Has a war involving different parties, different forces and different motives begun in Sindh? This certainly seems to be the case. Just a few days after a shooting killed six PPP activists at a rally in Khairpur, which was to have been addressed by MNA Nafeesa Shah, the homes of at least six other PPP leaders were targeted by explosive devices across the province. Pamphlets found at some of the sites attributed responsibility to the little known Sindhudesh Liberation Army, according to police officials.
Those targeted included Sindh Minister for Local Bodies Agha Siraj Durrani in Shikarpur and PPP lawmaker Imdad Ali Pitafi in Hyderabad. In other places, bomb disposal squads defused four bombs placed at the residences of Sindh Assembly Speaker Nisar Ahmad Khuhro and Law Minister Ayaz Soomro in Larkana, lawmakers Syed Faseeh Shah in Nawabshah and Haji Hayat Talpur in Mirpurkhas. The police claim to have made one arrest and uncovered other evidence from a closed-circuit television camera.
It seems that a battle is unfolding between Sindhi nationalists and the PPP. Unless other complexities and conspiracies are involved, which is possible, the only reason that comes to mind is the Sindh People’s Local Government Ordinance passed recently by the Sindh Assembly amidst a huge uproar. While the law was strongly backed by the MQM and agreed upon by most of the PPP, some members dissented and nationalist forces fiercely opposed the legislation, which reintroduces city governments. The war we are now seeing is, however, an extremely dangerous one. It can quickly spread through all of interior Sindh, where both the PPP and the nationalists have influence and a political presence. The idea of the two, pitched against each other, is an alarming one. This is all the more so, given that subsequent violence spread rapidly in Sindh and its settlements. A solution is needed with the PPP taking the lead in finding one.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 11th, 2012.