The general, the dog & the flasher

Published Apr 12, 2012 06:27pm

MRD activist shot dead by military troops in Moro, Sindh, September 1983. –Photo Courtesy: BBC
The MRD Movement in 1983 was one of the biggest uprisings against the Ziaul Haq dictatorship. In Sindh it almost tipped over and become a full-fledged armed insurgency against the state.  

Sindh, September, 1983. The agitation by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) led Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD) is whirling out of control, not only for the reactionary dictatorship of General Ziaul Haq but for the MRD leadership as well.

Ever since MRD announced the beginning of a nationwide movement against the Zia regime (August 14, 1983), the Pakistani province of Sindh is in great turmoil.

Its capital Karachi is witnessing court arrests and protest rallies on a daily basis by labour and trade unionists, student leaders and anti-Zia politicians.

But it is the central and northern parts of the province that are in the grip of serious violence. The MRD movement here has taken the shape of a Sindhi uprising bordering on a Sindhi nationalist insurgency against the Pakistan Army.

Trade unionist, politician and MRD leader, Miraj Muhammad, being hauled up by the police in Karachi. –Photo Courtesy: Zahid Husain

Faced with a volley of questions (mainly by foreign journalists) regarding his military regime’s challenged legitimacy in Sindh, Zia decides to prove that ‘only a handful of troublemakers’ are involved in the violence taking place against his government in the troubled province.

So, the grinning general (after issuing a fresh round of curbs on the already restricted local media outlets), announces that he will take a whirlwind tour of Sindh to attest that he is as popular there as he (thinks) he is in the Punjab.

So off he flies in his big shiny military aircraft (C-130) with some of his ministers, military cronies and his favorite batch of journalists to Karachi. He is however, aware that BBC Radio has imbedded a host of reporters in Sindh who are covering the MRD movement.

The reporting is largely being done for the BBC Radio’s Urdu service that a majority of Pakistanis have been listening to – especially ever since Zia (a migrant, conservative Punjabi general) toppled the government of the country’s first popularly elected prime minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (a well-to-do but populist Sindhi who was equally well-liked in the Punjab).

Zia’s plane lands in Karachi. From here he plans to fly to Hyderabad with his posse. Joining him here is a crew from the state-controlled Pakistan Television (PTV) that will cover the general’s ‘successful tour of Sindh.’

The rallies being taken out against him by leftist students, journalists, trade unionists, women rights groups and politicians in Karachi don’t bother him.

Most of the country’s senior anti-Zia leadership has already been put behind bars, while the second tier leadership of agitating student outfits, trade and journalist unions and anti-Zia political parties ‘are being made an example of’ by being publically flogged.

Women’s rights groups clash with police outside Karachi Airport where Zia’s plane had just landed, September, 1983. –Photo Courtesy: Zahid Husain

MRD was formed in 1981 as a PPP-led alliance to agitate against the Zia dictatorship and to force him to end military rule and hold elections. The alliance’s core parties were: Pakistan Peoples Party; Pakistan Democratic Party; Pakistan Mazdoor Kissan Party; Pakistan National Party; National Awami Party; Qaumi Mahaz Azadi Party; and Jamiat Ulema Islam.

Members of JSSF and PPP’s student-wing, PSF, flash victory signs after being arrested in Karachi in August 1983. –Photo Courtesy: DAWN

It was also being supported by Jamiat Ulema Pakistan, as well as by various left-wing Sindhi nationalist parties, progressive student organisations, trade unions and women’s rights groups.

Zia, after arriving in Karachi, briefly talks to a select group of journalists and reiterates his views about the situation in Sindh, insisting all was well, and that the MRD movement was the work of a handful of politicians who were working against Islam, Pakistan and the country’s armed forces.

He sounds confident about the success of his visit to the troubled spots of the Sindh province. This confidence was not only built upon what he was hearing from the sycophants that he’d gathered around him in the shape of ministers, military personnel, religious leaders and advisors.

But also because by the time he reaches Sindh’s second largest city, Hyderabad, he’s already had telephonic conversations with Sindh’s most respected nationalist leader and scholar, GM Syed.

Syed was the architect of the historical and scholarly narrative behind Sindhi nationalism and separatism. After building up a powerful narrative against the ‘Punjabi ruling elite,’ Syed formed the Jeeay Sindh Tehreek and (in 1973) called for Sindh’s separation and independence from Pakistan.

