This letter was not even acknowledged. A similar letter was sent to Liaquat’s successor, Khwaja Nazimuddin, but being a Bengali, he was under the total control of the Muslim league High Command the Punjabis, the army and the bureaucracy. (Appendix 10). He could hardly do anything on his own, I therefore; he refrained from arriving at any meaningful political settlement with us on the provincial problems. After Khwaja Nazimuddin’s departure, the civil and military bureaucracy took complete charge of the Country. Politicians became puppets with their strings in the hands of army officers and top civil servants. They either danced to their tune or fought with each other at their instigation. This fight had its origin in the sectarian riots in the Punjab and the army got its first opportunity to rule Pakistan when Lahore was put under martial law to bring the anti Qadiani riots to an end in 1953. It is amazing that Pakistan, which was brought into being to solve the communal issue, gave birth to new communal issues. Five years after the creation of Pakistan, various sects committed the type of violence as was witnessed in Assam and Bengal in the last days of United India. Two judges of the Supreme Court, Mr. Justice Mohammed Munir and Mr. Justice Rustam Kayani were appointed to look into the causes of these riots. I have already referred to their report on the riots. Here I wish to add that these riots were part of the conspiracy to remove Khwaja Nazimuddin from Prime Ministership. Afterwards, I made several attempts to contact lskander Mirza and Ghulam Mohammed only to find that these rulers were also under the control of the civil and military bureaucracy who regarded the country as a conquered territory which they wanted to plunder. After lskander Mirza, Ayub Khan became an absolute ruler for ten years and more. Since he regarded himself as the author of the One Unit scheme, he thought it would be an act of treason to even contact those who were opposed to it. The only truly elected leader after Ayub Khan was Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto about whom I spoke in my speech at Dadu on January 17, 1972 and whose reaction to my proposals had also been given in the shape of a letter written to me on February 5 the same year, and received by me through the Deputy Commissioner, Dadu on February 19. The text of the D.C’s covering letter is reproduced below:
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DADU No PA,’ 44 of 1972 Dated the 19th February, 1972
Dear Shah Sahib, I am directed by Government to request You to kindly meet the President of Pakistan on 22nd February, 1972 at I2.30 p.m. at Rawalpindi and favor me with your consent so that I may inform the Government accordingly.
Mr. G.M. Syed, Zamindar, SANN.In reply, I wrote to the D.C. as under:
Sann, 19-2- 19 72
Dear Mr. Hamidally,
Your letter of today to hand. I am grateful to the President of Pakistan to have invited me to meet him at Rawalpindi on 22nd February 1972.
1 feel honored to get such invitation and would have willingly responded to such call. But owing to bad health and short time at my disposal it will not be possible for me to meet the President on the date and time fixed for the purpose.
Therefore I would request you to convey my request to the President to fix some other time if possible in Sindh. It the President is not likely to come to this side in near future then any date fixed after 10 Muharram, 25 February 1972 will be welcome. Please convey my request to the President.
I then received a telegram from the Military Secretary to the President on March 2, 1972, which read:
NO 30 N 248 RPINDI 229/230=
G M SYED HAIDER MANZIL PP NISHTAR PARK MUSLIM COLONY KARACHI-AUDIENCE WITH PRESIDENT FIXED FOR SUNDAY FIVE MARCH AT RAWALPINDI ( . ) REQUEST CONFIRMS YOUR AVAILABILITY-MILITARY SECRETARY.
Afterwards, the President requested me to help him improve Pakistani’s ties will) India and that, on the basis of my relationship with the Nehru family, I should meet Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. I promised the President that I would he very glad to do anything in my power to improve Indo-Pakistan relations. The correspondence, which took place between me and the Foreign Office in this regard, is reproduced in (Appendix 11).
I felt that either Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto did not have the ability to secure the rights of the smaller provinces or he was so afraid of a defeated Punjab that he could not move in the matter. So much so that he probably thought that the Punjab would look askance at my meeting with Mrs. Indira Gandhi. Therefore, I considered it advisable to get back to my routine and proceed to a situation which may expose Bhutto as a man who was willing to sacrifice all Sindhi interests to remain in power. After the birth of Pakistan, it has been our demand that Sindhi should be given the status of a national language and made the sole official language of Sindh. No government in Pakistan, including Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s, had considered this demand, and the language problem has dragged on. The provinces comprising Pakistan did not have a common tongue. In spite of this, the rulers declared Urdu as the national language, at which there were riots in Bengal in 19 54 and the rulers were obliged to declare Bengali as the second national language. Urdu was not the language of any province in Pakistan, but Bengali was also not the language of the entire country. Therefore, our stand was that all regional languages should be given national status. However, even as the rulers continued to exploit the country socially and economically, they simultaneously indulged in lingual exploitation. Bhutto’s coming into power had given us some hope that while he would attempt to solve other problems, he would also try to find a solution for this old issue facing the oppressed Sindhis. However, instead of tackling the issue at the national level, he had an incomplete resolution moved in the Sindh Assembly through his cousin, Mumtaz Ali Bhutto, who was then the Chief Minister of the. province. The resolution merely stated that Sindhi would be the language of the province, without specifying whether it would have official status or nor in spite of the fact that Sindhi had this privilege even in the British period. There is historical evidence to prove this. In 1848, the governor of Bombay, Sir George Clerk had made Sindhi the official language of Sindh, and officials were accordingly asked to learn the language within 18 months and pass an examination for the Purpose. In 1851, the Commissioner of Sindh ordered that all public servants should pass a proficiency test in the language because all official correspondence would be in Sindhi in future. European and other non-Sindhi officers were also asked to pass a Sindhi language examination, and it was directed that Sindhi schools should be opened.
