Sindhi protest march against Kalabagh Dam
Re-writing of Constitution, Social, Political Terms to Stay in
M A Siddiqui
May 23: In a landmark Charter of Demands almost the entire intellectual
and thinking spectrum of Pakistan’s southern province of
Sindh has demanded re-writing of the Constitution and revising
the legal, constitutional and geo-strategic terms on which Sindh
may stay as a part of Pakistan.
the Charter, presented and approved at the Sindh National Conference,
held at Bhitshah, on May 21, 2005, Sindhis living in Pakistan
and overseas loudly proclaimed that “Sindh reserves the
right to revisit its historic decision (to join Pakistan) in light
of the way it has been (mis)treated within the union.”
say the Charter is one more outcome of the continued military
rule in Pakistan which has endangered national unity and integrity
to a point where not only Balochistan is simmering with violent
nationalist dissent but now Sindh has joined it with the formation
of a coalition of all political, nationalist, literary and intellectual
forces, demanding an immediate end to exploitation of their rights
by Punjab, the largest province.
“The Charter is a manifestation
of what the Sindhis are now thinking and planning and if in due
course corrections are not made, this Charter could become the
basis for the current political and intellectual struggle to turn
into an armed struggle against the dominance of the Pakistan Army
and elite of Punjab,” a Jamshoro University professor said.
The Charter just stops short of
declaring that Sindh was parting ways from Pakistan but it gives
repeated warnings, between the lines, that this may ultimately
It says: “It is worth mentioning
that there was no legal or constitutional obligation for any member
states to form the union under Pakistan. It was a simple matter
of choice and discretion and a volunteer act on behalf of Sindh
to enter this union. Sindh reserves the right to revisit its historic
decision in light of the way it has been treated within the union.”
Likewise it adds: “People
of Sindh demand that the Government of Pakistan should pass such
legislation as to assure stable majority of Sindhis and their
right to rule over their homeland, forever.”
It attacks the Pakistan Army and
its interests without mincing any words and says: “Armed
forces have continuously subverted provincial autonomy under the
pretext of National Integrity, partly because the Pakistan Army
remains to be a regional army without attaining a national and
and officers cadre belong to only two provinces of Pakistan. In
order to promote partnership in the well-being and integrity of
Pakistan, a national conscription must be introduced at once.
Sindh be given a provincial quota in the Army and other Federal
Services and no recruitment should be made from such province
as have already excess representation, the Charter says.
Demanding re-writing of the Constitution,
the Charter says the Center should be given charge of only three
subjects, Defense, Currency and Foreign affairs and the Senate
should be empowered over the National Assembly.
order to retain member states into a union, Pakistan must become
a truly federal state with empowering Senate with equal representation
from all states and over-riding powers over National Assembly.
All appointments to federal courts, Supreme Court, Chief Election
Commissioner, members and chairman of Federal Public Service Commission,
Ambassadors, heads of autonomous bodies, and Chiefs of Staff of
the Army, Navy and Air Force, should be made after the scrutiny
and approval of the Senate.
a radical proposal copied from the US constitution, the Charter
says the provincial governors should be directly elected by the
people and must have veto power over every decision of the provincial
assembly unless overturned by two-third majority of the house.
of the noticeable observations and proposals in the Charter include:
The Federal Government on account of the forcible usurpation of
the capital of Sindh, Karachi, during the years 1948-70, must
give a compensation of Rs100 billion to the province of Sindh.
The said amount be utilized for educational and developmental
uplift of indigenous people of Sindh who were adversely affected
by the usurpation of their historic port city, and the nerve center
of their entire commercial, economic and cultural life, and the
greatest generator of jobs in their province.
A compensation of Rs200 billion be paid by the Federal Government
to the Sindhi people, for giving away the urban property and business
to the immigrants under confiscatory settlement laws enacted by
the immigrant bureaucracy, there by closing all avenues for indigenous
people to urbanize and to enter into business and industry.
Rs200 billion be paid to the indigenous people of Sindh by the
Federal Government as compensation for the agricultural lands
given away to non-locals in Kotri and Guddu Barrage command, that
right fully belonged to the indigenous people of Sindh.
- A panel of judges of world repute,
belonging to SARC, OIC and World Court be appointed, finally to
settle the 1853-2005 Sindh-Punjab water dispute.
By a secret agreement at Jullunder both the sides (India and Pakistan)
decided to set afoot a world class conspiracy to defraud Sindh
of its share of the common waters. The matter was quietly withdrawn
from the competent Arbitral Tribunal, flow of water to Pakistan
was stopped by prior arrangement, hue and cry was raised, a false
Indo-Pak crisis and a farce of Indo-Pak talks for its resolution
were created whereby both sides viz West and East Punjab mis appropriated
the bulk of water from the common rivers at the cost of Sindh.
The plunder goes on unabated.
