KARACHI - Jeay Sindh Tehreek (JST) chief Dr Safdar Sarki on Sunday called for a referendum on “independence of Sindh”.

“The dignity, resources and honour of the Sindhi nation were severely hurt by the establishment in the name of Islam and federation,” he said while addressing a party rally at Tibet Centre.

Sarki said the Balochs and Sindhis were gearing up for freedom and that the JST would launch a movement against the next general elections. “We will motivate the people not to vote.”

The “Million March rally” of the JST was attended by scores of workers and supporters of the nationalist parties from interior Sindh and Karachi.

Participants of the rally were carrying flags and portraits of the Jeay Sindh Movement founder, Sain GM Syed.

The JST claimed it assembled one million people in the march against what they said “the slavery of Sindh” imposed on it by the establishment.

He said the future of the Urdu (Mohajir) and Sindhi communities was linked to the JST, not the MQM. “We will defend their rights.” He said that people from other provinces had settled in Sindh through a well-planned conspiracy of dividing Sindh.

He alleged that “unfortunately, their demands were being supported by the so-called constitutional provisions and law. “Afflictions have been imposed on the Sindhi people in the name of federation and Islam,” he concluded.

True liberal democracy must for economic growth: “True democracy led South Korea to rise from being a devastated survivor of the Korean war into a modern global economic powerhouse. Similarly, Bangladesh made a fresh start towards democracy in 1990 and since then its uplift in economic development is evident. However, it is an unfortunate fact that the utility of liberal democracy in Pakistan is indeed questionable”, these views were expressed by the speakers at a workshop organised by the Area Study Centre for Europe, University of Karachi. ASCE In-charge Dr Uzma Shujat welcomed the scholars and experts to the workshop titled “Contemporary Western Model of Governance: A Comparison between the Success Stories in Southeast Asia and the Far East and the Struggling Polities of South Asia”.

Former foreign secretary Najmuddin Sheikh chaired the session.

Presenting her paper, Samar Hasan of the Habib University Foundation, compared Pakistan and Bangladesh to the South Korean model of governance. She said that in case of South Korea, modernisation and development was followed by democracy.

The miraculous economic expansion of Korea took it to the heights of a successful nation. She concluded with the note that if Pakistan wanted to achieve its goal of economic growth, it must welcome true form of liberal democracy. Bilal Ahmed of the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research called for developing Karachi as Pakistan’s mega city because, according to him, a sustainable mega-city was an essential ingredient of the modern model of economic development.

Ghulam Murtuza Khoso of the University of Sindh and Mohammad Asif Iqbal also spoke on the occasion.

Meanwhile, the Karachi University’s Department of Mathematics is organising a three-day series of seminars in the memory of late Arfa Karim from March 19. A documentary film related to Arfa Karim will also be showed.