Repeating Balochistan in Sindh

With an entirely different sociopolitical outlook, Sindh can stoke a violence of unfathomable ramifications.


Naseer Memon May 03, 2013
The writer is Chief Executive of the Strengthening Participatory Organisation

The recent spate of violence in Sindh attained yet another traumatic dimension when the brutalised bodies of two young students were found in Dadu district. In a typical Balochistan-styled episode, both activists of a nationalist party, Amir Khahawar and Sajjad Markhand, were picked up in Larkano a few days ago and their tortured bodies were later found on the roadside.

National media, being too occupied with election mania, ignored the incident but the grisly news made rounds on Sindhi television channels. In a similar incident, another political activist, Muzaffar Bhutto, was found dead after a protracted disappearance and four other activists were killed near Sanghar in broad daylight.

The recent incidents triggered a wave of violence, protests and a paralysing strike in large parts of the province. Kidnapping and dumping lacerated and mutilated bodies of political activists turned Balochistan into a vortex of violence and now, the same mistake is being repeated in a relatively sedate province. Similar incidents snowballed a political conflict into a secessionist movement in Balochistan.

The province has been made an open cemetery of political workers and yet, the insurgency has refused to subside. Past insurgencies in Balochistan were mostly confined to a few tribes and their areas, but this time, ceaseless killings have propelled the insurgency and bestowed it with broader ownership of lower and middle class people. An inept policy of using gun power to handle political conflict has not only sullied the country’s image in the international community but fuelled a fire that has become difficult to douse.

A nationalist movement in Sindh started in the early 1970s when GM Syed initiated the Jeay Sindh movement in the aftermath of the debacle of Bangladesh. However, a discrete identity of this movement has been its peaceful demeanour in consonance with GM Syed’s philosophy of non-violence and peaceful coexistence. As a result of that, nationalist parties and splinter groups of Jeay Sindh, in spite of having serious political disagreements, never resorted to mass violence. On April 25, GM Syed’s death anniversary was observed where about half a dozen groups of the Jeay Sindh movement held separate parallel gatherings in Sann and no untoward incident was reported.

Millions of non-locals are living peacefully in rural areas of Sindh and no one has been targeted on ethnic grounds. A similar peaceful coexistence prevailed in Balochistan till recent years. This peace was shattered when abduction and dumping dead bodies of political workers became ubiquitous. Every dead body was reciprocated with a macabre incident and that provided longevity to the bloodbath in the province. An ineptness of matching magnitude is being perpetrated in Sindh where a semblance of peace is already resting on the edge of a precipice. With an entirely different sociopolitical outlook and political ambience, Sindh can stoke a violence of unfathomable ramifications. People are already highly frustrated due to the lacklustre performance of mainstream parties. The outgoing elected government only multiplied the miseries of the people. Yet, the people seething with indignation are still clinging to forlorn hope in the proliferation of democratic dispensation in the country.

Pakistan is already confronting ignominy in the international community due to the spike in terrorism, disrespect for human rights, targeting of minorities and plummeting human development indicators. Repairing this besmirched image needs a saner approach and fratricide would certainly be a disservice to the country. At this juncture of history, the country can ill-afford further internal instability. Reckless incidents that can add fuel to the fire must be avoided at all costs.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 4th, 2013.

COMMENTS (15)

Sindhi Pakistani | 8 years ago | Reply

@Talha Rizvi:

Friend, quota system is a Pandora's box, for example, are people of Karachi willing to let NED, Dow, JPMC, KU admissions be on open merit for all citizens of Sindh? I dont think so.

I wanted to study at NED but there were very small number of seats there for people outside Karachi. I could not qualify only because of quota even though in entry test I got very good marks and inter percentage too.

In "interior" of Sindh, both Urdu and Sindhi speakers have inter-married (true for Hyderabad too) so there is more assimilation but I think (sadly) people of Karachi have not moved on. I am not blaming Karachiites because they dont get to spend enough time with normal non-wadera Sindhis. In fact, Altaf Hussain talks in Sindhi during jalsas in Hyderabad because he realizes this fact.

Talha Rizvi | 8 years ago | Reply

@Sindhi Pakistani: Every ethinicity has it's share of bribe takers including the Muhajirs but I focused on the sindhis as they are present in every Government Institutions in Karachi from top to the bottom and still there is cry over Sindh's deprivation.Now where in my posts have I conveyed the impression that I don't consider myself as Sindhi it's just that even after 66 years of Independence conferences are held to demand the expulsion of the Urdu-speakers and people even go to the extent of of calling us Makar,panahgir e.t.c.Now my friend contrary to what you think whenever I see any Sindhi achieving on the basis of pure merit my heart swells with joy.My question why depend on Quota system.ever heard of the famous family of Allama I.I Qazi they achieved purely on the basis of merit in pre-partition India and Pakistan,just check their profiles on Wikipedia if you are not aware of their achievements.One of his nephews even became an ICS officer of the 1944 batch.So my friend I bear no il wil towards you It's just the recent trauma has made me a bit hyper emotional even tomorrow I have to leave from the morning on several office tasks.If you recall I praised your mode of thinking and said if there were people like you in 1974 things wouldn't have gone so bad.

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