G. M. Syed-The Case of Sindh
All Rights Reserved to Naeen Sindh Academy Karachi Sindh©
The Case of Sindh - G.M. Syedís deposition in court (Part 6)
In Favor

Abdullah Khan Maehashi, Abdul Fattah Memon, Abdul Majid Khan Jatoi, Qazi Abdul Memon, Jam Bashir Ahmed, Dahar, Mir Ahmed Khan Talpur, Ahmed Khan Rajpar, Ahmed Khan Bhutto, Mir Ahmed Khan Pathan, Thakur Aidana Singh, Begum Aisha Aziz, Ali Asghar Shah Shirazi, Mir Ali Ahmed Khan Talpur, Ali Bilal Khan Domki, Sardar Ali Gohar Khan, Ali Gohar Khuhro, Ali Hassan Mangi, Ali Mohammad Rashdi, Ali Nawaz Khan Dharejo, Mir Ali Nawaz Talpur, Pir Aali Shah, Mir Allah Bachayo Khan, Khan Allan khan Leghari, Amir Bux Mehr, Jam Amir Ali Khan, Agha Badruddin Durrani, Mir Bande Ali Talpur, Dharam Das Motu Mal, Dost Mohammad Hakro, Faiz Mohammad Sandal, Faqir Mohammad Unar, Haji Fazal Mohammad Khan Leghari, Haji Ghulam Ali Memon, Haji Khan Mohammad, Syed Ghulam Hyder Shah, Haji Pit Shah, Syed Ghulam Haider Shah s/o Nawab Shah, Ghulam Qadir Narejo, Ghulam Nabi Daharaj, Ghulam Rasool Jatoi, Pir Ghulam Rasul Shah Gilani, Ghulam Rasul Kehar, Syed Gul Mohammad Shah, Haji Gul Mohammad Khero, Gullji Mehngwar, Hamid Hussain Farooqi, Mir Allah Bux Talpur, Mir Jafar Khan Jamali, Jan Mohammad Bhai Khan, Qadir Bux Tunyo, Syed Kararo Shah, Syed Khair Shah, Khan Mohammad Bozdar, Mehbub Shah, Pir Rasool Bux Shah, Mamun Khan Malkani, Syed Mehr Ali Shah, Haji Maula Bux, Syed Mubarak Ali Shah, Qazi Mohammad Akbar, Sardar Mohammad Qamar Ali Shah, Mohammad Ashfaq Siddique, Mir Mohammad Box Talpur, Mohammad Box Khan Sarki, Haji Mohammad Hassan Bux, Syed Mohammad Hassan Shah, Haji Mohammad Hayat .Junejo, Sardar Jafar Khan, Syed Mehdi Shah Jhandeywaro, Mohammad Yusuf Chandio, Makhdum Mohammad Zaman Talibul Maula, Syed Qamar Zaman Shah, Baqadar Shah, Hall Najmuddin Leghari, Nasir Ahmed Khan, Sardar Nor Mohammad Khan Bajarani, Nor Mohammad Rahmunr, Syed Nur Mohammad Shah, Rahim Bux Soomro, Rasool Bakhsh Junejo, Roop chand Chelaram Luhano, Haji Sadiq Ali Memon, Dr. Saeeduddin Saleh, Saifullah Khan Magsi, Pir Saleh Shah, Sobhomal Lahano, Sawai Singh Sodho, Shahnawaz Pirzado, Nazar Hussain Shah, Shahid Khan Khoso, Malik Squander Khan Halani, Mirumal Kirpal Das, Sultan Ahmed Khan Chandio, Sardar Mir Sunder Khan Sundrani, Begurn Tahira Agha, Mr. Tenumal Togahi, Nor Mohammad Nohri, Usman Khan Malkani and Nawab Zahid Ali.

I have already shown how the One Unit settlement was violated. Here on Point I on the issue of land distribution and inheritance, instead of saying anything on my own, I present an excerpt here from the Punjabi intellectual Prof. Azizuddin's book, Kaya Hum Ikatthey Reh Saktey Hein? Barrage Zaminen Aur Ghair Abadkari. The text is in Urdu and the excerpt is front Pages 347 to 350.

Azizuddin gives the following account of the barrage lands and their plunder by non-Sindhi settlers in his book.

"After the Sukkur, two more barrages were constructed, Kotri (Ghulam Mohammad) and Guddu- Both these barrages came up after the creation of Pakistan and the invasion of land-hungry non-Sindhis. This time, the number of civil and military officials was larger than ever before. These official s were either Punjabis, Mohajirs or Pakhtuns. There was hardly any General who did not obtain barrage land. These officials included Gen. Ayub Khan, Gen. Musa Khan, Air Marshal Asghar Khan, and Gen. Tikkah Khan et al. political and non-political settlers were all among the land-grabbers. The facts and figures that we have are incomplete and several years old. Some future writer may perhaps paint the true picture with close access to the relevant record.

The Sukkur Barrage irrigated 2,868,562 acres. This made it the largest barrage in Sindh. The allotment of the land commanded by this barrage had started before the creation of Pakistan. When, One Unit came into being towards the end of 1954, only 642,460 acres remained, We do not know who were the people who got the 2.2 million acres of land before One Unit came into being. Most of the land allotted after One Unit went to the non-Sindhis. During 1955 58, non-Sindhis got 1 53,620 acres while the Sindhis got 123,586 acres. The civil and military officials headed the list of the allottees. The teal plunder came after the imposition of Martial Law. From October 1958 to March 1963 75 out of every 100 allottees were non-Sindhis (54,789 acres for the Sindhis and 21 3,679 acres for non-Sindhis). This was only natural because the military government was not as accountable as the civilian one. During the years of dictatorship, the bureaucracy had a free hand and they plundered land with both hands. 1963 had allotted most of the Sukkur Barrage land. Of the total land, non-Sindhis got 367,000 acres while the Sindhis got 1 78,000 acres (which is to say less than half).

"Six years before the creation of Pakistan, the Huts of Sindh rose in revolt against the British under the leadership of Pir Pagara's father, Pir Sibghatullah. They caused extensive damage to government property, especially the railway line. This earned them the wrath of the British. Sibghatullah was hanged for treason and the land around the Makhi Lake, which the Hurs cultivated, was confiscated.

"After independence in 1947, not only this land should have been restored to the Hur Mujahideen but they should also have been even otherwise rewarded, Nothing of the sort happened and the Hot lands were reserved for allotment to ex-servicemen. They were the same military men who had fought to serve the British imperial interests during World War 11. Consequently, 150,000 acres of land was allotted to these ex-servicemen virtually for a song. The terms under which these allotments were made show as if they had been made in recognition of the great services they had rendered during the war. These terms were:

  1. Land ownership was given at Rs. 50 per acre. One fourth of the amount was received in abiana while the rest was taken in 15 equal installments.
  2. Every military man was given the concession to have one crop free (of all revenue dues).
  3. The Ministry of Defense undertook to pick up the land development bill,
  4. The expenditure to be incurred on digging near canals in the area and building roads together with labor charges was debited to the provincial government.
  5. Constructing irrigation channels was made the responsibility of the new owners.
  6. The construction of public buildings in the larger villages was made the responsibility of the provincial government
"Thus, under these terms the land belonging to those who had fought the British were given to non-Sindhi ex-servicemen. Not only that, the Cost to be incurred on their settlement was debited to the Central and provincial governments.

"In the meanwhile, the Hurs demanded that their lands Should be returned to them. At last in 1957, the government decided to settle the Hurs. However, they were given C class land while their original holdings were A- class On January 28, 1957, Ghulam Mustafa Bhurgri asked in the West Pakistan Assembly whether the government was willing to develop the C class land. Finance Minister Nawab Iftikhar Hussain Khan Mamdot replied that land development was not the task of the government, He was asked whether the land allotted to the servicemen had been developed with foreign aid or not. He was told that this indeed was the case. Foreign aid and equipment had been given to the servicemen but the issue had nothing to do with the administration.

"So was this fertile tract of land developed by the provincial government with the help of the taxes paid by the Sindhi together with a foreign loan which had to be re-paid with interest. The land was allotted to military officials and others while the Hurs were pushed into uninhabited land.

