Drink party in Madersha, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba and more

There are so many incidents I encountered during the years long persecution, which in fact has not yet ended.  

2011: In a meeting held in Karachi with  Department for International Development (DFID), UK team on the invitation of DFID / British High Commission Islamabad, I shared with them that Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) was given space in Sindh to undertake flood relief work so that they may be enable to recruit flood affected youth for their terrorist intentions in India. I shared this in front of at least a dozen of civil society organizations leaders from Karachi.

The very same year, an OXFAM GB (OGB) Finance Official asked me to visit OXFAM GB's Sindh Office in Sindhi Muslim Housing Society Hyderabad. He said that since DFID is considering funding the Sindh based civil society organizations that are already OGB partners including The Institute for Social Movements (ISM) , they feel challenged. Therefore, it would be better if you avoid contacting DFID.


2011: During a meeting with some Irish development agencies' persons, it was unfolded that how Pakistan authorities have tried to -tarnish the image of Sindhi and Baloch societies. The very same feel was also shared by the other international agencies. In one meeting, an Irish development professional told me that he has been told in Islamabad about threat by Sindhi nationalists to the development initiatives. 


During the floods, when International Organization on Migration (IOM) short-listed our project, I was asked by someone in Islamabad to recruit some ethnic Punjabi and Hindko speaking team before project is finalized. 


Most of the civil-society networks in Pakistan are always eager to do something out of others' initiatives. In a meeting held in Karachi @ PILER Centre, one of the senior Pakistani civil society leadership introduced me to a donor agency Inter-Church Coordination Committee (ICCO) representative:

"He is Zulfiqar Shah. He gave his pretty good time in the Sindh Peasants Long March organized by that Karachi based organization." 

It was shocking for me, and was laughter-stock for the others but he did not feel that he had lied. In fact, the truth was known by all participants and they were also astonished.


Early 2012: One of the Karachi based organization team took me to a Madirsah in Kotri city near Hyderabad. It was astonishing to know that I was offered drinks there by no other than the Imam of Madersah himself. I was shunt. I was asked why and how this has happened. The hosts told me, "When a Molvi himself serves you the drinks; you need not to be against Taliban." When I asked him why this is being done, someone - a silent participant - all of sudden said, "You have to work together with us." "Work together? What do you mean? We are already working together" I told him pointing to that NGO leader. He giggled and said "I mean with ISI." And he said that the discussion that NGO person is dong at that time was basically doing on behalf of an official equal to SSP Police or Brigadier rank person. He also offered me for girls, money and other luxuries. And, he told that he was an ISI officer.

I told this to a rights activist from the West in a one-on-one meeting, while in Nepal. When I was taken back to Pakistan from Nepal by Pakistani agents, I was asked by someone on behalf of authorities with anger that why did I shared this to that non-Pakistani activist?


When I was being threatened in Pakistan, I decided to move out of Pakistan immediately. I just left for Nepal to consult with Kanak Mani Dixit for his input if I temporarily move to Nepal before I take refugee resettlement elsewhere. As soon as I reached Karachi Airport, I unexpectedly met with a team of journalists and a Pakistani civil society leader Karamat Ali who were about to leave for Mumbai (India). I shared this with Karamat Ali about my getting shifted to Nepal and the reasons behind it. He said please do send your committed position paper on Land Rights in Pakistan as soon as you are settled in Nepal. I was astonished that despite thinking for intervention regarding my persecution about which he was well aware, he said to send the position paper. As soon as I got down at Kathmandu airport, and had a visa stamped on my passport, I wore my Nepali cap that was gifted to me by a friend. A person, who was standing at shorter distance, said, "Achha hua, aap ne topi yahan pe hi pahan li." (Better, you wore this cap at the airport.) I realized that he was the same person, who was also available at Indian Cultural Conference organized by Delhi University at India International Centre in New Delhi in 2008 during my first visit to India. Interestingly, the night we fled from Satobado area from our virtual insurrection in Kathmandu, Nepal and immediately sought refuge in a Thamel hotel, he was also available on the breakfast seated on the very next table. And, much to my astonishment he was the person who came and seated near us on the dining table in a restaurant near Nizamuddin Shrine, Delhi during 2013.

Anyway, I moved to the Hotel in Kathmandu where I had given booking through internet for an stay. I gave call to Kanak Mani Dixit. He said he was to meet me next early morning but since Arif Hassan, a prominent Pakistani development leader, had also contacted him all of sudden, he would meet him first and later on will sit together with me. When I met Kanak ji, I got a feeling as if something regarding me has already been discussed. On my return back, when I landed at Karachi airport, I saw Arif Hassan also got out of the plane. I assumed what actually might have happened.


A PILER associate and my friend Zulfiqar Shah and another of his friend met me in Kathmandu. They came there to attend a meeting. They asked me if I was looking for a job in Nepal. I told them I already have applied somewhere. After a week, an organization where my employment was already under consideration, sent me a refusal email. I was interviewed by that organization on the suggestion by an international organization, in a bid to avoid financial problems. It also came to my knowledge that the leadership of that Nepal based NGO was also available in the meeting, which was attended by both of the friends from Karachi. 

April 2012: An ISI associate came to me concerning an issue. All of sudden during the talk, he said do you know why Bashir Khan Qureshi was killed? I stared at him. He said there were three reasons: i) changing international situtution; ii) it was for the first time in the history of Sindhi nationalism when the Resolution of 1940 was rejected. Even sain GM Syyed did not completely rejected it; and iv) they saw repeatedly the boy language of B. Khan when he was getting down from the stage after giving the speech in Sindh Freedom March on March 23m 2012.  

There are so many incidents. I would keep on writing this through my blog in a bid to share with the friends about the happenings. 

Zulfiqar Shah, New Delhi, India May 6, 2015