The directors of the East India Company decided unanimously to make Sindhi the administrative and judicial language of Sindh. In this regard, the Commissioner of Sindh issued an order to all the collectors in the province on March 27, 1857, directing them to use Sindhi in all offices and courts. As a result the Collectors of Karachi, Hyderabad, Shikarpur and the Political Agent of Upper Sindh were informed that Sindhi was to become the language of revenue offices and courts of law by December 3, 1857. This was the state of affairs till August 13, 1947 and it continued till the passage of the 1972 Bill. However, the Government of India Act, 1947, and the constitutions of 1956 and 1962 made no mention of Sindhi, but this did not affect the status of Sindhi which remained the administrative and judicial language. The 197 2 Bill did not meet the Sindhis’ demand in full but only served the purpose to a degree. The passage of the Bill enraged the Urdu-speaking people of Sindh and language riots erupted all over the province. The Government failed to protect the Sindhis in the urban areas despite all the resources at its command. In order to control the riots, Mr. Bhutto summoned the representatives of the Sindhis and the Urdu-speaking people. I was also invited but I refused to attend the meeting. Had the meeting been called to put an end to the rioting, I would have certainly attended it, but decided to do nothing with if it was called to amend the i972 Bill as passed by the Sindh Assembly.
In this regard, I sent a telegram to the President that since he wanted a Bill passed by the elected representatives of the people to be trimmed up through non-elected people, I would refuse to accept this undemocratic act and that I was strongly opposed to it. To bow to pressure from street urchins and irresponsible elements and reject or amend a Bill passed by a majority in the Assembly would be a travesty of justice. I told him that I wanted to register my protest not with him but with history and refused to attend the meeting. In spite of this, Mr. Zulfiqar Ali had the Bill trimmed and Sindh was left to all appearances a bilingual province. Both Urdu and Sindhi were made official languages. The Governor of Sindh issued an Ordinance to this effect. This was a grave injustice to Sindh. Although Urdu had been imposed from above, it was never an official language of the province. This was in violation of the 1954 Civil Court Rules, Section 33/4, which clearly stipulated that Sindhi was the court language of Sindh. Section 33/4 lays down that all claims to district and subordinate courts, if valued at Rs. 5,000 or above, should either be in English or Sindhi, and that if the original is in Sindhi an English language copy should be attached with it. Rule No 82 lays down that the proceedings of all cases should be in Sindhi or, if the law permits, in English. Rule 95 relates to notices and summons, and it also declares Sindhi as the court language Moreover, according to Rule 181 of the 1952 Sindh Civil Service Classification Rules, every non Sindhi civil servant had to acquire a working knowledge of Sindhi within two years of getting employment, Rule 101 requires all gazetted and non-gazetted officers to pass a Sindhi language examination held under the supervision of the provincial Public Service Commission within two years of getting appointed If they failed to do so, they would be removed from service. This two-year period could be extended under certain conditions but during the extended period, the employee concerned would neither be a beneficiary of rules applicable to other employees nor be eligible for promotion. By the Ordinance proclaimed by the Governor, Urdu-speaking employees of the Government of Sindh were given 12 years to learn Sindhi. The British had fixed 18 months for the purpose,. while the Pakistan Government had extended the period to two years, but Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto had raised the time-limit for learning Sindhi to those who had been living in the province for 25 years to further 1 2 years. Not only this. Mr. Bhutto also put forth an impression that he had agreed that in case the Chief Minister of Sindh was a Sindhi, the provincial governor would be Urdu-speaking. Likewise, in case the deputy commissioner of a district was a Sindhi, the superintendent of police would be Urdu-speaking. This principle was also extended to the Public Service Commission. This proved that even if a Sindhi attained the highest office in Pakistan, he was still a hostage in the hands of the Punjabis and the Muhajirs, unable to enact proper legislation for the benefit of the Sindhis.
Mr. Bhutto’s accession to the highest office in Pakistan was the zenith of Sindh’s constitutional struggle. In spite of this, however, he continued to be only a second fiddle to the Punjabis, the Muhajirs and the civil and military bureaucracy. Therefore, he could only act as a traitor to his own motherland, Sindh. He could get a turban but only after lowering his head in return. We were now despaired of getting our rights through constitutional means within the federation. Total despair gives birth to the desire for total change. It was in this state of total despair that we decided to prepare the people to work for the total independence of Sindh and the creation of Sindhu Desh. For this we decided on a meet-the people program to apprise them of the handicaps they had earned by the proclamation of the language Ordinance.
Accordingly, a meeting of the office-bearers and workers of the Muttahida Smith Mahaz, like-minded people, nationalist workers, intellectuals and students was held on June 18, 1972, at Hyder Manzil, my residence in Karachi. We founded a new party, the Jeay Sindh Mahaz by merging the Sindh Muttahida Mahaz, Jeay Sindh and the Naujawan Mahaz. It was decided to launch the next phase of our struggle under its banner. In this regard, I hold a Press conference at my Karachi residence on July 31, 1972, to announce and explain my all Sindh tour program and its objectives. I told the Press that Smith had been exploited by the vested interests for years and the province had been driven to a point where it had to struggle for its survival Efforts were being made to break up the geographic entity of Sindh. Under these circumstances, it was my duty to warn the people of Sindhu Desh of the dangers to their very existence and to work out a strategy against these perils. I made it clear that the enemies of Sindh would not be allowed to succeed in their nefarious conspiracy against the country. The Urdu imperialists had not accepted the true objectives for which Pakistan had been created nor had they any regard for Sindh whose land and people they had pillaged for 25 years. It was such pillage that had separated Bangladesh from us. Had they not tried to impose the Urdu language as the sole national language on the people of Bangladesh, Bengali blood would not have flowed on Bengali soil, and Bengal would not have separated from us. These elements had also made Sindh the target of their similar anti human, communalist desires. The language riots were unnatural and criminal. The language Bill had been endorsed by 51 of the 62-member Sindh Assembly. The people of Sindh had expected that Sindhi would be accepted as the sole official language of the province, But even this Bill, weak and incomplete as it was, was not acceptable to the Urdu-speaking people and they resorted to suppress the just struggle of the Sindhis through goondaism. But even more surprising for us was the fact that in order to save his Presidency, Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto succumbed to the enemies of Sindh and other vested interests.
