Pakistan is on the verge of disintegration, says exiled Sindhudesh leader Zafar Sahito
By Arun Lakshman
Chennai, April 10 (IANS): Zafar Sahito, leader of the Jeay Sindh Freedom Movement (JSFM) who lives in exile in the United States, says Pakistan was a state created by false ideology and for international benefit for the British, and now it has become a liability for everyone and is on the verge of disintegration. Sindhi, Baloch and the Pashtuns are totally unhappy with the dominance of Punjabis in Pakistan and this contradiction is creating major problems for the country.
The JSFM leader regularly raises issues related to the cruelty faced by the Sindhi community in Pakistan in various international forums. Sahito remains in regular contact with members of the US Congress and political leaders in Europe and the UK to gain support for the cause and the atrocities committed by the Pakistani military against the people of Sindhudesh.
Excerpts from an IANS interview with Sahito.
Q. What is the current position of Sindhudesh?
A. The struggle for Sindhudesh is brewing day by day as the people of “occupied” Sindh are fed up with this failed fundamentalist state of Pakistan, where the military establishment continually terrorizes ordinary people to continue their rule. There is a lot of anger among the people against a radical Islamist Pakistan.
Q. There are reports that Sindhi people are regularly persecuted in Pakistan. Your comment ?
A. Since its inception, Pakistan has politically suppressed the people of Sindh and created fear through the use of Islamist groups. Fifty-five senior leaders of the Sindh movement have been killed by Pakistani agencies, while hundreds have been subjected to enforced disappearances. These days, Pakistan is isolated and facing severe economic crisis, while the military establishment is using various methods to plunder the national resources of Sindh. The rate of atrocities has increased against our people by the rogue military rulers of Pakistan.
Q. As a person living in exile, how fruitful is your struggle?
A. Internationally, Pakistan’s standing is declining morally and politically due to its failed policies and state-sponsored terrorism. These facts and figures help me expose Pakistan globally by meeting with different groups, organizations, and government officials here in the United States. Currently, I am working on “Pakistan Sanctions Bill” and “Declare Pakistan Terrorist State”. Hopefully this will help us achieve the ultimate goal of our right to self-determination.
Q. Pakistan is going through a major political crisis and former Prime Minister Imran Khan had alleged that a foreign power was behind a decision to oust him. Your comments?
A. These crises are created by the military establishment because it is the true owner of Pakistan. They have internal issues between ISI and military intelligence due to Taliban ownership. A group of the military establishment wants to support the Taliban to have a kind of government like in Afghanistan. Pakistan can never have a real democracy because it belongs to the state and the army. Imran Khan was a puppet like before like Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto and it will continue.
Q. There are problems in Balochistan, Sindhudesh and Pashtun areas of Pakistan. Are these movements strong enough at ground level to stand out among people?
A. Pakistan’s core issue is a national contradiction because Baluchistan, Sindhudesh and Pashtun are historical nations and they cannot accept this new identity of being Pakistani imposed by a province of Punjab. In the Pakistani army, there are 70% Punjabi and they control everything.
The people of Sindh, Baluchistan and Pashtunisthan are now realizing what Punjab has done to Bangladesh (East Pakistan) and the same is happening with us so the feeling of helplessness is a cause for anger even among the people ordinary. People are now speaking out against Pakistan openly on the ground.
Q. Do Islamist forces in Pakistan control the administration?
A. Yes, military establishments have many high-level officials who adhere to radical Islamist laws and are aligned with various Islamist groups.
Q. Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks who has now been sentenced to 33 years in prison; will it be implemented or will the terrorist leader who has maintained close relations with several leaders of Pakistan walk free?
A. Pakistan is a haven for terrorists. Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar and many other internationally wanted terrorists live lives of military officials with protocol. These convictions and arrests are only plays that Pakistan has always played to get out of the FATF gray list and attract the sympathy of Western nations.
Q. Is Pakistan on the brink of disintegration?
A. The life of unnatural things is not long term. Pakistan was created on a false ideology and to generate some international interest by the British. Now Pakistan has become a handicap for everyone. I see clearly that Pakistan is close to its death.
Q. Did you raise this issue at the UN?
A. We Sindhis are members of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) which works to develop understanding and respect for the right to self-determination. The UNPO provides advice and support on issues related to international recognition and political autonomy. Some former members such as Armenia, East Timor, Estonia, Latvia, Georgia and Palau gained full independence and joined the UN.