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Political Play
Zulfiqar Shah
Why does Sindh want freedom? 24 November, 2014
Majority of Sindhis want freedom of Sindh from Pakistan. I myself am a Sindh freedom believer, although I was a civil and political rights activist and journalist in Pakistan, and now an analyst and writer. Five millions gathered in Karachi on March 23, 2014 to demand international community's intervention for the freedom of Sindh.

What are the reasons behind the Sindhi's will for the freedom of their historical motherland? A pre?cised details in thirty points are enough to unfold the truth behind the subjugation of Sindh, and the real face of federalism in Pakistan. 

1.       Sindh was made part of Pakistan against the will of Sindhi people. This will was expressed through the provincial election of 1946, in which All India Muslim League (AIML) won lesser seats against the opponents.

2.       Sindh waged three wars for the freedom of Sindh during 1843-1857, 1890-1899 and 1940-1944. The last war although waged for the freedom of Sindh, was carried in understanding with Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose by Pir Pagaro Soriah Badishah, Syed Shbghatullah Shah. Thousands of Sindhis were killed by Colonial British Forces (army and air force), and their families were jailed in the concentrations camps in Sindh, Rajasthan and West Bengal. A large number of fighters of 1940-1943 war were executed as well as jailed in Pakistan until 1965.      

3.       Pakistan was created on the illegitimate basis of Muslim nationhood of Indian Muslims, which is known as two-nation theory within united India. This theory practically lost its validity when East Pakistan became Bangladesh on the basis of ethno-linguistic nationhood. In Pakistan, Sindhi deeply feel the negation of their 'Sindhi' identity, which is five thousand years old. They just cannot sacrifice their thousands years nationhood over the seventy years of Pakistan.     

4.       Pakistan Government created an environment of terror against Sindhi Hindus after partition of India. Sindh Chief Minister ordered action against the culprits involved in harassing and killing Sindhi Hindus. They were Indian Partition refugees Muslims. M. A. Jinnah was a Sindhi. He asked Sindh Government to take action against miscreants and protect Hindus. But Prime Minister Nawab Liaqat Ali Khan, an AIML leader who migrated from divided India to Pakistan, dismissed Sindh Chief Minister. That was the reason Sindhi Hindus started their mass migration from Sindh to India in1948 despite the fact that partition was held in 1947.   

5.       Sovereignty of Sindh has been violated in Pakistan at various times. Karachi was illegitimately separated from Sindh against the will of the Sindhi nation in 1948. Some historical parts of Sindh were separated in late 1960s and annexed with Punjab. Punjab Police has recklessly been attacking bordering villages and towns of Sindh illegally similarly to what Pakistan Army does at the Line of Control (LoC) between India and Pakistan. At least 10 such incidents have been reported by the Sindhi newspapers in last six months.   

6.       The status of province-hood of Sindh was canceled and a unitary political system was adopted. Besides, reading, writing and name-tags in Sindhi and Bengali languages were also banned during 1960s

7.       Hundreds of thousands acres of fertile lands of Sindh that became arable due to the commissioning of Guddu, Sukkur and Kotri barrages in Sindh on river Indus were allocated to Punjabis as well as gifted to military officials and Punjabi civil bureaucracy.

8.       The financial assets of Sindh were handed over to Punjab. Even the archeological assets that were found from Moen-Jo-Daro and other sites of Sindh were shifted to Lahore.

9.       Water rights of Sindh are being violated by Pakistan and Punjab has been illegally constructed barrages on the river Indus despite the objections by the lower riparian Sindh. Pakistani establishment still seems to be keen on the construction of controversial Kalabagh Dam, which is thrice rejected by Sindh Assembly as well as the Provincial Assemblies of Kyber Pakhtunkhuwa (KP) and Balochistan.     

10.    In last sixty-seven years of Pakistan, Sindhis are not given their proportionate share in the Pakistan Army, security agencies and civil bureaucracy.

11.    Federations earlier were not allowing the formation of Sind Regiment within Pakistan Army; however when Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto finally ordered creation of it, Sindhi were not recruited in it. Sindhi even today are less than one percent in Sind Regiment. Besides, Sindhi and Baloch are hardly recruited in Foreign Services. Sindh has no say in the foreign Policy of Pakistan.   

12.    Under Birtish Raj, Sind Rifle Police was responsible for guarding and protecting the borders of Sindh. After Indian partition, Pakistan re-named the force as Pakistan Rangers and ousted Sindhis from it. Today, international borders of Pakistan in Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa (KP) province with Afghanistan are guarded by the local Pashtuns through Frontier Constabulary - KP, with Iran at Balochistan province by Frontier Constabulary - Balochistan which is composed of Pashtun and to some extent Baloch, at the borders with India at Punjab by Pakistan Rangers - Punjab composed of Punjabis and at Sindh borders with India is guarded by Pakistan Rangers - Sindh composed of Punjabis. Hence Sindhis are not allowed to protect their own international borders.