The Ordinance proclaimed by the provincial Governor under instructions from President Bhutto had done a great deal of damage to Sindh, and several valuable lives had been lost. Sindh was to all purposes made a bilingual province, something, which could not be acceptable to any self-respecting Sindhi. President Bhutto gave the Urdu imperialists an opportunity, which they could use to seek the separation of Karachi from Sindh. This was not me feeling alone- The explanatory statements on the agreement and the language Ordinance between the government and the Urdu-speaking clique of imperialists Altaf Hussain Qureshi and Shah Faridul Haq, lent credence to my analysis of the situation. The President’s collusion with, at best, his submission before the enemies of his own motherland also confirmed our fears that autonomy did not reside in the Sindh Assembly but was in the hands Of goons. Bhutto we, guilty of treason against the people of Sindh. By bowing to pressure from the fissiparous elements, he had paid a heavy price indeed to save his office. They wouldn’t give him two months to function as President. The Urdu imperialists who could abandon their own motherland and who could betray those who had sustained them for 25 years, could not be loyal to anyone.
I told the Press conference that grave dangers were looming ahead for Sindh. The province would be in great turmoil when the issue of recognizing Bangladesh was put before the National Assembly. In my view, Bhutto would take steps to placate the reactionaries in order to secure a positive vote on Bangladesh. Bhutto’s policies showed that in order to please Urdu imperialists and to secure their cooperation, he was about to take certain steps. By giving in to the goondas, he had already shown that he was on a weak wicket. They could make further use of him by employing the same tactics.
Even before this, we had, through a resolution of the Jeay Sindh Mahaz, passed on July 23, 1972, warned that these people wanted to launch a movement to bring Biharies from Bangladesh to turn the Sindhis into 6 minority in their own province. They aimed at becoming themselves the rulers of the province. I had, in fact, feared that Mr. Bhutto might have entered into some agreement with the Urdu imperialists over the issue. The Sindhis had already suffered a great deal at the hands of the Urdu imperialists. They would, under no circumstances, allow the Biharies to settle in Sindh. Even now I believed sincerely that the Sindhis should not be burdened beyond their endurance because this could have disastrous consequences. I was pained to learn that poor, Bengali public servants in Pakistan were dismissed from service just because they had expressed the desire to go back to Bangladesh and that they were even otherwise tormented. Several letters and articles had appeared in the Press according to which Bengali public servants, with their salaries having been stopped, were driven to starvation and ill health. It would be a tragedy indeed if they were not provided with the means to keep body and soul together. L demanded at the Press conference that everything should be done by the Government to give sustenance to such people. Failure to do so would bring us a bad name worldwide, especially in our neighboring countries. The events in Bengal and these dismissals had already soiled our reputation and we were not willing to allow anyone to add to this ignominy.
I told the Press conference that I was confident that the Sindhi nation was getting out of the dark night of ignorance and would now thwart all conspiracies against it. They would no longer be misled by traitorous means they had suffered enough and the sun of a new era had already risen on the ancient land of Mohen-jo-Daro. It was our right to demand exclusive official language status for Sindhi and we were determined to get this right. It was no longer possible to deceive us any further, Any conspiracy to create a new province in Sindh would be crushed. There would be no Israel or Mohammed Put or Mirpur on our sacred sail, My tour of Sindh, I told the Press, was aimed a ‘ t warning the people of the province against the conspiracies being hatched against them. It was possible that the Government, afraid of these facts, might proceed against me. ) did not care about it. The standard that I was holding aloft would be carried forward by others and they would struggle to keep this standard aloft and heartily and bravely honored to the last.
After the Press conference, I started a tour of Sindh on August 1, 1972, exhorting the people to struggle for their rights. I told them that their lives, their culture, their language, their civilization and their economic and Political interests were not safe within the framework of Pakistan and that they should struggle for the political, cultural and economic independence of SINDHU DESH. During the tour, t expressed my disappointment and distrust of the federal structure because years of experience and the separation of Bangladesh had proved that the Pakistan rulers were not prepared to give the small and oppressed provinces their due. I had expressed similar views in Hyderabad on March 4, 1972, during the language riots. I declared that SINDHU DESH was the central point in the future struggle of the Sindhis. My tour of Sindh was part of this struggle I was, however, not allowed to complete my province-wide tour and was put under house arrest in my home village Sann, on August 8, 1972, 1 was not allowed to meet, nor correspond with anyone. A long letter, enumerating the causes for the action against me was handed over to me by the Sindh Home Department (Appendix 12).