Ironically, when Sindh erupted during the MRD movement in 1983, Syed was nowhere to be found. He decided to stay out of the movement, a fact cleverly exploited by Zia.

This was a decision that would cause Syed his political career. Though respected as the ‘true son of Sindh’ and the Sindhi nation’s greatest scholar till the time of his death in 1995 (and even now), Syed however, lost his political clout when a major faction from his Jeeay Sindh party and its student-wing, the JSSF, broke away and joined the MRD movement.

A 1979 poster of GM Syed.

Syed was no fan of the military, particularly not of Zia, a Punjabi running an army majority of whose recruits too were from the Punjab. But Syed saw MRD as a PPP-run show, a party run by the Bhuttos.

Now here was another irony. Syed also detested PPP’s founder and chairman, Z A. Bhutto, even though the latter was a fellow Sindhi. During the 1968 movement against the Ayub Khan dictatorship (that had turned Bhutto into a popular leader in Sindh and Punjab), Syed had accused Bhutto of ‘helping the Punjabi establishment to retain its hold over smaller provinces and former East Pakistan.’

A PTV video grab of Zia speaking to dignitaries and media at a gathering in Hyderabad, 1983.

When, after the fall of East Pakistan, Bhutto came to power, Syed again accused Bhutto of using democracy to constitutionally reinvigorate the lost prestige of the military and the ‘Punjabi establishment’ and consequently stunting Sindh’s nationalist movement.

Syed was always of the view that the ‘Punjabi establishment’ will use Bhutto to regenerate itself (after the humiliation of the 1971 defeat to India), and then throw him away.

At least that’s how he explained Bhutto’s execution at the hands of Zia’s dictatorship. In fact, when Bhutto was hanged (through a bogus trial) in April 1979, Syed went on record to say: ‘I hope they (the ‘Punjabi ruling elite’) realise that today they have executed their greatest ally.’

Syed’s logic for not taking any part in the MRD movement is linked to his perception of the PPP being a party that is being used by the ‘Punjabi ruling elite’ to keep nationalist sentiments in Sindh at bay.

This narrative was well known by Syed’s admirers. But what shocked many of them was not really the act of Syed not taking part in a PPP-led movement, but the fact that Syed was actually responding to Zia’s friendly overtures towards him.

Syed’s apologists have suggested that Syed did this to neutralise Bhutto and the PPP’s influence in Sindh so he could construct a Sindhi nationalist and separatist movement on his own terms.

Though Syed’s Jeeay Sindh party would eventually go on to split into over a dozen factions, in 1983 however, Syed sat pretty but nervous, watching the MRD movement in Sindh fast becoming a Sindhi nationalist uprising – without him.

In Hyderabad, Zia talked about the inherent patriotism of all Sindhis. By this he meant not only indigenous Sindhis, but the Urdu-speakers (Mohajirs) and the Punjabis settled in the province as well.

Radical left-wing Sindhi nationalist leader, Rasool Baksh Palejo, scoffed at Zia’s comment. Palejo was languishing in a jail at the time, but a Sindhi newspaper managed to publish his reaction.

Palejo, though not a Syed disciple, echoed Syed’s original narrative about Mohajirs. Syed had accused them (in the 1960s) of coming to Sindh (as migrants from India), but instead of integrating themselves into Sindhi society and culture, they had started to behave just like the invading Europeans had done against the Red Indians in America.

In 1983 there was no Mohajir/Mutahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM). The Mohajir majority in Karachi and Mohajirs in the rest of Sindh were voters and supporters of three main political parties.

The progressive Mohajirs were associated with the PPP and with various leftist student outfits such as the NSF; the conservative Mohajirs backed the Jamat-i-Islami (JI) and Jamiat Ulema Pakistan (JUP).

After the rise and growth of MQM in 1986 however, almost every Mohajir would go on to become a MQM devotee.

But in 1983 there were just a few Mohajir nationalist organisations, all of them small and largely based out of Hyderabad. They too decided to sit out the MRD movement.

The Sindhi nationalists’ biggest grudge during the MRD movement, however, was with the Punjabi settlers. Sindhi nationalists had been accusing the Zia regime of sending and settling ambitious Punjabi traders and agriculturalists in Sindh to prop-up a constituency for himself in the province.

