Nationalist forces vow to foil plot to foment ethnic violence in Sindh

HYDERABAD: Awami National Party (ANP) Sindh president and former Senator Shahi Syed called on Sindh United Party (SUP) chief Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah and Qaumi Awami Tehreek (QAT) leader Ayaz Latif Palijo here on Saturday and discussed with them the recent incidents of what is being alleged to be killings on ethnic grounds in Sindh.

Speaking to the media at the residence of Mr Shah, he said that Pakhtuns are peaceful citizens and they had been living in Sindh to earn their livelihood. Calling for a judicial inquiry into the recent murder of a Sindhi nationalist activist, Irshad Ranjhani, in Karachi, he said Pakhtuns would not let anyone to use ethnic card and succeed in hatching a conspiracy to endanger peace in the province.

He said that social media was being misused and this was badly harming the country. He called for greater unity among Pakhtuns and Sindhis to foil such nefarious designs.

Shahi Syed meets Jalal, Palijo in the backdrop of Karachi, Naudero murders

Several ANP leaders and activists accompanied Shahi Syed at the meeting with Mr Shah and other SUP activists.

Mr Shah told the media that a conspiracy was hatched after Ranjhani’s murder as three labourers were gunned down in Naudero town of Larkana district only a few days later. He also demanded a fair inquiry into Ranjhani’s murder and assured Shahi Syed that nationalist elements were not involved in the Naudero incident. He called for unity to foil the conspiracy of fomenting ethnic violence in the province.

Referring the killing of three Pakhtun labourers in Naudero, he said an impression was created that some Sindhi nationalists were involved in the attack. He said Sindhi people did not believe in violence and enjoyed cordial relations with Pakhtuns.

Discussing the incidents with QAT president Ayaz Latif Palijo and his senior party activists at his residence, a delegation led by Shahi Syed expressed their concern over misuse of social media in giving the two incidents an ethnic colour.

Later, speaking to the media Mr Syed said people belonging to all ethnic entities had been living in Karachi and other parts of Sindh peacefully for decades.

He noted that suspects of Ranjhani’s murder had been arrested and an investigation was under way. He said the victims of both attacks were human beings and their murder equally shocked everyone. Criminals did not have any religion nor do they belong to a particular segment of society, he said.

“A lot of bloodshed was witnessed in Karachi when MQM (Muttahida Qaumi Movement) founder Altaf Hussain patronised a group that unleashed a reign of terror. Today, the entire world knows him as a terrorist and RAW [Indian intelligence agency] agent,” he said.

The ANP leader warned that if ethnic violence was caused and allowed to spread, this would undermine the country.

He pointed out that the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) eliminated ANP’s 65 office-bearers and its former spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan had also admitted it.

Mr Palijo said killers of the Pakhtun labourers must be arrested within 15 days and exemplary punishment be given to them. He said it was the Sindh government’s failure that they were at large so far.

He also condemned Ranjhani’s murder and said his killers must be punished according to law.

Calling for the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP), Mr Palijo said appropriate action should be taken to eliminate terrorism in the country.

He said the conspiracy of pitting Sindhis against Pakhtuns would never succeed. All ethnic entities living in Sindh enjoyed brotherly relations and they must play their due role in maintaining the relationship for peace and prosperity.

Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2019

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