The causes for my detention enumerated in the letter betray the scheming mentality of the bureaucracy because nowhere during my tour of Sindh, did I ask people to take up arms or to create a law and order situation. I have always been a votary of non-violence and have never regarded violence as the means for solving human problems. I have seen so many dead bodies and bloodshed in my life that I can’t stand any further mayhem. However, I had indeed said that the rulers were hostages in the hands of the Punjabis and the Muhajirs and, as such, they could be of no service to the people of Sindh. Bhutto was, I had said, the nominee of the army, an army that had failed to save the country ‘ It was because of the incompetence of the army that about two thirds of a district fell into Indian hands in 1971. It is obvious when army invades any area, lives are lost there, its wealth is plundered, its women raped. Because of this, hundreds of thousands of than people migrated to India. An army, which could not defend itself, was not worthy of being maintained. But Bhutto had to do so because his power rested on the bayonets of the soldiery. He was spending Sindhi resources on the army instead of the people of the province. Having despaired of the Pakistan assemblies, the rulers and the bureaucracy, we had decided to struggle for the independence of Sindhu Desh. I had realized that the Punjabi leaders would use the leaders of the smaller and oppressed nations and then throw them away as sugarcane peels or used socks. It was in the light of this that I wrote a historic letter to Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in which I warned him that in the long run, the Punjabis and the Muhajirs would get rid of him to perpetuate their vested interests. Therefore, he should, instead of following them and serving them, work for the independence and emancipation of Sindh because independence would bring many advantages to the province. Some of them are enumerated here:
- Sindh would be rid of the Muhajirs-Punjabi imperialism for good.
- Income tax, customs, excise duty and sales tax would give Sindh an income of Rs. 3500 million and from other sources it would be of the order of Rs. 500 million. With these resources at its command, Sindh would make rapid progress.
- Language and education would develop at a very fast pace.
- With all their problems to solve and all public works to execute by the Sindhis themselves, unemployment among them would come to an end rapidly.
- The Sindhis’ standard of living would improve rapidly because with a small population but plentiful land, business and industry, the people of the province would prosper.
- If the Punjab reduced water supplies to Sindh, we could retaliate by clamping duties on Punjabi exports.
- We would be able to defend ourselves.
- We would put the country (Sindhu Desh) on the road to democracy, secularism, nationalism and socialism and be in a position to have friendly relations with India and Bangladesh,
- In my view, the greatest anti-Sindhi act by Mr. Bhutto was the 1973 Constitution, which reduced Sindh into a small component of the Pakistani federation and abolished its national entity.
- The 1973 Constitution made Sindh a haven for settlers F from the Punjab, the NWFP, Bihar, and other Indian regions, Bengalis and Indians from Kenya, Uganda and other African countries.
- The 1973 Constitution took even those powers away from the Sindh Assembly, which had been bestowed upon it by the Government of India Acts of 1935 and 1947, and Sindh became a small and subjugated constituent of Pakistan. The 1973 Constitution, I must say without going into details, made Smith into a vassal state for the Punjabi-Muhajir vested interests.
Although I did not join the MRD nor did I consider it of any use for Sindh’s interests, I could not bear this bloodshed. Therefore, I wrote to world organizations like the United Nations and Amnesty International, appealing them not to ignore Sindh. I also wrote to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of India to use her influence to end the pogrom in Sindh. At this, Indira Gandhi expressed her concern over the Sindh situation in the Indian Parliament. Even the MRD massacre did not assuage the rulers’ thirst for blood. On October 17, 1984, a Jeay Sindh convoy was fired upon near a railway crossing close to Manjhand in Dadu district. Five students died and hundreds were injured or arrested. Pakistani rulers were not sorry at all this. On the contrary, those responsible for the massacre were awarded medals and given other rewards. The impact the incident had on me was expressed in a speech I made on my birthday in Sann on January 17, 1986, where Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan was present. I said all of Sindh lay in fetters and for the last 24 years, imprisonment, lashes, bullets, the gallows and all other means of torture had become our fate. I recounted the events that had taken place before, during and after the MRD campaign. They have already been catalogued. Sindh was being brutalized in an age when the world had entered a new era, in which the powerful communist block lay scattered and in which such nations which, because of ideological shackles, could not even dream of independence, had emerged free. Under the pretext of suppressing the dacoits and urban disorder, the Government deployed armed agencies in increasing numbers to break the spirit of the people of Sindh. Such brute force was used as had not been resorted to even by the imperialists. Bacha Khan agreed with my views. Mr. Mumtaz Ali Bhutto, who was present on the occasion, sought approval for my views from the thousands of people who were attending the function. The multitude raised its hands in total agreement.
Here I wish to present excerpts from the speech I made at Nishtar Park in Karachi on the occasion of my 89th birthday on January 17, 1992, during the course of which I said My sisters and brothers, Today, after having completed 88 years of my life, I am stepping into the 89th year. For the celebration of my birthday as all of you having assembled in such a large number in Karachi, the capital of Sindh, I therefore feel overwhelmed by your love and sincerity and am thankful to each of you for your noble and appreciable gesture.
When I peep into the past, I feel convinced of the fact that there has been an eternal bond between me, my ancestors and an august land of pristine glory and culture. This majestic land is beyond doubt the land of Sindh. My love for my motherland-and the love of my ancestors has not only been natural but unbroken too. This undying love has forced me to take part in the politics of this par’. of the world, to work for the welfare, prosperity of this region and to struggle for the fundamental rights of the people of this land. Challenge howsoever grave it may be with or any danger howsoever grave it may be with shall never extinguish the fire of love for my motherland which my heart is lit with. Those of you who know my past history are aware of the fact how much I have suffered by way of imprisonment or internment at the hands of different rulers since the days of British imperialism till today’s Punjabi imperialism. Very often I am dubbed as a traitor and a persona-non-grata but, for the sake of Sindh and Sindh alone, I have borne the worst kind of suffering and humiliation.
At the outset of the present century, I had witnessed Sindh yoked with the Bombay presidency. In fact such an annexation Sindh had never seen at any stage in its history. Bombay, the capital, had been far off from Sindh. To reach Bombay, either one had to travel by sea or one had to cross Run-Kutch and the plateau of Rajasthan. For their vested interests, the British rulers were bent upon developing Bombay to such an extent that the interests of Sindh were of no consequence to them. As a result, Sindh remained completely neglected for decades.
