Paying tribute: Nationalists commemorate 20th death anniversary of GM Syed

Separate rallies were organised by over half a dozen factions of the Jeay Sindh Tehreek.

Our Correspondent April 26, 2015
Sindhi nationalist leader GM Syed

HYDERABAD: Over half a dozen factions of the Jeay Sindh Tehreek (JST) organised rallies in Sann, the birth and burial place of iconic nationalist leader GM Syed, to mark his 20th death anniversary. Thousands of workers gathered in this small town in Jamshoro district on Saturday to pay homage to their late leader.

“Sindh was the kernel of Syed’s politics,” said Sanan Qureshi, the young chairperson of the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM), who succeeded his father, late Bashir Khan Qureshi, as the faction’s head. “He loved Sindh and suffered all sorts of travails in his struggle for the province’s rights.”

Ghulam Murtaza Syed was born on January 17, 1904, in Sann. He passed away on April 25, 1995, at the age of 91 years. He joined the Indian National Congress in 1930 and left it in 1938 after becoming disillusioned with the party, which he believed did not fight for land transfer, tenancy act and other agrarian issues.

In 1943, as a member of the Sindh Assembly, he supported the passage of a resolution in the house in favour of the 1940 Pakistan Resolution. However, he once again became disgruntled with the status quo in Pakistan and opted for separatist politics in 1970, leading to the foundation of the Jeay Sindh Tehreek.

Niaz Kalani, JSQM’s vice-chairperson, recalled that Syed played a central role in warming up relations between Pakistan and India after the separation of Bangladesh in 1971. “Zulfikar Ali Bhutto requested Syed to mediate between him and Indira Gandhi,” he said.

Reacting to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) demand for the creation of a new Karachi province in Sindh, he warned MQM chief Altaf Hussain to refrain from making such demands. On the occasion, JSQM also announced that it would hold protest demonstrations against the projects of Bahria Town.

Jeay Sindh Mahaz’s chairperson, Riaz Chandio, described Syed as one of the greatest visionaries of the Subcontinent in the 20th century. “He predicted that native Sindhis will be reduced to a minority in the near future. He also laid down the road-map of how to offset these demographic changes.”

Chandio criticised the Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, accusing them of raising shallow slogans of democracy and failing to deliver to the people.

The JSQM-Arisar also announced protest sit-ins against the Zulfikarabad and Bahria Town projects, alleging that they were part of a conspiracy to settle people from other provinces in Sindh. Aslam Khairpuri, the party’s vice-chairperson, said that protests will be held across the province on May 17.

The banned Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz, JST, JST-Karnani, Jeay Sindh Halchal Tehreek and other factions also organised rallies.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 27th, 2015. 


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