The Punjabis have always dominated the armed forces. The Makhi Lake and the barrage lands were given to these very Punjabi servicemen. Land was snatched from the deserving locals while influential people who were members of the power drunk bureaucracy in the Punjab settled on this land. The manner which these people treated ordinary folk in the Punjab itself can will give one an idea how they must have treated the people of Sindh. They not only secured land through unfair means but had it developed at government expenses.

The Kotri Barrage is the second largest in Sindh. After completion in 1956 the barrage and its canals commanded 1,653,281 acres in Hyderabad and Thatta. In June 1958 the Land Utilization Committee was formed to gobble Lip the barrage, land Represented on it were the Federal Government and the armed forces. Locals were kept out of it. The formal sale of land began the same year but the generals had been allotted tracts two years earlier. Questions were asked in the West Pakistan Assembly about the allotment of land to the Haris fill about a year after the formation of One Unit because the previous government had set aside 300,000' acres for the Purpose. However no policy could be formulated to allot land to the Haris for a long time. The issue was raised in the Assembly time and again. For instance, on January 29, 1957, the questions raised in the Assembly were like this:

"Begum Tahira Ejaz Hussain Agha (MPA) : Will the Minister for Irrigation kindly answer:

(a) When will the Ghulam Mohammad Barrage irrigation scheme become fully operational?

  1. How much land the barrage will irrigate?
  2. How will the Government distribute land to the cultivators? What will be its methodology?
  3. Have any tracts of land already been allotted? If so, to whom and on what terms? Let does the Government plan to give land to the landless?
"In answer to these questions, the concerned Minister, Qazi Fazlullah, gave details about the 100,000 acres reserved for the Army. He said more than 25,000 acres had already been allotted. Some of the allottees he named were (figures in acres):

1. Gen. Mohammad Ayub Khan 247

2. Maj. Gen. Mohammad Musa 250

3. Maj. Gen. Mohammad Umrao Khan 246

4. Brig, Said Ahawas 242

5. Col. Muzaffar Khan 153

6. Col. Hyder 130

"The Minister also revealed that the land had been sold at Rs, 250 per acre to the army men and that although the previous provincial government had set aside 300,000 acres for the Haris, the West Pakistan Government had yet to evolve a policy in this regard. He added, however, it would be framed soon and presented to the Cabinet. The other questions in regard to the land allotted to the armed forces personnel would not be out of interest here. They were:

G.M. Syed: I would like to ask the Honorable Minister whether it has been brought to his notice that these army officers have started to harass the locals so that they are forced to leave these areas. Qazi Fazlullah: I have no knowledge of this. If any of my friends has substantive proof in this regard, I'll certainly have the matter investigated.

G.M. Syed: Is it not a fact that a delegation of these (harassed) people has already called on the Honorable Minister?

Qazi Fazlullah: It my friend is referring to the delegation led by Ghulam Haider Bhurgri. my answer would be in the affirmative. It has made a representation to me but I have not been able to investigate the matter.

G.M. Syed: Can I ask the Minister whether even an acre of land has been allotted to anyone except the servicemen?

Qazi Fazlullah: No, Sir.

G.M. Syed: What is the reason for allotting land only to the servicemen and riot to the locals? Qazi Fazlullah: Khuhro Sahib who is sitting on the other side of the House can answer this well.

Mohammad Ayub Khuhro: Is this not a fact that the Sindh Government had reserved land for the servicemen but it has been allotted after the creation of West Pakistan?

Qazi Fazlullah: No, Sir. This is not so.

G.M. Syed: Can I ask the Minister why land has not been allotted to the locals so far?

Qazi Fazlullah: I have already answered this question. A scheme is under consideration in this regard.

G.M. Syed: How long will it take to materialize?

Speaker: He (the minister) has already told us that the matter will come up before the Cabinet soon.

Mohammad Ayub Khuhro: Is it not a fact that 300,000 acres of land were reserved for the Haris. Why has it not been distributed so far?

Qazi Fazlullah: Sir, I have already stated that the Cabinet will take a final decision in this regard at its next meeting.

Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan: Will you tell us when was the decision to give land to the Haris taken?

Qazi Fazlullah: the former Sindh Government also took this decision before Mr. Khuhro brought it down.

Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan: May I ask the Honorable Minister what are the insurmountable difficulties which have prevented the Government from taking a decision in this regard even after 15 months?'

The excerpts given above throw light on the following facts:

  1. Land irrigated by the Kotri Barrage was first of all given to serving army officers virtually free of cost.
  2. These army officers started to harass the locals as soon as they got possession of the land. Their attitude towards the locals was so harsh that their delegation represented to the government against it.
  3. Land was also earmarked for the Haris but no formula could be worked out to allot it to them even after the passage of a long period of time.
  4. It was inevitable that there should be a clash of interests between the civil and military allottees of land and the locals. The civil officers wielded a lot of power, and after Ayub Khan came into power in 1958, the military officers also rose in importance These officers were given all types of concessions to develop their holdings They Misused these concessions and this led to a confrontation between them and the locals.
"Further, in the Kotri Barrage, outsiders got more land than the locals Ostensibly, the West Pakistan Government had decided to make the allotments on a 50 / 50 basis but till 1963, land had been distributed in the following manner (figures in acres):

Land distributed: 1, 124,2 50

Locals: 345,388

Locals (mechanized farms) 128,000

In other words the locals got less than 475,000 acres out of 1,1 24,250 acres.

Kotri land was allotted to people belonging to all provinces. Apart from the Mohajirs, the Punjabis, the Bengalis, the Pathans and the Balochis all got their share. A small number of Bengalis were settled in Sindh to give the people impression that the entire Country had shared the land.

"Around 150,000 acres of land in Kotri Barrage was reserved for a number of categories of people, These categories were:

Affectees of water logging and salinity.

People of mountainous areas.

People living in barani (rain fed) areas.

People with small holdings.

People belonging to the lower classes.

The Pushtuns were the second most numerous allottees of land thus distributed after the Punjabis.

Land reserved (acres)

Punjabis 107,000
Pushtuns 34,000
"The worst land went to the Balochis because their share of political power was the lowest. Many of them refused to accept this land. "Apart from the above categories, wrestlers, sportsmen and singers were also given land.

"Land was also distributed in the Kotri Barrage under the Tractor Scheme. Vast tracts of it went to civil and military officers. The justification was that these people had the financial resources to develop land. Around 275,000 acres were allotted under this scheme. Government officials benefited from this scheme with gay abandon. They included top army, navy and police officers, Session Judges, engineers and railway officials, They got land not only in their own names but also in the names of their kith and kin. We give here names only of those officers together with their ranks who received more than 350 acres (12 squares) till 1963. Looking wistfully at this list of loot by the civil and military bureaucracy, one member of the (West Pakistani Assembly said: 'Why is the (Revenue) Minister embroiling himself in this land dispute. We have so much land in Sindh that if You don't allot it to civil and military officials, we can give it to every cultivator in West Pakistan.'

Name and rank Land (acres)
    1. Major Ayub Ahmed Khan (KEMC) 500
    2. Col. Ziaullah (Professor KEMC) 500
    3. Col. Nor Elahi (QHQ) 497
    4. Col. Akhtar Hafiz (Sialkot Cantt.) 489
    5. Capt. Feroze Khan, Maj Amir 243
    6. Gulistan (father, son) 253
    7. Lt. Col. Bashir, etc. 500
    8. Maj. Khizir Ahmed 479
    9. Group Capt. A.M. Murad 496
    10. Commander M. Afzal Khan 303
    11. Col. Yaqub 487
    12. Maj. Ghulam Faruq (in wife's name) 304
    13. - 98
    14. - 56
    15. Maj. Muhammad Latif, etc. 500
    16. lbadullah Rehman Khan (Dy. Suptd. Distt. Jail, Multan) 487
    17. Dr. G.A. Asghar (Mental Hospital, Hyderabad, in son's name) 544
    18. Subh Sadiq (a civil servant's son) 401
"The land allotted under the tractor scheme previously belonged to tenants. It is said that allotments under this scheme displaced around 400,000 Haris.