Then there came a time when it was realized that such a conjoint was not only unnatural but highly detrimental to the people of Sindh. Therefore, the crying need of the hour was to pull apart Sindh from the Bombay presidency. Even at that time, I was among the first sons of Sindh who started the campaign for its liberation. It was after a long struggle that in 1936 Sindh was released from the cruel clutches of Bombay presidency. But, for that liberation, we had to pay a heavy price. The nature of debt of the Sukkur Barrage, the vested interests of the Sindhi Hindus, the opposition of the upper classes and confrontation with the British rulers were the issues for which we had to seek support from certain parties, who wee incorrigible in their obstinacy. The effects of their support are still persisting and none can predict as to how long its harmful effect shall continue to pester us.
Before the partition, India was a sub-continent. The climate of its different regions varied. Clans aid races of different appearance, color, faith and languages inhabited it. Some of India’s parts were dominated by the Hindus, and in some parts d it Muslims were in majority. Certain regions of India depended for their irrigation on natural rainfall while in many parts canals existed for the provision of water. There were densely populated parts aid certain regions were with thin population. The Hindus had their descent from both the Dravidians and the Aryans. They constituted the majority. But despite their large numbers, the Muslims occupied a big chunk of Indian Territory and had kept almost the whole of India under their occupation. Afterwards, the British replaced the Muslims and consolidated their hold on India. In the olden times, Asoka, Vikramajit and Akber had endeavored to keep India united. but whereas their efforts bore no significant fruits, the British did succeed in keeping India united during the tenure of their rule. Afterwards, movements for freedom of India were launched and the British had at last to quit India willingly or unwillingly.
Sindh, in its history, has for a long time been an independent and sovereign state. When the British occupied it, Sindh was an independent country. But as I have stated earlier, after the occupation, it was forcibly annexed with the Bombay presidency. Therefore, for its liberation we had to get the support of such parties, including the Muslim League, on such conditions which proved detrimental to our interests in the long run. Those conditions darkened our future. One of these was the two-nation theory of the Muslim League. The two-nation theory strangulated the noble feelings of nationalism, and divided the Indians into religious compartments. Another condition was the accursed separate electorate by which politics was intermixed with religion. On the basis of religion, the Muslims were made to believe that they were a separate nation and were to be governed under the Islamic jurisprudence. Our circumstances unfortunately forced us to accept willy-nilly those conditions. But the greater misfortune for us that in spite of being well-educated, secular-minded and progressive in outlook, the British patronized the reactionary Muslim League for their imperialistic rule and ulterior motives. As a result of that, we became on one hand the victims of the intrigue of the upper-class Hindus who had their vested interests and we had to be subjected to the special powers of the Governor of Sindh owing to the debt incurred on the Sukkur Barrage; and on the other hand we had to side with the Muslim League and follow its two-nation theory which was contrary to the course of history. Consequently, the separate identity of Sindh as a nation came to naught, and in subsequent years we had to confront other formidable problems. In the name of Pakistan, the Punjabi imperialism enslaved us. However, we are fully determined to do away with this slavery. We are nearing our goal and, God willing, that yoke of slavery shall soon be cast off.
The untold sufferings brought about by the two great world wars created such havoc and such enormous problems that we are facing today the challenge of a "New World order. Today, the democratic order, the capitalistic way of life, the communistic ideology and the preferences U.N.O. have lost their significance. The communist countries have bowed down to the upsurge of nationalism, while the capitalistic block has made the U.N.O. a mere puppet and subservient to its interests, aiming at controlling the world. But the fast changing scenario of the world will not allow this block of nations its monopoly of power for long. If a super power like the Soviet Union cannot resist disintegration, the capitalistic block too cannot survive long so as to exploit the backward nations of the world and keep them in captivity. Time will prove these perceptions into reality soon.
If small nations like Brunei, Bahrain and Maldives can be the members of the U.N.O., why can’t Sindh become a member of that world forum? Considering its area, population and income, Sindh is bigger and more potential than 70% of the present members of the U. N.O. How long would Sindh be ruled by brute force and against the wishes of its people. The slavery of Sindh, I am confident, Shall not last long.
The New World order is very much in the air today and some members of the U.N.O. have tacitly given their approbation for this order. There is no denying the fact that the present structure of the U. N.O. was hurriedly designed on the ravages of the Second World War. Therefore, in its structuring no serious ear and thought was given to the prevailing situation. In the initial stages, four big powers were allowed the right of ‘Veto’, the Communist China was kept at bay for a considerable length of time, and then it was not only admitted to the world forum but was given the veto power. Similarly, some other countries too were deprived of membership. A much better shape of the U.N.O. would have been there, if instead of entrusting the veto power to a few specific countries, countries representing blocks had been given that right. For example apart from the USSR all the rest of the countries believing in the ideology of communism would have been treated as a single community: and given the right of a veto. Similarly, the groups of thickly populated countries and the group of countries with thin population hard also enjoyed that power. At present five countries namely America, France, Great Britain, China and Russia (after the disintegration of the Soviet Union) are the levers of power and as such they enjoy the monopoly, but countries like India, Indonesia and Bangladesh with much bigger population are deprived of that right. In the developing situation, it is not only desirable but also expedient that drastic changes are made in the highest world forum and that veto power should be given to nations as referred earlier. But before the U.N.O. is re-shaped and re-designed, efforts should be made that all such peoples which are languishing under the yoke of foreign domination are made free. To these suppressed nations, an option may also be offered to join any of the said groups. In South Asia, there are certain nations like Sindh, Baluchistan, Siraiki Desh and Pakhtoonistan, which should be given complete freedom. Later, these nations should be given an option to join the Muslim countries having common spiritual values or to join the group consisting of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Burma etc. After attaining freedom, the people of Sindh have a right to opt for any group.
