Hundreds of activists of the Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM), a banned Sindhi organisation in Pakistan, recently participated in a march in Hyderabad to demand independence for Sindh province and the release of Sindhi political activists abducted and enforced disappeared by the Pakistani Army and its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) wing.
The massive rally commenced from Sindh University (Old Campus) and ended at the District Press Club, Hyderabad.
Protestors carried banners and placards that demanded total independence for Sindh and urged the United Nations, international community and human rights organisations to take immediate notice of what they called Pakistani occupation of the province, and acts of Fascism, state torture, atrocities, besides exploitation of the region's rich natural resources.
Chanting slogans against Pakistani occupation, exploitation and brutality enthusiastically, the protesters questioned the authorities over enforced disappearances and killings of Sindhi freedom activists.
JSMM central coordination committee leader Asif Juno addressed the participants at the Hyderabad Press Club even as contingents of police and Pakistan Rangers tried to stop the march by unleashing a heavy baton charge and firing of teargas shells. More than 100 JSMM activists were arrested.
Exiled JSMM Chairman Shafi Burfat condemned the use of force and torture against the activists.
He said "Sindh has remained an independent country for ages. It was an independent country since the year 1843 when British imperialism invaded and subjugated it and gifted it to its loyal Punjabi mercenaries in 1947 to keep a hold of Indian Ocean waters. The independence movement of Sindh has been struggling for the restoration of its historic nationally independent identity. Today, Sindh is under theocratic fascist Punjabi occupation in Pakistan in the name of Islam. The Sindhi independence movement is fighting its case on diplomatic and international fronts effectively and the sacrifices, painstaking struggle and voice is gaining international acknowledgement for the historical, ideological and practical perspectives of the 'Sindh Case' in front of the international community and the entire civilised world today."
"And, that's why Pakistani theocratic, fascist military establishment, army, its savage agency ISI and Rangers (paramilitary forces) have imposed a ban on the JSMM and are practising ruthless barbaric torture against Sindhi political activists by abducting, enforced disappearing, torturing and killing them," he added.
The JSMM Chairman condemned what he called the state torture of protesters, describing it as "an open violation of the right to freedom of expression and speech".
He appealed to the international community to take immediate notice of the army instigated action against what he described as Sindhi political activists.
He said, "Sindhi political activists are being hunted, persecuted, abducted, enforced disappeared and killed, and even if someone raises his or her voice to appeal to the international community to take action against these Pakistani atrocities, he or she too is tortured, arrested, abducted, enforced disappeared and then killed."
He added, "The state is rapidly depoliticising Sindhi society, banning secular political organisations, right to freedom of speech and expression; imprisoning, abducting, torturing, enforced disappearing and killing the secular political activists and sponsoring a wide web of theocratic extremist Jihadi madrassahs (Islamic Religious Schools) throughout Sindh to radicalise secular Sindhi society. Tens of thousands of JSMM and JSQM activists have been abducted and enforced disappeared by the Pakistani Rangers, Army and the ISI."
He appealed to the UNO, USA, Germany, UK, France, India and the entire international community to "take immediate notice of Pakistani atrocities and support the independence of Sindh."
"Pakistan is the epicentre of Islamic terrorism, a nuclear proliferator, a graveyard of UN's Charter of Human Rights, theocratic Fascism, murderer of historic nations chained in its forced federation, and if the world wants attainment of global peace and annihilation of Islamic terrorism it must have to stop Pakistan and disintegrate it." he added.
Last month, the World Sindhi Congress (WSC) passed an important resolution in which it has called upon Pakistan to end all acts of exploitation of the indigenous Sindhi and other minorities.
Presenting a resolution on the abysmal human rights situation in Sindh and Balochistan before the media, World Sindhi Congress Representative Gul Sanai highlighted the atrocities and discrepancies being faced by Sindhi Hindus and other minorities in Pakistan.
"The Government of Pakistan is responsible for these extrajudicial killings in Sindh and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, forced conversions of Sindhi Hindus. We call upon the Government of Pakistan to address governance issues; restore the law and order situation; allocate substantial resources for development; generate employment and improve the quality of life in Sindh," the resolution stated.