"There is no moral justification for allotting land to outsiders in a province in which hundreds of thousands of landless Haris get kicked from one place to another with no-one to help them. To allot land to members of the civil and military bureaucracy is to be condemned even more. As a member of the West Pakistan Assembly once asked: 'As being a general and being a farmer are two whole time jobs, how will the farmer perform these two jobs at once? The generals and other officers get salaries when they are serving and they are put on the pension list after retirement, where is the justification in rewarding them with tracts of land?'

"In fact, the pillage of the country by the civil and military bureaucrats which began right after its creation included land grab in Sindh, The manner in which this land was secured and the way in which the settlers treated the locals, sowed the seeds of hatred. The crop of this hatred is now ripe. The civil and military officers blinded by their unprecedented lust for land are responsible for the feelings of agony and anger, which exist against the Punjab in Sindh today.

"After granting the best land in Kotri Barrage to the servicemen, some land was given to the Haris in 1959 after much bad blood had been created. The land given was lower in acreage than that previously decided. More or less given towards the end, the land that the Haris got was of inferior quality, was uneven and had small hillocks and depressions, Situated at the tail-end of the canal it received inadequate water and last of all. The echo of the problems of the Haris who were allotted this land was heard till 1986. That year, steps were taken to cancel the allotments of 1 50,000 Haris. Non Sindhi settlers transferred the burden of the credit they had received under the bulldozer scheme to the Haris. Nonpayment meant cancellation of their land allotments. However, this plan could not be implemented because of the efforts made by the Sindhi Hari Tehrik.

"In the Kotri Barrage, 24,000 acres were set apart for sale through auction. The poor local ban or farmer was in no Position to buy this land. In many districts of the Punjab, an acre had more units than in Sindh. Therefore, several people in the Punjab sold their holdings and bought much larger ones in land auction in Sindh. People from village after village in the Punjab settled in Sindh. So most land went to the civil and military officers of the Punjab through allotment. Land sold by auction also went mostly to the Punjabis. Those who bought land also imported tenants from the Punjab. As a result, Punjabi and to an extent Pushtun population in Sindh began to grow by leaps and bounds.

Your Honor!

Under these circumstances, we tried somehow to get Sindh out of this One Unit stranglehold and save its resources from plunder and use them for the good of the people of the province, so that they could benefit .from modern science and technology. For this purpose, we decided to launch the movement against One Unit in the Assembly rather than take it to the streets. At the time, the republican Party was in power in West Pakistan and the Muslim League was in opposition, while we held the balance of power. My colleagues and I decided to use our position to dismantle One Unit and to serve Sindhi interests. We made overtures to the Muslim League and proposed that if it helped us pass a resolution against One Unit, we would help it topple the Republican Government. The League group agreed and consequently an accord was reached. Party leader Sardar Bahadur Khan, Mian Mumtaz Daultana, Khan Abdul Qayum Khan and Ayub Khuhro represented the League, while myself, Rais Ghulam Mustafa Bhurgri, represented us. We all signed the agreement. Accordingly, a resolution demanding the dissolution of One Unit was moved in the House However, the Republicans, instead of agreeing to a vote on it, conspired with the Speaker to have it talked out We and the Muslim League retaliated by deciding to block the passage of the supplementary grants. Fearing defeat, the Republican Ministry resigned and the province was for some time put under the Governor's rule. Having been out of power for a while, the Republicans were getting more and more restive to get back into the saddle. When they approached us, we offered them the same terms we had given to the League but with the proviso that whatever agreement was hammered out, it would be presented to the National Awami Party for their approval, If the NAP approved the accord, we would help the Republicans. Sardar Abdur Rashid, Col. Abid Hussain Shah and Sir Feroze Khan Noon, the leader of the party in the National Assembly, signed the accord on behalf of the Republican Party. (Appendix 8).

The accord was arrived at with the knowledge and approval of lskander Mirza. It brought back the Republicans into power in West Pakistan and a resolution demanding the dissolution of One Unit was passed on September 17, 1957. Rais Ghulam Mustafa Bhurgri moved it. Mr. Suhrawardy was then the Prime Minister. It may be recalled that Mr. Suhrawardy and his party colleagues had opposed the creation of One Unit in the National Assembly. But now the Punjabi civil and military bureaucracy put such pressure on the two that lskander Mirza and Mr. Suhrawardy issued a joint statement that they would not allow One Unit to be undone. It is also necessary to recall here that the then Commander in Chief of the Pakistan Army, Gen. Ayub Khan, had played a key role in the creation of One Unit. In fact, he claimed the authorship of the scheme. He wrote in his autobiography, Friends, not Masters (p. 1931 that he was in London when relations between Prime Minister Mohammad Ali Boqra and governor-general Ghulam Mohammad became tense and he had felt that the latter was about to take some important steps and put him into politics about which he was not very keen. Ayub Khan goes on to say that one night he could not go to sleep While he was thinking about Pakistan and its problems, an idea struck him and he wrote it down on a piece of paper. The idea was that the provinces of West Pakistan should be merged, This was his program and he had to implement it.

Ayub Khan realized that the West Pakistan Assembly had passed the anti One Unit resolution by a comfortable margin and that when the resolution was put before the National Assembly, it would be endorsed with the help of Bengali MNAS. This would have jeopardized Punjabi and military interests. Therefore, he decided to block the constitutional process. He consulted with lskander Mirza and imposed Martial Law and dissolved the assemblies. I was arrested on October 10, the same year.

Your honor!

Political activity was also then banned by the Martial Law regime. Political parties too were sent home. Politicians were disqualified under black laws like EBDO. The Punjabis and the Pathans were allowed to plunder Sindhi lands, jobs, factories and other resources as they pleased. No protest was allowed against all this because the freedom of speech, expression and association had been-suppressed. As in the rest of the country, there was complete lull in Sindh, which continued to be exploited. Sindhi lost its compulsory status in educational institutions. The vernacular final examination in Sindhi was discontinued. This Martial Law was withdrawn after four years and a limited political activity was allowed to resume. Then the assemblies were restored under Ayub's basic democracies system. However, he himself remained all-powerful.

Quite a major portion of Sindhi legislators, true to their salt, excelled themselves in sycophancy to protect their own interests. They were traditional time-servers. One of them went to the extent of saying that Ayub Khan's status was higher than that of Salahuddin Ayubi and Abraham Lincoln. He said that had Shah Latif been alive, he would have supported One Unit and garlanded Ayub Khan for it. These were the words of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, then the Foreign Minister, and they were meant for the worst dictator-patron of his time at the Urs of Bhit Shah.

These words were used for a man who had not only imposed military rule on the country in order to preserve One Unit but had also done everything in his power to colonize Sindh During the One Unit days, there was no-one to raise his voice for Sindh. Members front the province were busy licking Ayub's toes and polishing shoes of the bureaucrats. Sindh continued to burn and the people continued to suffer. Land grabbing by non-Sindhis continued, cities were occupied while the pirs, the mirs and the waderas continued to bow before the powerful The following Sindhi lines describe the to an apt nicety of the times:

Poem of Abdul Hakeem Arshad

[Free expression was under lock and key, free thought lay interned, there was a ban of speech. If by chance one came across a sympathizer, he would, like a dumb man, use the sign language].

Even in such days of dark depression and dispossession, I and my colleagues did not lose hope and did whatever we could to achieve independence for Sindh, The weapon we used was the pen. We conveyed our observations and opinions to the people in the shape of books. However, the Government did not tolerate even this. Books were banned, printing presses were put under surveillance, the Press was gagged by censorship, an effective weapon in the hands of the Government, beside. the one-sided propaganda that all the time remained on top gear for its political opponents. As Saadi says,

[How ill begotten are the people of this village They have chained the stones and set the dogs free]. Pp159

In such an atmosphere, I and my friends decided that, leaving the thorny field of politics alone, we should create awareness among the people through literature, culture and language promotion. We did so because on numerous occasions, nations had been defeated politically and economically but their intellectuals, working from the fastness of civilization, literature and culture, not only converted political and economic defeat into victory but also overcame their victors. For this struggle, we chose three fronts on the cultural front, there was the Bazm-i-Sufia-i-Sindh; on the literary front, there was the Sindhi Adabi Sangat; and on the social front, we attempted to arouse political and social awareness among the students.

