A frustrated enemy is a vicious enemy because sensing failure he resorts to underhand measures but tries to give them a semblance of legality so he can justify it to others. Undoubtedly he looks for justifications but in the last analysis his logic is that of the parable of the wolf and lamb; he is bent on doing evil he doesn’t really care for justifications and legality and commits all the crimes under the sun to ensure his survival. Though he uses all ploys and ruses he eventually fails because the wheels of history move according to its own laws and cares not a whit for the power of those who wish to defy its laws. This adage applies to historical processes in its spirit, essence and application; “Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small; Though with patience He stands waiting, with exactness grinds He all.” History grinds to dust those who flout its laws.
Last month just before its demise the PPP government undermined the secular and progressive forces in Sindh and Balochistan and proved itself as committed and die hard enemy of Sindhi and Baloch people by banning Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM) and Baloch Student organization-Azad (BSO-A). Both these organizations have suffered terribly at hands of Pakistani establishment for their determined struggle against the oppression and denial of rights to people in Sindh and Balochistan. These organizations have refused to compromise their principles in face the terror that has been unleashed against them.
JSMM ably led by Shafi Burfat for long has been actively struggling for the historical and political rights of people of Sindh and in the last few years quite a few of its leaders have become victims of abduct, torture and murder policy. On April 21th Siraie Qurban Kohawar, Ropilu Cholyani and Noorullah Tunio of Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM) were travelling from Khipro to Sanghar in a car, they were intercepted and fired upon by unidentified armed men in a Land Cruiser who then set their car alight. Siraie Qurban and Roplu Choulyani were killed on the spot while injured Noorullah Tunio, who later died, recorded his statement with the police and narrated the details of the cowardly and horrific attack. Such vicious attacks have forced JSMM to change its tactics.
Muzaffar Bhutto JSMM’s Secretary General went missing on February 25, 2011. He was abducted once before in October 2005 from Tariq Road, Karachi but returned later. His wife Saima Bhutto appealed to the international community and human rights organisations for his recovery and petitioned the Sindh High Court requesting his freedom from illegal custody of the ISI but nothing happened. Then on May 22, 2012 her worst fears were realized when her 42-year-old husband’s corpse was brought home. Numerous activists of different factions of Jeay Sindh have been abducted but released after torture. The struggle for Sindh’s rights is bound to get more and more painful as the desperate establishment tries to deter those who selflessly seek rights for Sindhis.
BSO (Azad) has been in the forefront in demanding the rights of Baloch for nearly five decades now. It has agitated peacefully and served the Baloch nation in times of national disasters but in return it has suffered immeasurably at the hands of Pakistani establishment and its dirty war death squads. So far 105 BSO (Azad) activists have been victims of the systematic dirty war against Baloch and this is apart from those missing like Zakir Majeed. The names are too numerous to list and include office bearers and workers alike.
Unfortunately the leaders in Sindh in contrast to Baloch leaders have always strived to make people accept whatever crumbs come their way and to accept the unfavorable status quo as a blessing. Balochistan would have had been swamped demographically, economically, culturally and naturally politically by others had they not resisted the injustices from day one. The people of Sindh will have to assert their rights if they are to survive as an historical, cultural and political entity and this certainly will not happen under leadership of Pakistan Peoples’ Party.
The struggle for rights is never easy because rights do not come gratis there have to sacrifices. I think the outspoken and peoples’ friendly American historian Howard Zinn explains it very eloquently and forcefully. He says, “Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders… Historically, the most terrible things – war, genocide, and slavery – have resulted not from disobedience, but from obedience and millions have been killed because of this obedience…Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves… (and) the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem.” This problem of chronic and abject obedience is also one of the main problems that confronts Sindhis and has brought them to a pass where they stand to lose everything if they continue to accept their condition of slavery as their inevitable fate.
The people have to awaken to the seriousness of the prevailing situation which is steadily dragging them irretrievably into a morass of historical obliteration. They have to understand this and change their attitudes. Without struggle and effort we will wither away like the indigenous populations of Americas and Australia.
There is a lesson for all in Mumia Abu Jamal’s life and quotes he is at present serving a life sentence in America of fabricated charges of murder and even from jail has remained outspoken and defiant. About those who remain content with only talking about rights of people, he says, “When a cause comes along and you know in your bones that it is just, yet refuse to defend it–at that moment you begin to die. And I have never seen so many corpses walking around talking about justice.” The people of Sindh cannot afford to be living corpses if they want their historical rights.
In the end I again remind the readers that struggle is never an easy option especially when one is up against an enemy who is hell bent on depriving you of your rights and resources but then it is better to face trouble than be a living corpse. The choice is ours to make; do we want to live as the establishment and their backed political parties decide or do we work towards a change. History’s grindstone is unforgiving and relentless and waits and cares for no one.