The leader of the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) often stirred up crowds with his speeches invoking independence for Sindh, and in his death, he has riled up his family and party leaders.
While the cause of Qureshi’s death had not been determined by the time of his burial, the events leading up to it have had the party crying foul.
Qureshi, 53, had left his hometown Ratodero on Friday for an event in Khairpur Mirs. He stopped in Sakrand and had dinner with JSQM leaders. After dinner, Qureshi complained of chest pains and was taken to a local hospital by his driver and nephew. Attempts to save his life were not successful and party leaders could not fathom that this was a heart attack.
Qureshi’s body was moved to the Chandka Hospital in Larkana. A panel of doctors, comprising police surgeon Dr Safiullah Abbasi, assistant police surgeon Dr Abdul Qayoom Rajper, forensic expert and assistant professor Dr Kamal Kumar and medico legal officer Dr Raheem Bux, conducted the post-mortem. While the report is expected to be released within a week, JSQM leaders and Qureshi’s family members have demanded that the formalities be conducted by international experts, as they allege that Qureshi was poisoned slowly. Doctors were reluctant to share details of the autopsy because of the high-profile nature of the case, while samples were sent from Rohri to Karachi for further testing.
Party workers were divided over his burial and whether it should take place in Karachi, near the grave of GM Syed in Sann or in the family graveyard of Ratodero. Arrangements for the Ratodero burial had been made when Qureshi’s wife revealed that he had wished to be buried in an open space. A local landlord then offered two acres for his grave.
Sindh closes up shop
The death led to a shutdown of business, legal and educational activities throughout Sindh, including in Jacobabad, Kashmore, Kandhkot, Shikarpur, Ghotki, Mirpur Mathelo, and Daharki. Several young JSQM supporters attempted self-immolation in Jamshoro, Kotri and Qasimabad after hearing of Qureshi’s demise.
The Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Larkana cancelled the scheduled English-I exam in Larkana, Shikarpur, Kashmore, Jacobabad and Qamber Shahdadkot. Sindhi and Urdu exams were also cancelled by the Sukkur board.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 8th, 2012.