Even though the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) may have taken a great leap forward in Sindh by gaining the support of Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah, the chairman of the Sindh United Party, it is still being given the cold shoulder from Dr Niaz Kalani, the acting chairman of Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM).
He said that PML-N has not contacted, directly or indirectly, Sindhi nationalists for support in the elections. Kalani added that the nationalists themselves would not cooperate with the PML-N, as it is engaging in what he referred to as “the politics of federalism”.
“Supporting the PML-N is out of the question as we follow the ideology of Saeen GM Syed, who fought for the freedom of Sindh. We will never form an alliance with any federalist party,” he told PPI. “We do not accept the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan as it does not give the right of secession to federating units and we do not believe in taking part in the politics of elections,” he said.
To a question about the recent alliance between PML-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif and the chairman of the Sindh United Party, Syed Jalal Mahmood Shah, who is the grandson of GM Syed, the JSQM chairman said, “Yes, Jalal Mahmood Shah is the grandson of Saeen GM Syed. But he has never followed the ideology of his grandfather. Gaining his support does not mean that Nawaz has gained the support or even the sympathies of the Sindhi nationalists.”
When asked about Mumtaz Bhutto, who disbanded the Sindh National Front and joined PML-N, on the grounds that Sharif had supported his provincial autonomy programme, Kalani said, “Sindh is not a province. It is a state and a nation. I reiterate that we believe in the freedom of Sindh.”
He laid down certain conditions to talking to Nawaz. “We will hold a dialogue with him if he agrees that Pakistan is a multi-nation country and Sindh is a state and Sindhis constitute a nation. If this happens, we too would recognise Punjab as the separate nation and talk to Sharif,” he said.
When asked if JSQM could achieve its goals just by holding demonstrations and rallies, Kalani said that his party is creating national awareness amongst the Sindhi nation. “We know this is a very long struggle, but we will not give up.”
To a question about the unification of nationalist organisations, especially the different groups of Jeay Sindh, Dr Niaz Kalani said, “We all have decided not to oppose each other as we all are followers of Saeen GM Syed’s ideology. We will improve our attitudes towards each other and create an atmosphere of mutual cooperation.”
Kalani said that because of Ramazan, his group had stopped holding demonstrations and asking for an investigation into death of JSQM chairman Bashir Khan Qureshi. “We have already announced that we will hold a big demonstration in Hyderabad after Ramadan.” He said the Pakistan Peoples’ Party government has shown criminal negligence with regard to the investigation into Qureshi’s death.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2012.