In my considered opinion, the only way to avoid confrontation and atomic holocaust and to ensure a permanent world peace, the unity, brotherhood and co-existence of the nations of the world, is the crying need of the hour, may be promoted on the lines of suggestions as I have given.
On this occasion of my birthday I have a special message for the people of Sindh to pledge themselves fully and totally to the struggle for making their land free and themselves an independent nation - a land which is the cradle of peace in the world and a nation which serves brotherhood of man and human civilization to the utmost limits of its physical and spiritual being.
Long live Sindh! Long live humanity!!
I have referred to an independent Sindh or to Sindhu Desh on numerous occasions in my deposition and have declared it as my life’s mission. I have struggled for its establishment, in several ways and from various platforms. This does not mean that I want to acquire the territory of another country in my lust for power. My only objective is to restore a country, which has existed on this globe with all its shortcomings, its qualities, its prosperity and its uniqueness for centuries to its original status. Keeping the ancient era aside, I am outlining only the post-Islam history of Sindh as an independent and free country here.
The Prophet of Islam (may peace be upon him) was born in A.D. 570. Sindh had an independent government 120 years before his birth and was ruled by the Raj dynasty whose hold extended to almost all of the present Pakistan, parts of Rajasthan and some areas of Afghanistan. It lasted till A.D. 632. It was replaced by a Brahmin dynasty, which lasted from A.D. 632 to A.D. 712. It covered the entire lifetime of the Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him), the duration of the Holy Caliphate and till quite some decades of the Umayyds. When Muslims were cutting each other’s throats and digging each other’s graves, Sindh had a free, peaceful, well-organized, prosperous and civilized government. The Arab invasion of A.D. 712 destroyed all this and threw Sindh into an era of lawlessness, confusion and slavery. An interesting fact may be noted here. The Pakistani rulers say that Pakistan was created the day Mohammed bin Qasim set foot on Sindhi soil, which means that they are the successors to Qasim, and Pakistan is a replica of his rule. You know that Mohammed bin Qasim was a barbaric and cruel ruler who came to Sindh as a representative of Waleed bin Abdul Malik’s Governor, Hajjaz bin Yusuf. About Hajjaj bin Yusuf, all historians of Islam are agreed that on the day of judgment, if all tyrants of the world were to be put on one side of the scale, and Hajjaj bin Yusuf is presented by the Muslims on the other side he alone would outweigh them all. The Umayyed rule started with the martyrdom of the Ahl-i Bait and amid great disaffection and confusion among the Muslims. The number of the righteous ulema, huffaz and noble people put to the sword would perhaps exceed the massacre of such people in any other era, If we demand our rights from the Pakistani rulers and they retaliate by killing our freedom-fighters and by indulging in loot and plunder of our land, does that not mean that they are following in the footsteps of Hajjaj bin Yusuf?
The Ghaznavids brought the Period of Arab barbarism to an end and after the latter had left, the native Soomros ruled Sindh in great freedom from A.D, 1053 to A.D. 1350. The Soomros treated their people well and there was much prosperity during these 300 years. Sindh’s romances were born during this era and were later to form the basis of much of our classical poetry. During the last days of the Soomros, repeated Khilji forays into Sindh led to much distress and confusion and the country’s central government came to an end, but local rulers did not altogether lose control over several parts of the realm. The native Sammans picked up the pieces once again and ended the period of turmoil and chaos. They ruled exactly for two hundred years (A.D. 1351 - A.D. 1 551). During this period, education, the arts, poetry, architecture, textiles, stonework, agriculture, gardening, book writing, Sufism and selfless patriotism received a great fillip and Sindh became a haven of peace and security. I wish to give two examples of the Sammans sovereigns’ sense of justice here.
The depredation let loose in Sindh after the death of Jam Nizam Din, by the Arghuns, the Tarkhans and the Moghuls was without precedent and books of history are full of them. The rulers committed this period fasted 1 75 years in which every single act of cruelty that the human mind can conceive of. Every attempt was made to obliterate the people of Sindh and their culture. However, great sacrifices for national independence were also made during this period in which the immortal son of Sindh Makhdoom Bilawal was crushed to death in an oil-expeller, Doolah Darya Khan was martyred along with his sons. My forebear, Shah Hyder Sanai was forced to go into exile. From Sann to Kutch, one could hear only one sound- the clash ‘ of swords and the echo of the hooves of horses tearing away at great speed.
Sindh was never free of arson and bloodshed during the reign of Arghuns and Tarkhan and Moghuls. Nevertheless the Sindhis, fighting all along for their honor and dignity, regained total independence in A.D. 1736. This new period of independence continued under the Kalhoras and the Talpurs till 1843. I have narrated all this to show as to why I am demanding a free Sindhu Desh and why I am in the dock today. I did not discover Sindh. History is my witness and I beckon everyone whether he is in power or not to history.
The people of Sindh, I had said, were lingually, historically, politically and economically a separate nation. Therefore, they must have the right of self-determination to pursue their economic, political and cultural preferences themselves, and for which they must get Sindhu Desh, which has existed as a separate entity in the sub-continent for thousands of years. The difference between Sindh and Sindhu Desh is that the former may mean a country comprising the entire Indus Valley while the latter means a country confined to the present boundaries of Sindh, just as East Bengal means Bangladesh but Bengal means united Bengal comprising both East and West Bengal.
