Sarwech Ali Pirzado’s grave stands out in the ancestral Pirzado graveyard in Balhreji, Larkano district. A red Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM) flag is spread over the grave. Another party flag flutters beside it. Known as ‘little Moscow’, Balhreji has seen many socialist and communist movements, evidence of which is found on the main entrance to the street where the graveyard is located. There is a plaque here in memory of “social reformer Muhib Hussain Pirzado”.
The area has been in the spotlight in recent weeks, as the venue where families from across Sindh receive the tortured bodies of their relatives — activists of Sindh’s nationalist parties who hailed largely from Larkano district.
Sitting on a charpoy in his modest home, Sarwech’s father Lutuf Pirzado wore an expression of resigned acceptance as he mentioned his son’s affiliation with the JSMM’s student wing, the Jeay Sindh Students Federation (JSSF). Himself an active member of the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy in the 1980s, Lutuf received 15 lashes in prison for wall-chalking and demanding the release of communist leader Jam Saqi.
On 17th October 1984, five young Sindhis were brutally killed and scores were injured when an army contingent sprayed two buses of students with bullets. Sindh University students were on their way to Larkano to attend an event when they were stopped near Thorri railway crossing in the then Dadu district. These buses were fired upon indiscriminately by Marshal-law force of Gen. dictator Zia, the biggest enemy of Pakistan. Five young men namely Malik Khushk, Zakrya Memon, Amanullah Vistro, Anwar Abbassi and Mitho Buledi died on spot and several were injured. More than 100 students were arrested and subjected to inhuman torture. Seven of them served prison for more than five years. A judicial inquiry was conducted but the report was never made public because it is believed that the inquiry concluded that the act was shear barbarity. Sindh remembers and salutes great heroes of this day.
Iqbal Tareen is an author of “Harvest will come – Embracing diverse Pakistani heritage”, President of Silver Lining International, Inc., Chief organizer of “Democracy, Individual and Collective Human Rights, Education and Skills Development, Fight against Hepatitis in Pakistan”, former president of Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) & and founder president of Jeay Sindh Student Federation (JSSF). The language of the interview is Sindhi.
Bashir Khan Qureshi, former chief of the Sindhi Nationalist group Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) died suddenly and mysteriously on April 7, 2012 .
It is being claimed that he died of cardiac arrest, although he did not have any previous such history, and was otherwise in excellent health. As a result, many suspect that foul play was involved in his death.
News of his mysterious death follows a recent rush of killings of Sindhi nationalist leaders in Pakistan. Mr. Qureshi was imprisoned several times during his lifetime for his work as a Sindhi nationalist.
No Pakistani investigation is likely to have credibility with the people of Pakistan, in particular with the Sindhis who were strong supporters of Mr. Qureshi. Therefore, it will be necessary that an independent UN prosecutor be appointed to carry out an investigation of the death of Bashir Khan Qureshi.
The MRD Movement in 1983 was one of the biggest uprisings against the Ziaul Haq dictatorship. In Sindh it almost tipped over and become a full-fledged armed insurgency against the state.
Sindh, September, 1983. The agitation by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) led Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD) is whirling out of control, not only for the reactionary dictatorship of General Ziaul Haq but for the MRD leadership as well.
Ever since MRD announced the beginning of a nationwide movement against the Zia regime (August 14, 1983), the Pakistani province of Sindh is in great turmoil.
Sindh’s capital Karachi is witnessing court arrests and protest rallies on a daily basis by labour and trade unionists, student leaders and anti-Zia politicians.
But it is the central and northern parts of the province that are in the grip of serious violence. The MRD movement here has taken the shape of a Sindhi uprising bordering on a Sindhi nationalist insurgency against the Pakistan Army.
Faced with a volley of questions (mainly by foreign journalists) regarding his military regime’s challenged legitimacy in Sindh, Zia decides to prove that ‘only a handful of troublemakers’ are involved in the violence taking place against his government in the troubled province.
So, the grinning general (after issuing a fresh round of curbs on the already restricted local media outlets), announces that he will take a whirlwind tour of Sindh to attest that he is as popular there as he (thinks) he is in the Punjab.
So off he flies in his big shiny military aircraft (C-130) with some of his ministers, military cronies and his favorite batch of journalists to Karachi. He is however, aware that BBC Radio has imbedded a host of reporters in Sindh who are covering the MRD movement.
The reporting is largely being done for the BBC Radio’s Urdu service that a majority of Pakistanis have been listening to – especially ever since Zia (a migrant, conservative Punjabi general) toppled the government of the country’s first popularly elected prime minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (a well-to-do but populist Sindhi who was equally well-liked in the Punjab).