The nationalists claimed that these settlers were taking over Sindhi businesses and jobs and siding with pro-Zia feudal lords to repress Sindhi nationalism.

Zia knew that the pocket rallies he was to address beyond Hyderabad will be organised by outfits run by these settlers; outfits like the New Sindhi Organisation and the New Sindhi Students Organisation (NSSO).

Sufi shrines such as this one in Khairpur were prominent rallying points and sanctuaries for MRD activists.

_________________________________

So on he went to tour the troubled interior of the Sindh province. He particularly wanted the cameras to capture his tour of Dadu and Moro, the two cities most affected by the movement.

It was decided by his security team that he will use an army helicopter to fly there. His aids seemed a tad fidgety and nervous, because to curb the movement, the military had begun to use tanks and heavy weaponry, wiping out whole villages in the process.

The thick forests around Moro and Dadu had become sanctuaries for hundreds of activists escaping Zia’s tanks and gunships. Another rallying point for the activists, mostly angry young men, were the many big and small shrines of Sufi saints across Sindh.

As Zia sat in the helicopter, waiting to land in Dadu, some of his military advisers shared with him the army’s latest triumphs in the area: Hundreds of ‘troublemakers/traitors/agents’ had been arrested and eliminated, he was told. And that a plan was also afoot to flush out rebels from the shrines and the forests.

That had made Zia even more nervous. Most influential pirs of Sindh were already opposing him, especially the Pir of Hala. So Zia contacted another influential pir, Pir Pagara, asking him to use his influence to make the keepers of the shrines reject Sindhi rebels.

Pagara tried, and failed. But thankfully, no tanks were sent to the shrines.

Benazir Bhutto was in jail throughout the MRD movement. She went into exile later. The movement was crushed by Zia, but it did help set the scene for Benazir to make a triumphant return to Pakistan in 1986.

      _________________________________

One September evening of 1983, Pakistanis watched a video clip on PTV’s 9 pm Urdu news showing Zia descending from an army helicopter and being greeted by a dozen or so smiling men in Sindhi caps.

Viewers were told that Zia was ‘warmly greeted by patriotic Sindhis during his tour of Sindh.’ Zia seemed to be beaming.

The next day, however, when Pakistanis tuned into BBC Radio’s Urdu service at 8 pm, the BBC newscaster after detailing the nature of the day’s rallies, protest marches and violence in Sindh, added two more reports from the BBC correspondent covering Zia’s trip.

These reports also became the topic of amusement at the Karachi Press Club that too was heavily involved in accommodating the journalists taking a direct part in the movement.

This is what happened: As Zia’s helicopter landed at a helipad in Dadu, he was greeted by a few men wearing Sindhi caps. He was then escorted towards a bulletproof limousine, followed by army jeeps. He was expecting the roads of Dadu to be lined up by Sindhis cheering his arrival. In fact he was sure that his men had done well to organise a colourful show of his popularity for the TV cameras.

His motorcade moved into the city, on way to a building where he was expected to speak to the press. To his satisfaction, he did find a sprinkling of people on the roadsides, holding little Pakistani flags, until his speeding limo almost hit a stray dog.

But this was no ordinary dog. It had been pushed in front of the general’s motorcade by the small roadside crowd. On the dog’s tense body something (in Urdu) was scribbled with red paint. It said: ‘Ziaul Haq!’

The journalists and the BBC correspondent accompanying the motorcade were not sure what Zia’s reaction to this was. But this is not all.

As the motorcade moved on, a donkey was being made to run on the edges of the scruffy Dadu road that Zia’s limo was travelling on. The poor beast was being chased by small kids and on its body too the red paint screamed Zia’s name.

So much for the show of pomp and popularity the general was expecting from his aids.

The general’s limo now gathered speed, until it came to a bumpy portion of the road. Here it slowed down. In front of the limo was an army jeep. The jeep came to a sudden halt and soldiers rushed out. What happened?

A middle-aged man, hiding in a tree whose branches hung over this part of the road had suddenly jumped (from the tree) and landed right in front of Zia’s motorcade.

The man was wearing a traditional Sindhi dress that also included a dhoti (a long piece of cloth wrapped around the waist, reaching till the ankles).

As the man was about to be hauled up by the soldiers, he lifted his dhoti to expose his privates and shouted (in Sindhi) ‘Bhali karey aya! Bhali kary aya!’  (Welcome! Welcome!).

