Peace of Thar in peril

By Ali Akbar Rahimoo

Generally entire Sindh is facing drought of honest and dedicated law enforcing officers and great examples of bad governance are being set for all to see. But growing law and order conditions and high crime rate in once completely peaceful cities is cause of concern for peaceful and largely tolerant Sindh. Historical City of Umarkot with legendry folklore past is witnessing big transformation and is now home to growing crimes and unrest. On July 31, 2014 two young men, Heera Lal Malhi and Ashok Malhi who were returning to their abode after day long labor at shop were shot dead near the teen talwar roundabout, one of the busiest point in Umarkot city and the culprits fled the scene. This and other such criminal incident speaks volumes about the efficiency of the police. If the criminal in main busy point of the district headquarter escape unscathed, less said is better for the rural parts of the district.
Previously brothreis and Muhalla elders played vital role in checking crimes and detecting the criminals. The neighbors used to track the criminals foot prints and mostly caught the criminals on the way or at the criminal dunes. Committing crime in once neighbor, was considered stigma and if anyone was caught for the crime against his neighbors, he was condemned by the society and was socially boycotted. But now the things are going in extreme reverse.
It looks that some influential elements are bent upon to disturb and even destroy the relatively peaceful and religiously and socially tolerant identity of the District Umarkot. Non-Muslims from 54 percent of the total population and a considerable section of the non Muslim brothers and sister are financially well established. At least as Umerkot is concerned there is no question of the discrimination against the non Muslims due to century’s old religious harmony. However the class discrimination and exploitation is there and it is general among Muslims and non Muslims and the non Muslims are slightly vulnerable to the crimes. But calling the criminal incidents as conspiracy and campaign against the non Muslims by Muslim is unjust and goes in the advantage of those forces who want to control the economy of the District
As peace, prosperity and liberty is gained with sacrifices and undergoing hardships similarly the destroying these same things need actions from the forces who want to exploit the resources of the area by creating fear and atmosphere of uncertainty for the denizens of the area. This writer is witness how tribal feuds were fueled in District Dadu, Ghotki, Qambarshadadkot and Khostan districts of Sindh. As these districts were hosting oil and gas reserves and oil and gas exploiting companies were/are active in these areas. Umarkot is one of the most sensitive and important district of Sindh. Apart from historical places, legendary folk Stories, the economic importance of this district increased from 70s onwards and this economic importance is increasing with the passage of time. Those with economic insight believe that the District Umarkot would economically compete with Hyderabad district if not surpass it in coming days. The experts relate this economic importance of District Umerkot to starting of Thar coal exploitation, leases of Oil and Gas exploring companies near Umerkot, initiation of trade with neighboring country by train and roads. Due to these developments not only the population of the district would grow unevenly but economic status of the area would also be elevated. But the constant fear is that this economic development would become blithe than blessing for the local people. There are news that some outsiders have started buying land in Islamkot, Hajaman jo jo tar, Mithi, dongri and in Khainsar area around Umarkot, two weapon shops in Umarkot and third in Mtihi district headquarter of Tharparkar District have been opened in last one year period. It is understood that they “weapons dealers” are not going to sell dry fruit or naswar in the weapons shops. The fact of the matter is that in this country the illegal work is done easily than legal work and some of our simpleton friends are welcoming the mass caravans of these outsiders without keeping in mind the repercussions of threat to the local peace and social harmony as Umarkot is already heading towards bad law and order situation. In Umarkot District 17 murder case took place in year 2013, whereas 11 murder cases occurred during first 7 months of year 2014. Weapons are piling up and graph of crime is going up.
On July 17, 2014 Bhago Bhali a grocer was seriously injured by robbers on the same Teen Talwar roundabout. Haresh was robbed Rs 1500 on July 21, 2014 on the same road and recently tow youth have been killed on this same road.
In 2013 total 8 kidnapping cases were reported and in the first 7 months of 2014, there were 8 kidnapping cases reported in media. I am concerned about the signs of fear on the faces of the innocent citizen of my city Umarkot. And the words of our erudite parliamentarian sound very relevant when he says that some clever force taking advantage of insecurity is compelling the sons of soil to leave the their motherland (Umerkot). Before there is too late, we appeal the conscious people and affectionate sons of the Sindh to save peace of Sindh and help us in saving the peace of Umarkot. Let’s join hands to save the resources of Sindh from further plundering and utilize these for the betterment and welfare of the indigenous Sindhies. I am sure with slight efforts of those occupying high seats of power the pains of Sindh including law and order situation can be improved easily and instantly. If we did not wake up right now God forbids the coming generation will say “”there used to be Sindh and Sindhi language in distant past. In Sindhi language there is another old maximum that “Sindh has been vandalized by Kandhar”; this threat is once again imminent.

aliakbar.rahimoo@yahoo.com