During all this while (October 10, 1958 to March I 1, 1966), 1 was in prison or detention (for seven-and-a-half years). After my release in March, 1966, 1 founded the Bazmi-Sufia-i Sindh on April 1 8 and went on a four of the province during which I kept away from all political turmoil I started a series of addresses on the basic social problems of man, social growth, the rise and fall of societies, independence and slavery of nations, and similar other philosophical issues of a fundamental nature, at the mausoleums of venerable Sufis on the occasion of their annual Urs. The first such conference was held on June 23, 1966, during the annual URS of Syed Aali Sheerazi. Part of the speech I made on the occasion is being presented here to prove that our struggle was entirely peaceful:

"History has numerous examples which correspond to our travail and for the resolution of which there are three ways:

  1. Bang your heads against the walls and commit suicides
  2. Sit back in the vain hope that the Situation will take a turn for the better, and die a slow death or resign to a life of servitude,.
  3. Bring Your creative abilities to promote national reform and reconstruction through viable means
"In the history of the Muslims there were several instances of a similar nature. During the civil war in the Omayyid and other periods, when national confusion, moral decay and self-interest were in the ascendance, a few Muslim thinkers realized that they should devote their lives for moral reconstruction by keeping aloof from political strife. In Sindh, during the last days of the Sammas and in the early years of the Mughal empire, our men of political acumen also thought likewise. We in the present times were in the same situation. We had neither national awareness nor unity. We were a minority in the country. We could not secure our rights through constitutional means nor could unconstitutional methods avail us to achieve our goals. Therefore, I came to the conclusion that, under such circumstances, a group of dedicated workers should operate on the lines of the Servants of India Society by keeping themselves out of the political strife and devoting themselves to achieving national unity, patriotism and self-awareness. For the achievement of these objectives, I made some proposals for the consideration of those present at the conference-These were:
  1. Our cultural centers and also Khuddam-i-Sindh (Servants of Sindh) should provide us with a single Platform from which people belonging to different religious, political or social classes should, while maintaining their identities, consult with each other through open debate to work out a plan of action for promoting the cultural and national interests of Sindh.
  2. Efforts should be made to launch a Public campaign for the elimination of such failings as timidity, psychological and moral decline, selfishness, personal prejudice and betrayals.
  3. To promote unity, peace and progress, the lives and works of the Sufis and other national heroes should be used as beacon lights. This would lead to love, religious and social tolerance, nationalism, and enkindle a spirit of sacrifice among the people.
  4. Every district should have an active cultural center for the achievement of these objectives.
  5. Groups should be created among the people, students, teachers and other educated classes to carry Out specific jobs".
We started work on the basis of these principles and began to disseminate our message to the people during Urs celebrations at various mausoleums by holding literary conferences, poetical and musical soiree and cultural shows. This continued for a year during which we held ten literary conferences and cultural shows in Thatta, Hyderabad, Sanghar, Khairpur Mirs, Tharparkar and Dadu districts. These attempts were not well received to begin with, but gradually, men of letters, poets, intellectuals, teachers, students and the people in general began to flock to these gatherings and the nation was well on its way towards achieving its goal. Although we were totally peaceful, the government could not tolerate even this effort. I was put under house arrest for a year in my village on June 23, 1966. But by then I had escaped from the cage of despondency. We had refit the lamps of the conscience of Sindh on a cultural basis. These lamps were now shining from Karachi to Khokharapar to Kashmoor. The new generation of Sindhis comprising enthusiastic and concerned poets, men of letters, intellectuals, teachers and students had closed ranks for a new struggle. A Sindhi poet, Niaz Humayun, has described this period thus!: Sindhi Poem:
'There was a time when even to take the name of Sindh was a major crime.
Those who went to prison for Committing this crime; it is all today the result of their wailing cry
'Sindh is awake, Sindh is awake!
No one shed a tear for her until yesterday, no one had any sympathy for its privation and pain.
'Today, everyone is willing to shed his blood for her and embrace the gallows for her love.
'Sindh is awake, Sindh is awake!
Let anyone continue with his fraud or force and keep Sindh either unconscious or in frenzy.
'But now they are all doomed to failure, and no-one can kill Sindh or appropriate it
'Sindh is awake, Sindh is awake!'
I was fully associated with the activities of the Adabi Mahaz and the Sindhi Adabi Sangat. The struggle against One Unit from these two platforms by Sindhi writers, poets and artists has few parallels in recent history. During this period, the foundations of Sindh historiography were laid on national lines; stories and novels were written on national heroes; the mental and physical constraints clamped on writers under the political situation then prevailing were overcome, giving birth to exquisitely sensitive expression in our prose and poetry. In this literary struggle were associated some of our inestimable colleagues whom Sindh can never forget or ignore. Among these were Comrade Hyder Bux Jatoi, Comrade Ghulam Mohammad Leghari, Qazi Khair Mohammad, Shaikh Ayes, Abdul Karim Gidai, Mohammad Ibrahim Joyo, Mohammad Usman Diplai, Rasul Bux Paleejo, Niaz Humayuni Munshi Ibrahim and several others. Our cultural and literary fronts created great fervor not only among the common people of Sindh but also in that most sensitive community the students. This fervor found its first expression on March 4, 1966 in Hyderabad. It was to prove to be a milestone in the students' struggle for the dissolution of One Unit. It was this incident which forced the Government again to detain me. The reasons given for my detention order, among others, were the activities of the Bazm-i-Sufia-i-Sindh and my association with the students and my cooperation with the Sindhi Adabi Sangat.

The March 4, 1966, incident is chronicled in my book on the politics of the sub-continent, Jadid Siasat ja Nava Ratan.

Here I would like to reproduce the letter of ml/ detention, to exculpate itself, if it may.



Government of West Pakistan
ORDER No. B-4-H-Spl-1/59:

WHEREAS credible and reliable information has been placed before the Governor of West Pakistan that Mr. Ghulam Murtaza Shah son of Muhammad Shah Sayed (known as G.M. Syed) resident of village Sann Taluka Kotri District Dadu has indulged in prejudicial activities by writings, speeches and by other means, inciting one group of persons against the other leading to the disturbances particularly the students riots in the Districts of Dadu and Hyderabad and thereby disturbed the public order and invaded the public safety and interest.

WHEREAS credible and reliable information has been placed before the Governor of West Pakistan that the said Mr. G.M. Syed is likely to indulge in the same aforesaid prejudicial activities, disturbing the public safety, maintenance of public order and public interest.

WHEREAS the Governor of West Pakistan is satisfied from the said reports and all other attending circumstances that the said Mr. G.M. Syed did indulge in the above mentioned prejudicial activities and is likely to Continue to indulge in the said prejudicial activities.

AND WHEREAS, with a view to preventing the said Mr. G.M. Syed from acting in the aforesaid manner, it is necessary and desirable to control his activities.

NOW, THEREFORE, the Governor of West Pakistan, in exercise of his powers under Section 5(1) of the West Pakistan Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance, 1960, does hereby issue the following directions to the said Mr. Ghulam Murtaza Shah (G.M. Sayed) son of Muhammad Shah Sayed:- (1) That he will reside within the limits of his village Sann, Taluka Kotri, District Dadu.

(b) That he will abstain and refrain directly or indirectly from associating himself with the activities of Bazam-e- Sofian-e-Sindh and Sindhi Adabi Sangat and also shall refrain and abstain from delivering speeches at any gathering, writing and publishing any article which are calculated to prejudice the public safety or disturb the public order or threaten the public interest.

This order shall remain in force for a period of three months from the date of service on the said Mr. G.M. Sayed.

