Sindhi nationalism

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Flag used by some Sindhi nationalists showing an axe

Sindhi nationalism is a movement that asserts that Sindhis, an ethno-linguistic group mainly found in Pakistan and India, are a nation. The movement asserts an ethnolinguistic and historic rather than religious basis for nationhood.

The Sindhi nationalist movement's demands have ranged from greater cultural, economic and political rights, to political autonomy, to outright secession from Pakistan and the creation of an independent state referred to as Sindhudesh. It was founded by G. M. Syed in 1972 to help Sindhi separatists forces to separate Sindh from Pakistan. It was later renamed Jeay Sindh Tahreek by militant groups. Sindhi separatists believe that the Sindhi people suffer from disenfranchisement at the hands of Pakistan's Punjabi majority. They also feel they suffer from a demographic threat within their own territory, as Urdu-speaking migrants from India and their descendents (known as Muhajirs) are the majority in the Sindhi capital Karachi. In the 1st international conference of International Sindhi United Movement separatist group declared themselves the liberation movement of Sindh and formally approached the Indian foreign office for the help. Another common source of Sindhi dissaffection with Pakistan is the feeling that water resources are diverted disproportionately to the Punjab region at Sindh's expense, particularly the water from the Kalabagh Dam and Thal canal. This allegation was dismissed by domestic and international experts, especially as Pakistan Government had already banned the construction of the Kalabagh Dam on the insistence of Sindh government.[citation needed]

The movement has lost popular support as the Pakistan Peoples Party has won elections and Sindhis have been elected to highest positions in the Government of Pakistan and Government of Sindh. These include the former president Asif Ali Zardari.

The movement which demands the creation of an independent Sindhudesh has a strong base among some student political groups, but as of yet no Sindhi nationalist or separatist party has come to power in Sindh.


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