Pakistan: Immediate Reactions on the Death of Sindhi Nationalist Leader

On 23rd of March, Karachi (Sindh) hosted a massive rally for the independence of Sindh from the Pakistani state. The mammoth rally was organized by the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (Long-Live Sindh National Front) under the leadership of Bashir Khan Qureshi who campaigned for the rally to get support from people across Sindh.

The purpose of the rally, as described by the JSQM, was to express to the world that Sindh wanted freedom from Pakistan, which it joined as an independent state in the year 1947. The rally was, obviously, anti-Pakistan and was sure to stir the Pakistani state and its machinery.

However, at around 3:00 AM (PST) today, entire Sindh and Balochistan became sad and grieved when they received the news of sudden, untimely death of Bashir Khan Qureshi at Sakrand, a small town in Sindh.

Members and sympathizers of JSQM and Sindhi nationalist movement took to the social media to express their grief over the sad demise of Mr. Qureshi. Here is what I tweeted on the next moment of the news:

@AamirRaz #JSQM chairman Bashir Qureshi succumbs to death due to heart attack, in a hospital at Sakrand | a powerful blow to #Sindhi natioalism!

Twitter was literally flooded with tweets mentioning his death. Here are the glimpses of the same:

@AkChishti JSQM Chief, Bashir Qureshi just expired because of a cardiac attack. #Sindh

@Senator_Baloch #Shocking very sad day for oppressed people of Sindh and Balochistan. We lost a legendary friend #BashirQureshi RIP

@FahadLaghari Today Sindhi national struggle has been orphaned. An era has ended #JSQM #SINDH

@SherM_BRP Bashir Qureshi was a Great Leader of #Sindh. very Sad day for people Sindh. #RIP

@AbdulNishapuri Our deepest condolences on #JSQM chairman Bashir Qureshi's death. A sad day for Pakistan, Sindh in particular.

@MirShoaib You had to live Sain.. #RIPBasheerKhanQureshi a sad day for the people of Sindh and #Balochistan

Similar status updates popped up instantly on Facebook as well. Iffi Raj was probably the first to give the update and wrote on his wall:

بشير خان قريشي دل جي دوري سبب انتقال ڪري ويو ….ٽي وي نيوز

Bashir Khan Qureshi dies of heart attack…. TV news(Sic)

Vishnu Bux:

a ver sad news, bashir qureshi no more with us…. (sic)

Aijaz Ali:

Very sad news…Bashir Khan Qureshi of ‘Jeay Sindh’ died of a mysterious death today.

Fahad Nizamani:

Shocking news, Sindh's brave leader chairman JSQM Bashir Khan Qureshi passed away due to heart attack.

Jaddam Sindhu:

اسين جسقم چيئرمين محترم بشير قريشيء جي لاڏاڻي تي ڏک جو اظهار ڪريون ٿا.

We express our deepest sorrow over the sad demise of JSQM Chairman, Bashir Qureshi.

Murad Khan:

Bashir khan qureshi,a hardline Sindhi nationalist, passed away.

Iffi Raj came up with another emotional remark on the death of the leader of large Sindhi nationalist party, JSQM:

حقيقت ۾ سنڌ ختم ٿي وئي

In fact, Sindh has perished (Sic)

However, part of Pakistani politics since ages now, the sudden death of Mr. Qureshi — and that, too, shortly after a successful anti-state rally in the heart of Karachi, demanding independence of Sindh — raises many questions about the authenticity of the news of him dying of a heart-attack. Many would not buy the news item since, according to the party's general secretary, Mr. Asif Baladi, they could sense conspiracies revolving as a serious threat to them. He was speaking to a Sindhi news channel just after the news of the death of Mr. Qureshi was aired.

RIP – Bashir Khan Qureshi

Those who support the nationalist movement of Sindh and Balochistan could see something fishy behind the ‘mysterious’ death.

@VeengasJ #BasheerQureshi is martyred, it is not natural Death. #sindh #balochistan #pakistan

@BalaachMarri Something fishy, surely. #Sindh

Sher Mohammad Bugti tweeted:

The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins#JSQM

AK Chishti, summing up the life-long struggle of Mr. Qureshi, tweeted:

Bashir Qureshi's last statement was “Tunjho Desh, Munjho Desh, Sindhu Desh, Sindhu Desh!”

As a politician, Mr. Qureshi definitely has many friends and many foes! Yet, what they all agree on something is the point that his death is a blow to the Sindhi nationalist movement. His life — from being a leader of the Jeay Sindh Students Federation, the student-wing of JSQM, to being the central leader of JSQM — was full of political agitation, struggle and fight for the freedom of Sindhudesh (proposed name of independent Sindh). This message was quite loudly given by him at the successful Freedom March in Karachi on 23rd of March, 2012, which reiterated their party's demand of independence of Sindh from Pakistani state.

The aforementioned were quite initial reactions to the death of JSQM leader — as the story unravels, many new perspectives would be revealed.

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