Nobody knows what happened to the gentleman/flasher after he was arrested. But Zia did decide to end his ‘famous’ tour of Sindh the very next day – terming it a ‘great success.’

References: DAWN (August/September 1983) BBC Radio’s Urdu Service archives Author’s personal interviews with Miraj Muhammad Khan (2009) A. Ahmed’s ‘The Rebellion of 1983’ AA Chandio’s ‘Struggle for Democracy in Sindh’


Nadeem F. Paracha is a cultural critic and senior columnist for Dawn Newspaper and Dawn.com


The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.


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Nadeem F. Paracha is a cultural critic and senior columnist for Dawn Newspaper and Dawn.com


The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

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Comments (93) Closed




Syed M Haider
Apr 12, 2012 10:31pm
History is mundane, tedious, and humdrum, unless narrated by NFP. More power to you.
atifmumtaz
Apr 12, 2012 01:24pm
NFP is stuck in 80s
Ammad
Apr 12, 2012 04:35pm
You are a great writer NFP.
Shahid
Apr 13, 2012 02:09am
Nadeem, I really enjoy your historical articles, please continue and give us a refresher on politics in the 70s,80s and 90s.
Bashir Lahori
Apr 13, 2012 04:47am
Alas! the generals would have learnt the lesson? A true account of the history.
Shehzad Zafar
Apr 12, 2012 03:35pm
In 1988 there were only two parties in Pakistan competing each other. One was Pak Army and other was PPP. It seems to me after so many years that one more party has emerged which is PTI. Mulims leagues are not parties rather then corporate companies.
G.Nabi
Apr 13, 2012 06:34pm
NFP - Wouldn't it be a fun to write the history of Pak politics after the departure of ex military dictator Musharraf ? Of course, I mean the 'glorious ' chapter covering the life & times of Zardari, his uncanny ability to hang in there, inspite of the worst governance in the history of the nation.
Zeeshan
Apr 12, 2012 07:15pm
every dictator and every so called democratic leader does receive hate from many people, and Zia is no exception, so are the Bhuttos. there are many people who hate bhuttos. so bottom line is that, no one here a saint. so people like NFP should not portrait bhutto as hero, and Zia as a bad man all the time.
nmg55
Apr 13, 2012 02:00am
This is all forced on us by ZAB. He was not a good ruler, he brought in this dictator Zia on us, by creating such curcumstances with curruption in 77 election and then not accepting compromise and staying in power which brought ZAB's hand picked army chief ZIA to coup against him and then mess up Pakistan for next 11 years.
Almanar
Apr 13, 2012 12:42am
Dear NFP, You were singing praise for GM Syed a few columns ago. That was an observation. Dare to write something about Z.A. Bhutto and East Pakistan. Find the common link.
jack
Apr 13, 2012 01:35am
nfp irrespective of whether its true oor not, why dont you focus on the current mess in pakistan? zia's corpse beating wont help now!
Aamir
Apr 13, 2012 12:28am
I do not understand how you can call that the movement for democracy when it was run by PPP feudals, landlords and other mafias who has nothing to do with democracy....I agree that it can rightly be called the movement for restoration of "OUR" government or power....the current so called "democratic" as well as previous democratic governments justifies my point...
Maria
Apr 12, 2012 02:44pm
GM Syed's perception of PPP holds true even more strongly today when PPP is being used as a franchise by the feudal lords of Sindh to cling to the power while compromising on even the fundamental rights of people of Sindh. Quote from this article: "Syed was always of the view that the ‘Punjabi establishment’ will use Bhutto to regenerate itself (after the humiliation of the 1971 defeat to India), and then throw him away... PPP being a party that is being used by the ‘Punjabi ruling elite’ to keep nationalist sentiments in Sindh at bay."
majid maqsood
Apr 12, 2012 02:57pm
very good written .........people never accept fact.........
Naushad Shafkat
Apr 12, 2012 08:23pm
Thanks NFP. That is history as it should be told. Thoroughly enjoyable and a "MUST READ".
DR M R SHAIKH
Apr 13, 2012 04:16am
Dear NFP of you have slightest of courage, write about the present government's and mammoth scale of corruption.
Alqalandar
Apr 13, 2012 01:26am
I do remember those days when PAK Army attacked our village near Hala. The army took many villagers including my father and kept hostile for many months.
