical threat posed to Sindhi people resulting from migration of a large number of people to Sindh resulting from ongoing conflict in Malakanad region of Pakhtunkhuwa. Although, WSC sympathises with the displaced people, however, we see this as a deliberately created crisis and a .. design .. as a move to seriously hurt the long-term historical rights of Sindhi people. If these people have to be settled in camps until the conflict is resolved then why to settle them 1400km away. WSC believes that most appropriate, cost-effective and politically least challenging way will be to settle them in their own land. Their settlement in Sindh will have serious concerns and consequences particularly in the backdrop of the fact that Sindh is already an area with one of the highest immigrant population proportion in the world.

Continue reading World Sindhi Congress is deeply concerned at the grave historical threat posed to Sindhi people

Pakistan, Sindh, Sindhis and New Great Game

by: Professor Aftab Kazi, PhD (Pittsburgh)

… The concern about provincial rights, feudalism, civil society and expectations and achievements from the PPP government are justified.

Considering the nature of some conspiratorial mindsets in North America, I must first explain that my current position at NDU was not realized through political connections, but pure merit. Higher Education Commission does not appoint everyone, particularly in social sciences, who applies. It was a complex process and finally the selection committee was convinced that I deserve appointment as HEC foreign professor. .. .I belong to the Faculty of Contemporary Studies, which has recently started functioning as the civilian wing of the university to cater educational services to civilians otherwise in this basically Armed Forces institution. I am very happy being here and the fact that no one interferes with my work. I have been in Islamabad approximately ten months by now, but have never visited any single politician, minister, president, etc. Outside NDU, I only attend some embassy receptions, not governmental ones yet this moment. However, by mid-September I will be initiating such high level meetings for my own research and will also take the opportunity to discuss some Sindhi problems as well. Having explained this, now I turn to the concerns many folks have expressed.

1. In my opinion, most Sindhis based overseas hardly have any idea how politics in Pakistan functions. It is easy for them to pour out with Sindh related concerns, without realizing that sociopolitical circumstances all over Pakistan constantly keep changing, particularly in Sindh being the coastal region. I already know the mindset of some Sindhis in Washington sporting the nationalist/ sub-nationalist perceptions originating from the 1950s, and who keep no secret to receive funding from Indian sources to engage in anti-Pakistan and anti-Sindh activities. Last October, visiting Sindh University for a conference, during a meeting with one of the civil society advocates, I realized that similar perceptions occupied the mindset of some Sindhis, who can only speak loud from comfortable homes, but will never dare to speak about political stratification. My greatest disappointment has been that none of those perceptives demonstrated any understanding of the constantly changing sociopolitical culture in Sindh province and all over Pakistan. Not a single one of the Sindhi groups has had any idea, particularly Washington based pro-Indian Sindhi sub-nationalist propagandists that the concurrent Sindhi problems are not isolated, but a consequence of the geographical location of the Indus River Basin that they exhibit a historical continuity, hence are a part of the larger geopolitical issues now being played under banner of the New Great Game (NGG did not begin with the dissolution of the USSR, but started with the Cold War itself). The breaking point came around 1977 before the start of Anti-Soviet Afghan Mujaheddin war plans initiated with the overthrow of late Z.A. Bhutto and General M. Daud followed by the expulsion of the late Iranian ruler Reza Shah. Things will never be the same again as the post-1977 era has unleashed simultaneously myriad issues combining serious demographic, geopolitical and geoeconomic changes. I can still remember explaining on these lists ten years or so ago about what is coming, only to be a victim by some satanic ‘civility’ mindsets amongst the sub-nationalist and SANA groups who instantly attempted to isolate me in Washington and North America and literally threw my name out of SANAList and SANA (irony is that I happen to be among the few original members and its early vice presidents), echoed by some Washington Sindhis by excluding me from their get togethers. It did not effect me much as I have always driven my strength from my professional strength, not community, and simply stopped attending their functions, unless someone amongst them with a neutral stand insisted. I have cited this because some mails under subject refer to ‘civil society’! Having that explained, now let me explain my perspective over issues under discussion.

1. Civil Society: most NGOs worldwide and in Pakistan, particularly Sindh province, often apply the term in a fashionable way on par with civil societies in the advanced industrial societies. Briefly, ‘civil society’ requires certain levels of ‘civility’ in political culture, which in Sindh is minimal; hence applications in Sindh on par with AIS are bound to be ineffective at the gross-root levels, only marginally fashion the mindsets of a few NGO related individuals. The fact that the civil society applications must confirm to the existing levels of sociopolitical culture is missing, thus leaving applied efforts futile.

