[Marxism] Massive National Conference by Awami Tahreek. 250 thousand People demand P. Autonomy

awakenings awakenings2008 at gmail.com
Tue Feb 27 12:52:14 MST 2007

Bhitshah National Conference-250 thousand People demand Provincial Autonomy

Daily Dawn: http://www.dawn.com/2007/02/26/local8.htm
Daily Kawish: http://www.dailykawish.com/Archives/Mon_Arc/index.html
Daily The News: http://thenews.jang.com.pk/arc_news.asp?id=2
Daily Jang: http://www.jang.com.pk/jang/feb2007-daily/26-02-2007/main.htm
Daily Ibrat: http://www.dailyibrat.com/
Daily Awami Awaz: http://www.awamiawaz.com/

On 25th Feb the People of  Sindh and of  entire Pakistan witnessed a massive
show of commitment, resistance and power by Awami Tahreek (Peoples Movement)
against Mushraf Govt., Human Rights abuses and Large Dams, when Awami
Tahreek arranged the 3rd Bhitshah National Conference near Hyderabad.  Both
sides of the Main Bhit Shah road leading to the Mausoleum of Shah Latif were
aligned with thousands of buses, cars, tractor trolleys and vans. The roads
and pavements were filled with hundreds of thousand s of people and one
could be forgiven for thinking that the annual Urs of  great poet Shah Abdul
Latif Bhittai is held on 25th  February. Thousands of  red and black flags
with white star fluttering in the sky told everyone that it was the annual
Qaumi (National) conference of Awami Tahreek.

            The program started at 1:00 pm and the guests from different
parts of Pakistan after some difficulty joined the throng of people slowly
making its way towards the gates of the stadium ground.  As they entered
into the stadium they were over awed at seeing such multitudes of people.
The entire ground was brimming with people (around two hundred and fifty
thousands in number) who had come from all corners of Sindh to attend this
conference. There were as many number of women as there were men, if not
more. Womenfolk carried their children with them. It was extra ordinary to
see more than ninety thousand Sindhi women break the shackles of Wadera
Shahi (feudalism) and be at the forefront of the struggle for their rights.

The Conference called for withdrawal of military from the political arena
and handing over of power to the people and demanded implementation of 1940
Resolution and abolition of governor's office alleging it was used as a tool
for interference in provincial matters.  It also adopted a number of
resolutions. Straight ahead of lacs of people there stood a huge stage
comprising of leadership from various parties of Pakistan among them were
Sidiq-ul-Faroque (Central Joint Secretary), Salim Zia (President Sindh),
Makhdom Shahnawaz, Afzal Gujjar and dozens of others from PML-N, Balochistan
National Party senator Aslam Buledi, HRCP Central General Secretary Iqbal
Hyder Advocate, Senator Khalid Mahmood Soomro and Taj Mohammad Nahyoon from
JUI, Opposition leader of Balochistan Assembly Kachkol Ali Baloch, Mumtaz
Memon and Molana Waheed Qureshi Central Leaders of Jamaat Islami, Zubair
Khan President Tehreek-e-Insaaf, ANP Sindh President Amin Khatak, PILER head
Karamat Ali, Suboor of PATTAN, Central Presdient of BSO Wahid Rahim Baloch,
Nazir Memon Secretary Sindh Water Committee, Ayaz Latif Palijo Advocate,
Professor Mushtaq Mirani, Presidnet Sindh Former Organization Ghulam Nabi
Morai, SDE Leader Aslam Baloch, Young intellectual Mushtaq Rajpar, Former
Law Minster and leader of Sindh National Front Muzafar Sadiq Bhatti, SNC
Leader Punhal Sario, Wishnoo Mal, Mohammad Khan Bhurgri, Shama Bahtti,
Hakeem Zangejo, Jami Chandio, Sheema Kirmani, Constitutional Expert Rasool
Bux Unnar Advocate, Sayed Alam Shah, Wahab Munshi, Manzoor Mirani, Amir
Memon, Abid Hasan Minto, Meer Mazhar Talpur, Suleman Dahri, Mrs Nazeer
Qureshi, Seraiki Intellectual Nazeer Legahri, Qadir Ranto, WSC Vice
President Faqeer Rahmatullah Hisbani, Parveen Soomro Advocate, Labor Leader
Riffat Baba, Begum Bilqees Zuhra, Naveed Kalmati, Jamhoori Watan Party
leader Khalid Baloch, Professor Shahab Mughal, Abdul Kareem Memon Advocate,
Aslam Khuaja, Dr Gulzar Jumani, Dr Haider of GRDO, SAP Provincial head
Zulfiqar Shah and others. The conference was   presided over by Awami
Tehreek Chief Rasool Bux Palijo.

