Monday, June 06, 2005

What do Sindhi leaders want?

Sindhi are blessed or cursed with many types of leaders. Most of them wish for welfare for people of Sindh. However, "welfare" has different meaning for different leaders. In many cases, "welfare" literally starts from home. However, for many others, self is not necessarily the first stop. they struggle for broader good.

At least four different groups of leaders come to mind:
Nationalist leaders,
Leaders of national political parties,
Government servants and
Leaders of religious parties.

Nationalist leaders
There are differnt types of Sindhi nationalist leaders:
Some have concluded that Pakistan has been taken over by enemy forces. Only way out for Sindhis is to become independent. They seek right of self determination.

Some seek autonomy and limited role of the federal government as promised under Pakistan Resolution.

Some are reportedly agents of Pakistani, Indian or other governments hiding under nationalist cloaks.

Leaders of National parties.

The leaders of national parties seek continuation and strengthening of Pakistan. They seek welfare of Sindhis within Pakistan. They also recognize that non-democratic forces have captured Pakistan. However, they also know that without support of such establishment, political power and authority is not possible. Accordingly, the national political party leaders give first priority to winning support of the establishment.

Then there are total stooges of establishment. Who wait for martial laws to keep entering government. With some notable exceptions, self-enhancement is primary objective. They will join any and every party. For them, being Sindhi is purely a coincidence.

Leaders of exception in this group want to help Sindhis. They seek power primarily to help others. There is struggle within them. Often, they end up compromising with the establishment.

Government officials

Sindhi government officials are probably the most powerful leaders of Sindh. They are always there no matter who the ministers are. They have the knowledge of rules and day-to-day authority to help, hurt or be neutral. Most of them tend to choose the fourth option, which is self-preservation. Of course, in the process, they become willing agents of the establishment. If one assumes that the establishment is anti Sindhi, then by definition, most of the Sindhi officials become anti Sindhis too for the sake of self-preservation.

Religious party leaders

The religious party leaders obviously give first priority to religion. For them strong Ummah and therefore strong Pakistan is important. For them implementation of Islamic law is high priority. For many of them justice is a very important part of the religion too. However, desire for justice gets burried among other priorities.

How to bring leaders of different types together?

There have been many many efforts for unity. Religious leaders of different faiths have united under one group in Pakistan. However, Sindhis have rarely come together. Some causes such as Kalabagh dam comes closes to bringing about unity. One has to keep trying.

Bottom line

The bottom line is that Sindh has too many leaders. They have different goals and approaches for achieving goals. Sindhis have not been as lucky as Punjabis, muhajirs or Pathans. In their cases, the political leaders have been able to help their own communities while staying in good books of establishment. Only rarely they have been labelled anti-Pakistan. Sindhis have not been so lucky. They have to choose Sindhi cause or establishment. Those who have chosen Sindhi cause have been labelled anti-Pakistan and have been unable to be a part of any government. Accordingly, they have been eternally outsiders.

Reportedly, many of them have ended up making compromises—openly or secretly.

I hope, that time will come, when helping Sindhis will not be considered an anti-Pakistan act. I also hope that Sindhi leaders can somehow get together for welfare of Sindhi people.


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