BY ORDER OF THE GOVERNOR OF WEST PAKISTAN
Sd/-
Dated Lahore (MASOOD NABI NUR) S,K. CSP
SECRETARY TO GOVERNMENT, WEST PAKISTAN
HOME DEPARTMENT
STAMP
HOME SECRETARY TO GOVERNMENT
WEST PAKISTAN LAHORE
GROUNDS FOR ORDER PASSED UNDER SECTION 5(l) OF THE WEST PAKISTAN MAINTENANCE OF PUBLIC ORDER ORDINANCE, 1960 PASSED BY THE GOVERNOR OF WEST PAKISTAN ON 14TH OCTOBER, 1967 AGAINST MR. GHULAM MURTAZA SHAH S/0, MUHAMMAD SHAH SAYED (KNOWN AS G.M. SAYED) A RESIDENT OF VILLAGE SANN, TALUKA KOTRI, DISTRICT DADU.
  1. That under the cover of Bazam-e-Sofian-e- Sindh You are disseminating ideas and doctrines, which have disturbed the maintenance of public order, prejudiced the public safety and injured the public interest.
  2. That you have written a book known as "Jadid Siyasat Ja Nau Ratan" published in June, 1967 in which you have expressed the ideas, details of which are given below, which are prejudicial to Public safety, maintenance of public order and public interest:-
    1. You praised the Congress Leaders who fought ruthlessly against the creation of Pakistan; such as Mr. M.K. Gandhi, Mr. Jawahar Lal Nehru, Mr. Valab Bhai Patel and Mr. Abut Kalam Azad, whereas you have criticized the great Muslim Leaders like Allama lqbal and Sir Sayed Ahmed Khan.
    2. The comparative studies of the lives of the two Leaders namely late Quaid e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah (who has been listed by you as last number in that book) and Mr. M.K. Gandhi is likely to result in tension among the persons residing in West Pakistan.
    3. You have compared Mr. M.K. Gandhi with Prophets of main Religions of the world which is likely to create tension in the West Pakistan" which is inhabited mostly by the Muslims (Page 26 of the Book).
    4. You have praised the efforts of Mr. M.K. Gandhi for trying to save Hindustan from partition (Page 26 of the book)
    5. You have decried Ali-Garh University as center of English worship and communal education (Page 32 of the book).
    6. You have decried the partition of Hindustan on the basis of two Nations Theory (Page 38 of the book).
    7. You have described the partition of the Country "as a loss" (page 40 of the book).
    8. You have described Mr. Jawahar Lal Nehru's acceptance of partition of Hindustan on the basis of two Nations' theory as a mistake (Page 63 of the book).
    9. You have tried to justify the policies of Mr. Jawahar Lal Nehru on Kashmir issue, which is the most sensitive issue in Pakistan particularly in West Pakistan (page 64 and 65 of the book).
    10. While writing about Maulana Abul Kalam Azad you have indirectly criticized the construction of Mausoleum over the resting place late Quaid-e-Azam by spending crores of rupees on it and further have compared it to the grave of Maulana Abut Kalam Azad in the City of Delhi (Page 72 of the book).
    11. You have severely criticized those Muslims who fought for the creation of Pakistan (Page 83 of the book).
    12. You have made a serious attempt to create hatred against a particular set of persons living in West Pakistan (Pages 98 and 99 of the book).
    13. You have indirectly expressed hope that Pakistan would again unite with Hindustan (Page 102 of the book).
  1. That before your movements were restricted by the District Magistrate, Dadu, by his order dated 23rd of June, 1967, you had been busy visiting various places, meeting students and persons of other walks of life, with a view to prejudicing public safety, disturbing public order and injuring public interest.
  2. That you have established an institution, which is known as Bazam Sofia-e-Sindh. This organization is really a camouflage for your prejudicial activities. Your main purpose in establishing this organization is to exploit the students community and to create turmoil and unrest in the country.
  3. That as a result of your writings and other activities you created feelings of disaffection between the Sindhi and non-Sindhi students which resulted in violent clashes between the two groups, the last of which took place on 19th June 1967, late in the evening in the New Campus, Jamshoro, in Dadu District.
  4. That during the peak hours of student's disturbances you met the ringleaders of the students namely Muhammad Yousuf Leghari and Jam Saqi in the month of May, 1967. These leaders have been spearheads of the students agitation resulting in violence. There have been attacks and counter attacks between the two groups of students in the New Campus of Sindh University situated at Jamshoro, District Dadu.
  5. That on 4th March, 1967, the students took out procession in defiance of the order under Section 144, Cr, P.C,. in Hyderabad, This procession had started from the Sindh University (New Campus) situated in Dadu District and after crossing Indus river entered in Hyderabad District- The situation so created by the students as a result of your aforesaid activities was alarming and compelled the Police to resort to lathi charge after the use of teargas failed to disperse the rioting students. About 210 students were arrested under the various provisions of law. On the same day another students- procession was taken out in the City of Hyderabad. Public Transport buses were stoned, causing damages to the public properties.
  6. That the situation continued to worsen and the problem of maintaining law and order became acute in the Districts of Hyderabad and Dadu. Consequently the University of Sindh, Colleges and Hostels at Jamshoro in the District of Dadu were closed down for an indefinite period.
  7. That you have been creating sectarian feelings by setting one group of people against the other citing imaginary injustices to them,
  8. That the aforesaid activities of yours have prejudiced and are likely to further Prejudice the maintenance of law and order in the Province and excite feelings of hatred and enmity amongst the various sections of the population.
You are at liberty to make representation against the above order under section 5(5) of the West Pakistan Maintenance of Public order Ordinance, 1960.
  NO: J / 597 of 1967

Camp Kotri dated: 23-6-1967

0 R D E R

Whereas credible information has been received by me in this behalf.

And whereas I have considered the same in all its aspects and am satisfied that it is desirable to control the activities of Ghulam Murtaza Shah s/0 Muhammad Shah Sayed (popularly known as G-M Sayed) resident of village SANN Taluka Kotri, District Dadu with a view to preventing him from acting in a manner prejudicial to the Public Safety and the maintenance of public order.

Now therefore in exercise of the powers vested in me under section 5(1) of the West Pakistan maintenance of public order ordinance 1960, I Mazhar Rafi C.S.P. District Magistrate Dadu, do hereby issue the following directions to the said Ghulam Murtaza Shah s/o, Muhammad Shah Sayed:

1. That he shall reside within the limits of village SANN, Taluka Kotri.

2. That he shall abstain directly or indirectly from associating himself with the activities of Bazm-e-Sofia-e-Sindh and Sindhi Adabi Sangat and such other pseudo literary or political organizations and also shall refrain from delivering speeches at any gathering or writing and publishing any article.

This order shall remain in force for a period of two months commencing from the date of service of this order on him. Given under my hand and seal of the Court this 23rd day of June 1967.



An intellectual once said that we should let the people speak because if you put a ban on the freedom of expression, bullets would give birth to bullets and daggers will give birth to daggers. That is why I tried to have One Unit dissolved through the Assembly in order to restore the national identity and dignity of Sindh. But the rulers, in order to suppress our voice, dissolved the assemblies and clamped Martial Law on the country. The Constitution they imposed on us in 1962 closed the doors on all constitutional and democratic political endeavor. When we took the Sufistic road of love and peaceableness to communicate with the people, we were not allowed to do that. Our efforts to reach the people through literature were similarly thwarted. Here I wish to narrate an interesting incident. Shaikh Ayes, the noted Sindhi poet, wanted to dedicate a collection of his national poetry to me. He sought my permission to do so. In view of the circumstances then prevailing, I warned him through a letter that he was welcome to dedicate the book to me but tie should be prepared at the same time for the consequences which could include the confiscation of his book and his arrest.

In this oppressive atmosphere when constitutional redress had been denied, young men, writers and poets in whose hearts the torch of truth was burning gave the lead to a massive protest against One Unit and hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets. Jails began to fill up. Young people started to go on hunger strike and the anti One Unit strike launched by the Sindhis assumed all Pakistan proportions.

In the meantime, in face of rising opposition, the rulers arrested Sheikh Mujibur Rehman in the Agartala Conspiracy Case. He and his colleagues were put in torture cells, and as a result of brutal torture, one of Mujib's colleagues, Capt. Mansur, died. This inflamed the people of East Pakistan. They violated curfew regulations and came out in the open in protest.