Kamran Khan
Apr 12, 2012 03:53pm
Honestly...I am younger then the country itself. I always thought nationalism was only born during late 80s...But feel really really sad that its with us from 60s..What only within 20 years of its birth. The very foundation that Quaid build this country on " One religion" was shaken in its infancy. Just recently i visited Minar Pakistan and its engraved Quaids vision that our individuality will bring us closer and make us stronger...ALAS we have missed the mark by far. On the other hand, India has overcome religious and social ranks and is so much more united and stronger....WHAT and WHO to blame ? I wonder and welcome your opinions.
Bakhtawer Bilal
Apr 13, 2012 07:14am
I am a Punjabi and I did not mind a bit. Working class punjabi is not a problem, it is the elite. Ask Bengalis.
umair
Apr 12, 2012 04:06pm
Not ppp leaning. Left leaning to be more exact.
Docieo
Apr 12, 2012 04:04pm
Well written but with the pain clearly visible from the writer's words, may be given by generals in person. This all may be right as writer has researched so much to put this master piece across but I think this all was done so as not to repeat 1971 episode. These all bitter realities are part of nation's history so please once u write again don't be biased.
Goga Nalaik
Apr 12, 2012 04:16pm
Nadeem, Brilliant (as usual :) ) Please try to write about PSF and PPP activists in Rawalpindi such as Shah Khawar, Amjad Butt, Munir Ullah Butt, Jameel Abassi ...etc. Your fan
Arslan
Apr 12, 2012 10:35pm
Whatever he was.His rule was better than democraies
Shez
Apr 12, 2012 01:22pm
Quaid-e-Azam Mohamed Ali Jinnah laid the seeds of creating Pakistan and Zia the seeds for its destruction. He was a power hungry who started Pakistan's journey towards destruction and a country hated by the world. He brought in hatred amongst people to retain his power by making Pakistanis fight amongst themselves on the basis of the language. He imported extremist militants and misused Islam as his trump card for his own vested interests. He planted the seeds of destruction of democracy in Pakistan by hanging ZA Bhutto. Till such people go unstopped Pakistan has no future.
muhammad K
Apr 12, 2012 11:30pm
Gen Zia period was far better than any of PPP so called democratic period. ZAB distroyed the basic foundation of this country
Zahra
Apr 12, 2012 11:12pm
It's amazing how Zia ul Haq utilized the power of the media to paint himself white. "Successfull tour"? Puh-lease!
khurram
Apr 12, 2012 11:07pm
Thank you for exploring history and spreading the word
SalmanZ
Apr 13, 2012 08:53am
Excellent Article. Zia was the worst dictator. Pakistan can't afford any more Dictator or self claimed Ameer-ul-Momineen.
An NFP fan
Apr 12, 2012 05:41pm
You may be right ........but you seemed highly biased. I think you are an excellent writer and your childhood memories has huge impact on your opinions. Nevertheless, there are some question that i wanted to ask............. why did bhutto declare ahmedis as non-muslim, while you promote his secular image? Talked to my very old teacher, and he recalled couple of night clubs in karachi and he told me that they were banned by Bhutto in his last days i.e. 76-77 to get the support of fundamentalist what happened in Zia regime was the outcome I am perplexed ............. An NFP article Fan
m h kayani
Apr 12, 2012 01:10pm
not fairly pointed out. information has the elements of one sided views.
Riaz Murtaza (Canada
Apr 13, 2012 05:34am
Sorry friends, I may agree with most of this article but to me as you all might agree. Most of our politicians are corrupt and there has been zero progress in the country during their governments.. Present government is a very clear example. I do not sympathize with the military rulers but at least there had been some progress in the country ! Nation needs young and honest leadership.
Javed Ali
Apr 12, 2012 01:05pm
A very good piece to overhaul another bitter part of our history. This all resulted in the scenario what we are going through in Pakistan today. These Generals only know to fight against their own people. How troubling this all is after reading this feature. Good work by Mr. Nadeem. We should continously keep Public abreast of our such dark shadows of history and characters involved in that.
sarwech
Apr 12, 2012 10:50pm
Fully agreed and really a nice and neutral account of that time.
