- Feb 9, 2013
Washington: Pakistan's Sindh always possessed characteristics of a "viable independent state", but its role as Punjab's conduit to the sea may be the ultimate reason that successful separatism could not yield results, a first-ever US Congressional report on the strategic province has said.
In its report, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) -- an independent and bi-partisan research wing of US Congress -- said Sindh historically has possessed many of the trappings of a modern nation-state.
"Yet it exists in a circumstance wherein its autonomy (and that of Pakistan's other minority provinces") is significantly restrained by a politically and demographically dominant Punjabi province and ethnicity," said the report.
The CRS reports are prepared by eminent experts but are not considered the official position of US Congress. However, it is the first time CRS has prepared a report on Sindh which of late is facing serious discontent among locals.
"Although Sindh has always possessed most of the characteristics required for a viable independent state and some nationalist sentiments persist to this day its role as Punjab's conduit to the sea may well be the ultimate reason that successful Sindhi separatism faced long odds," it said.
A copy of the report was released to the media by Congressman Brad Sherman, who is the co-Chair of the small Congressional Caucus on Sindh.
"Sindh thus operates in a seemingly permanent state of disadvantage, and is seen by some to be unlikely to meet its full social and economic potential in the absence of major qualitative changes to the Pakistani state," said the report.
According to the report, Sindh's Mohajirs (Urdu-speaking people who migrated from India during partition) had their own autonomist movement from the mid-1980s until the early 2000s.
This was rooted in that community's loss of preeminence in provincial politics, bureaucracy, and industry, its lack of meaningful representation in the army, and its loss of identity following migration, among other factors.
After the 1970 election elevated a Sindhi to the prime ministership, Mohajir student organisations began efforts to consolidate community identity, and in 1984 the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) political party was founded, one with an early "penchant for torture, kidnapping, and murder."
Political violence in Karachi grew to such a scale that, by the early - 1990s, it had caught the attention of the army, which launched a crackdown that sent MQM leader Altaf Hussein into apparently permanent exile in London.
Yet the party remains a major player in the province and has continued to be dominant in Karachi proper. Sindhi-Mohajir frictions remain unresolved, especially given widespread perceptions among Mohajirs that the provincial government is fundamentally unable to serve their needs, the report said.
"Pervasive political, ethnic, and sectarian violence in Karachi has some analysts fearful that nuclear facilities near the city would be subjected to attack by militants."
Most western nations are created based on single language/ethnicity. So they find it difficult to grasp the unity in diversity of India (here in this case, north-west India i.e. what is currently called as Pakistan). When India became free nation, such views were common about India too i.e. this country will soon break-up. But after nearly seven decades no one talks such things about India anymore.
Normally I would condemn outsiders interfering internal matters of India (even in the rogue north-west India) and promoting too much regionalism.
But sadly the ruling class of current north-west India who received this land as Jagir from white colonizers sees itself as successor of Turkic/farsi invaders and their tribal culture under the flag of medieval Arabic imperialism and imposes this ideology on majority population/slave class. So what is the point of cribbing about unity in diversity of north-west India (now Pakistan)?
Maybe Sindh deserves to be free like Bangladesh?
After all, despite having suffered Islamic rule for longest time among Indian regions still maintained their native/Indian identity and culture to some extent- unlike east Punjab (which actually had much less period of central Islamic rule in past three centuries, and which is now eager to serve as mercenary and agent of colonizers / invaders). So maybe we should accept the idea of free Sindh like Bangladesh, despite it being against typical Indian unity in diversity.
Or should it be formally made part of Indian union?
But it is something that should be done by mainland Indian state; not by westerners/ Chinese:
Indians either cry like cry babies how Pakistan is bad boy and hurting us or at the most claim 'we will teach Pakistan a lesson.
But what exactly is this lesson?
This is Indian land, but in its present form it is a danger to India and we should have plan and will to reorganize the North-West region of Indian subcontinent.
So before Indians go gaga over this American comment and start saying let them handle Pakistan, let us see fun etc, I would like to remind how India became colonized. By 18th century, India was already largely de-Islamized except some of the regions that are now in Pakistan and Bangladesh and the ghetto cities of some Nawabs who managed to survive and temporarily accepted suzerainty of Native Indian rulers.
But Indian ruling class failed to unite and to organize proper well defined empire.
At this time British East India company started colonization by interfering in Indian internal matters and established firm foothold in the lands that were once under rule of Nawabs of Bengal/Hyderabad and then continuously expanded from there.
So I think India must have policy of zero tolerance for any foreign military base anywhere on the Indian subcontinent (or else why did we liberate Goa?) and must have its own plans and determination for managing post-Pakistan north-west.
But do we have any such well researched papers and proper analysis by our think tanks? Does Indian establishment's planning for war scenarios includes plans for temporary colonization/ administration of Pakistan and its political re-organization? If anyone knows such analysis by Indian think tanks please post links.