                     In between the speeches there were songs and tableaus
presented by the girls of Sindhiani Tehreek and SGSO. The tableaus reflected
the culture and national spirit of Sindhi people and freshened up the minds
of the public. The discipline and decorum maintained by the workers of Awami
Tahreek was exceptional. Great leaders, writers and artists who had
sacrificed their lives for the cause of oppressed masses and human and civil
rights were paid tribute, including late Fazil Rahoo, Akber Bugti, Jeejee
Zarina Baloch, Nazeer Abbasi, Mir Ali Bux Talpur, Ashiq Junejo, Rasheed
Bhatti, Tanveer Abbasi and others. Manoo Bheel, Mai Jindo, Kahdeeja Chandio,
Arab Machi, Rasool Bux Brohi and some brave journalists were also given the
excellence awards.

            The speakers Sidiq-ul-Faroque, Former Senator Iqbal Haider, BNP
leader Kachkol Ali Baloch, Zubair Khan, Amin Khatak, Karamat Ali and Suboor
Ahmed appreciated the gathering and said they have never witnessed such
massive organized crowd with such exceptional participation of women. The
speakers highlighted the injustices being committed against the people and
culture of Sindh. They stressed the need for provincial rights and an end to
the hegemony of a single province over the smaller provinces. The conference
demands that the federation should keep three subjects -- defence, foreign
policy and currency -- while the remaining should be handed over to the
provinces. The Baloch leaders shed light on the current crisis of
Balochistan and the victimization of Baloch people. The speeches by Mr.
Rasool Bux Palijo, Siddiq ul Faruk, Ayaz Latif Palijo, Khalid Soomro and
Iqbal Haider  were particularly heart warming.

Awami Tahreek's Central Leader and Human Rights Lawyer Ayaz Latif Palijo
condemned arbitrary arrests, extra- judicial killings and violence against
women, children and minorities. Ayaz's fiery speech was filled with passion
and roused the crowd. He demanded the full Provincial Autonomy for provinces
and implementation of 1940 Resolution. He condemned the role of ruling
classes of Punjab and demanded just financial share for people of Sindh.
When Ayaz Palijo talked about Dodo Soomro, Darya Khan, Hemoon Kalani, Hoshoo
Shedi, Rooplo Kolhi and King Daahir the entire Bhit Shah resounded with the
slogans of "Naarai Sindh.Jeay Sindh!" He said that this is not the country,
which Sindhis accepted in 1947 and that Sindhis and other oppressed nations
can get their emancipation by following the Path of  Shah Latif, Rehman
Baba, Gul Khan Naseer, Fareed and Bulley Shah. He condemned the role of
power hungry Sindhi waderas and issued charge sheet against Sindhi ministers
and asked them to resign otherwise Sindhis wont forgive their betrayal on
water, natural resources, coastal land, RBOD, jirgaas, gang rapes, forced
disappearances and murders of political workers. Listening to Ayaz Latif 's
speech was in itself an experience. Ayaz said the common Sindhi, Baloch,
Pakhtoon and Seraiki have no bearing   their basic human rights are
trampled, the elections are rigged and the freedom of expression is taken
away. In thunder of applauds he demanded that Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz
Sharif be allowed to return back, criminals involved in attacks on Azra
Pechooho, Sassui Palijo and Sheree Rehman be punished and Dr. Safdar Sarki,
Asif Baladi, Akhter Mengal, Raof Mengal and Javed Hashmi and other political
activists be released. He condemned the politicized ethnic based anti-sindhi
recruitment-transfer and posting policies of Musharaf regime.  Ayaz urged
the leaders of all the parties to join in the efforts for the rights of
Sindh, he said that the challenges to our nation are very grave and there is
a need of a practical and united strategy. He said such a strategy could
only come from rural masses. He warned the western rulers that their
endorsement of present rulers has encouraged them to destroy the fate of 40
million peace loving secular Sindhis. In his breathtaking speech Ayaz while
quoting the stanzas of  Faiz, Shaikh Ayaz, Faraz and Latif said Pakistani
rulers have been showing their so-called solidarity with victims of Gaza and
Bosnia, but their lips and tongues are silent on the massacres, abductions,
tortures and gangrapes in Balochistan, Waana, Sindh and Seraiki. During his
speech thousand of harees and Sindhiani Tahreek women and students were
chanting "hoshoo theesooon..sindh na desoon, dolah theesooon..sindh na
desoon, marsoon marsoon.sindh na desoon" Ayaz Latif Palijo criticized the
role of opportunist middle class and of some job hungry writers and
emphasized upon the need of patriotic writers like Tarik Ashraf, Rashid
Bhatti, AJ Uttam, Keerat Babani, Faqeer Mohd Lashari, Ibn Hayat Panhwar,
Ustad Bukhari and Tanveer Abasi.