Rafi
Apr 12, 2012 12:46pm
Accepted with pinch of salt knowing NFP's PPP leanings.
Syed Amir
Apr 12, 2012 06:21pm
Oh, my. Sir, NFP is no theoretician. He's a columnist with a keen and insightful eye on history. This is just a narration of an interesting event that took place amidst the MRD movement and Zia's tour of Sindh. It's like a memoir. And if you have a problem about the way he describes GM Syed's blunder of not taking part in the movement, please elaborate.
Naveed Javed
Apr 12, 2012 05:15pm
Its always between Pro-Bhutto and Anti-Bhutto!
Naveed Javed
Apr 12, 2012 05:18pm
Excellent article Sir- Hats off to you; I wish you can come to TV and tell this public the real struggle behind democracy and we all blame politicians! Such a Failure!
Abhishek
Apr 12, 2012 05:15pm
Nice article
Ghani K
Apr 12, 2012 10:33pm
When is NFP going to get off the old beaten track and focus on the present ?.Country is at the brink of anarchy,,targeted killing rampant,Balochistan trying to detach itself from the Fatherland, SC busy trying to uncover stupendous corruption scandals - all this happening under present regime, yet we see NFP distancing himself from present realities. No scathing criticism of Zardari & his coalition partners ?
I W KHAN
Apr 13, 2012 07:36pm
I agree with Riaz Murtaza (CANADA) all politician are corrupt and had taken Pakistan backward. Only progress was seen during the time of Ayub Khan and Musharaf, but problem is when they wanted to be democratic they failed.
G.a
Apr 12, 2012 04:52pm
Today, this general is remembered by a 'chowk' in Islamabad. So much for his popularity.
wanderer
Apr 12, 2012 04:49pm
The General Zia-ul -haq has left an unforgettable impression on Pakistan's history.
Shahid Ashraf
Apr 12, 2012 04:45pm
Excellent historical information. People like me who were just kids and those weren't even born, would find it quite useful as such information is not available in books...!
Mr.T
Apr 12, 2012 04:36pm
Why Don't you come on TV and aware public about such conspires done in past, present...?
AK
Apr 12, 2012 10:15pm
Good read. Of course with the usual NFP bias. Why don't you stop blaming a general who has been dead for 24 years something currently relevant like the last four year of examplery governance.
Qamar
Apr 12, 2012 06:05pm
This is an article which mixes history with NFP's pro-PPP views.
Mehboob Ali
Apr 12, 2012 05:56pm
His misruled led Pakistan to this situation. He was not only unfaithful to his benefactor but provided worst form of the government. Pakistan is still not come out of the crises created by him
N. M. Khan
Apr 12, 2012 05:58pm
Though I am ONE of those who struggled against Zia's brutal regime, this piece appears as a weak thesis. Sound more like an abstraction. The writer seems to lack the real fieldwork and scholarly endeavors. NM
Asad Shah
Apr 12, 2012 06:16pm
A biased article. The entire article had an undertone of resentment towards Punjab. The article could have been written in a much better and balanced way. For example, it could have been between pro democracy vs dictatorship instead of punjabi dictator vs Sindhi people.
M Mehta
Apr 12, 2012 08:12pm
Let we don't blame anybody AYUB/BHUTTO/ZIA/Zardari etc but we blame ourselves. Once Musa(AS) ask Allah when you are pleased what happen-Allah says three things will happen 1. Rulers are just and good 2. Rain will be in right proportion and right place and 3. Sakhi will be having money to spend on poor. Thus Musa (AS) ask when unhappy all three opposite. Now we all decide to make Allah(SWT) happy instead of blaming others. Hope sanity will prevail Mehtasss
Saad
Apr 12, 2012 09:23pm
And Bhutto is remembered by his dynastic excuse for a democracy.
sanam
Apr 12, 2012 09:27pm
only the army generals are responsible for all the ills in Pakistan.
Capt Mansur (Namibia
Apr 12, 2012 06:09pm
I agree with the NFP fan. if Bhutto was such a great secular leader why did he give in to the Islamic fundamentalists and made life MISERABLE for the monorities???
adnan abbasi
Apr 12, 2012 06:26pm
Though I was very young at that time, i still remember how once patriotic Sindhis (who were among the first once to join Pakistan) the were lured into a war for independence due to brutal measures taken by the illegal military government.
S Amir
Apr 12, 2012 09:01pm
Yes, lately NFP has become very popular with young Sindhis. Irony is he himself is half Punjabi and half Mohajir, but yet, he's done some great articles in Dawn on Sindhi nationalism and its leaders. Jeeay NFP indeed.
