G. M. Syed-The Case of Sindh
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The Case of Sindh - G.M. Syed’s deposition in court (Part 5)
Your Honor!

I wish to state categorically here that the partition of the sub-continent on the basis of the two-nation theory was unnatural, inhuman and unrealistic. Partition was effected to serve British imperial interests. The British wanted that tension between India and Pakistan should serve as a permanent guarantee for their imperial interests in the subcontinent. Realizing the danger, the Indian Government gave the country a democratic and secular constitution. Democratic institutions have become so strong with them that there has never been an unrepresentative government in India since independence. On the other side, the principles on the basis of which Pakistan had been created have been thrown overboard and the constitutional institutions of this unnatural country have always been weak over the past 45 years. A look at the past will show that the principles enunciated in Dr. Iqbal’s presidential address to the All India Muslim League meeting in Allahabad in 1930, the Sindh Muslim League Resolution of 1938, the 1940 Lahore Resolution and the Sindh Assembly Resolution of March 3, 1943, have all been abandoned. The independence and sovereignty promised to the states joining Pakistan have been denied. Their individual geographic, national and historic milieu has also been rejected and they have become colonies. Politically, economically and otherwise, they are under Complete Punjabi domination, of those of them specifically who were loyal to the British. The promise by the founders of Pakistan that an Islamic order would be established in the new country was nothing but a fraud. First, such a system is nowhere in existence in the world. Second, the founders of Pakistan themselves knew nothing about Islamic teachings. They had raised the Islamic order slogan because of their lust for Power. Had this not been so, Mr. Jinnah would have had no need to make his speech of August 11, 1947, to the Constituent Assembly, in which he had said:

"…..I cannot emphasize it too much; we should begin to work in that spirit and in course of time all these angularities of the majority community- the Hindu Community and the Muslim Community - will become things of the past, because, even as regards Muslims, you have Pathans, Punjabis, Shias Sunnies and so on. Among the Hindus you have Brahmans, Vaishnavities, Khatries, also Bengalies, Madrasies etc., soon will vanish indeed, If you ask me, this has been the biggest hindrance in the way of India to attain its freedom and independence and but for this we would have been free people long ago, No power can hold another nation and especially a nation of 400 million souls in subjection, no body could have conquered you, and even if it had happened, no body could have its hold on you for any length of time, but for this (Applause), Therefore we must learn a lesson from this.... You are free; you are free to, go to your temples. You are free to go to your mosques or any other place of worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the state (here, here)....

We are starting in the days when there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another.... We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one stale (loud Applause),

Now I think you should keep that introit of You as our ideal, and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the state." (From Jinnah to Zia - pp. 29-30).

On the face of it, the speech shows that Mr. Jinnah had a democratic and secular bent of mind. But in my view, it was an attempt to convince the British that Pakistan would not be a fundamentalist State but remain loyal to them. Thus, this speech was meant to hoodwink the British on the one hand and to renege on the promise of establishing an Islamic order, a mere slogan that he knew had, in fact, no basis in reality. India gave itself a democratic and secular constitution but the Pakistan rulers did not even care for the views expressed by their so-called Quaid-e-Azam in the first Constituent Assembly of the country. Everyone in power and out of power has been raising the shout for Islamic order without caring to say or even know what it actually means. What is the Nizam-i-Islam or the Nizam-i-Mustafa? Pakistani rulers at best are blank about it. The best example of this confusion is to be found in the inquiry report on the 1953 disturbances in the Punjab. This report prepared by Mr. Justice Munir and Mr. Justice Kayani was presented to the Government of Pakistan on April 10, 1954. Excerpts from it are presented here:

Keeping in view the several definitions given by the ulema, need we make any comment except that no two learned divines are agreed on this fundamental. If we attempt our own definition as each learned divine has done, and that definition differs from that given by all others, we unanimously go out of the fold of Islam. And if we adopt the definition given by any one of the ulema, we remain Muslims according to the view of that alim but kafirs according to the definition of every one else.