            Another highlight of the conference was the marvelous
performance by classical dancer Sheema Kirmani and her group. Her audience
was not ambassadors, businessmen or social elite, her audience was the down
trodden people of Sindh who saw a dawn of revolution in her artistic
interpretation of poems of Fahmeeda Riaz, Faiz and Amir Khusro. With her
poetic movements she held more than two hundred and fifty thousand people
mesmerized, they wee literally kept in a trance. Her   dance was a poem of
which each movement was a word. Incidentally Sheema Kirmani`s performance
was preceded by a leading Maulana Sahib`s speech, thus HRCP leader remarked,
"General Musharaf look! This is real enlightened moderation introduced by
Awami Tahreek and Rasool Bux Palijo. Enlightenment based on tolerance not on
guns." The conference lasted for 13 hours & several artists sung
revolutionary songs. The speech by Siddique ul  Farooq suggested a reformed
PML- N position on Sindh. He opposed the construction of Kalabagh dam which
was appreciated by the crowd.

In the end at about 00-10 am when veteran South Asian intellectual & Awami
Tahreek Chief Rasool Bux Palijo came to address the crowd hundreds of
thousands gave him an standing ovation, people were chanting, "Naarai Palijo
Naraai Sindh.Jeeay Palijo Jeeay Sindh." Shah Latif over looking from the
hill must have been proud of such a valiant son of Sindh. The great orator
within one hour clarified the history of Pakistan and the role of its
rulers. He stressed that Pakistan has never actually been sovereign. It has
been ruled as colony by Americans by appointing dummy rulers. He also stated
that Sindh is a colony within a colony. The only credible solution for the
existence of Pakistan is the 1940 resolution. He said there should be no
direct or indirect intervention of the Army in provincial matters and office
of the governor should be abolished constitutionally. He accused Musharraf
of acting against national interests just to remain in power. Mr Palijo
vowed to take their case to NWFP, Seraiki and Punjab and other provinces to
voice their rejection. He said Sindhis cannot remain silent when their five
thousand years old homeland is subjected to threats of dismemberment, and
hateful attempts are kept on at converting them into a minority within their
home-land.  Rasool Bux Palijo said Sindhis are being turned into minority in
their own province through influx of upcountry migration and free entry to
illegal aliens, he demanded immediate withdrawal of the Army from the
political sphere and rejected the existing population-based NFC Award. He
also condemned the killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti and called for end to the
military operation in Balochistan and urged for freeing all the nationalists
in Sindh and Balochistan. He said it is the mockery of federation, equality
and justice that in Punjab the Poverty has been reducing and in Sindh and
Balochistan it has been constantly increasing, the Seraikis, Balochs,
pakhtoons and Sindhis  are screaming out in pain and anguish but generals
and establishment and their ally terrorist mafia are busy in occupying
indigenous resources, contracts, lands & jobs like foreign invaders. He
called upon all journalists, writers, intellectuals, politicians and
civilized people of the Pakistan, Asia and World to raise their voice
against this autocratic dictatorship involved in genocide of 40 million
Sindhis. Rasool Bux Palijo said the Government has been engaged in arbitrary
arrests, torture and extra-judicial killing of democracy loving activists
belonging to province of Sindh and Balochistan. In his highly emotional and
inspiring speech Awami Tahreek chief urged the leaders of all the parties to
join in the efforts for the rights of Sindh. He appreciated the role of
Nawaz Sharif & Imran Khan for collective Anti Musharaf struggle & condemned
the attempts of so-called deal and urged political leaders not to compromise
and not to lose hope in masses and to join the peace loving common people on
roads, villages and towns of Sindh, Punjab, Pakhtoonkhwah, Seraiki and