Angered at my speech, the Government put me under detention for six months in 1973 and served the order on me on May 12 that year. The order, which contains parts of my speech, is being reproduced here:
Dear Friends: ......It is time to talk and to listen. I had told you on March 4 that you would be asked to shoulder big responsibilities soon and that you had to be ready for them. Only the able and the competent can pass this test To go to prison or to face batons is easy enough. But to carry the burden of accountability is a difficult task. For this purpose, you will have to create a cadre of dedicated workers capable of understanding the political, social and economic problems of Sindh. After having made their minds clear about their task, the number of like-minded workers should grow, You have to arrive at correct conclusions after considering the following problems:
- National ideology: After considering several theories about national ideology one has to select one. After much cogitation I have reached the conclusion that since people of Sindh are a separate nation on the basis of language, culture, history, traditions and Political and economic interests, they have, on the basis of the principle of self-determination, the right to make their own political, economic and cultural decisions.
- Sindhu Desh, as an ancient historical entity in the subcontinent, reserves the right for itself to determine its future like the other countries.
- Language: Sindhi is the oldest and most wonderful language in Pakistan and is being spoken since times immemorial. Therefore, it has the right to be our official and national language.
- Before tackling the constitutional issue, it shall have to be decided what should be the basis of our constitution. Under the present dispensation, the Sindhis have been reduced into a minority, always dependent on the majority province. No constitution can be imposed on the people of Sindh without their consent. Under the one-nation theory, the majority province, on the basis of its population and strength in the civil and military services, shall always dominate Sindh.
- Under the above scheme, Sindh shall not be able to rid itself of the ideology of Pakistan, the Islamic order and a strong center the ostensible reasons for hegemony over it.
- The present scheme gives authority over every subject to the central government apart from defense, foreign affairs and currency.
- Imperial interests: We have to understand the vested interests, which exploit us. It requires no great imagination to find that the Punjabi-Muhajir vested interests have usurped our political independence, they are in control of our economic resources and even our culture. We shall have to think how to counter this.
- While resolving the constitutional imbroglio we shall have to accept that it should be based on the principle of self-determination for nations. On the basis of historic traditions and our political and economic interests, we have the right, as a separate nation, to decide our own future. Pakistan and the Islamic ideology and a strong center are in the interest only of a part of the country, but hurdles in the way of Sindhi national interests. Imperial vested interests have been harping on the Islamic order just to divert the people’s attention from their real problems. All this means that they intend to run the government on the basis of Mullahism instead of reason and intellect. Most of these Mullahs are working as agents of the capitalists and the rulers.
- What is real democracy? Real democracy should be based on the following principles:
- No nation should be able to exploit another on the basis of its numerical strength, ability or violence.
- No one class should exploit another. , All people should have equal rights.
- There should be a ban on interference in political affairs by the moneylenders, the capitalists, the mullahs and the pirs.
- Secularism: For this purpose, all means of production should be under the control of a popularly elected government which should use them for the common good of all and all loopholes for personal and class exploitation should be plugged. Secularism is based on facts and intellect Religion gives protection to individual and class interests, and because religion impedes the achievement of a just society, no such thing as Islamic socialism is possible.
- Islamic constitution: Every country’s constitution is based on its social needs and the circumstances prevailing during a certain period in time. Those who talk of an Islamic constitution are guilty of fraud or are stupid because no such thing exists.
- What is Sindhu Desh? It means the territory within the boundaries of present-day Sindh. This country has maintained its own identity for thousands of years. The difference between Sindh and Sindhu Desh is that while Sindh stands for all Sindh Valleys, Sindhu Desh is confined to the present boundaries of Sindh. It is just like this: Bengal means both East and West Bengal but Bangladesh mean only independent East Bengal. So by Sindhu Desh, we mean the independence, economic prosperity and cultural development of the piece of land now called the Sindh province.
- The development of the Sindhi nation: It is a fact that the people of Sindh have the right to be considered a separate nation. But it cannot be denied that we have not been able to create that national fervor which is necessary for the formation of a self-respecting and united nation. We shall have to remove all hurdles in the way of rekindling this spirit of nationalism. Among these hurdles are the mullahs, the pirs, the waderas and the majority of a slavish middle class.
- Pakistan and Sindh: Sindh can survive without Pakistan but Pakistan cannot survive without Sindh. The continued existence of Pakistan depends on the attitude of the Pakistani rulers towards Sindh. If they don’t accept the existence of Sindh and Sindhis and do not give them their due rights, no power on earth will be able to keep Sindh in bondage.
- Among the political parties in Pakistan, all except Jeay Sindh and the Khudai Khidmatgars, subscribe to the ideology of Pakistan which denies the separate identity of Sindh and other provinces. Joining them would be like signing the death warrant for Sindh.
- Government policies! The Sindhis will have to assess the policies of each government after fixing some criteria for the purpose and then decide accordingly. In my view, you can assess government policies on the basis of the following points:
- Any government believing in the Pakistan ideology can never be of any benefit to the Sindhis.
- Any government, which believes in a strong center, has to be anti Smith.
- Any government believing in the Islamic order or the Islamic system of government will be harmful for Sindh.
- Those who sacrifice principles for power can never be the friends of Sindh.
- A government, which refuses to recognize Sindh’s separate entity, and which denies Sindhu Desh can be regarded as anti-Sindh.
- Beneficial foreign policy for the Sindhis: In order to serve global interests of the U.S. and Israel, a war between India and Pakistan is considered expedient. Western Countries have an aggressive arms sales policy, which, in view of their anti-Russian stance, favors the domination of Pakistan by the Punjabi ‘‘mujahids’’. China has adopted anti-India policies in order to dominate Asia and for this purpose, it follows U.S. imperialism. The Sindhis will, therefore, find friendship with such countries useless. Friendship with India, Russia, Afghanistan, Iran and Arab countries would be in the interest of Sindh.
