In the history of sub-continent, the Sindh province has always remained the center of educational excellence, scholarship, reach civilization and ancient cultural heritage.
During my affiliation with different organizations, I have been to almost all parts of Pakistan but I never ever seen this much religious tolerance as i have seen in Sindh province of Pakistan.
Wherever i went to field visits and socialize a bit with local communities in different parts of Pakistan, they used to ask one question first after asking my name; that is whether i am a Sunni, Shia or non-Muslim. But Sindh is the sole place where people are more interested in cast and creed than my religious affiliation. As such, their second questions happen to be about my cast and creed not about my sect. I still remember that only one time someone asked about my religious affiliation in Kandhkot Northern Sindh-that too was asked just because of a misunderstanding. I have observed that the reason behind all this religious tolerance in Sindh is just because of two main reasons: Absence of religious seminaries along with teaching and great influence of Sufi Saint like Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, Abdullah Shah Ghazi and others saints and mystic personalities who have always preached for humanitarian principle, pluralistic values and unity in diversity in Sindh. After meeting with one of a famous sufi singer of Sindh Ms. Abida Parveen, when I visited the shrine of Jhulay Lal, a famous Sufi saint, whom both Hindus and Muslims revere equally, I was stunned to see a Hindu temple and a Muslim shrine-like building built on the same premises visiting the stated area by all schools of thoughts.
How was it possible that people hailing from two diametrically opposite creeds came and prayed in the same building? And, no communal feud ensued? But that is Sindh; a timeless land with a history of religious tolerance, nurtured by the poetry and teachings of its Sufi saints and mystics. In today’s Pakistan where religious extremist and terrorist are on the rampage, the beautiful instances of peaceful coexistence can only be seen in areas like Sindh where a Hindu fasts and a Muslim does not slaughter cows in respect of each other’s beliefs and traditions. But during recent years some cases of force conversion, religious intolerance along with suicide bombings on religious centers and places of worship have been reported especially from Rural Sindh. This phenomenon has gradually started to ravage this unique fabric of Sindhi society.
Therefore, it is high time for all the concern citizens of Sindh to play your due role to protect your ancient tradition of peaceful coexistence along with respect for humanitarian principle, pluralistic values and unity in diversity. It is suggested to keep an eye on the hatemongers, religious extremist and non-state actors who are slowly penetrating in every nook and corner of Sindh to poison your society with their anti-social and hate mongering tactics and enticing preaches.
Same is the case with reach cultural heritage and ancient monuments and historical sites in Sindh. Sindh province of Pakistan is home to nearly 3000 sites and monuments, of which 1200 are still unprotected. Ruins of old city, Buddhist Stupa in Guja Hyderabad a few miles from Tando Muhammad Khan, Ranikot Fort in Jamshoro, Kot Diji Fort in Khairpur, Jain Temple in Nagarparkar, Kalka Cave Temple of Arore near Rohri Sukkur and other forts along with Necropolis of Burfats in Taung ThanaBula Khan Jamshoro needed attention of concerned government departments to protect them from destruction. Especially the ancient city of Mohenjo Daro and Makli along with other historical forts needed immediate attention of Sindh Government as they are crumbling away. Same is the case with Necropolis of Burfats in Taung as i have seen a number of pieces of Necropolis of Burfats in Sindhiology Department at University of Sindh. It is note a wise move from the said department of Sindh University as their acts have defaced these historical sites and monuments. It is need of the hour to protect and restore the rich cultural heritage of Sindh as it can definitely help in reviving economy along with pride and identity of local communities through interventions in cultural heritage that supported social, physical and institutional development as it happened in resource poor areas in Gilgit-Baltistan.
At Necropolis of Burfats in Taung near Kirthar National Park in the Kohistan, some 70 kilometers from Thana Bula Khan town of Jamshoro district. Ghost schools, ghost teachers and indifferent community are also one of the main factors which make rural Sindh an unparalleled province in Pakistan. According to then Sindh Information Minister Ms. Shazia Marri, during the year 2012 the Sindh government was spending over Rs10 billion on ghost employees annually including 381 dead staffers. The report further unveiled that a huge number of 1,264 government employees were doing dual jobs and also taking two salaries from the government treasury. According to latest media reports, this figure has dramatically been increased to 40,000 ghost teachers and 5,600 ghost schools in Sindh. To make the matter worst, the people of Sindh are still in deep slumber. Therefore, they are still raising slogans like GA Bhutto, GA Benazire and GA PPP instead of raising voices for their basic right like right to quality education, affordable health and decent employment opportunities.Instead of school children, there happens to be goats in schools during the tenure of last PPP government in Sindh. With the advent of new PPP government in Sindh, this situation has further been deteriorated.
Thus, now donkeys are getting “education” in these schools instead of our children in Sindh. On the basis of this progress and the ground realities one can easily infer that the days are not far away when goats, donkeys and dogs will be “graduating” from these schools in near future.
The report on second annual education rankings and the pictures in the given bellow clearly depicts a gloomy outlook of education in Sindh. I wonder how long the people of Sindh will fooled themselves in the name of a particular name, ideology and political party. It’s time to wake up otherwise it will be too late to secure the future of our children and coming generation in this highly competitive and meritocratic society. I had taken this picture in the home district of then Education Minister Sindh Mr. Pir Mazharul Haq in Dadu Sindh on 8th September 2012. This is the latest picture showing “impact” of education friendly policies of PPP government in Sindh. In 2015 “admission” has been given to Donkeys after “graduation” of Goats admitted in 2012. Everyone respect ZA Bhutto in Pakistan for his statesmanship and leadership skills. But the bitter fact is that after ZA Bhutto, what the heirs of Bhutto have done to secure the future of your children except building castles and tombs in the name of Bhutto instead of schools for your children, let alone providing “Roti, Kapda and Makan” as they have been promising in their manifesto in each election.