This was the time when one of Ayub Khan's darlings who called him 'daddy', Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, a Sindhi politician left the Federal Cabinet ostensibly in protest against the Tashkent Agreement. Using blackmail and the Punjabi bureaucracy, he tried to convert the movement for national self-determination into a public campaign against Ayub Khan. The truth is that Bhutto had incited Ayub Khan into war against India in 1965 and had assured the President that in view of the world situation, India would not retaliate on a large scale and Pakistan would be able to capture Kashmir. With this intention, the Pakistani rulers sent commandos to Kashmir to wage a guerrilla war against India. Bhutto's assurances notwithstanding, India internationalized the Kashmir war by opening a huge front from Sialkot to the Rann of Kutch and captured considerable territory in the Punjab.

During the war, the entire Pakistan Army devoted all its energies to save the Punjab and did nothing to defend East Pakistan. This provided an opportunity to Sheikh Mujibur Rehman to present his Six Point Formula. One of these six points was that every province, would have the right to maintain a part military militia for its defense. The Sheikh's Six Points guaranteed total autonomy to every province, which was not acceptable to the Punjabi rulers, and they arrested Sheikh Mujib for conspiring against the country Except for a brief period, I was under house arrest all this while. The movement against One Unit gathered momentum in Smith and there was great pressure on Ayub Khan to resign and release political detainees.

Ayub Khan released several politicians and started to prepare for a round table conference. However, I was not released At that point, people in Sindh unanimously demanded that if the round table conference had no Sindhi representation, its decisions would not be acceptable to them. Speaking at Gari Khata Chowk in Hyderabad, Sheikh Ayes told a milling crowd that Smith would reject any round-table conference at which G.M. Syed was not present. In the face of mounting public pressure, the Government released me on February 26, 1969.

After my release, I called a meeting in Hyderabad on March 9, 1969, to resurrect and reactivate the Sindh Muttahida Mahaz, The meeting was presided over by that intrepid Sindhi nationalist leader, Sheikh Abdul Majid Sindhi. In his inaugural address he said that after conquering Sindh in 1843, the British merged it with Bombay for administrative Purposes in 1847. "Sindh was freed from Bombay after a protracted Struggle in the wake of the Government of India Act, 1935," he continued.

"Sindh had its separate Legislative Assembly and Ministry in 1937. This lasted till 1954 when One Unit was foisted on the province. The role played by Sindhi members for various selfish motives was known to everyone, One Unit was the creation of mutual differences and the self-interest of Assembly members. But now the students and the people in general had brought about a change in the situation, and big changes were afoot in the central Assembly. Local politics was about to embark on a new phase. We had committed many blunders in the Past and efforts should be made to avoid them in the future. So far, Our upper classes had had but one goal self-interest and quest for power, This would have to be replaced by public service. The following goals had yet to he achieved:

  1. The dissolution of One Unit.
  2. Ridding national Politics of power hungry property grabbers, to the maximum extent possible.
  3. To hand over the leadership of political parties to selfless People who were capable of making sacrifices and who had the good of the masses at heart.
  4. We had to be above Personal prejudices and old new Sindhi squabbles to seek the support of every Sindhi who was willing to fight against One Unit.
  5. People who had not been able to attend the conference, had not kept out deliberately. To err is human. To ignore individual errors was in the best national interest.
  6. After Smith had attained freedom, the Mahaz would have three-fold objective: nationalism, economic justice and democracy.
"We had to put leadership in the hands of the people in the future and had to see to it that divisive tendencies did not prevent us from achieving our objectives before One Unit had been dissolved".

The meeting elected me President of the Mutahida Mahaz to plead the Sindh Case at the Round Table Conference called by Ayub Khan. But before we could begin our political struggle, the round-table conference failed as a result of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Maulana Bhashani's boycott and jalao-gherao tactics.

Although I did not attend the round-table conference, my point of view was fully explained by the Awami League leader, Sheikh Mujibur Rehman and Khan Abdul Wali Khan and Ataur Rehman of the National Awami Party. After the failure of the round-table conference, Ayub Khan resigned and was replaced by the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Gen. Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan who became the President and the Chief Martial Law Administrator, However, political activities were not banned and we were able to continue our struggle. Our objective was not only the dissolution of One Unit but also the attainment of the maximum autonomy for the province under which the center could not interfere in provincial matters. My efforts in this regard were two pronged. First, I brought Baluchistan and Pakhtunkhawa round to support the Sindh Muttahida Mahaz's anti-One Unit demand and two, I tried to come to a settlement with the Awami League which was demanding greater authority for the provinces. In this regard, when Sheikh Mujibur Rehman came !o Sindh, I organized a grand reception for him on behalf of the Sindh Muttahida Mahaz and held a function in his honor at the Hotel Metropol, Karachi, on August 10, 1967. I reproduce here parts of my welcome speech:

"We want to bring it to your notice that One Unit is a callous, impracticable but well thought-out constitutional fraud which is evident from the objectives of its authors and which were expressed in the notorious document X. We are opposed to this 13-year-old scourge for several reasons, some of which are:

  1. This relationship has continued under different governments for the last 1 3 years but everyone knows that the One Unit scheme has backfired and that it has failed to achieve the objectives of its authors.
  2. One Unit has embittered relations among the peoples of Pakistan, and, as such, has undermined national unity. To keep it alive by force will only erode mutual trust and, therefore, it will not be wise to continue with this relationship We should not lose sight of the fact that under the One Unit scheme, many constituents of the State are feeling helpless, mentally defeated, angry, sick and friendless, Without going into details, let us say that One Unit has injured the self-respect of the people of Sindh, has deprived them of the blessings of freedom. In fact, freedom becomes meaningless when the citizens of a free region do not have the right to run even their municipal affairs.
  3. One Unit has given birth to several administrative evils with the result that the bureaucracy today is corrupt, incompetent and irresponsible. Sindh has become a haven for petty-minded, stupid and impudent officials who are accountable to no one.
  4. The One Unit experiment is devoid of the democratic spirit and the people of Sindh have unanimously rejected it.
  5. Under the One Unit dispensation, Sindh's Position is lower than it would have been under the home rule the Indians had demanded from the British 70 years ago.
  6. The One Unit relationship negates the twentieth century concept of self-determination, which guarantees that power should belong to the people without interference from any quarter. Therefore, One Unit is against the Lahore Resolution of 1940, the Sindh Assembly resolution of 1943, the United Nations Charter, Mr. Jinnah's 14 Points, the Objectives Resolution, 1949, and the resolution passed by the 1957 National Assembly".
Addressing Sheikh Mujibur Rehman, I said, "You know Sheikh Sahib, that we had approached your party on numerous occasions for this purpose (dissolution of One Unit). Your great leader, Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy had assured me of his full support when 'he was staying at my bungalow in Karachi. Unfortunately he is not among us today but we turn to you as his true successor and through you, we appeal to our elder brothers in East Pakistan to honor the pledge of their departed leader. We wish to make it clear that the 1956 Constitution is not acceptable to us under any circumstances because it was the handiwork of an undemocratically chosen constituent assembly. The solution to all problems faced by the smaller provinces and East Pakistan lies in unity among us. The people of the small provinces have high hopes in you. The demand for giving East Pakistan representation on the basis of its population together with total autonomy is as just as is ours. You and we are in the same boat. We will support you in every manner and we expect the same of you."

An agreement to this effect was signed between the Awami League and the Sindh Muttahida Mahaz on the occasion. On October 5, 1969, we assisted in the creation of the Baluchistan Muttahida Mahaz in Quetta. Our thinking was that if united, the people of the smaller provinces could succeed in having the One Unit dissolved. They could also help evolve a constitutional framework, which would make similar follies impossible in the future and eliminate tension among the people of different parts of the country.

