Thank-you Indians!

The Indians who supported my out-rightly during my persecution in Delhi!

Eighteen months of nightmare have passed by in Delhi. And, the nightmare is not yet over. It was worrisome for me that the persecution and the persecutors would again say ‘hello’ to us even in India. I never knew that Pakistani establishment has created a cloud of manipulations against us.

It was shocking, but not shaking that Pakistani agencies and the High Commission are being facilitated here against us. Eventually someone hinted that all this was being done through the facilitation by some non-South Asian countries. We have observed that there is understanding between India and Pakistan at the top level of establishment. We are dismissed in the time, however not aimlessly. We have to cobble-up the torn out pieces of our persona.

I have blogged much about some fundamental details of the happenings around us. How can I forget when, on the instigation of a surveillance person, I was beaten-up with wooden stick by the watchmen of Gurdawara Sahib near Jantar Mantar only because I was having cigarettes in my pocket! I was told not to enter the Gurdawar again. I felt a sigh of relief indeed because it indicated me that the education of Guru Nanak has yet to be spread and spread among the Sikhs and rest of the humanity.

There is enough account to thank so many Indian citizens. Contrary to what was happening with us in Delhi, they came forward and tried their best to support us. 

I cannot forget the fundamental help by a few of the university professors, who after our arrival in Delhi tried their best. And, particularly a couple of rights bodies as well as our journalist friends from Press Club of India. We also feel greatly obliged to those activists from various states of India particularly from Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Madhya Pardesh, Mahrashtra, Delhi, UP, Haryana, Punjab, Kashmir and Tamil Nadu who spared some moments to see us and express their solidarity during our protest at Jantar Mantar.

Our financial resources are restricted. Around fifty thousand Indian rupees given to us by some western human rights bodies were stolen from Jantar Mantar. It was great kindness of a Sikh restaurant owner who provided two times food on credit and without time limit restrictions. India’s political power is starched around Raisina Road, which did not bother to address our issue. But the trade unions, activists, journalists, restaurants, tea-shops and the policemen arround the Raisina Road supported us a lot within their personal limits.

We were, no doubt, given a very tough time in the Pak Section of Delhi Police Bhawan, however there were some who stood by our genuine issue. The most honorable is the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), India that gave a humanitarian look into our issue and sent directives to the concerned departments for the appropriate actions, though these directions unexpectedly were unheard. I cannot forget one sentence that was uttered by a visa department official in 2013, ‘You are a Muslim from Pakistan. You cannot get refugee status in India.’ At the same time, I cannot forget some timely actions by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) India which were a kind of legitimate relief in the roughest times. 

It was a kind of storm for us when the newly elected parliament was holding first meeting. A few persons came at Jantar Mantar and threw away our stuff. We were asked to dislodge protest. What I could say expect that as if we were facing demon-cracy in the largest democracy of the world.

Amid all this, I cannot forget Mr. Singh who supported us with a Razai (blanket) in winter while we use to sleep on the Jantar Mantar pavements. Sympathy and love by this Punjabi family is an unforgettable memory. 

I have applied for refugee resettlement outside India. I am unable to avail the support by United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), India because they are not allowed to help refugees from Pakistan. My passport is about to get expired within upcoming six months. I would not be able to move outside India if our issue is not resolved before that.

Undergoing ruthless persecution combined with the nonexistence of financial resources is what we are pushed towards. Our sin is very simple and naïve. We were persecuted and were posited in Pakistan due to our civil and political rights activism; persecuted and poisoned in Nepal due to our writings against division of Sindh, and against crimes against humanity committed by Pakistan. We are being persecuted in India due to our political opinion. What else we could do except that to file complaints and petitions against our persecutors in the concerned components of the United Nations.

We truly feel that being a Sindhi is a big crime. There are so many people who want a share in the usurpation of Sindh! Rest assured we would give fight unto the last! Amid this stormy atmosphere, support by those Indian citizens who sympathized with us will always remain an unforgettable asset. 

O our persecutor! O world power! Stop using you intelligence agencies against us. Why do you fear one activist and analyst?

Zulfiqar Shah, New Delhi, India, November 20, 2014