Jul 18, 2011

Sindh: Condemnation of Massacre During Recent Riots

Demonstrators against new political system undermining human rights for Sindh are killed in violence provoked by agents to divide communities.

Below is a statement released by the World Sindh Congress:

In a press statement issued today [July 16, 2011], World Sindhi Congress (WSC) strongly condemned the barbaric massacre of innocent Sindhi people in recent clashes in the major cities of Sindh including Karachi and Hyderabad.

The killings started when Sindh Assembly withdrawn the so-called Local Government system and restored Commissionerate system in Sindh.  The local government system was imposed by force by the military dictator General Musharaf against the popular wishes, demands and struggle of Sindhi people. The system completely undermined the historical, political, social, economic and educational rights of Sindhi people. Under the patronage of this system the complete control of the urban centres was handed over to Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). The historical Hyderabad district was divided in four districts, five districts of Karachi were amalgamated in one, other districts were also divided. Most districts were handed over to criminal feudals to punish Sindhi people and suffocate their social and economic progress. As a result of this system the entry to educational institutions and jobs in the urban areas, particularly in Karachi was systematically denied to Sindhi people, Sindhi villages in Karachi were bulldozed and Sindhis were forced to live and suffer one of the worst apartheid in their own land.

The first thing that all Sindhi people hoped and demanded from Peoples Party was to abandon the draconian local government system when they came in power on the almost unanimous vote of Sindhi people. Unfortunately Peoples Party failed to deliver for three and half years on this issue of utmost significance for Sindhi people resulting from their compromise with MQM to remain in power at the any cost. MQM was and is the strongest supporter of this system as it provided them a disproportionate and complete hegemony over Karachi and Hyderabad.

The withdrawal of the local government system was completed in all other parts of Pakistan almost a year ago. It was kept only in Sindh at the sole insistence of MQM. It was withdrawn from Sindh by an over-whelming majority of Sindh Assembly. All parties in the Sindh Assembly except MQM supported the changes.  In all the democratic sprits and norms MQM should have accepted this verdict as it was a unanimous demand of Sindhi people and democratically passed by an overwhelming majority of Sindh Assembly. However, it is really unfortunate to see  how MQM has reacted violently and undemocratically.   Consequently the situation is very sad as it has resulted in the massacre of scores of innocent Sindhi men, women and children.

WSC condemn the irresponsible statements of Zulfiqar Mirza which were divisive and aimed to flame the riots among people of Sindh. It is alleged that Zulfiqar Mirza being sponsor of People’s Aman Committee was involved in the killings of Sindhi nationalists by agencies.   

Sindhis have thousands year old traditions and civilisation of tolerance and peace and have demonstrated this times and time again. Sadly MQM in spite of their proclamations that they are sons of Sindh, have demonstrated through their actions that they only represent the narrow and many-times anti-Sindhi ethnic interests of Urdu-speaking community.

WSC views the recent violence and anarchy in Karachi and other urban areas of Sindh is created by agencies. Agencies want to create instability and differences among Sindhi people and Urdu speaking community of Sindh so that they can continue to control over Sindh’s industrial and natural resources. WSC considers Urdu speaking people of Sindh as Sindhis and they belong to Sindh and Sindh is their land. Sindh’s survival is survival of Sindhis and Urdu speaking Sindhis.  Survival of Karachi and other urban areas is only possible when whole Sindh is stable and developed. We all Sindhis and Urdu speaking Sindhis have to work together in the interests of Sindh from Karachi to Kashmore. 

We request all Sindhi political parties and civil society organisations to take a united stand to work out a coherent strategy to deal with this very volatile and sad situation. To support and provide hope for Sindhis who are being targeted, terrorised and murdered. We also request the saner elements within Urdu-speaking people of Sindh to take a bold step and associate themselves with Sindhi people and the land. This could provide an equitable basis for or long-standing peace and prosperity for all permanent residents of Sindh.