- Three Pakistani rivers Ravi,
Bias and Sutlej whose waters were the common property of Punjab
and Sindh and others as upper and lower riparians, were illegally
and secretly sold to India for peanuts as a part of the secret
- All laws of the new State of
Pakistan were crafted to create a new class of powerful and privileged
group of people and to establish a colony within a new multinational
State. As a result Sindh and other small provinces were systematically
thrown into an economic, political and cultural abyss.
All businesses and properties of the prosperous Hindus were arbitrarily
allotted to the immigrants who did not have to provide any proof
of ownership of property of equal value in India. Only an affidavit
and two witnesses were required to validate the claim. No native
Sindhi was allowed to keep any property even if legally purchased
and owned before the partition.
Systematically overthrowing popularly elected governments with
the help of religious extremists and parties engaged in acts of
urban terrorism have paved way for a rule by minority and anti-people
pseudo-political groups in provincial and central governments.
- It is in the utmost national
interest of Sindhi people to have true democracy and not a dictatorship
of minority in Pakistan. Having no significant representation
in armed forces, bureaucracy, business and media, true democracy
and government of genuine representatives is the only leverage
available to Sindh to win her due place in the union.
- An ethno-linguistic terrorist
and fascist organization has been handed over the Government of
Sindh against all norms of democracy and decency and this terrorist
organization is using its place of privilege to constantly conspire
to divide Sindh on ethnic lines.
- State of Pakistan must stop
and reverse all acts of ethnic cleansing and demographic re-engineering
of Sindh, which is designed to convert native population into
a minority through massive importation of immigrants from all
over the world. Pakistani immigration department should be overhauled
to clean it from corrupt and foreign born officers, which have
no allegiance with Sindh or Pakistan. Unchecked immigration is
a clear and present threat to the national security.
- To stop the persistent influx
into Sindh of migrants from other provinces and other countries,
a strict immigration and naturalization process be put in the
place. No one shall be able to work without seeking a work permit
or a permanent resident status. Pakistani citizenship shall only
be awarded to immigrants of good moral character and those who
have played by the rules and have no criminal record during their
at least 6 years of lawful permanent status in the country.
- The constitution should be so
amended that for employment and self employment purposes a citizen
of Pakistan should obtain a work permit if he is to work in a
province other than his province of permanent residence, and such
work permit be issued only when the host province has zero un-employment
- All undocumented residents or
those who have manufactured fraudulent documents should be deported
to their countries of origin. These laws are enforced even in
societies, which are claimed to be the beacons of freedom and
human rights. It is not a human right to secure economic immigration.
It is only a privilege at the discretion of host country.
- To maintain sanctity of democratic
institutions, only born or naturalized citizens shall have a right
to vote in local or national elections. Anyone found guilty of
acquiring voting right through fraudulent means shall be sentenced
to imprisonment and be subjected to automatic deportation after
- The Constitution should be so
amended that citizens should have right to vote only in the places
and provinces of their permanent residence and no one should have
a right to vote unless he/she is the resident of a place and province
for no less than 15 years.
Pakistan's defense budget is not transparently made and spent.
Likewise Pakistan's defense policy is a complete failure, the
reason behind is that it does not represent all four provinces,
therefore it must put before discussion in all four provincial
assemblies and National Assembly and decisions must be made in
the light of resolutions by the joint session of parliament.
- The district government system
in the name of so-called devolution of power introduced by the
establishment should be abolished, as it is unworkable and has
become a cause of great confusion and misery for the common man
and also as a source of conflict between provincial and local
- All cases against terrorists
that were dropped by current and previous Sindh Governments should
be re-opened and pursued and all terrorists and murderers must
be punished according to the fair legal procedures and requirements.
Persons responsible for this criminal practice of causing such
heinous injustice be punished sternly.
sponsors of the Charter say it has has been drafted, proposed
and approved by more than 60,000 Hari and mazdoor activists, students
and by the office bearers and representatives of political parties,
men and women from all walks of life including leaders of the
Sindh Consultative Forum, Pakistan Peoples Party, Awami Tahreek,
Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party, Sindh National Front, Sindh Culture
and Literature Development Committee, Sindhiani Tahreek, Sindhi
Association of North America, Muslim League (Nawaz) Sindh Chapter,
World Sindhi Congress (Washington, DC), Sindh Intellectual Forum,
Sindhi Adabi Sangat, Jamiat Ulema Islam, Pakistan Labour Party,
Balochistan National Movement, Sindh Research Council, Center
for Peace and Human Development, Friends of the River Indus, National
Workers Party and Sindh Graduate Association.
