Tag Archives: Sindhi rights

Sindhi Civil Society’s demands from the PPP

by Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia, USA
More Criticism of PPP from Sindhi Civil Society
More and more Sindhi Civil Society groups and individuals are expressing their dissatisfaction with present government and its unwillingness or inability to bring the promised relief to Sindhis. PPP may may be under delusion that their Sindhi constituents will forget and forgive the continued saga of injustices. However, the indications are that Sindhis are re-evaluating their trust in PPP and Pakistan for fairness and justice. It appears that they will elect new leaders and vote for new political parties unless PPP starts listening to their Sindhi constituents. I have extracted few key demands/grievances that were included in a set of 34 points in an e-mail issued in the name of Civil Society.

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WSI International Seminar in Washington DC – Sindhi Rights and US-Pakistan Partnership Law

khalidhashmani
by: Khalid Hashmani

Washington DC – The World Sindhi Institute (WSI) (www.worldsindhi.org) organized an International Seminar in Washington DC on November 13, 2009. The topic of the seminar was “US-Pakistan Relations in the Back-Drop Of Kerry-Lugar Bill” and held at the Middle East Institute. The panelists included Ambassador Wendy Chamberlin, Dr. Stephen P. Cohen Cohen, and Zahid Makhdoom. The session was moderated by Mr. Sohail Ansari, General Secretary of WSI. Several prominent Americans and Canadians of Sindhi, Baloch, and Pathan origin attended this highly interactive and candid session.

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Why are we in this state!?

Khalid Hashmani
Khalid Hashmani

by: Khalid Hashmani, McLean

August 12, 2009: The reason is simple! The natives of the provinces, where these resources are located, are denied their due share of benefits in Pakistan. Much of this wealth is enjoyed by people who either live in other provinces or people associated with powerful and high-maintenance organizations such as military. This leaves very little for common men and women, particularly those who live in rural areas.

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Awami Tahreek held a national conference on “National & Democratic Question in Pakistan”

Awami Tahreek held a national conference on “National & Democratic Question in Pakistan and ways & means to uproot terrorism and lawlessness” in Karachi on Sunday May 24, at Regent Plaza Hotel.

Some 500 delegates of various political parties, civil society, NGO activists, writers and intellectuals participated in the day long conference from all four provinces. More than 40 reporters/representatives of media houses were also present to report/cover the event.

24 political parties attended the conferences. On National Question, only Aitzaz Ahson called for abolition of concurrent list and giving maximum provincial autonomy to provinces under 1973 constitution, while PML N remained silent over ‘National Question’ issue, their spokesman Siddiqul Farooq made loaded attacks on army’s political role, even said “down/death to army’s political role “foj ka siyasi kardar murdabad”.

Conference passed a unanimous resolution calling for new social contract based on “1940 Lahore Resolution’. Conference also called for settling refugees of Swat operation in NWFP province, it called on people of country to extend full support to the victims of the conflict. Another resolution stated “allowing these refugees to enter in Sindh would create law and order situation, would create an opportunity for some political groups to create and cause disturbance in Sindh.

Conference demanded constituting a “High Power Commission” to investigate and find out the crimes committed in formulating country’s defense, foreign and economic policy, to investigate how recklessly wars have been fought, and find out who is responsible for letting country go to these wars and misleading the people.

AT Chief Rasool Bux Palijo in his presidential address said “ Karachi is ours, we will fight, Sindhis take time in getting warmed up but once they wake up, you can not calm them down.”. He said ‘ Pakistan was not created by religious bigots, people in British India did not respond to the political line of religious lines, Muslims of Sub-continent followed the person whom Moulvis called “Kafar-e-Azam”. He said Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and Iqbal did not believe in creating a theocratic state. Sir Syed believed the Sharia laws could solve problems of backward societies while Iqbal called ‘Ijtehad’ reforming the sharia laws. He said that these politico-religious forces are ignorant of modern knowledge and state affairs. He said Prophet Mohammad and his close associates were not moulvies likes these Mullahs, Sallahuddin Ayobi was not a mullah. These extremist forces were created, funded and sponsored by America , they are not creatures of our land and region. People never believed in them, never supported them. He said Pakistan has not been a free country for a single day since its inception. This is a client state run incompetent generals who were not above than brigadier’s level but were made commander in chiefs of Pakistan army, these generals have failed Pakistan and us. America used Punjab against three provinces and Punjab foolishly allowed itself to play that role, and now three provinces are being used against Punjab by America , but we will not be used against Punjab . Without naming MQM, Palijo said terrorist group is inflicted terror on citizens of Sindh forgetting that all those who were backed up by Americans have no place to live, from Shah of Iran to Saddam and Pinochet, the once who side with Americans go for forever. He said that separatist movements are now supported by imperialist forces in order to create Bhutan like small states, easy to swallow and dictate. He said we have serious complains and problems with Punjab, but it is thanks to their rule that we can meet and speak here but there been a “Desh” MQM and Pagaro would not have even allowed people like you and me to speak”

