KARACHI, May 25: The Jeay Sindh Mahaz, alleging that resources of the province had been snatched from the Sindhis and outsiders were being brought in to turn the natives into a minority, demanded on Saturday that a referendum be held to determine if the Sindhis wanted to live in the present set-up or wished independence.
Speaking at a rally titled ‘Right of self-determination: our goal independence’ and organised by the JSM at the Karachi Press Club, JSM chief Abdul Khalique Junejo said that Pakistan came into being on the basis of the Lahore Resolution of 1940 under which sovereign and autonomous status of Sindh and other national units had been accepted, but after independence the country had been diverted in another direction.He alleged that first houses, properties and jobs of Sindhis were snatched, then their factories and lands were taken away and now they were being robbed of their natural resources, their water was being stolen, the Sindhi language was being deprived of its status and Sindhi culture was being humiliated. He said that outsiders were being brought in to turn the Sindhis into a minority on their own land and now some people were even demanding division of Sindh.
He said people were free to come, live and work here, but it should be understood that they would not be allowed to rule over Sindh — a right only the Sindhis had. He said Karachi was the capital and an integral part of Sindh and belonged to the Sindhis.
He said that keeping in view the situation it was high time that a sovereign status of Sindh be accepted and the right of self-determination — accepted by the United Nations as well as the Pakistan Resolution — of the Sindhis be given to them. He demanded that a referendum be held to know if the Sindhis wanted to live in the present set-up or wanted independence.
Usman Baloch of the Awami Workers Party demanded that rights of the Sindhis be accepted.
Progressive Writers Association chief Muslim Shamim said Sindh was a land of love and peace and it was unfortunate that targeted killings and lawlessness had become a mater of daily routine in its capital. He said he hoped that with everyone’s cooperation the situation in the city would improve soon.
Advocate Salahuddin Gandapur criticising the state organisations demanded that an even-handed action be taken against lawbreakers so that the life and property of law-abiding citizens be protected. Hashim Khoso of the JSM also spoke.
Earlier, JSM supporters gathered at the Regal Chowk in Saddar and took out a procession which after marching through the Preedy Street and various other city roads came to the KPC where it turned into a rally. The participants in the gathering were carrying banners and chanting slogans in support of their demands.