While we wanted unity to solve constitutional issues, the rulers tried through their lackeys to divert public attention from substantive constitutional and political issues to petty squabbles. )n this regard, they used two powers with consummate skill, In West Pakistan, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was made the hero of the Ayub Khan debacle and paraded as the conqueror through wide publicity and propaganda. Maulana Bhashani was selected to play a similar role against the Awami League in East Pakistan. However, Bengali nationalism had the better of the Maulana and he surrendered to the increasing popularity of the Awami League. But here in West Pakistan, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto played the role with the help of the army and the bureaucracy with great dexterity. He adopted an aggressive posture against the Sindhi nationalist forces. Unfortunately, this strategy worked on the young workers of the Sindh Muttahida Mahaz and they started to work against it. Yahya Khan cleared the field for Bhutto by breaking up the One Unit, which was the sole election-winning weapon then in the hands of the oppressed provinces of West Pakistan. With the help of one Presidential Ordinance, he dissipated our struggle and legalized the 14-year-old plunder of Sindhi land and other resources by the Punjabis and called for snap elections. As a result, Sindhi nationalists could not get a single seat in spite of my last ditch efforts to break free of the new bondage. I held meetings, I wrote to the newspapers and I used the single opportunity given to me to address the people on radio and television to exhort them to use their critical faculties but all in vain. Once again, we lost a battle we had won. Even so, I hoped that with the Awami League winning absolute majority in the National Assembly and with the nationalists meeting with considerable success in Pakhtunkhawa and Baluchistan, I would be able to play some role in securing provincial autonomy and national integrity. For this purpose, I made contacts with the Awami League and Baloch and Pakhtun leaders. But the Punjabi rulers had decided to get rid of East Bengal in order to maintain their control over Sindh.

They started work on this project in 1970 through Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. I have said just now that the Punjabis were looking for an opportunity to get rid of the Bengalis from the very start. I am not saying this on my own. I present here corroborative evidence from a Punjabi intellectual, poet and CSP officer, Fazal Ahmed Karim Fazli, who served in East Pakistan in various capacities for 20 years. How did the feeling grow in East Pakistan that it was being treated as a conquered territory? To explain this would require a separate volume. But to cut a long story short, the responsibility for the disillusionment with Pakistan lay with successive central governments. Fazli says he had personal knowledge of all this. Just two or three years after the creation of Pakistan, some West Pakistani officers who were later to play important roles in making and breaking governments, started to say that one day or the other, the Bengali majority would get itself recognized and they would, as a result, lose power. To forestall such an eventuality, steps should be taken to stoke the embers (if Bengali separatism into a roaring fire. As Fazli was regarded one of the most influential officers at the time in East Pakistan, his advice was sought in the matter. He bitterly criticized the Punjabi officer who had sought his views, and told him that would be an open rebellion against Pakistan and that such thinking had in it the seeds of the country's destruction.

But who listens to the dervish? The plans for Bengali separation moved ahead. The One Unit in West Pakistan was created for this very purpose. (weekly Zindagi, Lahore, February 11-17, 1971, quoted in Jadid Sindh Ka Masail Ka Hal by Mohammad Musa Bhutto, pp. 154-55).

The role played by the Sindhi politician Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto for the success of the fell plan was that of a small mind hankering for power and, I think, the ignobly of it was without parallel in our history. It led to the loss of three million lives. A massacre of this magnitude takes place only during major international wars but such a terrible loss of Muslim lives within the space of a few months was shameless in the extreme and a blot on the fair name of Islam.

It was during the civil war in Bengal that I came to know that while on a shooting trip on the Drigh Lake in Larkana, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and some army generals decided never to allow the Bengalis to rule in a united Pakistan. For this purpose, Bhutto was given a specific task. It was also foreseen that hundreds of thousands of people could be killed in East Pakistan, but the Awami League was never to be given power. When I came to know of this plan, I met the NAP President, Khan Abdul Wali Khan, in Peshawar and told him that we should assist the Bengalis and reconstitute Pakistan on the basis of the Awami League's Six Points in order to save the national rights of other provinces from Punjabi majority rule and the Army depredations for ever. At this, Wali Khan told me that he could not help the Awami League because one of its Six Points proposed that each province should have a currency of its own. This would require a reserve bank in every province to stem the flow of one Province's currency to another. This would, Wali Khan said, be detrimental to Pashtun interests because a million Pathans lived in Sindh, If each one of them was earning five rupees, it came to Rs. 5 million. The families of these Pathans lived in the NWFP and they would starve. How could then he support the Awami League? he asked.

Wali Khan's response disappointed and saddened me because I saw it was against the truth on the ground and amounted to supporting the Punjabi majority interests. It also smacked of Punjabi-Pakhtun collusion in try Plunder of Sindh. Having despaired of Wait Khan, I went to Dhaka on February 6, 1971, and called on Sheikh Mujibur Rehman and told him of the generals' plan I was of the view that if the Awami League came into Power, we could have constitutional arrangement which could safeguard the interests of the oppressed Sindhi Baloch and Pakhtun nations and they could live with honor in a multi-national union.

The Sheikh told me that he was aware of the generals' plan and that he would try everything Possible to remain with his people and turn Pakistan into a true union of independent nations with the help of peoples' power. He felt that if he left his people at this stage, they (the army would take to murdering them and setting every house on fire. But Sindh was different from Bengal. The Sindhis spurned the nationalists and tried to live under the self-serving Punjabi pimp, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

The Sheikh advised me to leave Sindh for a while because the military action in Bengal would have its repercussions on me. It was necessary, therefore, that I should leave the country, I accepted the Sheikh's advice and went to Saudi Arabia to pay homage at the mausoleum of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and visit the Khana-i-Ka'aba. From there, I tried to get in touch with Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan by post in Kabul where he was staying in those days, but, unfortunately, we could not change the course of events. We could not prevent the largest massacre in South Asian history, the migration of 10 million people and the rape of thousands of women.

I returned to Sindh after a brief stay abroad and the moment I set foot on the Sofi of my homeland, Yahya Khan's men arrested me. During my absence, several of my colleagues such as Shaikh Ayes, Qazi Faiz Mohammad and Ghulam Mohammad Leghari had already been arrested. The country was once again in the grip of terror and repression. In this atmosphere , the generals and the bureaucrats declared war on India on the advice of Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, at the end of which Gen. Niazi of the Eastern Command surrendered to Gen. Arora of India by laying the Pakistan flag and his cap at his feet on December 16, 1971. This put the seal of approval on the Punjabi's desire to seek the separation of the Bengalis. Earlier, an attempt was however made by Yahya Khan to hoodwink world public opinion by restoring a so called civilian government in which Mr. Nurul Amin was made the' Prime Minister and Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister without calling any assembly to session. In this capacity, Bhutto went to the United Nations to prove that the program in East Pakistan and the arrest of Sheikh Mujibur Rehman were just both from the moral and Islamic points of view! Bhutto tore up the last attempt to keep Pakistan one - the Polish resolution and made a Pakistani defeat in Bengal certain. He did so because he wanted to come into power as the leader of the majority party in West Pakistan with the help of the Army Chief, Gen. Gul Hassan, and other military top brass. In this, he was entirely successful and on December 20, 197 1, he took over as the world's first civilian Chief Martial Law Administrator. Thus did the Sindhis, the Balochis and the Pashtuns lose a strong friend, Bengal.

Sindh fell once again under Punjabi domination. Bhutto, realizing that his international image had suffered, took some steps to rectify the situation. These included the lifting of the ban on the NAP, the release of Sheikh Mujibur Rehman and the removal of restrictions on all political workers except myself.

Early in 1972, I celebrated my birthday, which was attended by hundreds of workers and thousands of other people from all over Sindh. Speaking on the occasion, I made certain proposals to the Chief , Martial Law Administrator and President of Pakistan, Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, to save what remained of the country and on its constitutional structure. During my speech, I recounted the events, which led to the loss of East Pakistan.

During the course of my speech I also outlined the causes for the break-up of Pakistan and the myriad Problems facing the new country. It was time, I said, that keeping in view our experiences of the past 24 years, we should introduce basic changes in our polity.

