Baloch and Sindhi nationalist activists paid tributes to the late Sindhi leader GM Syed on his 112th birth anniversary on January 16.
The World Sindhi Congress and GM Syed Memorial Committee held a program at the Toronto Reference Library in Toronto, Canada, which was attended by several Sindhi and Baloch nationalist activists.
GM Syed is considered the founding father of modern Sindhi nationalism and he is known for his secular and non-violent activism for a Sindhu Desh. Sindhis, across the world, follow his teachings almost religiously.
Baloch Students Organization-Azad leader Latif Johar also spoke at the event in Toronto. He was presented with a Sindhi Ajrak, a Sindhi tradition to pay respect.
The program began with Sindh’s national anthem. Later, Dileep, the head of the World Sindhi Congress, spoke to the audience, claiming that Sindh’s history is 50,000 years old. “Over the course of history, Sindh has resisted the aggression of the Greeks, Arabs, Afghans, British and Pakistani.”
He said Syed never preached violence. “He realized that the Pakistani establishment was trying to change the demography, ideology, culture and mythologies of Sindh.”
According to him, Syed never tried to break Pakistan but resisted aggression.
“GM Syed is not with us but no one can stifle his voice and eliminate his teachings whih are ingrained in Sindhi society. Sindh can only survive by following his teachings.”
Zaffar Baloch, President of the Baloch National Movement (BNM) in Canada, said that Syed wanted nothing less than the complete freedom of Sindh.
“He was detained for 30 years not for his non-violence or Sufism but for his demand for the complete independence of Sindh.”
Baloch also spoke about Pakistani aggression in Balochistan.
GM Syed initially supported the Muslim League’s demand for the partition of the united India and the creation of Pakistan. Later, the Pakistani establishment saw him as a threat for Pakistan’s stability due to his Sindhi nationalism. He was imprisoned for several decades.
Mumtaz Kashmiri said he changed his after realizing that Pakistan is a threat to the survival of Sindh. “He tried reconciliation with the Pakistani establishment but he was forced to demand for the independence of Sindh.”
Latif Johar thanked the organizers for inviting him to speak on the occasion. He highlighted the human rights abuses in Balochistan and the BSO’s role in resisting Pakistani occupation.
Addressing Sindhi leaders, he said they should end their confusion and select a path from the two: either to live with Pakistan or struggle for freedom. “Unless a decision is made, you will get nothing.”
He said the Baloch have decided once and for all that they won’t live with Pakistan.