Apostasy in an Islamic State is punishable with death, On this the ulema are practically unanimous (avoid the evidence of Maulana Abul Hasanat, Sayyad Mohammed Ahmed Qadri, President, Jami’t-ul-Ulama-i-Pakistan, Punjab; Maulana Ahmed Ali, Sadar Jami’at-ul-Ulama-i-islam, West Pakistan; Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi, founder and ex-Amir-i-Jama’al-i-islami, Pakistan; Mufti Muhammad ldris, Jami’ Ashrafia, Lahore, and Member, Jami’t-ul-Ulama-i-Pakistan; Maulana Daud Ghaznavi, President, Jami’at-i-Ahl-i-Hadith, Maghribi (western) Pakistan; Maulana Abdul Haleem Qasimi, Jami’at-ul-Ulama-i-islam, Punjab; and Mr. Ibrahim Ali Chishti). According to this doctrine, Chaudhri Zafarullah Khan, if he has not inherited his present religious beliefs but has voluntarily elected to be an Ahmadi, must be put to death. And the same fate should befall Deobandis and Wahabis, including Maulana Muhammad Shafi Deobandi, Member, Board of Talimat-i-islami attached to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, and Maulana Daud Gaznavi, if Maulana Abdul Hassanat Sayyad Muhammad Ahmed Qadri or Mirza Raze Ahmed Khan Barelwy, or any one of the numerous ulema who are shown perched on every leaf of a beautiful tree in the fatwa, Ex. D. E. 14, were the heads of such Islamic State. And if Maulana Muhammad Shafi Deobandi were the head of the State, he would exclude those who have pronounced Deobandis as kafirs from the pale of Islam and inflict on them the death penalty if they come within the definition of murtadd, namely, if they have changed and not inherited their religious laws.

The genuineness of the fatwa, Ex. D. E. 13, by the Deobandis which says that Asna-Ashari Shies are kafirs and murtadds, was questioned in the course of inquiry, but Maulana Muhammad Shafi made an inquiry on the subject from Deoband, and received from the records of that institution the copy of a fatwa signed by all the teachers of the Darul Uloom, including Maulana Muhammad Shafi himself, which is to the effect that those who do not believe in the sahabiyat of Hazrat Siddiq Akbar and who are qazif of Hazrat Aisha Siddiqa and have been guilty of tehrif of Qur’an are kafirs. Mr. Ibrahim Ali Chishti who has studied and knows his subject also supports this opinion. He thinks the Shies are kafirs because they believe that Hazrat Ali shared the prophet hood of our Holy Prophet. He refused to answer the question whether a person who, being a Sunni changes his view and agrees with the Shia view, should be guilty of irtidad so as to deserve the death penalty. According to the Shies the Sunis are Kafirs and Ahl-i-Quran, namely Persons who consider hadith to be unreliable and therefore not binding, are unanimously kafirs, and so are the independent thinkers. The net result of all this is that neither Shies nor Sunnis nor Deobandis nor Ahl-i-Hadith nor Barelvis are Muslims and who change from one view to the other must be accompanied in an Islamic State with the penalty of death if the Government of the State is in the hands of the party which considers the other party to be kafirs. And it does not require much imagination to judge of the consequences of this doctrine when it is remembered that no two ulama have agreed before us as to the definition of a Muslim. If the constituents of each of the definitions given by the ulama are given effect to, and subjected to the rule of "combination and permutation": the form of charge in the Inquisition’s sentence on Galileo is adopted mutatis muandis as a model, the grounds on which a person maybe indicted for apostasy will be too numerous to count.

