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JSQM, ANP move towards ‘more amicable’ relations

JSQM, ANP move towards ‘more amicable’ relations

  • Pakhtun workers in Karachi are guests, and will be treated with utmost respect according to the traditions of Sindh: JSQM
  • Sindhi people have the first and foremost right to resources of their province: ANP

By Urooj Zia (Pakistan Today; 30 December 2010)

KARACHI: The followers of G.M. Syed and Bacha Khan will uphold their leaders’ policy of non-violence and work together towards establishing and maintaining peace and cordial relations in the province, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) Chairperson Bashir Khan Qureshi and Awami National Party Sindh (ANP) chief Younus Buneri said during a press conference on Wednesday.

An ANP delegation had visited the JSQM chief at the latter’s residence in order to resolve issues which had come up between lower-level cadres of the two parties. “There had been some altercations between our cadres and those from the ANP,” JSQM secretary-general Asif Baladi told Pakistan Today. “We had been in touch with their leadership since Tuesday; and had decided to meet on Wednesday to resolve issues and remove misunderstandings amicably.”

The ANP leadership had claimed that JSQM members were involved in the murder on Monday of two Pakhtun men in Bhittaiabad, Sachchal Goth near Gulistan-e-Jauher. The JSQM leadership, however, distanced the party from incident, while maintaining that the incident might have been a ‘reaction of Sindhi residents of the area’ to ‘provocation’ from the Pakhtun. “On December 4, one of our cadres was killed while the boys were going around celebrating Sindhi Culture Day. Investigations showed that some Pakhtun were involved in his murder. As such, the responsibility for his death lies with the ANP,” Baladi said. “The Bhittaiabad incident might have been a reaction to these provocations; but we’d like to clarify that JSQM was not involved in it.”

This move towards patching relations with the ANP, however, does not change JSQM’s previous stance about the Pakhtun not being ‘sons of this soil’. “Our opposition to forcing internally-displaced people (IDPs) from Swat on to the people of Sindh had a different basis. The resources of Sindh belong to the Sindhi people. While we sympathised with the plight of the IDPs, we wanted our ‘older brother’ (Punjab) to chip in there,” Baladi clarified. “Ours is the politics of principles, not hatred. We do not believe in discrimination on the basis of ethnicity. Sindh is our land, and we treat all guests with the utmost respect.” The ANP leadership concurred, and said that the Pakhtun who came to Karachi were ‘guests’ who had travelled to the country’s largest metropolis in search of livelihood. “Any attempts to create class- or ethnicity-based rifts between our people will be made unsuccessful. The people of Sindh have the first and foremost right to the resources of their province, and we hope to work with them over larger issues such as the Kalabagh Dam and the maintenance of peace in Sindh,” Buneri said.

Wednesday’s meeting, meanwhile, has not resulted in any ‘formal alliance’, but is a “good start”, the JSQM leadership maintains. “Let’s see where it goes in the future. We firmly believe that politics should not harm common people, regardless of their ethnicity, and our talks with the ANP are a good step in that direction,” the JSQM secretary-general said.

  1. December 31, 2010 at 18:26

    I got an email last night and today from ANP Sindh spokesperson Qadir Khan regarding this piece. I’m not sure who directed him to my blog, but I’m glad he thought that the piece was balanced. :-)

    Email screenshots here: https://forty2d.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/anp-1.jpg
    and here: https://forty2d.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/anp-2.jpg

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