Sindh’s struggle for abolition of One Unit – X
One Unit was imposed to alter demography, grab resources and strategically control wealth of Sindh.
Pakistan Jamhuri Party believed that opponents of One Unit are agents of foreign countries, the enemy of Islam, anarchists, provincialists and anti-Pakistan.
Dr. Zaffar Junejo
(Author’s Note: One Unit was dissolved on 1st July, 1970. Sindhi nation along with Bengalis, Balochis, and Pathans fought against it through platforms of cultural associations, literary organizations and political parties. By and large One Unit was opposed across Pakistan however the Anti-One Unit Movement’s epicenter was Sindh. Sindh opposed One Unit because it was considered a tool to alter its demography, grab resources and strategically control wealth of the province. Sindhi nationalists, supported by other political parties forged an association to realize one point agenda – dismantle One Unit. They carried the struggle in all odd and even situations, and bore the cost – jails, punishments, insults, life threats and issuing of ‘certificates’ of disloyalty and treachery but they continued their struggles, and got it undone – Sindh was restored with its full name, and titles.
In 2020, an idea was floated by some Sindh-lovers that Sindh has to celebrate Anti-One Unit Abolition Day as the Golden Jubilee event, just to cherish, and recall the successful struggle of Sindhi peoples. In this regard, the author intends to translate some of the basic and most relevant documents from Sindhi language into English, in sprit of celebration and remembrance. The first in the series is Saeen GM Syed’s article: One Unit Jo Qiyam: Mukhalfan Ja Khadsha and Muwafqan Ja Faidi Mean Dalil (Formation of One Unit: Opponents’ Apprehensions and Supporters’ Arguments in its favor).
The article is taken from the booklet: One Unit Ji Kahani (The Story of One Unit). The book was authored by GM Syed and published by Yar Muhammad Ibin Hayat Panhwar, Secretary Sindh Mutaheda Mahaz, Markazi Office, Al-Khalil Building, Qazi Qayoum Road, Hyderabad. Its printer was Begum Zeenat Channa, ‘Zeenat Printers’ Khokhar Mahlo Hyderabad. Its first edition with 2000 copied came in November, 1969 – Dr. Zaffar Junejo.)
One Unit Ji Kahani (The Story of One Unit) – X
Pakistan Jamhuri Party
The groups included in the above party are:
- Chaudhry Muhammad Ali’s group (he was founder of One Unit and strong supporter).
- Mian Nurul Amin’s group (he was expelled and disliked by Bengalis)
- Nawabzada Nasurullah’s group (He is supporter of One Unit and expansionist)
- Retired Air Marshal Asghar Khan (Honest, harmless, simpleton, and totally ignorant about political tricks)
Till now the program made by these groups is larger even from the Satan’s intestine. I have reviewed and understood it, and I have inferred that they demand:
The Constitution of 1956 should be accepted immediately, and One Unit’s question let be resolved by the Constituent Assembly. If it is so, then who knows that according to the Constitution of 1956, how One Unit could be constitutionally dissolved?
- This party believes that opponents of One Unit are agents of foreign countries, the enemy of Islam, anarchists, provincialists and anti-Pakistan. The mission of this party is known to all patriotic persons of small provinces. Therefore, there is no need to write more or explain more. Honestly, we have concluded that this party first of all intends to serve ‘permanent interest’ of the residents of Punjab, and in doing so, it exploited Bhutto Saheb’s leadership. Now, Air Marshal Asghar Khan is their new leader and they have deserted Bhutto Saheb.
Sindh Mutaheda Mahaz
In another essay, I have briefly written on history, objectives, and methodology of Sindh Mutaheda Mahaz. Therefore, in the present write-up, I would describe what compelled us to form Sindh Mutaheda Mahaz, and through its platform, what we want to achieve:
- All-Pakistan parties’ leadership mostly hailed from big province. Therefore, in such case small provinces’ parties, which intend to struggle for the constitutional rights shouldn’t jump into the boast, which is rowed by unskilled and greedy boatman.
