Dormant for nearly seven decades, the Hur Jamaat of Pir Pagara, under the banner of Pakistan Muslim League – Functional (PML-F), re-emerged on Friday chanting slogans of ‘one Sindh, one system’.
The PML-F is all set to grab the ‘Sindh card’ from the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in the upcoming general elections, the party’s leader and the spiritual head of Hur Jamaat, Syed Sibghatullah Shah Rashdi, popularly known as Pir Pagaro, signalled.
The event was organised on a 72 acres ground which was filled to capacity. This was the second public meeting in four decades to have been addressed by a Pir Pagara.
Speaking in an unthreatening tone Pagara’s pithy articulation conveyed clear messages to the leadership of the PPP and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) over the new local government system and Kalabagh dam issues.
“My slogan is very simple. One Sindh, one system,” he asserted while disapproving of the Sindh Peoples Local Government Act (SPLGA), 2012.
The PML-F parted ways with the PPP after a four-year-long alliance, when the latter conceded to MQM’s demand for a local government system.
According to Pagara, if the system is put in place, more miseries will be inflicted on Sindh.
“The PPP has a majority in Sindh Assembly. It doesn’t need us or the MQM to form the government. Then why there was a need for such a bargain?” he asked, hinting towards some untold reason behind the move.
The PML-F leader said he consulted various people before taking the decision to leave the government and begin a resistance against the new system.
“We will abide by the principles on which we left the government.”
Pagaro expressed doubts over the holding of a transparent election in the province, saying that the PPP and MQM are planning to install a caretaker government of their choice in Sindh.
“The plan is to make the MQM sit on the opposition benches so that the two parties can together select a caretaker setup.”
He advised the MQM to avoid being part of this plan because it will only increase the ethnic friction in the province. “MQM has to walk with Sindhis and Sindhis with MQM. Those who live in Sindh are Sindhis.”
Dispelling the label for being a supporter of the Kalabagh Dam, Pagaro reminded the people that it was the PPP government which had approved the project.
“Ayub Khan and Yahya Khan did not show as much interest in the dam as Zulfikar Bhutto… I closed this chapter when I was federal minister for water and power. Again in 1988 Benazir Bhutto approved the project.”
“I want to tell Zardari, Sindh is not a card. It wants to live with respect, autonomy and equality in Pakistan,” said Sindh United Party’s leader Jalal Mehmood Shah.
The Sindh Taraqi Pasand party’s Dr Qadir Magsi said Sorya Badshah, the namesake grandfather of present Pir Pagaro, sacrificed his life while fighting against the British occupiers.
The leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, JUI-F, JI, dissident PPP MNA Zafar Ali Shah, PML-Q, PML-Like Minded, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz and other nationalist parties also spoke.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 15th, 2012.