World Sindhi Congress Commemorates the Birth Anniversary of Saeen G. M. Syed in UK, USA and Japan
The World Sindhi Congress organised gatherings in various parts of the world to commemorate the 96th birth anniversary of Saeen G. M. Syed. The gatherings wereheld in Bradford, UK, Sacramento, CA, Chicago, IL, USA, and Okinawa, Japan.
Saeen G. M. Syed was a visionary of modern Sindh. He pioneered
the Sindhi freedom movement and also served as the chairman of the World
Sindhi Congress during 1994-95. Over three decades, Saeen G. M. Syed was
repeatedly detained in various Pakistani prisons without trial until his
death in 1995. The Amnesty
International adopted him as a Prisoner of Conscience. The following is a brief report of these meetings.
Bradford, UK (WSC Head office)
A large number of Sindhis, including several WSC members, attended this event. Various office bearers of WSC - i.e., Mr Umed Ali Laghari, the Acting Chairperson; Dr. Safdar Sarki, Vice Chairperson; Dr. Haleem Bhatti, Secretary General; and Dr. Hidayat Bhutto, Cultural Secretary - participated. At the start of the ceremony, these office bearers cut a cake prepared for the birth anniversary.
Mr. Umed Ali Laghari said in his speech that Saeen G. M. Syed was a man of principle. He gave the idea of Sindhudesh and made Sindhi people realise their distinct identity. He brought attention to the suppression of Sindhis under the names of 'Islam and Pakistan'. Pakistani rulers are using Islam as their tool to maintain status quo. Saeen Syed spent more than thirty years in prison without any trial - longer than the long imprisonment Mr. Nelson Mandela, the great leader of South Africa, endured. G. M. Syed died in custody at the age of 92.
Dr. Safder Sarki said, in his telephonic speech from USA, that Saeen
gave a Sindhi identity back to the Sindhis. He took the flag of Sindhudesh
in his hands and resumed a freedom struggle, which was lost after the martyrdom
of Hosh Mohd Sheedi under the British rulers. Dr. Sarki said that Sindh
is now suffering more
than the time of the British rule.
Dr. Haleem Bhatti said that the Amnesty International declared Saeen as a Prisoner of Conscience. Toward the end of his imprisonment, the government denied him to receive any medical treatment abroad - against the High court orders. The government's denial resulted in his death in custody.
Dr. Hidayat Bhutto said that Saeen G. M. Syed faced all the troubles
because of his ideology and his love for Sindhi people. His ideology was
very clear. In a simplified form, his ideology was based on the following:
(1) Sindhis constitute a separate nation; (2) Sindh is a separate country;
(3) Sindhis have a right to
freedom; and (4) Freedom is possible.
At the end of the meeting, all the participants congratulated Mr. Rehman Kakepoto and Dr. Saghir Shaikh for publishing Saeen G. M. Syed's five books in English on the Internet.
Chicago, IL, USA
WSC organised a get-together to celebrate Saeen G. M. Syed's 96th birth
anniversary on January 17, 1999 in Chicago, IL. Dr. Safdar Sarki took the
responsibility to organise the event. Several Sindhis living in the area
attended this meeting. Dr. Sarki delivered a speech entitled "The Message of Saeen G. M. Syed."
Sacramento, CA, USA
The World Sindhi Congress organized an event on January 16, 1999 to celebrate Saeen G. M. Syed's birth anniversary. This event was organized at the residence of Mr. Rehman Kakepoto, Member Central Committee, and WSC. Several Sindhis and other activists living in northern California attended this meeting.
Dr. Saghir Shaikh made a brief speech to introduce the life and struggle of Saeen G. M. Syed. He stated that G. M. Syed struggled for the rights of Sindhis throughout his life. He upheld the building of Sindhudesh -a separate homeland for Sindhis - where all Sindhis could live in peace under a secular democratic system. He regarded Sindhis dispersed all over the world as an important part of the Sindhi nation. He advocated that they should be granted citizenship right in Sindh and should have full freedom to travel in and out of Sindhudesh. He considered the freedom of Sindh as a lasting solution for peace in South Asia. He extensively wrote on Sindhi identity, Sindhi religious thoughts, and political situations in Sindh. His thoughts still inspire writers, poets, political scientists, and his countless followers. Those who knew him personally vouch for his truthfulness, simplicity, and honesty.
Mr. Rehman Kakepoto expressed his gratitude to the guests. He said that WSC has published Saeen's five books on the Internet (http://www.sindhi.org/gmsyed.htm) in order to inform the world community about Sindh.
Mr. Ijaz Syed, a Bay-Area activist, pointed out that there has been a lot of misrepresentation of G. M. Syed disseminated by Pakistani media, showing him as a traitor. Mr. Ijaz Syed said he admires G. M. Syed's strength and conviction. He suggested organising an additional event to invite people from diverse backgrounds and introduce them to Sindh's issues. Mr. Maqbool Aliani and Mr. Shanawaz Soomro also presented their points of view.
The participants viewed the G. M. Syed's web site prepared by Rehman Kakepoto and Saghir Shaikh. They also discussed current and future undertakings of WSC. Mr. Maqbool Aliani proposed a similar gathering to commemorate Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan - a great Pakhtoon leader - in February 1999.
Mr. S Talpur arranged a small gathering of Sindhis in Okinawa on Jan. 17, 1999. Several local activists also participated in the event.
Hidayat Bhutto, Cultural Secretary
Saghir A. Shaikh, PhD, Deputy Secretary General
World Sindhi Congress
Return to WSC-Press Release/Update Page
Return to WSC-Activities Pages
Return to WSC - Main Page