2. Feudalism is is part of the Sindhi society ever since Milena. The English utilized feudalism like previous rulers did for their own imperial goals. Luckily, since the early 1960s, first the Basic democracy program under General Ayub Khan (Khan hit yet collaborated with feudals for his perceptive order) and second by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto under his PPP actually hit the bottom of feudal phenomena albeit with cat and mouse tactics, but surely with good results. Bhutto certainly gave confidence to every single man of his importance in society. Things started worsening under Zia. That phase continues. Although the local Nazim system introduced by General Musharraf can be ideal for any given ‘civil’ society, its implementation under relatively different circumstances has not only been decadent, but in fact has introduced Neo- Feudalism, worst form that Sindh has ever experienced. Since being declared an outcast by Sindhis in north America, I rarely offer opinion on these lists, but sometime read through mails. Most articles in Sindhi press and viewpoints on these lists lament injustices, I have yet to see a single article or opinion exhibiting practical prescriptive utility. Why? Because the Sindhis partially lack the collective consciousness. Why not? if at least somewhat partial collective consciousness exists? The answer is that earlier feudalism largely consisted land-owners or pir etc., the neofeudalism includes new businesses, related middle classes acting in colonial ways (Some NGOs are offer example of this behavior) and those who seem to be rising from earlier middle to relatively upper class status. Briefly, the so called elite mindset, which loves to talk about sorrows of Sindh, but don’t have any idea of operating environment and possible actions moving with flow and influence under specific political and geopolitical cultures. This is true of Sindhis in Sindh as well as abroad, particularly in UK and NA.

Even mails below with well-expressed concerns lack ideas about practical prescriptive utility that might help address the concurrent issues (I will not go in details, but farther in mail may highlight some issue areas where progress turning negatives into positives might be possible; the art of politics that unfortunately our majority of ordinated inept politicians lack and those who understand remain un-influential) . Organization of a conference is certainly an excellent idea, yet I wonder if the proponents actually know the dissemination processes. I mention this because, many such past conferences have ended up in futility as pieces of propaganda, hurting Sindhi cause more than helping it. Even some senior highly respected political activists still seem to be dominated by their more than half-a-century old articulated jargon; and some NGo oriented Sindhi activists have failed to conceptualize actual realities. How and what different these folks would have done for Sindh under the domestic, regional and international geopolitical circumstances and difficulties that PPP is helplessly facing these days? Critics have nothing to show even in terms of capability. Unfortunately, many political activists in Sindh often have portrayed as politicians, when none seem to have had actual experience in politics and/or policy level (this makes me admire Barrister Abdul Hafiz Pirzado, who despite effective political experience told me fourteen years ago during a London visit that he is a political activist, not a politician, although he is surely one by definition).

3. PPP criticm is justified to a considerable extent, but it is also relatively less-educated. Indeed, PPP have failed Sindhi expectations. Sindhis cannot find jobs or seek opportunities in areas most otherwise would have had. Encountering some Sindhi folks in Islamabad yesterday, I learned that they were here because someone had promised to get them orders for some job with a payment of 15 lack rupees. I did not bother to ask the name of that intermediary, but surely some Sindhi folks are trying to loot other Sindhis. These folks were asked to pay an initial cash deposit of Rs. 5 lacs before the job order could be arranged, which they declined pleading that first the job order and then money. By the evening that Sindhi intermediary disappeared. I am the kind who never believes in sifarash, but under family pressure sent a letter to a Sindh minister whom I thought was an old college days friend, to appoint two of my youngest and certainly talented nephews. He never replied. Nevertheless, I learned through the press about “intermediaries” able to arrange jobs through commission. My nephews are a part of the crowd of thousands of unemployed Sindhis. It doesn’t matter, upon return from my USA-Europe visit in September, I will approach those for the jobs of my nephews and some other capable Sindhis, whom the Minister friend would have three times to think before refusing. It is a small thing.


“If you’ve become a popular politician, so what?

Even an insecure restless billionaire, so what?

Money and power never help anyone escape Death!

Accomplishments always tell Aftab, so what?”

Criticism of PPP government is justified to a considerable extent. Expectations of many Sindhis and other Pakistanis have not been achieved. However, considering the nature of chaotic politics in Pakistan particularly multi-ethnic one in Sindh can be confusing for any governing group, you name one. It is easy to criticize governance (another neo-con term replacing administration) without actually realizing how it works. I ask every critic in these mails on the subject, what alternative to PPP do they have in mind? The answer is ‘nothing’. I can sympathize with their confusion. Last May, while in Islamabad on a research trip, I encountered a Sindhi from somewhere in Sindh who happened to be one of the vice presidents of Muslim League-N in Sindh, who happen to be staying in the same guesthouse I was staying in. He told me in clear words that he in in ML-N because when PPP won’t be in office he and his other colleagues can represent the interests of Sindh. There are some people in Sindh who think in practical term, unlike many of our friends from NGOs. The PPP government has lots of problems. I cannot cite some incidents because it will be unwise. It is not easy to govern Pakistan these days.

