Tuesday May 31, 2016
KARACHI: In the wake of a bomb attack in Gulshan-e-Hadeed on Monday that injured a Chinese national and his driver, it has been learnt that intelligence agencies had already warned the provincial authorities that a particular Sindhi separatist group might attack Chinese nationals working on development projects in the province.
A pamphlet was found at the site of attack in which a group called the Sindhu Desh Liberation Army (SDLA) had claimed responsibility for it.
The Sindhu Desh Liberation Army is an offshoot of the Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM), a Sindhi nationalist party headed by Shafi Muhammad Burfat.
The SDLA comprises members that broke away from various factions of the Jeay Sindh Tehreek, founded by prominent Sindhi nationalist leader GM Syed.
The government has banned the Sindhu Desh Liberation Army for its involvement in terrorist activities.
The Sindh police have also inducted Burfat’s name in its Red Book.
“A few months ago, intelligence agencies had informed the Sindh home department that the Sindhu Desh Liberation Army was planning to attack Chinese nationals working on power projects and other development schemes in the province,” a Karachi-based intelligence officer told The News.
The Sindhu Desh Liberation Army has been involved in many bomb attacks on government installations, especially railway tracks and state-run banks, in the province, said a police officer.
However, he added that the killing of JSMM workers in different parts of the province, including Karachi, had weakened the group.
The bodies of several JSMM members, most of them young men, were found in different parts of the province, including off the Super Highway between Karachi and Hyderabad. Some of them were found in Gulshen-e-Hadeed, a Sindhi-populated neighbourhood on the city’s outskirts.
In the pamphlet found on Monday at the site of the attack, the Sindhu Desh Liberation Army had also mentioned the killing of its activists.
Although there are over a dozen ethno-nationalist parties in Sindh, the Burfat-led JSSM is the only group which resorts to militant activities.
Burfat belongs to the Sehwan taluka in the Jamshoro district and had remained a close associate of Dr Qadir Magsi in the late 80s and the early 90s.
He was also a co-accused in the infamous September 30, 1988 carnage along with Dr Magsi.
Analysts believe that Burfat left the Jeay Sindh Tehreek and formed the JSMM as his aim was to struggle for the rights of the Sindhi people through “guerrilla warfare”.
However, JSMM leaders disown the attacks and any affiliation with the Sindhu Desh Liberation Army.
Intelligence reports suggest that the Sindhu Desh Liberation Army is working with Baloch separatist groups, including the Balochistan Liberation Front and the Balochistan Liberation Army.
The Baloch separatist groups oppose Chinese investment in Gwadar. They have claimed responsibility for many attacks on the convoys of Chinese engineers in Balochistan.
“There is a clear association between banned Sindhi and Baloch separatist groups and they support each other in their subversive activities,” said the intelligence official. “They have the same anti-China agenda.”
—Originally published in The News