13.    Punjabi civilian and military officials are usually shifted as senior officials in Sindh Police through the process of cadre change.

14.    Multi-National Companies (MNCs) extract Uranium and Copper (Australia), Oil and Gas (USA, UK and EU countries) ), Coal (China) and Gold (extracting companies and their country origin is kept secret) from Sindh because Sindh is one of natural resource richest belt of South Asia. Unfortunately, Sindhis are not only refused employment opportunities in these MNCs, the royalties of these resources are taken by the federal government. Even the funds allocated for the Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS) are not spent on the development in the districts of Sindh.  

15.    The educational institutions of Karachi city, the capital of Sindh, form Sindhi biased admission policies therefore it usually becomes hard for ethno-linguistic Sindhi students to get admission in the universities.

16.    Demography of Sindh is being attempted to be changed. An intentional mass migration of Punjabis from Pakistani Punjab, Afghan people, Biharis from Bangladesh, and Rohangyan Muslim from Burma are being settled in Sindh in a bid to convert Sindhis into minority on their historical homeland. Fake Permanent Residence Certificates (PRCs) and Domiciles are issued to non-Sindhi outsiders so that they may get the employments on the quota as well as resources of Sindh. Even victimization of Sindhi Hindus in Sindh is being done to force their migration from Sindh to India and elsewhere in lieu of that non-Sindhis from within Pakistan and outside are being settled in Sindh.

17.    Before 1947 Partition of India, Sindh was having an internationally acclaimed cricket team, which even defeated some international teams in the test matches, the popular of which was the defeat of Australian cricket team in Karachi. Sindhis are denied participation in Pakistani Cricket Team, Football Team and Hockey.

18.    Pakistani establishment is involved in manipulating the data as well as facts and figures in manner that it may ridicule Sindhis within Pakistan and internationally.

19.    Pakistani authorities have been forging the census of Sindh in a manner that the population of Sindhi may be depicted smaller.

20.    Sindhi is being refused to be given the status of national language in Pakistan. Although Sindh is in Pakistan today, India has given Sindhi a national language status.

21.    Hindus are around 8 million in Sindh but the figures by the establishment of Pakistan are deducing them to below 1.5 million.

22.    Sindh contributes largest share in the income, revenue and overall economy of Pakistan but is given lesser share in return from the federation.  

23.    Sindh Assembly once resolute / legislated for forming the Army of Sindh some years ago but that hasn't become materialized as yet.

24.    "The agenda that has to be discussed in Sindh Assembly are scrutinized by the scrutiny unit working under the Corps Commander office of Pakistan Army's Karachi Corps before the Assembly sessions."

25.    Institutes like National Testing Services (NTS) are used in Pakistan for the admissions in the educational institutions as well as candidate selections for the employer departments in a bid to ensure merit. Ethnic and quality frauds have been detected and scams have been made public by no other than Sindh Government and Sindh Assembly itself. This practice does not only sidelines rights of Sindhi in the educational institutes as well as employment, but also downgrades the educational services and governance in the province.

26.    Election frauds, pre-election riggings and voting at the gun point have killed essence of democratic process in Sindh through which the will of Sindhi people and their voter majority has always been humiliated.       

27.    Religious extremism is being patronized in a bid to control and fragmentize the natural resource Sindh through state sponsored proxy extremists.   

28.    Top level Sindhi leadership and intelligentsia has been killed directly by the establishment or through the indirect means that include Mohammad Ali Jinnah (founder of Pakistan died due to health negligence), Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (hanged), Benazir Bhutto (killed in garrison city of Rawalpindi), Murteza Bhutto (extra-judicially killed in Karachi), Bashir Qureshi (poisoned near Hyderbad), Shahnanwaz Bhutto (poisoned in France), Fazil Rahu (instigated murder), Nazir Abasi (killed in the torture cell), Muzafar Bhutto (killed in torture cell) and Asim Akhund (medicated death).

29.    A large numbers of activists have been enforcedly disappeared and killed by the military and armed forces intelligence agencies. Sain GM Syyed was kept in house arrest for thirty years, Rasool Bux Palijo was jailed for ten years and Asif Ali Zardari was jailed for eleven years and hundreds of others were jailed at various times. These murders, detentions and extra judicial killings were made irrespective of leadership's political ideology.

30.    Pakistani establishment has pushed Karachi into violence and has resisted the integration process between indigenous Sindhis and Urdu speaking Sindhis.

A similar, and in some manners worst, situation is also is being observed in Balochistan. Pakistan establishment has neither intentions nor capacity to undone all these factors, therefore Sindh and Balochistan will always march ahead on the path of freedom, and probably may reach the destination sooner or later.

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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