Among the prominent speakers at the conference were:

1. Rasool Bux Palijo, Awami Tahreek

2. Aitzaz Ahson, Leader of layers

3. Munir A Malik, former President Supreme Court Bar Association

4. Siddiqul Farooq, Central information Secretary of PML N

5. Abid Minto, President National Workers Party

6. Dr. Qadir Magsi, Chairman STP

7. Amin Khattak, Provincial General Secretary ANP

8. Abdul Rahim Mandokhel, General Secretary PKMAP

9. Syed Jalal Mahmood Shah, Sindh United Party

10. Mujib Pirzado, Convenor, Sindh Autonomy Council

11. Shah Mohammad Shah, Save Sindh Movement

12. Dr. Hayee Baloch, National Party (Balochistan)

13. Dr. Ishaq Baloch, National Party (Balochistan)

14. Sarwar Bari, Intellectual from Punjab

15. Prof. Jamil Umar, Convenor Awami Jhamhori Ithad ( Lahore )

16. Rauf Sasoli, Jhamhori Watan Party (JWP)

17. Ayob Shar, Sindh National Front

18. Azhar Jatoi, Sindh Hari Committee

19. Mohammad Ali Shah, Fisher Folk Forum

Aitzaz paid glowing tribute to workers of Sindhiyani Tahreek (women activist of Awami Tahreek) for their brave role in lawyers movement, “participation of Sindhiyan Tahreek activists actually made lawyers movement as true peoples movement, five minute long clapping tribute was given by audience and lawyers to Sindhiyani Tahreek, who were present in the conference in a good number. Workers of Sindhiyani Tahreek were conducting the proceedings of the conferences.

MQM and JUI-F was not invited in the conference, while PPP and JSQM stayed out of the conference, did not show up. Sindhi leadership of JI was invited but Asadullah Bhutto and Dr. Mumtaz Memon did not come.

Who Rules Sindh? Resolutions of SDF Dialogue

Sindh Civil Society Demand PPP to Keep their Promises of Good Governance and Provincial Autonomy
by Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia, USA
After waiting for a reasonable time, more and more Sindhi Civil Society groups that had supported PPP during the last elections are loosing patience and demanding good governance and provincial autonomy. The following resolutions passed at a Karachi meeting of Sindhi Civil Society representatives shows that their patience are running out.
I hope that PPP will wake up and realize that their constituents are demanding an end to continuation of policies of dictatorship and abuse of their rights.

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Washington DC Discussion on “Baloch and Sindhi rights”

By Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia

The following are my notes and impressions from the discussion on “Sindhi and Baluch Rights” held in Washington DC yesterday.

Key Take-aways from Washington DC Discussion on “Baluch and Sindhi rights” held on September 27.

Washington DC, September 27, 2008: The American Friends of Baluchistan, a local organization of Baluch rights and their supporters, organized a discussion on “Baloch and Sindhi struggle for rights with Asif Ali Zardari’s rise to the presidency”. The event was held at a local restaurant on Saturday, September 27, 2008.

The organizer Mr. Ahmar Mustikhan welcomed participants, who introduced themselves and briefly stated their expectations from the discussion session. On a point raised by Dr. Jawaid Bhutto that the focus of the discussion should not be on one or more individuals but rather on the root causes and solutions, every one agreed to broaden the subject and not limit the discussion to only the context of Zardari’s ascend to the Presidency of Pakistan.

