Home > Uncategorized > Akash Mallah: One activist, several claimants

Akash Mallah: One activist, several claimants


Akash Mallah: One activist, several claimants

By Urooj Zia (Pakistan Today; 31 December 2010)

KARACHI: Senior Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) activist Akash Mallah went missing after being allegedly kidnapped by intelligence agencies in October 2009 while he was the JSQM central vice-chairman. During his absence, one faction, led by then-secretary-general Safdar Sarki, split from the main party and formed the Jeay Sindh Mahaz (JSM). The new faction decided to name Mallah as their secretary-general, while during JSQM elections, he was elected in absentia as the party’s central vice-chairman again. It remains to be seen which faction he will join after being recovered.

Mallah began his political career with the Jeay Sindh Students’ Federation (JSSF), and was close to the Jeay Sindh Tehrik (JST), which was led by Gul Muhammad Jakhrani and current JSQM chief Bashir Khan Qureshi. When the militant JST and more intellectually-inclined JSM merged in 1995 to form JSQM, Mallah was inducted into the party’s first central committee.

He was kidnapped by the agencies in 2006 and went missing for 10 months at the time, JSQM secretary-general Asif Baladi told Pakistan Today. “When Akash Mallah was released, there were no cases against him. In order to save face, the police lodged an FIR against him for the alleged possession of hashish, and he was granted bail,” he said.

Mallah was active in the preparations for JSQM’s November 2009 ‘Freedom March’ in Karachi. “All October, we worked hard to mobilise people for the march, and Mallah was always with us,” Baladi said. “I last met him in Nawabshah in the last week of October 2009. He went missing somewhere between October 25 and 29, along with Noor Muhammad Khaskheli, who was released later.”

Several protests were organised to demand Mallah’s release, and rallies have been planned for January 2, 2011, in all district headquarters of Sindh. “News about the Supreme Court’s latest decision regarding Mallah is extremely welcome and very encouraging. It shows that the concept of justice has not been completely eradicated yet,” Baladi said. “We hope Akash Mallah will be recovered soon.”

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