In an earlier part of this report we have referred to the proscription of "Ash-shahab" , a pamphlet written by Maulana Shabbir Ahmed Usmani who later became Sheikh-ul-islam-i-Pakistan. In that pamphlet the Maulana had attempted to show from the Qur’an, the Sunna, the ijma’ and qayas that in Islam the punishment for apostasy (Irtidad) simplicity is death. After propounding the theological doctrine the Maulana had made in that document a statement of fact that in the time of the Caliph Siddiq-i-Akbar and the subsequent Caliphs vast areas of Arabia became repeatedly red with the blood of apostates. We are not called upon to express any opinion as to the correctness or otherwise of this doctrine but knowing that the suggestion to the Punjab Government to proscribe this pamphlet had come from the Minister for the Interior we have attempted to inquire of ourselves the reasons for Government’s taking a step which ex hypothesis amounted to condemning a doctrine which the Maulana had professed to derive from the Qur’an and the sunna. The death penalty for Irtidad has implications of a far-reaching character and stamps Islam as a religion of fanatics, which punishes all independent thinking. The Qur’an again and again lays emphasis on reason and thought, advises toleration and preaches against compulsion in religious matters but the doctrine of Irtidad as enunciated in this pamphlet strikes at the very root of independent thinking when it propounds the view that anyone who, being born a Muslim or having embraced Islam, attempts to think on the subject of religion with a view, if he comes to that conclusion, to choose for himself any religion he likes, has the capital penalty in store for him, With this implication Islam becomes an embodiment of complete intellectual paralysis. And the statement in the pamphlet that vast areas of Arabia were repeatedly bespattered with human blood, it true, could only lend itself to this inference that even when Islam was at the height of its splendor and held absolute sway in Arabia there were in that country a large number of people who turned away from that religion and preferred to die than to remain in that system. it must have been some such reaction of this pamphlet on the mind of the Minister for the Interior, which prompted him to advise the Punjab Government to proscribe the pamphlet. Further the Minister who was himself well-versed in religious matters must have thought that the conclusion drawn by the author of the pamphlet which was principally based on the precedent mentioned in pares. 26,27 and 28 of the Old Testament and which is only partially referred to in the Qur’an in the 54th verse of the Second Sure, could not be applicable to apostasy from Islam and that therefore the author’s opinion was in fact incorrect, there being no express text In the Qur’an for the death penalty for apostasy. On the contrary each of the two ideas, one underlying the six brief verses of Surat-ul-Kafiroon and the other the La lkrah verse of the second Sure, her. merely to be understood to reject as erroneous the view propounded in the "Ash-Shahab". Each of the verses in Surat-ul-Kafiroon which contains thirty words and no verse of which exceeds six words, brings out a fundamental trait in man entrained in him since his creation while the La lkrah verse, the relevant portion of which contains only nine words, states the rule of responsibility of the mind with a precision that cannot be surpassed. Both of these texts which are an early part of the Revelation are, individually and collectively, the foundation of that principle which human society, after centuries of conflict, hatred and bloodshed, has adopted in defining one of the most important fundamental rights of man. But our doctors would never dissociate chauvinism from Islam.

Your Honor!

The partition of the sub-continent did Not mean an exchange of Population on the basis of religion. But this unnatural partition resulted in one of the largest migrations in history, which led to the murder of hundreds of thousands of people in the name of religion, and forced countless others to leave their ancestral homes and hearths. The two new countries were drenched in blood. The migration created gigantic problems for both countries, which have still not been resolved. It is difficult to say exactly how many died or were forced to migrate but the estimates made by different authors are presented here:

"According to Pakistan the death toll of Muslims ranges between one and a half million and of displaced persons about 12 million. Khosla in his "Stern warning" puts the number of non-Muslims who lost their life between 2,00,000 and 2,50,000. Moon who was an I.C.S office stationed in west Punjab gives the number of killed on each side, 1,20,000, while Ian Stephen in his "Pakistan" and Michael Edward in his "last days of the British Raj" give their estimate of casualties as 5,00,000 and 6,00,000 respectively. "From Jinnah to Zia" Muhammad Munir- P-17)


I have reviewed Sindh’s role in the struggle for the freedom of the sub-continent, analyzed the Muslim League’s performance and shed some light on the different personalities and actors in this great tragedy. This would have given you some idea as to how the struggle for independence ended in the horrible partition of the subcontinent on the basis of communalism. As the partition had taken place on the basis of religion, Sindh was also affected by it. Instead of reverting to its independent status of 1843, it became part of Pakistan. My political colleague and an enlightened intellectual of Sindhi Pir Ali Mohammed have painted our dire situation thus:

"The first half of the twentieth century was full of change and turmoil. It saw two world wars. Kingdoms came to an end. Dictators rose and we ‘ re )ad to the gallows, atomic bombs were used and the British left Sindh and India. India got independence and Pakistan got Sindh. There was intellectual turmoil in several countries. Men had their beards shaved off, chaste women tore off their chaddars (shawls), First only the eunuchs used to dance. Now, the descendants of Darya Khan and the great General Hosh Mohammed’s successors have joined them in all distress, in all shame(vol. 1).

This excerpt gives some indication of the intellectual rot and the cultural chaos of the political workers of Sindh at the time. We were at a loss to understand as to how the journey had begun and where it had ended. We belonged neither here nor there. As we looked back, we saw that even the footprints left behind by the caravan had been obliterated. When we looked ahead, we saw that there was no light at the end of the tunnel. The struggle had gone down the drain. So, I began anew. The circumstances were forbidding, there were little or no resources at my command, I had no one to come along with me on the journey. Even so, to leave my nation at the mercy of aliens was against my grain. Therefore, shouldering a historic responsibility as my duty, I undertook the task in spite of the fact that apart from a handful of friends, no one was willing to join hands with me. Because of a general lack of knowledge, the people were still under the influence of the Muslim League’s religious sentimentalism. The Pakistani rulers were drunk with power after their successes. Even so, I undertook an arduous Political task, keeping in mind Shah Latif’s call for struggle:

Bhittai’s Poem

"None, used to the ease and comforts of life need keep me company;
Those whose soul is afire alone would venture to forage the mountains".
This phase of my struggle started with a letter that I and my political colleague and great freedom fighter, Abdul Majid Sindhi, wrote to the first Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan. We said that we were willing to forgive and forget what had happened in the past and put our political and intellectual energies in the service of the people of the new country, Pakistan. The offer was unconditional so that the country’s development could take place in an atmosphere free of confusion and confrontation. We never received a reply. It looked as though the Pakistani rulers, power-drunk as they were, had reached a stage from where it was difficult for them to come down and consider the situation on the ground with any degree of realism. It was as if they were angels and we were mortals of mud with whom they had no desire to have any dialogue on any issue. Here we were trying to adjust ourselves to the new situation in order to be able to do something for the welfare of the people of Sindh and there were the rulers Who had started from day one to try and deprive the Sindhis of their land and other resources. They were to give evidence of their rapacity soon enough.

Immediately after the creation of the new country, the Government of Sindh invited the Government of Pakistan to establish its capital in Karachi. This offer was accepted gladly by the Pakistani rulers. After the establishment of the capital, Karachi was separated from Sindh and handed over to the central Government. This separation took place under orders of the governor-general, Mr. Jinnah at 11 a.m. on July 23, 1948. The Sindh Assembly passed a resolution against this decision and the Sindhi public opinion also turned against it. Ayub Khuhro also opposed the move as did the Sindh Muslim League. A Muslim League delegation comprising Syed Ali Akbar and others called upon Mr. Jinnah in Ziarat and told him that the Sindh Assembly, the Provincial Muslim League, Chief Minister Ayub Khuhro and the people of Sindh were against the separation of Karachi from the province and, therefore, it should be reviewed. Mr. Jinnah was greatly annoyed -and he told the delegation angrily that the Muslim League was nothing but a mob. Pakistan was his creation and the Muslim League had played no part in it. Therefore, the Muslim League’s opposition to his decision carried no weight with him. He would do what he wanted to do. It has to be admitted here that Chief Minister Ayub Khuhro stood up to the Quaid bravely and did his best to stop the flow of refugees into Sindh. However, the Pakistani rulers paid no heed to his opposition. Rather, he was removed from the Chief Ministership after having been implicated in false cases and replaced by Pir Illahi Bux. Poor Khuhro had betrayed us on a number of occasions in order to prove his faithfulness to Mr. Jinnah who rewarded him by removal from office. I also opposed the separation of Karachi from Sindh from the floor of the provincial Assembly at which the Governor had me put under house arrest in my ancestral village under the Maintenance of Public Safety Act in June, 1948. Anyhow, the rulers, on the basis of their strength,’ went ahead with the separation despite massive public opposition and Karachi was declared the central capital. The refugee Prime Minister, Mr. Liaquat Ali, thus did grievous harm to the Sindhis in three ways.

 I Financial loss: The Sindh Government had been promised that it would be paid Rs. 1 2,000 million in lieu of the houses, land and other works in Karachi. This was never done despite repeated reminders. But when the demand for compensation became more and more strident, the then refugee Prime Minister became angry and rejected the demand out of hand. This showed what the rulers thought of Sindh not as a voluntary partner with a Proud historical and cultural past but as a conquered territory. We had seen through the League intentions in 1946. What could have been the feelings of Mr. Ayub Khuhro and Sir Ghulam Hussain, who had sworn loyalty to Mr. Jinnah up to 1947 and beyond and maintained their faith in the context of Sindh that the demand for Pakistan was being pushed through merely in order to put pressure on the Hindu vested interests to relent on specific economic and social reforms! In this regard, Mr. S.M. Sharma says in his book, Peeps in Pakistan, that he met the Sindh Prime Minister, Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah after the partition plan had been announced on June 3, 1947, acid the premier was beside himself with rage and lost all self-control It appeared as if he would cry any moment, and he said he had made the offer to Mr. Jinnah to make Karachi the capital of Pakistan purely in a spirit of traditional hospitality, but the latter had jumped at it as if Karachi was there only to be swallowed up as a greasy morsel! "The Sindhis would never forgive me for this", he bemoaned. About Ayub Khuhro, Mr. Sharma writes that he was convinced to the last that the demand for Pakistan was only a pressure ploy to arrive at an honorable settlement with the Congress and that the partition of India would indeed be a big blunder. After independence, these two gentlemen became respectively the Governor and the Chief Minister of Sindh.

