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KARACHI: Speakers paid rich tribute to freedom fighter Sooriah Badshah, Pir Pagara Sibghatullah Shah Rashdi II, who laid down his life while leading his Hur Jamaat in an armed struggle against British colonial rulers, on his 74th “martyrdom day” on Monday.

They demanded the government should declare March 20 as public holiday to keep the memory of his sacrifice alive.

The armed struggle called Hur movement was started by Sibghatullah Shah Badshah I in 1843 and it reached its peak when Sooriah Badshah was made Pir Pagara at the age of 12.

The struggle, therefore, continued for over a century till the creation of Pakistan, they said.

They were speaking at the Shaheed Sooriah Badshah convention organised by the Karachi chapter of the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional and Shaheed Sooriah Badshah Foundation at Karachi Press Club.

PML-F Sindh vice president and head of the foundation Pirzada Yasir Saeen said that in 1922, when Sibghatullah Shah II became Pir Pagara, he raised his voice against humiliating attitude of British officers towards the Hur Jamaat and Sindhis in general.

He organised an armed struggle against the colonial rulers and set up his headquarters at Gring Bungalow where he recruited and trained followers for the armed struggle. Their slogan was ‘freedom or death’.

Pir Sahib was arrested on Oct 24, 1941 and imprisoned after which the Hurs stepped up their activities by attacking police stations, government buildings and railway stations to pressure the British to release their leader, he said.

Pir Sahib was brought back to Sindh and hanged by British rulers on March 20, 1943 in the Hyderabad Central Jail.

The British government then targeted Gring Bungalow, Makhi Forest and Dargah Sharif with aerial bombardment and arrested thousands of Hur leaders along with their families and detained them in concentration camps.

They remained detained well until 1952, even after independence, he said.

About the present political situation in Sindh, the PML-F leader said that PPP had destroyed the province during its nine-year rule and deprived people of even basic amenities like education, health and clean drinking water.

He asked party workers and general public to prepare themselves for the upcoming general elections to get rid of the corrupt rulers. The PML-F would declare March 20 as public holiday after coming to power, he said.

Ulema Mashaikh Yakje­hti Council Pakistan chairman Qari Hidayatullah Mir­ani, Saleem Keerio advocate and PML-F coordinator Zamir Usmani also spoke at the convention.

MITHI: Activists of PML-F observed the 74th “martyrdom day” of Soo­riah Badshah at Thar Press Club and paid tribute to the revered freedom figh­ter who led an armed struggle for the independence of Sindh against the British occupiers.

They deplored the fact that both the federal and the Sindh government had completely forgotten the national hero.

Published in Dawn, March 21st, 2017