- Pan Islamism: This concept is now obsolete and future relationships with other countries will have to be on the basis of secularism. To believe in pan-Islamism would be tantamount to ensnaring the Sindhis.
- Political morality: It is necessary to lay down important principles in politics and then to follow them. It must be remembered here that it is futile to expect principled morality from a man who is not personally a man of principles. Timesaving and deceit may benefit some people for some time but they are harmful for the long-term interests of nations.
- Intellectual ability and competence: Individuals, groups and nations devoid of intellectual ability and competence cannot manage affairs of State. And even if they get into power, their authority is bound to be transient and brittle. Therefore, if you want to inherit this earth, create in yourself moral and intellectual excellence.
- Varieties of politicians There are two types of politicians. First, there are practical politicians who throw all principles overboard to make temporary gains or to attain power, Then there are the idealists who follow a principled course in the larger national; interest and exhort others to do so. They spurn transient gain and power at the cost of principles.
- That by your above speech you propagated the establishment of an independent Sindhu Desh and attacked the Two Nation theory on which the Pakistan was created.
- In para 6 of your speech, you stated that Muhajirs and Punjabis had usurped the rights of Sindhis and thus promoted feelings of enmity and hatred between the old and new Sindhis;
- That your said speech was prejudicial to the security, the public safety, interest and defense of Pakistan and the maintenance of peaceful conditions in the province of Sindh;
- That in view of your past prejudicial activities in the last Language Controversy during the month of July/August 1972 for which you were detained, there is real danger that you are likely, if set at liberty, to act in a manner prejudicial to the security, the public safety, interest and defense of Pakistan and the maintenance of peaceful conditions in the province of Sindh. The above grounds of detention are being communicated to you as required by Article 9(5) of the Interim Constitution of Pakistan to enable you, if you wish, to make a representation against the order of you detention.
Sindh has been named Sindhu Desh in history books again and again. I will give only a few instances here.
- Noted historian Dwarka Parshad Sharma in his book, Sindh Ka Prachin Ittehas (part 1), gives researched and Vedic references to prove that all land around the River Sindh was called Sindh. The Vedas and other scriptures make it clear that the land around the River Sindh was called’ Sindh and the rest of the Arian settlements were called Sapt Sindhu Desh, To the south of Sindh was the sea. Sharma has given maps of Sindh dating back to the Vedic era in India around five thousand years past. The delineated territory in the maps is called Sindhu Desh. Photocopies of these maps are being reproduced here:
- Again, the noted British diplomat, linguist and historian, Richard Burton who came to Sindh during the reign of the Mirs, gives the exact geographic location of the country in his book Sindh and the Races that Inhabit the Valley of Sindh.
- A former President of the Sindh Muslim League and noted scholar, Syed Ali Akbar Shah of Mehar wrote an article, Hamara Sindhu Desh, which appeared in the Sindh Azad Number of Al-Wahid on June 16, 1936, in which he said that Sindhu Desh is a pre-historic country with a glorious past. The Aryans coming into India from the Khyber Pass saw a huge river, which they named Sindh. (Al-Wahid, p. 126).
- Another noted scholar and historian of Sindh, Shamsul Ulema Umar bin Mohammed Daudpota wrote a letter in Makhzan Mehran (inaugural issue under the title Adabi Sangat on August 31, 1945, in which he had called Sindh as Sindhu Desh. Mehran is the ancient name for Sindh whose muddy but holy water assuages the thirst of Hindus, Muslims and others alike.
Your Honor! All references to history prove that Sindhu Desh is the oldest constituent of this region, to secure independent status for which my party and me are struggling. I am not the only one who has talked of independence for Sindh. Before me, another devotee of Sindh and a great freedom fighter of the sub-continent, Maulana Obaidullah Sindhi also had said that the only solution for the communal problems of India was complete independence for Sindh. The Maulana said:
"It is necessary to explain here that we want a permanent government of Sindhis in Sindh, We shall not permit any religious issue to arise here We regard Sindh as a permanent entity. We shall determine our relationship with the other countries of the sub-continent in our capacity as a separate country." (Khutbaat-i-Obaidullah, p. 1 63)
At another place, the Maulana said:
"We shall create a dominion in Sindh and decide to be part of the British Commonwealth." Khutbaat-i Obaidullah, p. 156).
Once again, the Maulana said:
"Our party, the Sindh Sagar Party, is willing to cooperate with any other party which is in agreement with our basic tenet which is that Sindh is for the Sindhis alone." (Khutbaat-i-Obaidullah, p. 165).
Shaheed Allah Bux Soomro waged the same struggle when he tried to rid Sindhi politics of Congress and Muslim League interference.
Small people have punished big people but those who punished are not even pebbles on the shores of time. I don’t say this for myself but for Such great people as Socrates Galileo, Ghaffar Khan, Abul Kalam Azad and Castro who were put in the dock. Convicted by men with small minds, they became brighter than stars and attained heights of glory What greater good luck can be fall a man than that he should become as immortal as this universe? I am happy to state that this man who was born to a Syed family in a hilly village of Sindh stands at a place where once Christ, Galileo, Gandhi Azad, Ghaffar Khan and Castro stood. I am happy at the" great good luck that has befallen me. I wish that the power hungry leaders of Sindh could understand its importance.
I won’t take further time of the court. It is an interesting and fateful chapter of history in the preparation of which we both are at work. For me is this dock and for your goodself is the judge’s chair. I admit that the chair is as necessary as the dock. Let us make haste to complete this historic task which will give birth to an interesting fable in the future, Time awaits us. I will come here again and again for some one to adjudicate, This will go for some days until the doors of only one court shall remain open for me and that will be the court of Divine Law where Time is the Judge. Its judgment will be final."