  1. The foremost among such changes was that we should say farewell to the concept of Muslim nationhood and accept Pakistan as the home of five nations with each of them having the right of self-determination. On this basis, if the people of Fast Bengal wished to remain independent, we should recognize Bangladesh. The remaining four nations in Pakistan should be given complete internal autonomy and then asked to join a new federation under which the central government should have only three subjects defense, foreign affairs and Communications All other subjects should be with the federating units. If we didn't do this, it would be difficult to overcome the country's internal turmoil.
  2. Again, we should be quite clear in our minds about the religious order. Nowhere in the world is such an order in force nor is there any likelihood of this materializing in the future. Successive governments in Pakistan have been paying lip service to this concept, which is impossible to implement. Therefore, there has been a contradiction in their words and deeds. This contradiction had enabled the diehards to indulge in anti-government propaganda and to consolidate their strength. Most nations of the world had secular constitutions. Therefore, it looked almost impossible that we should be able to choose a different (religious) order for ourselves. If we did not do some plain talking on this subject right now, progressive elements would find it difficult to cope with the fundamentalists in the future. Therefore, the President was requested to have a clear mind on the issue and give the country a secular set-up. If this was not done, regressive forces would put all sorts of hurdles on the road to socialism and public welfare. Unfortunately, vested interests did not allow the establishment of democracy from the very beginning That was why the country had not been able to give itself a constitution through elections. Vested interests had made a habit of changing governments whenever it suited them. In the beginning we used to have assemblies which were elected only in name but then we gradually slid into dictatorship which took more than half of our years of independence. The dictators maintained their stranglehold in the name of controlled democracy, basic democracy and a strong center.
  3. For the first time, now, the people had the opportunity to rule through their elected representatives. It was possible that the forces, which used to thwart the democratic process might try to subvert the new attempt at People's rule yet again. Therefore, every citizen owed it to himself to frustrate any such attempts. This would be possible only if the provincial governments were allowed full autonomy. No [farm would be done if the convening of the National Assembly was delayed but the provincial ministries must be established without loss of time. Keeping this principle in view, the People's Party should be in power in the Punjab and Sindh while coalition governments should be formed in the NWFP and Baluchistan. The governors should belong to the ruling parties, otherwise provincial autonomy would become meaningless. The country should be run on the basis of the Government of India Act, 1947. The future constitution should have the consent of the units and it should be on the basis of the parliamentary form of government. The center should have only three subjects. It was time the President moved quickly in this direction, or the reactionaries would once again sabotage the democratic process.
  4. History was witness to the fact that vested interests had subverted the constitution making process and the establishment of a popularly elected government for the last 24 years Today, we had a popularly elected President after much trials and tribulations. It was likely that the vested interests might try to remove him. Therefore, it was necessary, in order to save the country from their exploitative clutches, to block the means through which they had acceded to power again and again Nations did not attain prosperity in a few months. The examples of the Soviet Onion and China were before us. They had taken years for their reconstruction but they were as yet nowhere near the completion of their task. Long years were required for the purpose. It was, therefore, necessary for the President to take such measures as would perpetuate popular rule. AP efforts would have been in vain if he was removed after introducing a handful of reforms. Therefore, he should consider the following causes, which bring the vested interests repeatedly into power:
    1. a. A strong central government gives the armed forces and the bureaucracy a chance to bring undue influence to bear upon the administration.
      b. The concept of Muslim nationhood allowed vested interests to exploit smaller nations and to usurp their rights.
      c. All this talk about the Islamic order was diverting the peopleís attention from their real problems and helping the vested interests to continue to exploit them.
      d. Confrontation with neighboring countries gave the government a chance to impose a state of emergency to Usurp the fundamental rights of the people. Therefore, if the President wanted to implement his program, he should seek a settlement with India, recognize Bangladesh and give autonomy to the four nations of West Pakistan and try and break the hold the mullahs and the pirs had on the minds of the people. After doing this, he could slowly embark upon national development through five-year plans. The continuation of martial law, the strengthening of the central government, the acceptance of the concepts of Muslim nationhood and Islamic order and the continuation of confrontation with neighboring countries not reduce the influence of the armed forces and the bureaucracy on the government nor would he be allowed to continue long in office.
      e. Enmity with India and Afghanistan had been the common policy of successive governments and for this it had been considered expedient to maintain a large army and to enter into military agreements with imperial Powers This had led to three wars and the large size of the army gave it an opportunity to interfere in the political affairs of the, Country which ultimately led to the establishment of dictatorships. If one took a deep look into the matter, one could fathom that all this had led to the politics of hatred. It was necessary for Pakistanís survival that it should have friendly relations with its neighbors. The vested interests would never want this to happen. These were some of the problems a satisfactory resolution of which could take Pakistan out of the grave situation in which it found itself.
    I had some proposals to present to the intellectuals of Sindhi too, which, I thought, could help solve many of the problems facing the nation And, therefore,
    I. I penned a detailed explanation of the above points separately to bring about a mental change in the people. They should have benefited from it.
    2. They should have presented their proposals to the President and tried to bring public opinion to their way of thinking.
    3. They should have created teams of devoted servants of Sindh. I think that under the leadership of the new President the intellectuals of Sindh had one last opportunity to solve national problems. If they didnít, Pakistan would disintegrate, The President was surrounded by a certain set of odd persons. Therefore, serious problems would have to be conveyed to him through the voice of the people. With the separation of East Bengal, the balance of population, among other things, had tilted in favor of the Punjab which had, during the last 24 years, exploited Bengal and other provinces with the help of its army and bureaucracy. To hope for any good to accrue from them (the Punjabi majority) and to expect justice from them was like wanting to have fruit from a barren tree, But at a time when the Punjab lay defeated, when thousands of its soldiers were prisoners in India and when a lot of its territory was under Indian occupation, I thought that some change might have taken place in its Jingoistic thinking and that it would be willing now to settle matters with the other Provinces on the basis of brotherhood and equality.
    I, thus made one last attempt at unity, and forwarded the above proposals to President Bhutto to end the crisis and provide justice to the suffering nations and provinces. However, the qualities of Justice, equality and brotherhood were as absent in Pakistani rulers as the upper teeth in a cow. Instead of accepting my proposals, he sent me a letter through the Minister of Presidential Affairs. It is being reproduced here.

    Regd: Ack: Due
    Minister of Presidential Affairs
    Government Of Pakistan Islamabad
    Dated the 5th February, 1972

    Dear Mr. G.M. Syed,
    It has been brought to the notice of Government that on the occasion of your birthday celebrations on 17th January 72, at Sann, District Dadu, you delivered a speech in the course of which you said the following:-
    i. That the two-nation theory was of a temporary nature and you disapproved of it;
    ii. that it should be accepted that the peoples of 5 provinces of Pakistan constitute 5 different nations and that they should be brought together in the form of a Confederation of 5 states;
    iii. that in order to achieve your objectives you would start a movement through an organization to be called Khudam-I-Sindh, which would serve a two-fold purpose, namely, to prepare public opinion and to train personnel for guerrilla warfare.
    2. Government have also been informed that some other speakers at your instance and under your patronage made speeches calling upon the people to declare the independence of Sindh and launch a guerrilla warfare for the same. The Government was warned that any interference on their part would be resisted with force of arms and that the water in the Indus river would be reddened with the blood of those who resisted the movement.
    3. Your attention is drawn to the fact that there are laws existing in Pakistan carrying severe punishment for activities designed to promote secession or disintegration of the State and particularly by resort to violence.
    4. I must now ask you to inform me whether the report, as mentioned above, is correct and whether you had associated yourself on that occasion with speakers who made such speeches.

    Yours Sincerely,
    (J.A. Rahim) 22872
    Mr. G.M. Syed,
    Sann, Distt: Dadu,
    S I N D.



I sent a detailed answer to this letter in which I said that I had no desire to create any problems for what remained of Pakistan or for its President. The people had one last chance of securing their rights. From the very beginning I had tried to secure proper rights for the provinces in that part of South Asia which was called Pakistan so that the people could live under a new relationship. My proposals were nor only rejected in 1972 but similar advice I had been offering to the rulers since the very inception of Pakistan, which every time is being dismissed with contempt.

It is said of me that I indulge in opposition for the sake of opposition. Nothing could be farther from truth, However, as a Sindhi, I owe a debt of gratitude to my motherland and it is my lifeís mission to safeguard its culture, its language and its people. Despite everything, I have been offering suggestions to the Pakistani rulers from time to time. In this regard me and my political colleague Abdul Majid Sindhi wrote a joint letter to Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan. (Appendix 9)

     
To be continued to next part....
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