Some folks have discussed IDPs from Swat, but we have in Sindh IDPs from the Kashmir quake as well. Demographic ratios often change constantly in geographically convenient areas through natural disasters, internal wars, internal migrations and trade, etc. The trend will continue. No one can stop is as long as the New Great Game in the region continues. Obviously Sindhis will be increasingly turned into a minority into their own province, like many other kingdoms and civilizations and their races historically did. This is a challenge as well as an opportunity. I will not offer my views how to do it, but I would like to hear from every one on the subject who seem to carry the burden of Sindh’s concerns. Mind you, under the concurrent circumstances talk about autonomy under 1940s resolution is futile. This is an entirely new political scenario that demands concurrent strategies to the resolution of conflict. NGOs and other some groups simply cannot send democracy and human rights down the throats of many Sindhis.

My greatest disappointment from Sindhi politicians and those NGOs who express such concerns is that they are not perceiving Sindh from the concurrent lenses. Perceiving Sindhi issues with the lenses of 1950s or 1960s is in fact a slow poison to the very Sindhi and Pakistani cause. All those concerned need to emphasize upon the concurrent problems on additional IDPs and the processes of their socialization inside Sindh. In my opinion, the most important cause for those who like to cry for Sindh is to force Sindh Education Department and the universities and colleges in Sindh to stratify their education at the highest levels of learning; these NGOs and other concerned must seriously start campaigns forcing Sindh University to upgrade its educational standards at the global level. I mention this because the ongoing problems, including democracy and human rights are a direct consequence of poor education. The system will not change without having a functionally effective educational system. Sindh University is not alone. Most Pakistani public universities are facing similar problems. QAU was indeed a very good federal institution of higher learning in mid and late 1970. Six months spent at QAU made me realize how poor and ineffective education it now offers. My final semester M.Sc students had no idea how to write a research paper. In Central Asia, while at the American University in Bishkek, I taught Bachelor’s degree students (AUCA does not offer Master degree programs other than MBA. Gradually they will). My third and Fourth year students were able o write excellent research term papers, so much so that I was learning from them. In fact, I have brought along with me some term papers of my AUCA students for the information they provide about their societies.

The point is that the existing university educational system is furthering the already existing educated-illiterate culture in Sindh. It is not the same university where I once studied. During various trips o Hyderabad, Karachi, Matiari and Bhit Shah over the last ten months, I came across some enthusiastic talented young minds, who want to be scholars or attain some levels of societal development (not the so-called sustained development many NGOs often cite), but they simply cannot, because the existing ineffective educational system does not equip them with necessary tools to achieve progress.

Even if the PPP government has not been able to totally satisfy Sindhi expectations, it is certainly releasing huge amounts in budget of various ministries and the universities. Well-wishers of Sindh, if the truly are, should actually be emphasizing the correct use of that money in local educational and social projects. Proper education can solve many problems which are more important than “politicized” demands of provincial autonomy. Those who desire independent Sindh must realize that it will be subservient to India and be exploited more from outside than inside. The point is that geopolitical circumstances are not viable of independent Sindh. Sindhis must learn to accept Pakistan as Greater Sindh, which is a historical reality as well. Mere provincial independence will not lead anywhere, only brand Sindhis further as trouble makers within the political framework of Pakistan which lives.

Briefly, my point to the concerned folks of these emails is that they must start thinking about Sindh as a New Sindh, because the concurrent Sindh does not even resemble with the Sindh of 1948. We have many more new urgent problems. Yes, indeed demand about share of jobs in the center, demand about rights over natural resources within the Federal bounds, demand about serious educational reforms, etc. These are legitimate concerns. Indeed, demand about the educational and political socialization processes for IDPs and other non-Sindhi speaking populations to learn both Urdu and Sindhi; a timely need that is likely to address the long term oriented psychological sensitivities about being converted into a minority. Have the new comer become Sindhis so that the cultural infusion is not felt. But these are cross-generational problems and Sindhis must maintain patience until the cultural fusion is materialized….

Aftab Kazi, PhD (Pittsburgh)

HEC (Higher Education Commission) Foreign Professor

FCS, National Defense University of Pakistan

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Our source for above article- Above article of Professor Aftab Kazi has published at Sindhi e-lists/e-groups on May 24, 2009