Zia’s plane lands in Karachi. From here he plans to fly to Hyderabad with his posse. Joining him here is a crew from the state-controlled Pakistan Television (PTV) that will cover the general’s ‘successful tour of Sindh.’
The rallies being taken out against him by leftist students, journalists, trade unionists, women rights groups and politicians in Karachi don’t bother him.
Most of the country’s senior anti-Zia leadership has already been put behind bars, while the second tier leadership of agitating student outfits, trade and journalist unions and anti-Zia political parties ‘are being made an example of’ by being publically flogged.
MRD was formed in 1981 as a PPP-led alliance to agitate against the Zia dictatorship and to force him to end military rule and hold elections. The alliance’s core parties were: Pakistan Peoples Party; Pakistan Democratic Party; Pakistan Mazdoor Kissan Party; Pakistan National Party; National Awami Party; Qaumi Mahaz Azadi Party; and Jamiat Ulema Islam.
It was also being supported by Jamiat Ulema Pakistan, as well as by various left-wing Sindhi nationalist parties, progressive student organisations, trade unions and women’s rights groups.
Zia, after arriving in Karachi, briefly talks to a select group of journalists and reiterates his views about the situation in Sindh, insisting all was well, and that the MRD movement was the work of a handful of politicians who were working against Islam, Pakistan and the country’s armed forces.
He sounds confident about the success of his visit to the troubled spots of the Sindh province. This confidence was not only built upon what he was hearing from the sycophants that he’d gathered around him in the shape of ministers, military personnel, religious leaders and advisors.
KARACHI – SINDH: Rrenowned Sindhi nationalist leader, chairman Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) Bashir Kahn Qureshi has died on late Friday night. He was 54.
Qureshi was on his way to a small village Dari Magsi in Sakrand, district Benazirabad (Nawabshah) at the time.
Urdu television channels reported quoting initial reports that he died of fatal cardiac arrest, but despite several attempts the cause of the death was not confirmed.
Qureshi was a brave leader and spent all his life spreading the message of Great Leader Saeen G. M. Syed throughout Sindh and also struggling for Independent Sindhudesh.
In his last mammoth rally of an estimation of 0.7 million people chanting slogans of “Na Khapae na khapae, Pakistan Na Khapae” (We don’t want Pakistan) on M.A Jinnah Road of provincial capital city of Karachi-Sindh, he demanded international powers to help Sindhis to get their independent country—the Sindhudesh.
Political analysts are of the view that Qureshi’s death is great loose of nationalists who wants their independent country, the Sindhudesh.
A new book by an American of Sindhi-Pakistani origin is published. The book contains selected articles, correspondence and speeches of Mr. Tareen, who is a noted human rights, and political rights activist. Mr. Tareen is former President of Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) and founder President of Jeeay Sindh Students Federation (JSSF) (1960-70s). Mr. Tareen is current president of Washington based civic group called “Forum for Democracy and Justice in Pakistan” The book contains Mr. Tareen’s vision for Pakistan and Sindh, socio-economic and Political challenges that country and province face.
It also contains correspondence between him and Mohtarma Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, his few letters to US administration including Secretary of State, Chairman Senate Foreign Relations Committee and now VP Joe Biden, his speeches to different protest demonstration outside White House on democracy issues in Pakistan. The Book also reflects on his association with politicians of Sindh late GM Syed and Rasool Bux Palijo.
Book provides Writer’s excellent reflections on Sindh and his vision under several articles such as :
1. Sindh on the Threshold of 21th Century,
2. Sindh in the Eye of Terror,
3. Sindh Vision 2020,
4. US Sindhis Demand equity in Indus Commission,
5. 11 Guardians of Indus,
6. Chauvinism lurking out of Punjab,
7. Sindh is mother of Pakistan,
8. Government warned against division of Sindh
And the master piece of the book is valuable, thoughtful and beautiful article “Harvest will come” the title of the book, which is an excellent & refreshing analysis of change in modern history specially since 1820 to latest, how world has moved forward over the years, and writer believes “No matter how hard they try they cannot deny you dreams and hope. They might have stolen the day but tomorrow belongs to you.
Have faith, the harvest will come.
The Book is useful for those who have interest in Sindh’s Political issues, democracy in Pakistan and its American connections, also how does enlightened Pakistani Diaspora thinks of its own country.
For Contact Author Iqbal Tareen at firstname.lastname@example.org
Name of Excellence in alternative & borderless journalism.Together we stitch the world & make a difference. Leading today for tomorrow. Sindh lives here