Dr. Safdar Sarki (http://www.pakusonl ine.com/page. aspx?page_ id=57), General Secretary of Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) (http://www.geocitie s.com/jeaysindh_ org/press. html) stated that he and his party are not against any individuals. They are only against the actions taken by individuals that suppress rights of Sindhis and Baluch. Pressing his point about the unfair treatment being melted out to Sindhis, he said that Sindh produces 60% of gas, 40% of oil, and 67% of revenue in Pakistan and yet receives back only 23% of benefits for this contribution. He said that in the last few decades, the successive Pakistani governments have treated Sindh and Sindhis with discrimination and attempted to make them happy with peanuts and lollipops. He asserted that 1973 constitution has lost its credibility and validity as none of the provisions for provincial equitability has been acted upon. He said, “An example of this is that concurrent lists were supposed to have been abolished within 10 years but after 35 years, many more provincial rights have been encroached and put in the constitution. The new “social contract” that Mohtarama Bhutto talked about had much to do with enshrining the principles of the 1940 resolution. Nothing short of a new constitutional setup where the main legislative body has equal number of seats from each province would be acceptable.

Dr. Wahid Baluch, http://intellibrief s.blogspot. com/2006/05/balochistan-drwahid-baloch- for.html, former Deputy Speaker of Baluchistan Assembly and President of Baloch Society Of North America (BSO-NA) USA (http://www.bso-na.org/index. html) said, “We know Mr. Zardari has no real power as in spite of his assurances, the war still continues to be wedged against Baluch.” He added “We look at the positive side and are hopeful that some positive results would result from Mr. Zardari’s presidency. It is more probable that only some cosmetic changes would come about during his rule and the root causes will remain unresolved.” Giving an account of his recent meetings with the US officials, he said that he sees hopeful signs of some understanding about the Baluch point of view. He said that it US officials are quite uneasy that after 10 billion financial assistance to Pakistan, there is very little evidence that Taliban and Al-Qaida have been weakened. If anything they appear to have become much stronger and are now pose a very serious risk to Pakistan’s stability.

Mr. Amir Baloch, a local Baluch leader expressed that he was not very optimistic of any positive results and said that so far, the only tangible results of some improvement are that the wholesale allotment of lands to MQMwallas in Gawadar Sea port has been stopped. He was afraid that that Baluch and Sindhis expereincing a false sense of security and will lower their guards thinking that as a Sindhi of Baluch origin is now in the top position, they can go back to their hibernation.

Mr. Faisal Qazi. a well-known journalist and Chief editor of local Pakistani newspapers Asian Tribune (published in Urdu and English) and Pakistan Journal posed a very interesting question. He said, where as, the National Awami Party, the main nationalist party of Pakhonwa (offical nane NWFP Province) has secured electoral successes in that province, Sindhi and Baloch nationalist parties have not achieved similar successes. Dr. Jawaid Bhutto answered that it is simply the fact PPP is the most popular political party in Sindh and Sindhis have consistently voted for that party in the belief that this party would deliver them their rights.

Mr. Ahmar Mustikhan said that he believes that the main culpirts behind the assassination of Mohtarama Benzar Bhutto are not “fundamentalist” forces but this is a dirty deed of agencies and some Generals. He added that the Benazir Bhutto’s elimination from the poltical scene is a great loss for Sindhi, Baloch, and people of Pakistan. Ms. Nafeesa Hoodbhoy said that it is too simplistic blame security establishment for this crime. Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto had become too close to USA and USA has many enemies in Pakistan. The fact is that we do not know who killed her. For the same reason, Mr. Zardari too has become the most threatened person in Pakistan.

Mr. Aijaz Sindhi, a local journalist, said that Sindhis are still waiting for the restoration of their rights under the new PPP government. He said that onlaught on Sindhi rights continues. He gave examples of the recent federal actions to privatize Qadirpur gas fields in Sindh http://www.apakista nnews.com/ qadirpur- gas-field- four-options- for-sell- off-referred- to-ccop-81196. and federalizing of the Sindh goal authority in support of his argument. He said that no decisions with respect to Sindh’s natural resources would be acceptable unless representatives of Sindh are participants and primary decision makers. Mr. Khalid Hashmani, a local Sindhi activist, said that Sindhis and Baloch rights groups are still using 20th century tools and techniques to secure their rights in 21st century. They have to take global factors into account and balance nationalistic instincts with the need for developing natural resources and to ensure that the needed help reaches rural populations of Sindh and Baluchistan (where poverty has has become main impediment to education and health services) as soon as possible.