signatories of the Charter include, among others: Iqbal Tareen
(USA), Professor Mushtaq Mirani, Rasool Bux Palijo, Dr. Azeem
Almani, Senator Abdul Majeed Qazi, Shafiq Moosvi, Ali Nawaz Memon
(USA), Haidar Shahani, Agha Shahabudin, Ishaq Tunio (USA), Yousuf
Nasqandi, Aijaz Hakro Advocate, Makhdoom Shahnawaz, Ayaz Latif
Palijo Advocate, Professor Umar Chand (New Zealand), MPA Sassui
Palijo, G N Mughal, Nazeer Memon, Mairaj Muhammad Khan, Sarwech
Sujawali, Rehana Channar, Professor Siraj Siyal, Wishnoo Mal,
Sany H Panhawar (USA), Zahida Shaikh, A G Chandio, Abdul Majid
Nizamani, Abrar Kazi, Maheen Hisbani, Aftab Bhutto Advocate, Mariam
Majeedi, Zain Ansari, Afzal Gujjar, Alam Shah, Khalid Hashmani
(USA), Ghulam Nabi Mughal, Sanam Marui, Mion Ali Muhammad Walhari,
Altaf Khaskheli, Amar Guriro, Professor Ameer Ali Qadri, Aziz
Gopang, Dodo Chandio, Dr Mumtaz Bhutto, Ghulam Mustafa Soomro,
Dr Shams Siddiqui, Ghafar Malik, Ghulam Nabi Morai, Ghulam Rasool
Chandio, Gul Muhammad Jakhrani, Ahmed Makhdoom (Singapore), Hafeez
Kunbhar, Humera Noor Bajeer, Imtiaz Chandio, Iqbal Mallah, Ishaq
Samejo, MPA Makhdoom Jamil-u-Zaman, Usman Baloch, Molana Azam
Jahangeeri, Mansoor Dahri, Maqsood Memon, Muhammad Ali Legahri,
Muhammad Khan Bhurgri, Sabeen Baloch, Mushtaq Rajpar, Muzafar
Sadiq Bhatti, Hameero Mal, Nazeer Qureshi, Jami Chandio, Nazir
Naz, Jiee Zareena Baloch, Abdul Qadir Ranto, Aslam Baloch, Dr.
Qamar Wahid, Mir Hasan Areesar, Dr. Qasim Bughio, Professor Najma
Shaikh, Rashid Rajar, Rafik Mangi, Rahmatullah Hisbani, Dr. Nazia
Yaqoob Memon (Thailand), Roshan Sunder Chandio, Sohail Kalhoro
(UK), Noor Nabi Rahoojo, Professor Saeeda Bashir Chandio, Kamal
Chang, Ayoob Sarhandi, Sardar Shah, Sobho Gianchand, Waqar Nathan
Shahi, Ali Haidar Shah, Dr. Gulzar Jumani, Sarfraz Vistaro, Tahira
Pirah Baloch, Asee Zameeni, Shahab Mughal, Hafeeza Talpur (UK),
Zulfiqar Halepoto, Deedar Baloch Advocate, Inam Shaikh, Gul Mallah
(UAE), Wahab Munshi, Dr Agha Taj, Zafar Leghari Advocate, Sattar
Morio, Allah Bux Bukhari, Tanweer Junejo, Saifullah Nizamani (USA),
Yasir Kachelo, Shams Ursani, Durgawati Rajput, Zeb Nizamani, Aziz
Buriro, Hasan Wasan, Saleem Channa, Mutafa Karim Patoli, Inayat
Baloch, Zubeda Birwani, Akhtar Baloch, Hadi Bhatt Advocate, Ilyas
Khokhar, Nazeer Leghari, Dr. Zulfiqar Rahoojo, Atta Rajar, Ameer
Bukhari, Muzafar Kalhoro, Ayoob Shar, Ramzan Chandio, Ayoob Gul,
Mitho Maheri, Sodho Jogi, Farheen Mughal, Wasand Tharee, Hanif
Sarang, Gul Hasan Keerano, Lal Jarwar, Maghan Lal, Ali Muhammad
Parvez, Ibrahim Sarang, Shabeer Shar Advocate, Aziz Solangi, Jalal
Kori, Sarwech Sario, Mohsan Abbasi, Arif Junejo, Muhammad Maroo
Khushk, Professor Nadeem Malik, Ibrahim Kunbhar, Adal Soomro,
Shafiq Kandhro, Ghaffar Bhutto, Hissam Memon, Muhammad Ali Deeplai,
Khalil Mustafa, Qazi Manzar Hayat, Sarwar Bari, Imdad Husaini,
Malik Dino Shaikh (USA), Ali Nawaz Dahri, Professor Abdul Rehman
Sial, Shaukat Jogi (Australia), Ghulam Hussain Chang, Sarwar Nawaz
Bughio, Professor Tahmeena Mufti, Ghansham Prakash, Khalid Maroo,
Mahitab Mahboob, Noor Muhammad Bajeer, Muhammad Siddique Otho,
Ghulam Hussain Malookani, Sarmad Palijo, Jabbar Habibani, Ehsan
Leghari, Qamardin Khoso, Ashfaque Soomro, Zarar Peerzado, Irshad
Leghari, Rashid Daudpoto, Adeel Mahar.