Raja Owais
Apr 12, 2012 08:53pm
writer has done fairly well but he forgot to mentioned the pro democracy efforts in Punjab. It was definately not a movement against Punjab but against General Zia power. Long Live Pakistan :)
Adil Khan
Apr 12, 2012 08:34pm
yeah some one get him out ....he is also stuck in military and mullah
Mahesar
Apr 12, 2012 01:26pm
This is just a tip of the iceberg, I, as a 13 year old child am witness to all events on that day. In short public reaction forced Zia to leave Dadu and he could not even reach circuit house Dadu where he was supposed to have his engegements.
Asad Shah
Apr 12, 2012 01:29pm
Pointless article. The entire article had an undertone of hatred towards Punjab. NSF loses the credibility in my eyes at least as a journalist. The entire article could have been written in a much better and balanced way. For example, it could have been between pro democracy vs dictatorship instead of punjabi dictator vs Sindhi people. Pathatic how people can't get out of their narrow mindedness.
Rubina Shah
Apr 12, 2012 01:29pm
Fantastic! Oh, how I wish today's generation has history teachers like NFP. One after another this guy unveils so many amazing, potent and interesting aspects of this unfortunate country's political and social past. Kudos, NFP.
raza
Apr 12, 2012 01:44pm
this is how we, sindhis, treat the dictators! Zia was most hated tyrant. Sindhis distributed sweets on hearing news of his death. Sindhi poets expressed sindhi sentiments in these words " oh my beloved, ur arrival makes me as happy as news of zia's death had made me euphoric" Tahmina durani in " my feudal lord" describes how nervous generals were due to this show of dauntless courage by sindhis who were considered to be "timid and docile". There are some people who still believe in this cliche. They are adviced to read sindh's history. This piece is a great proof. We sindhi youngsters have fallen in love with NFP. Jeay NFP!
Suhail Ahmad
Apr 12, 2012 08:21pm
I am against PPP and don't like NFP's political leanings, but I do agree with this piece on MRD's protests in 1983. I was stranded on Khairpur / Sukker Railway station when a group of Sindhi students joined me in the rest area. I made friends with one who was a medical student at Chandka Medical College. He narrated the whole movement and persecution of protestors, students included, by the dictatorial regime. I really felt for them. In the end, I was cutting a sorry figure, profusely apologizing for the indifference of 'Karachi wallas'. I left for the States soon afterwards and from there, got a letter published in 'Herald' the theme of which was that since I live on the dharti of Sindh, I am proud to be a Sindhi. Another feat of Zia: Sectarian war in Karachi around the same period.
Seeb
Apr 12, 2012 02:03pm
Everytime I read you, the illusion that Pakistanis used to be less divided fades.
T Khan
Apr 12, 2012 07:58pm
PPP Supporters and rulers abuse humans and animals equally to serve their purpose. Forget about human rights under them even dogs and donkeys don't have any rights!
himidik.
Apr 12, 2012 08:13pm
Zia was made army chief superceeding many by ZAButto (sheed) - Zia turned out to be ungrateful, hence met his fate in midst air - Musharff, was another who followed footsteps of zia, living in self exiled - Pakistan unfortunate to have 'generals' lusty, greedy for power - institutions destroyed by 'uniformed' and worst by 'non-unoformed' politicians who are the torch bearers of laying foundation of " CORRUPT SOCIETY", Pray Allah save us!
yawar
Apr 12, 2012 02:32pm
So what's the other side? That Zia was hugely popular in Sindh? Were you even born in 1983?
Zafarov
Apr 12, 2012 02:33pm
@ Rafi The Article is properly referenced, Don't know about the salt, but it obviously must have unbearably 'pinched'
ER
Apr 13, 2012 09:43am
NFP why don't you write an article about how the 'democratic icon' ZA Bhutto split the country in two pieces after the refusing the right of Bengali rule when they won the elections fair and square? All this rant against military rule...why not expose the dictatorial mindset of power-hungry people like Bhutto who charade as public heroes (of a widely illiterate public) ?
Farhan
Apr 16, 2012 02:13am
Numbers dont lie.... Zulfiqar Bhutto and Benazir must be asking Zia how he was able to accomplish so much economic prosperity being an unpopular military dictator when their popular democratic governments could only envy such growth.... Numbers dont lie...
