HYDERABAD: A large number of activists and supporters of Sindh Taraqqi-pasand Party (STP), Sindh United Party and other nationalist groups attended a programme held at Hatri bypass on Wednesday evening to mark the party’s 30th ‘Motherland Day’.

Addressing the audience, STP chief Dr Qadir Magsi said Pakistan never faced such dangers it was facing today, and noted that security of the country’s western borders was the biggest challenge. “Smaller nations want to live in Pakistan with prestige,” he said.

Dr Magsi hinted at a possible alliance of Sindh’s nationalist parties under one flag and leadership “to defend Sindh”.

“The establishment ought to understand that the way forward to run Pakistan lies in giving up psyche of a strong centre,” he said.

He remarked: “You can’t make anyone Pakistani through enforced disappearances,” and said constitutional rule and democratic attitude could help the country.

He said Pakistan witnessed a long democratic struggle against the British and dictatorships over the last 70 years under the leadership of G.M. Syed, Samad Achakzai, Khair Bux Marri, Attaullah Mengal, Wali Khan and even Bangladesh’s Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Maulana Bhashani. “But [Prime Minister] Imran Khan reversed it and imposed a civilian martial law,” he alleged.

He said the Vote ko izzat do slogan would not work unless charter of smaller nations’ rights was introduced. He held Pakistan Peoples Party, Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari responsible for economic deprivation of Sindh, and pointed out that Sindhis sacrificed for PPP for 50 years. He described PPP, Grand Democratic Alliance and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz as enemies of progress of Sindh and the poor.

He said PPP had lost moral reasoning to rule over Sindh.

Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party secretary general Senator Usman Kakar told the audience that Pakistan was a federation of five nations. He called for activating the Pakistan Oppressed Nations Movement (Ponam). He said the “patriots” who had fought against the British were declared traitors and “traitors” became patriots. An undeclared civilian martial law was declared here while the judiciary, ECP and media were under shackles of undemocratic forces.

Sindh United Party (SUP) leader Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah said federalism was done away with in the name of federation here. Those who were products of controlled democracy were talking about democracy, he noted.

A conspiracy was under way to divide provinces administratively, he observed.

He said Kashmiris coming from the India-held valley be settled in Azad Kashmir, instead of being granted lands in Sujawal.

National Democratic Party leader Dr Hayee Baloch said today smaller provinces needed a Ponam-like alliance for their sovereignty.

Supporting PDM’s agenda, he said it, however, did not address the “oppressor-oppressed conflict”. A new social contract was needed in Pakistan because people of smaller provinces would not accept supremacy of anyone, he said.

Resolutions

Some resolutions adopted at the programme called for constitution of ‘Republic of Pakistan’ consisting five nations; recognition of rights of provinces over their respective resources; shelving of all water projects over Indus and closure of all link canals; status of national language for all regional languages; making Sindhi a compulsory language in Sindh; expulsion of illegal immigrants from Sindh; recovery of missing persons; end to “occupation” of Sindh’s islands; and arrest of STP leader Altaf Jaskani’s killers.

Published in Dawn, February 26th, 2021

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