The joint declaration of the Bhitshah National Conference read: "Present
ruling military clique be promptly dispatched to barracks to perform primary
job to defend the country" It said that Sindh, Balochistan, NWFP, Punjab and
Bengal were recognized in the constitutional contract of Pakistan as
thousands years old homelands thus none of them should be deprived of their
historic right and rule over their homelands by demographic aggression or
any other political mechanism/administrative juggleries. The resolution
termed the MQM a terrorist organization and said that its rule over Sindh
under the cover of bogus coalition with local treacherous, wadera stooges,
should be thrown out and this bunch of terrorists should never be allowed to
rule over destinies of Sindhis or loot their resources. The declaration
opposed direct/indirect and visible/invisible interference of centre in
provincial affairs through military interventions, bureaucracy and
intelligence agencies and senate should be made more powerful than National
Assembly for all legislation and decision making. "Office of governor should
be abolished constitutionally because it was always used and exploited as
tool of intervention in provincial matters", read the declaration which
opposed redesigning geographical boundaries of provinces by state against
wishes of indigenous people, especially Sindhis. It sought election of a new
genuine constituent assembly, based on equal representation from provinces
to frame a new constitution as per resolutions of March 23,1940 and April
12,1946 whereby subjects of federal and concurrent lists and all resources
including water, electricity, petroleum, gas ports, communications, coastal
lines, minerals etc be given to provinces and defence, foreign affairs and
currency be kept by centre. Opposing 91' water accord and so-called 1994
water distribution on historical use of water, it demanded restoration of
1945 Sindh-Punjab water distribution pact and no project, detrimental to
interest of Sindh or other smaller provinces, be planned/implemented whereas
Kalabagh or any other dam should not be built and rejected any more cuts or
diversion of Indus water. It stated that illegal Chashma-Jehlum,
Taunsa-Panjnad link canals should be closed forever and compensation of
Rs100 billion be paid to Sindhi people for water thefts of last 150 years.
Another resolution said that Sindh and Balochistan felt that the ruling
class of Punjab and military generals and their agents, immigrant terrorist
clique which had established their hegemony, ruled over them as their
conquered and occupied territories, treating them as their colonies in
political, constitutional, economic, cultural and demographic contests.
Therefore, such policies be abandoned and both provinces should exercise
their historic right of sovereignty in their homelands. Rejecting present
NFC award on population basis, the conference termed amended award,
announced by General Musharraf, as unconstitutional which doesn't meet
demands of Sindh and smaller provinces. "Sindh believes that establishment
and ruling class of Punjab after 1972 through coercion and manipulation had
siphoned-off financial rights of other provinces during military regimes and
controlled democratic governments. Sindh should be paid Rs3,000 billion as
compensation for injustice", it said. Condemning the murder of Nawab Akbar
Khan Bugti, it demanded an end to military operation in Balochistan and also
sought release of missing people, including Dr.Safdar Sarki, Asif Baladi and
political prisoners Akhtar Mengal, Javed Hashmi, Rauf Mengal, BSO leaders
and thousands of others. They should be compensated for torture, it added.
The conference ended at about 2 am. The people weathered the chilly night
with the warmth of their love for Sindh and oppressed peple of all provinces
within them. Guests were tired but glad that they came. The hope for a
better tomorrow was rekindled in thier hearts and also within the hearts of
all sindhis. The   conference gave a hope to the oppressed people of Sindh
and Pakistan that all is not lost.

Awami Tahreek (Peoples Movement)
Hyderabad, Sindh, Pakistan.
Phone: 92 - 22 - 2653277, 2783642, 2729964, 2651725, 0300-3063471,

More information about the Marxism mailing list