  Sir Ghulam Hussain was the Governor of Sindh when Karachi was hoped away from Sindh: he looked on in surprise but could not do a thing about it. And on my opposition to the separation, I was put under house arrest. under his orders, a copy of which is given below for keeping the record straight.

Home Department (Special),
Order No. S.D. 521,
Sindh Secretariat,
Karachi, 18th June, 1948.

Whereas the Government of Sindh is satisfied that with a view to preventing Mr. G.M. Sayed from acting in a manner prejudicial to the public Safety and the maintenance of public order;

Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by clause © of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the Sindh Maintenance of Public Safety Act, 1948 ( XV of 1948 ), and the Government of Sindh is pleased to direct:-

    1. that the said Mr. G.M. Sayed shall proceed to his native village Sann, district Dadu, if he is not already there, immediately, and
    2. that the movements of the said Mr. G.M. Sayed shall be restricted to a radius of three miles from the said village, Sann, for a period of three months from the date of this order.


G.M. Sayed,

I cannot say that my arrest and Khuhro’s dismissed were Ghulam Husain’s personal decisions but they must have had his tacit approval. This was the first act of central interference in provincial affairs after the creation of Pakistan.

2. Cultural loss: After culling Karachi out of Sindh, Liaquat Ali Khan turned it into a colony for refugees from U.P. and C.P. Hundreds of thousands of refugees were brought by land, air and sea and settled in Karachi where the Sindhis were turned into a minority and the city was made a center of the refugees’ culture)

As a result, the refugees from U.P. and C.P. who took over its control with the help of Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan ravaged Karachi, which had been called the Queen of the East by Charles Napier. Earlier, communal riots were engineered on January 3, 1948, the sole purpose of which was to terrorist the Hindus out of Sindh so that the refugees could take over their houses, schools and other property. The operation was successful because 1.3 million Hindus fled to India from Karachi and other parts of Sindh and more than two million Indian Muslims came to the province. The employees of the -Sindh Secretariat, who had been arrested for rioting had Liaquat Ali’s support, who did his best to have them released, but Chief Minister Ayub Khuhro refused to do so and had to pay for it later. In the meantime, the influx of refugees from India continued into Karachi.

3. Educational and linguistic loss: After Karachi had been separated from Sindh, hundreds of Sindhi schools in the city were closed down and Sindhi language was banished from the University. The Anjuman-i-Taraqqi-i-Urdu and the media tried their best to ignore Sindhi and promote Urdu, When the Sindh Muslim League President, Syed Akber Shah, called on Liaquat Ali Khan at the head of a delegation to protest against all this, the Prime Minister spurned them. Thus it was that he tried to cut Karachi off from Sindh culturally, educationally, linguistically and financially to turn it into a buffer zone for the refugees. This was the first gift that leaders of the country, created in the name of Islam, gave to Sindh. We decided to make every sacrifice for our motherland and defeat all conspiracies against it. Although we had been defeated time and again in our effort to save Sindh, we had also achieved some successes. Repeated setbacks never made us abandon our convictions. In fact, every reverse made us more determined than ever before to carry on our struggle with renewed zeal. Every defeat gave new courage and new strength. The separation of Karachi from Sindh was apparently another defeat for us, but we did not lose heart and continued to struggle to regain Karachi for Sindh. In 1953, when I was a member of the Sindh Assembly I had a memorandum to the Governor endorsed by the House under Rule 115 of the rules of procedure. (seeAppendix 6)