Shakeel ur Rehman
Apr 13, 2012 05:23am
Great line and article.
Akbar
Apr 13, 2012 11:01am
Good gets better and better becomes best..... great article again
jamil,chaklala RwP.
Apr 13, 2012 11:04am
Will some one,Mr.Paracha in particular explain that on what basis it is claimed that Bhutto was a popularly elected leader of the country.PPP contested election on one-country-basis.They did not win any seat in the then East Pakistan;nor did they win any seat from Baluchistan.Their presence in KPK too was nominal.
Nisar Sindh
Apr 13, 2012 11:13am
Kamran Shafi and Abbas Nasir tweeted about this article saying all young Pakistanis should read it to find out what politicians and their supporters had to go through to achieve democracy. I totally agree with them. Young people in Pak have no memory of the times when journalists, politicians, civil society people and common men and women were tortured, flogged and jailed. It was a huge struggle. We must give democracy a chance. That is the only thing that can keep Pakistan afloat. Well done NFP for digging out yet another hidden era of our history.
Faheem Fani
Apr 13, 2012 12:16pm
What the people of Pakistan gain from all these bloodsheds........still situation is going worst day by
Imraan Mehmood
Apr 13, 2012 12:29pm
NFP doing what he's best at: writing biased articles, Pro PPP
ER
Apr 13, 2012 01:08pm
Good point. Don't expect a reply though!
Manish
Apr 13, 2012 01:18pm
Wow! all said in a witty way, as if I was watching a political thriller. Bravo!.
S Ahmed
Apr 13, 2012 01:33pm
For all those dictatorship-friendly folks decrying NFP's lashing against one of the worst people to rule Pakistan and saying why is he flogging a dead ruler well, the general may be dead but not his legacy. Try to learn something from history, for a change.
S Ahmed
Apr 13, 2012 01:34pm
Better than being stuck in the 7th century.
Hassan
Apr 13, 2012 03:43pm
Well said.
AHA
Apr 13, 2012 04:39pm
Excelllent observation.
Bilal
Apr 13, 2012 09:53pm
Why is everybody so bothered about what nfp thinks and writes.
ER
Apr 14, 2012 10:53am
No he doesn't dare!
El Cid
Apr 14, 2012 11:44am
Dead corpses are easy to beat-up. The current mess is the product of living ones who will hit back. NFP is wise enough to know who to beat.
El Cid
Apr 14, 2012 12:02pm
References presented by the author suggest that he has NO concept of what a reference is, or how it is to be cited.
Azmat Khan
Apr 14, 2012 03:54pm
Well-done Paracha! Zia deserves a good journalistic thrashing.
Haider Budini
Apr 14, 2012 06:41pm
NFP rocks..!! keep updating our Pakistan Studies..!! :) :d
Shoaib
Apr 16, 2012 02:08pm
I hope the country can sustain further such chances to "democracy". As an economist (without any regard to social factors) the dictatorial regimes in Pakistan had been far better than the democratic ones, with Gen Ayub on top and ZAB being on the last of the list.
sja
Apr 15, 2012 10:20am
NFP one thing is obvious and very remarkable, YOUR EXCELLENT MEMORY, you wrote in your last article you were a lad on the happening of the last week event and its latest anniversary, and how you faced it with your father. Now you start this article from 1983 as if eyewitnessed. I am pretty sure you are helped in this history writing by some one who also helped Master BBZ in his master piece political speaking debut instructing the PM what to do, instructing SC what to do. In the last article also you mentioned your childhood spent with the Sind ruling dynasty. That is so good. Good Memory, Good Political Connections, Good Writing Acumen, Good hair raising CArtooning, Good History writing and Good history making and help others in their History making. Keep up, you will be the Minister of information by the time BBZ gets to the PM and to the astonishment of the now Tsunami Champion and Flood Torch Bearer the most charistmatic by his own account the honorable IMI of Lahore as the BBZ called him in his debut speech.
El Cid
Apr 15, 2012 10:37am
He unveils little except for his hate, limitations, and frustrations...as for the rest: He makes stuff up as he goes along!
Gul
Apr 18, 2012 08:26am
@ Farhan ,Numbers don't lie but you do.would you be kind enough to reveal those numbers of Zia's prosperity ?.
Ammar
Apr 18, 2012 02:56pm
your pain is understandable:)
GN MAGSI
Apr 25, 2012 06:49am
A part from history of pure land