- Presently, the pressing constitutional issue of the small provinces is abolishing of One Unit and restoration of old provinces. According to the thinkers of Sindh Mutaheda Mahaz, till now all India as well as all Pakistan parties have never resolved issues of smaller provinces. On the other hand, whenever we dissolved our parties in their parties, we lose our identity, and distinguish status. Most of the time, we remained disarrayed and gradually our exploitation continued.
- We are of the views that next Constituent Assembly’s role would be to make the constitution rather than the law. Therefore, it is possible that from the period of the constitution making till elections of national assemblies and provincial assemblies, government and power would remain with the same leadership. If it happened, then none should expect welfare, revolutionary steps, and constructive programs.
- We want to establish Mutaheda Mahaz in Sindh, and afterwards intend to open the Fronts (Mahazs) in other provinces, and then all these Fronts would form a collective Mahaz (Front), it would work with Bengal’s parties for abolishing One Unit. The Front (Mahaz) would surely form an alliance with them, but it wouldn’t dissolve itself into any of the party. We should understand that there is different between alliance and merger.
- Presently, our alliance is fixed around one agenda, abolishing of One Unit, and restoration of old provinces based on language and culture. It must be understood that members of the alliance have different ideologues: some of them are supporters of Shariat, others are promoters of Socialism, and another group promotes Capitalism. However, in the alliance, there is only one goal – abolish One Unit, and restore old provinces. Afterwards, all are free to work according their ideas and situations, such as establishing of the welfare state or other programs.
- We should be very much clear that acceptance of the Constitution of 1956, approval of zonal federation, and confrontation with Bengal’s lead political parties would ultimately create hurdles in the dismantling of One Unit.
- Currently, it is vindicated that raising of personal issues, highlighting the groups’ interests, indulging in ideological discussions around economic issues, and igniting religious and non-religious issues would break our unity and disturb the collective aim. Thus the emerged situation would encourage others to take advantage and convey Bengal’s major parties that leadership of smaller provinces is infighting to each other it is immature. Therefore, there is no need to form an alliance with them.
- We will participate in the election, particularly with one agenda abolishing of One Unit, and restoration of old provinces. We will take a solemn promise from our candidates that they would never endorse the Constitution of 1956, and also reject the proposal of zonal federation. If anyone deviates from this principle of Sindh Mutaheda Mahaz and retains his party’s identity, then we have right to assume that he has trade off national interests for his personal gains. On the contrary, his apparent acts against One Unit wouldn’t be trusted.
- The office bearers of Sindh Mutaheda Mahaz will be away from taking ministries, it is decided so, as they could keep an eye on the elected members, and be able to communicate confidently to the people that their aim was neither power nor personal interest.
- We have established Sindh Mutaheda Mahaz’s central office at Al-Khalil Building, Qazi Abdul Qayyum Road. We also plan to establish offices in the district headquarters and talukas.
- Initially, we have formed a working Committee and have started work. Soon the Council, District bodies, including Taluka bodies would be formed, and we have already appealed the people to form village branches.
- Sindh Mutaheda Mahaz’s constitution and program would be prepared soon.
- The members of other party could be part of our upcoming constitutional assembly election drive, if they have agreed to the principle of abolishing One Unit and restoration of old provinces. If their parties support One Unit, and they uphold the agreed principle, then their action would be considered loyal to the cause.
- We believe in persuasion, trust in change of heart, and try utmost that all people should join us. But, if someone avoids and not be with us, then we reserve our right to get an explanation form to him about his detachment, and we also have right to aware the people about his position. (First chapter of the book Ends)
Dr. Zaffar Junejo has a Ph.D. in History from the University of Malaya. His areas of interest are post-colonial history, social history and peasants’ history.
Click here for Part-I , Part-II, Part-III, Part-IV , Part-V , Part-VI, Part-VII, Part-VIII , Part-IX