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Political Play
Zulfiqar Shah
Sindh - Sovereignty and Will 16 February, 2017
Sindh has re-claimed its sovereignty in twofold manifestations -- legislative, and through popular will. Legislative sovereignty was reclaimed through Sindh Assembly's resolution for formation of Sindh army or Sindh armed force. This happened during Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) central government in Pakistan during 1996-98. Meanwhile, the popular will has been expressed in the movements in Sindh that also includes Sindh Freedom March held in 2009, 2011 and 2014.

The reclaiming of Sovereignty by Sindh began immediately after creation of Pakistan in 1947 by rejecting the notion that Karachi should not be the Capital of Sindh. It is unfortunate that the leadership from Sindh has been murdered since the creation of Pakistan.

Mohammad Ali Jinnah (M.A. Jinnah), founder of Pakistan, was murdered not only through health negligence while he landed in health emergency in Karachi on September 11, 1948 but also through decision to send him to high altitude Ziarat in acute asthma.

His sister Fatima Jinnah titled 'Madare-e-Milat' (mother of the nation) is martyr of Sindh. Pakistan Army Chief General Ayub Khan leveled allegations of being Indian agent against her in 1960s military ruler.

In the view of Sindh, blood bath of Sindhi leaderships began with the murder of M. A. Jinnah, and has not ended unto now. Before the murder of stalwart Sindh freedom movement leader Bashir Khan Qureshi, Muzaffar Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto, Murteza Bhutto, Fazil Rahu, Shahnanwaz Bhutto, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, all Sindhi, Liaqat Ali Khan, and many others were killed. Sindhi and Baloch, being people of the United Nations, according to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, are undergoing gross rights violations.

In 1996-98, Sindh Assembly legislated for establishing Sindh army for its sovereignty and security. Sindh and Balochistan are not allowed to protect their borders. Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa (KP), and Balochistan provinces protect their borders with India, China, Afghanistan and Iran through Pakistan Rangers - Punjab, Frontier Constabulary - KP and Frontier Constabulary - Balochistan. Sindhis are not recruited in Pakistan Rangers - Sindh.

Besides, Pakistan Navy and Coast Guards recruitments are not open for Sindhi and Balochistani, the only costal federating-provinces in Pakistan. Meanwhile, Sindh Regiment and Baloch Regiment of Pakistan Army are almost ethnically Punjabi, which is against the practices, principles and traditions of armies across the world.

Sindh and Balochistan are refused to rule themselves by denying their participation in the fields of foreign services, civil bureaucracy, and other areas of governance since last seven decades. In a situation when Sindh and Balochistan are not allowed to protect their own borders within Pakistan, how it is planned that Chinese naval forces will protect the coastal boundaries of Sindh and Balochistan?

Sindh joined World War II in alliance with Axis powers. With defeat of Axis powers, Sindh, against its Will was annexed to Pakistan. Sindh exercised its Will through 1946 provincial elections of undivided India in which Pakistan's founding party All India Muslim League (AIML) could not receive majority mandate therefore Sindhi nationalists in alliance with Indian National Congress formed government in Sindh.

The leadership that earlier passed resolution for creation of a country for Muslim majority states from Sindh Assembly, resigned from AIML, went against the idea of carving out a new country out of India, and formed government in 1946.

Moreover, nations that were part of the world wars across the world founded United Nations after the Second World War. Sindh and India were not invited in the formation process of the United Nations. Britain invaded Sindh after fourteen years long war and by violating treaties reached between emirate of Sindh and Royal Britain. One such treaty, out of many, agreed by Britain ensuring security for Sindh from the threats of invasion by Punjab and others in lieu of allowing sailing in Indus.

While withdrawing colonies, colonial Britain freed Balochistan, India, Myanmar and Sri Lanka in the sovereign status in which they were invaded. However, Sindh and Balochistan were annexed with Pakistan.

Pakistan's founder M. A. Jinnah, in his speech to the legislature from the lands in Pakistan said that Pakistan is achieved. Time and history will decide whether this act was right, or not. (Historical Speech of Jinnah published in Daily Republica, Kathmandu, August 14, 2012, Opinion Page).

After the murder of M. A. Jinnah, his sister Fatima Jinnah was not only censured while delivering speeches like her brother Jinnah, she also was humiliated. A similar humiliation was witnessed by Prime Minister Mohammad Khan Junjeo by military ruler General Zia-ul Haq.

This is also a truth that Sindh in fact seceded from Pakistan on December 27, 2007 after the murder of Benazir Bhutto, which remained free territory for three days. At that time according to Daily Times Gujarat, India Chief Minister Narendra Modi said that given historical relation between Sindh and the people of Gujarat, India would support Sindh if it secedes.

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, from his death cell, wrote in his last letter to Benazir Bhutto, "Sindh will say Khuda Hafiz (good bye) to Pakistan before NWFP and Balochistan…it is rapped Sindh…if I am not part of Pakistan, Sindh is not part of Pakistan". (Published in Stanley Wolpert, Zulfi Bhutto of Pakistan)

Sindh and Balochistan today demand materialization of their Will to determine their future, contain sovereignty, and govern themselves. Sindhi is official language of Sindh, while recognised by India as national (scheduled) language. Development of Sindhi is supported by the USA parliamentarian process.

However, Pakistan officially does not recognise Sindhi language. Sindhi believing in the cohesiveness and continuity of cultural identity also wish today that Punjabi and Siraiki to become official languages of Punjab.

A sovereign-autonomy and materialization of Will of Sindhi into reality is the only way forward for Sindh.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
About The Author
Zulfiqar Shah is a stateless activist, analyst, and researcher. Although he is a refugee, and living a life in exile, he is a born Sindhi and South Asian. Currently he lives in India.
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