The memorandum contained detailed facts and figures about the losses suffered by Sindh which were not only disregarded but a conspiracy was also hatched to abolish Sindh’s provincial status and merge it with the Punjab under the One Unit scheme. This was the time when the Sindh Assembly had initiated several projects for the cultural and economic development of the province within the framework of Pakistan. These included a cultural center at Bhit Shah, the Sindh University, a radio station in Hyderabad, the setting up of a committee of experts to prepare a Sindhi dictionary, the collection of Sindhi folklore, anti-famine measures in Thar, water supply for Kohistan, a plan to move the Federal Court for the return of Karachi to Sindh, etc. We thought that there was no reason why the oppressed, yet simple people of Sindh who had suffered for centuries could not be given the benefits of modern life provided the’ limited resources of the province were properly harnessed. But things were moving in the reverse direction. The Pakistani rulers were determined to punish Sindh. Instead of repaying it for the role it had played in the Pakistan Movement, it was being trampled underfoot. It was as if Sindh had been included in Pakistan for the benefit of the Punjabis and the refugees. For this purpose, the One Unit scheme was introduced in 1954 in order to face the numerical majority of East Pakistan. Under this plan, Sindh, Balochistan, Pakhtunkhawa and the Punjab, which had been distinct cultural and geographic entities for centuries, were to be merged into a so-called West Pakistan, which could then claim parity with East Pakistan. I opposed the scheme the was announced and exhorted members of the Assembly to wake up to the dangers that lay ahead. proceeded to warn the Sindhi nation of the threat existence through a series of meetings and a Conference. As usual, the rulers had me arrested in Among other things, ) was charged with being anti-Pakistan and a foreign agent- It was amazing to find myself being called a foreign agent by those who were internationally known foreign agents themselves and were forcibly merging my country, Sindhu Desh, into the One Unit. By denying the existence of Sindh as a national entity, they were demonstrating their anti-Sindh proclivities. I had merely cried out in protest against their exploitative greed in order to save my poor people. A copy of the order under which I was sent to jail is reproduced in Appendix 7.

Your Honor!

It is an irony of history that thieves and murderers mask their faces with innocent and pious words while deciding the fate of rightful owners and legal successors. This has happened in every age and God knows for how long more this dreadful deceit will continue and for how long further humanity will have to suffer. Abul Kalam Azad says that countless righteous people have been killed in Asia for political reasons under the holy garb of religion. Here the pen of the Mufti had been under the command of the executioner’s sword, All people of integrity killed thus lost their lives as much to the pen of the Mufti as to sword of the rulers. This has been happening in Pakistan from the beginning. ‘Because this country was created in the name of religion, its rulers combined in themselves the authority of the Mufti and that of the executioner. I have been the victim of this double authority time and again.

The Sindh Assembly was made to pass the One Unit resolution at gunpoint. I have already stated why One Unit was created. The idea was to subvert the Bengali majority and establish Punjabi hegemony in West Pakistan. There were other objectives, too, but before throwing some light on them, let me produce a secret document which was disclosed in the West Pakistan Assembly by one of the then Ministers of West Pakistan Government, Sardar Abdur Rashid Khan see Appendix 7, for record)

In my view, the reasons behind the creation of West Pakistan were as under:

  1. Pakistan was demanded on the basis of Muslim nationhood. Ideologically, it was easy to regard it as one but practically it was difficult to turn centuries-old entities, which were now part of it into one. One Unit was an attempt at such a unity.
  2. River Sindhu (the Indus) and its canal systems were the lifeline of Sindh, the NWFP, Balochistan and the Punjab. Therefore, unification of the four provinces was considered advisable for uniform development and for enhancing production.
  3. The eastern part of the country was more populous than its western part and should have been in power on the basis of majority rule. This would have endangered Punjabi-Refugee interests. Moreover, there was a strong national sentiment in East Bengal but the Punjabis and the refugees (Mohajirs) were economically privileged and more dominant. Bengali ‘majority rule would have threatened this dominance. To prevent this, parity was created between the two wings of the country. One Unit was an attempt to protect Punjabi-Mohajirs interests through central planning ‘because the Punjabis and the Mohajirs were in majority in the bureaucracy and the armed forces.
  4. There were four nations and four provinces in the western part of the country with distinct languages, literatures and cultures. Urdu and U.P. culture were imposed upon them to unify them - The Punjabis were in majority in the western part. Under One Unit, the par square mile pressure of population in the Punjab was sought to be reduced by colonizing other provinces and utilizing their land and other resources.
  5. In the western part, every province was using its resources for its own people because it had its own administrative structure, This was against the long-term interests of the Punjabis and the Muhajirs. For them, it was necessary to merge them into one entity so that they could be ruled by the central government with total power and through Urdu.
  6. Apart from the provinces there were princely states in the western part which had their own administrations. Under One Unit they had been put under central rule. Bahawalpur alone had an area of 17,602 square miles. After merger with the Punjab, it could be colonized fully by the Punjab to reduce its population pressure and to exploit that neighboring state’s resources.
For achieving these objectives, the golden snares of Islam and Pakistani unity were used. The manner in which the One Unit scheme was put into effect is summarized below.
  1. The leader of the gang of conspirators, Malik Ghulam Mohammed, the governor-general, who had the backing of the army and the civil service, dismissed the Prime Minister, Khwaja Nazimuddin in spite of the fact that he commanded a majority in the Constituent Assembly. The Pakistan Ambassador in the U.S., Mohammed Ali Bogra, was then summoned home and made Prime Minister and elected President of the Pakistan Muslim League and a majority was secured for him in the Constituent Assembly. Thus were democratic conventions thrown to the wind by the new government.
  2. Pirzada Abdus Sattar was the Chief Minister of Sindh. He commanded a majority in the provincial Assembly. He initiated several development schemes. He had to lose his Chief Ministership because he was opposed to One Unit. Ayub Khuhro who had been disqualified for seven years under PRODA, was rehabilitated and made Chief Minister in spite of the fact that he was not a member of the Sindh Assembly. His Cabinet included Pir Ali Mohammed Shah Rashdi, Haji Maula Bux Soomro and Qazi Mohammed Akbar. Khuhro was utilized to press the feudal members of the Assembly, who were selfish and without conscience, in the presence of the Rangers and the police to vote for the One. Unit scheme. Those who opposed the scheme were sent to jail, including myself. I was kept this time in prison till June, 1955.
  3. The Chief Minister of Bahawalpur, Syed Hassan Mahmud, was dismissed.
  4. The NWFP Chief Minister, Sardar Abdur Rashid, was cajoled into persuading the provincial Assembly to pass a resolution in favor of One Unit, but when he saw that the promises made to him were being violated, he started to oppose the One Unit scheme. He was then removed from office.
  5. Leaders opposed to One Unit, such as Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Khan Abdus Samad Khan, Qazi Faiz Mohammed, Hyder Bux Jatoi and others were sent to jail. Thus was the voice of dissent suppressed.
  The Constituent Assembly, by then, had drafted a constitution for the country which only needed the Governor General’s assent. But Ghulam Mohammed, thinking that the Constitution would imperil the One Unit scheme, dissolved the Constituent Assembly. The Speaker of the Assembly, Maulvi Tamizuddin, who filed a writ in the Sindh High Court that declared the governor-general’s action illegal, challenged this illegal order. However, the Punjabi Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Mr. Justice Mohammed Munir, accepted the Governor-general’s appeal and set aside the Sindh High Court’s decision.

After this, the governor-general foisted Chaudhry Mohammed Ali on the country as Prime Minister End a new Constituent Assembly elected through undemocratic means, It passed the 1956 Constitution with One Unit as its basic feature. Its main Points Were:

