United against SPLGO, nationalists differ on how to proceed with protests

Published: October 6, 2012
"The people of Sindh want the political parties to announce a decisive struggle against the SPLGO," Awami Tehreek President Ayaz Palijo.

"The people of Sindh want the political parties to announce a decisive struggle against the SPLGO," Awami Tehreek President Ayaz Palijo.

"Their [Awami Tehreek] lack of participation is affecting our movement," Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party Chairperson Qadir Magsi. "The people of Sindh want the political parties to announce a decisive struggle against the SPLGO," Awami Tehreek President Ayaz Palijo.

HYDERABAD: The increasingly strident Sindhi nationalist leaders have been putting up a united front against the Sindh Peoples Local Government Ordinance, but their disagreements over the mode of protests are bringing the fissures to light.

Separate press conferences by the Awami Tehreek and Sindh Taraqi Pasand leaders on Friday, both held to announce the course of action regarding the protests, exemplified this to some extent.

Awami Tehreek President Ayaz Palijo expressed his disappointment over a recent meeting of the Save Sindh Committee which took place on October 3 in Karachi. “Representatives of the Awami Tehreek had suggested holding a long march from Kashmore, Sukkur and Mirpurkhas to Karachi and to fill the province’s jails [by resorting to agitation],” said Palijo. “The recommendations, however, were not accepted at the meeting.”

Sindh Taraqi Pasand Chairperson Qadir Magsi, not explaining why the ‘agitation plan’ was not taken up, requested Palijo to attend the committee’s meetings and implement its decisions. “Their lack of participation is affecting our movement,” he admitted in reply to a question.

Magsi lamented that Sindhis are a weak nation who are more influenced by the pacifying poetry of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai than the resistance model of Sufi Shah Inayat.

Sindh’s natural resources are stolen and discriminatory laws are imposed on the people because of this weakness, said Magsi.

“As I pointed out, the same weakness exists among the ranks of nationalist parties,” he acknowledged.

Palijo’s Plan

Palijo, again, proposed to the nationalists and opposition leaders in the Sindh Assembly to organise a million-people march to Karachi. The participants should lay a siege outside the Sindh Assembly – just as the Tahrir Square in Egypt was used as the focal point of the 2011 revolutions, he said.

“The people of Sindh want the political parties to announce a decisive struggle against the discriminatory local government ordinance.”

While this appeal may take time to elicit support, Palijo announced a blockade of all the highways in Sindh on October 14. He said his party will also support the strikes announced by the Save Sindh Committee, taking place on the 10th, 12th and 19th of October.

Meanwhile, Magsi announced that his party will set up a permanent camp for a hunger strike in Qasimabad, Hyderabad. They will also collect signatures against the ordinance.

The leaders, however, underplayed the apparent disagreement, calling them natural differences among separate political entities whose aims converge on national issues.

Reservations against LG

The two leaders rejected what they called ‘a plan to snatch the livelihood of Sindhis in Karachi’ under the new system. “With the help of the new inland fishing laws, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s mayor will evict the Sindhi and Baloch from their centuries-old abodes and rob them off their livelihood,” alleged Palijo.

Magsi called for dividing Karachi in at least eight to nine districts on the basis of population. “If most of the other districts in Sindh have a population of around 1.5 million, then the districts in Karachi should also be created on the same basis.”

He rejected the addition of Khairpur as the sixth metropolitan corporation in Sindh. “Today Qaim Ali Shah has elevated Khairpur, tomorrow Shirazis will want the same status for Thatta followed by Mahars of Ghotki.”

Both the leaders were in agreement over the role of the Pakistan Peoples Party and the MQM, accusing the former of carrying out an undeclared operation against the nationalist workers. “The two parties passed the ordinance on October 1 which is the same day when over 150 Sindhis were murdered in Karachi in 1988.”

According to Magsi, FIRs have been registered against 582 leaders and workers of his party while 56 have been arrested.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 6th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Sindhi_Pakistani
    Oct 6, 2012 - 12:32PM

    Diversity is always energetic and innovative, Sindhi society is not monolithic or dictatorial, we always have our own opinions but despite our different means and methods, our destination is one and the same. We love our land to the core of our heart, we can let people to live with us as our brother on our land but we don’t accept if some one wants to attack the integrity and sovereignty of this beautiful and Sufi land of Sindh.
    PPP-MQM has done a great mistake by underestimating the love of a common people of Sindh with his motherland and they will never accept any SPLGO2012 system which paves the way for division of Sindh. In the garb of Local Govt system, Our Urban centers are being snatched, our language is prohibited in Schools/varsities there. Our students cant study in Khi based unis, our people are being targeted in our own land. Pls dont push us to walls in the name of democracy. We request media, civil society, politicians and intellectuals to stand by Sindhis at this time of struggle for their rights and they should also denounce PPP-MQM’s political mission to use “divide and rule” mantra to destabilize Sindh, which is never good omen for Pakistan.Recommend

  • Karachiite
    Oct 6, 2012 - 12:55PM

    People of Karachi demand the LG system to be restored as they have seen the benefits .Why Paljo or Magsi who donot reside in Karachi are against it ? What they have done for the places they live ? What are they doing for the flood victims , how many industries they have established in Interior Sindh for the livelihood of the people .Karachi is already overburdened why still they want to rule Karachi from Interior Sindh like a Wadera does to his subjects ? Why ???????? Think people , with an open mind,Recommend

  • Rani
    Oct 6, 2012 - 2:02PM

    Okay, but what they have done for Sindh and Sindhi people? (other than hunger strikes of course).


  • Mehran
    Oct 7, 2012 - 9:28AM

    Because Sindh belongs to us. We have fundamental right over any part of our land. People who migrated to live on our land, they are welcome to live with us as brothers and expect them not to snatch our land and our resources from us.


  • Shahid
    Oct 8, 2012 - 6:12AM

    No one is snatching any sindhi land from Sindhis. This is about devolution of power so that people can elect their town mayor/nazims at local level. This should benefit all ethinicities, it has been done before and was beneficial and is the norm in civilized societies.


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