  1. All provinces of West Pakistan were merged into One Unit, in violation of the Indian Independence Act, 1947.
  2. West Pakistan, being a minority province, was given parity with East Pakistan, which had a larger population, in violation of all universally accepted democratic norms.
  3. Such people were put in the West Pakistan Assembly who had been handpicked by deputy commissioners and had to be always willing thus to do the Government’s bidding.
  4. Resolutions by both the provincial assemblies of the Western and Eastern Wings, and a two-third majority in the National Assembly were declared essential for undoing the One Unit. Police and the army were used against the opponents of One Unit. The media was used to brainwash the people.
Why was the establishment of One Unit wrong? My views on the matter are enumerated Here:-
  1. One Unit ended the separate national identity of Sindh, and thus its right of self-determination was violated.
  2. One Unit’s establishment was against the spirit of the Lahore Resolution of 1940, which recognized the principle of the independent status of all component units of Pakistan.
  3. One Unit was against the Sindh Assembly Resolution of March 3, 1943, which had recommended autonomous status for the province.
  4. One Unit, it was feared, would slow down the pace of economic development in Sindh.
  5. Intellectuals in Sindh, Pakhtunkhawa and Balochistan feared that the Punjabi-Mohajirs imperialists would conspire to distort and then destroy their distinct entities.
The damage done to Sindh by the creation of One Unit is summarized below
  1. Valuable and fertile land commanded by the Kotri and Guddu Barrages constructed at huge cost, as indeed elsewhere, was allotted to civil and military officers most of whom were Punjabis and Pathans.
  2. Many senior Sindhi ‘officers’ rights were usurped while junior Punjabi and Mohajirs officials were promoted. The latter were appointed deputy commissioners and superintendents of police. They were used to suppress any voice raised in favor of Sindhi interests.
  3. Projects for the development of the Kohistani (hilly) or desert areas for which Rs. 3,30 million had been set aside by the Government of Sindh prior to the creation of One Unit, were rejected and the funds earmarked for were appropriated elsewhere. Likewise, the Punjab’s debt of Rs. 1,000 million also became West Pakistan’s liability. Even the office furniture of Sindh Secretariat was transported to Lahore. When the staff of the Sindh Secretariat was put on a special train to Lahore, it appeared as if hostages were being taken away from their ancestral homes under duress.
  4. Reducing the grants to the Sindhi Adabi Board and the Shah Latif Cultural Center thwarted cultural activity which were put under bureaucratic control.
  5. The former Sindh Government’s plan to set up a high schools at Tehsil, and a college and a hospital at district-level every year was shelved, and the scheme for universal primary education in the province was also rejected.
  6. The 1945 Punjab-Sindh water accord was rejected and new barrages and dams were constructed upstream for the benefit of the Punjab.
  7. Non-Sindhis were given vast powers in policy making to the detriment of Sindhi interests.
  8. Institutions such as WAPDA, PIDC, etc. were set up under non-Sindhis to plunder the economic resources of Sindh.
  9. Of the Rs. 2,000 million spent by the PIDC on development schemes, Sindh’s share was just Rs. .200 million.
  10. Wholesale trade and exports were organized and factories set up in such a fashion even in Sindh that the y became non-Sindhi monopolies.
  11. Non-Sindhis were employed in hospitals, schools, colleges, and markets, railway stations and other places to the great detriment of Sindhi traditions and economic interests.
  12. Urdu was made the national language and Sindhi was banished from the Karachi Municipal Corporation and the University of Karachi under iniquitous conditions for the Sindhis.
  13. Anything said or done in favor of Sindhi interests was dubbed regionalism, anti-Pakistan, pro-India, anti-Islam, and fissiparous, and was suppressed.
  14. The State machinery was used to suppress and subvert the distinct cultures of Sindh, Balochistan and Pakhtunkhawa, so as to get them overwhelmed under the imperialist Punjabi-Mohajirs culture.
  15. Urdu script was used at the railway stations, for road signs, shop signboards, voters’ lists, etc., to reduce the status of Sindhi and to denigrate it.
  16. Non-Sindhis were given jobs in factories, banks, and markets, shops that not only increased unemployment among the Sindhis but also changed the ethnic balance in the province.
  17. The pirs, mirs and landlords of Sindh together with traders and bureaucrats were brainwashed into abandoning the Sindhi cause.
  18. The non-Sindhis held the majority in the West Pakistan Secretariat. The few Sindhis who were there were harassed to the extent that many of them resigned. Those that remained had to work under extremely trying circumstances.
  19. It became a sin and was held as breach of law to use the name ‘Sindh’. It was even removed from the Hyderabad Sindh as the part of its name Railway Station.
All this was done in grave violation of the agreement the Government had arrived at with Khan Bahadur Khuhro when the One Unit scheme was on the anvil. I present here the accord the Central Government had arrived at with the Khuhro Ministry:

"Sindh will accept the One Unit scheme on the following conditions:

  1. I. The rights given to Sindh should be incorporated in the Constitution and made justice able.
  2. The revenues generated by Sindh should be spent in Smith.
  3. The Provincial government will protect Right of the Sindhi people to all government jobs in Sindh.
  4. Land in Sindh will be given to landless Haris. After this has been done, there would be no objection to land being given to landless Mohajirs and other non-Sindhis.
  5. Should some land remain undistributed after the above has been done, it will be distributed among those who owned pieces of land smaller in size than the minimum prescribed holding.
  6. Sindh will have a quota in all central jobs.
  7. After One Unit came into being the Center shall retain only three subjects defense, foreign affairs and currency.
  8. No injustice will be done in the distribution of the Indus waters.
  9. There will be no reduction in the funds being spent on the development of Sindhi language and culture.
  10. Sindh will have its due share in the armed forces.
  11. No law pertaining to Sindh shall be passed unless it had the approval of a majority of the Sindhi members (of the West Pakistan Assembly). ("Uhai Deenha Uhai Sheenha" pp. 409-11, Pir Ali Mohammed Rashdi.)
According to this settlement, One Unit came into being on October 14, 1954, and the Sindh Assembly voted for it on December 11, 1954. Given here are the names of those who voted for and against the One Unit resolution. In a House of 110, those who voted for it, numbered 98 while only four voted against it. Some members were on leave while the others abstained. I was in jail at that time.

Those who opposed the move were: Abdul Hamid Khan Jalalani, Ghulam Mustafa Khan Bhurgari, Pir Illahi Bux and Sheikh Khurshid Ahmed.

To be continued to next part....
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