The Story of my Life: Adventures and Experiences on Prasiane, the lost Island of River Indus…
An Autobiography By Sheikh Javed Ali Sindhi
(Research Scholar, Social Activist & Freelance Journalist of District Kamber Shahdadkot, Sindh-Pakistan) Volume: I


Story of my Life: Adventures and Experiences on Prasiane, the lost Island of River Indus…
An Autobiography

By Sheikh Javed Ali Sindhi

Volume: -I 1977-1987 AD

“If you would not be forgotten As soon as you are dead and rotten Either write things worth reading Or do things worth writing.” -Benjamin Franklin

Saroh Social Development Organization Shahdadkot Saroh Office, Near Scientific Public School, Railway Station Road, Shahdadkot, District Kamber-Shahdadkot, Sindh, Pakistan- 77300 Ph: +92-74-4012896, Cell: +92-3337505896/03342015896 E-mail: 2013 AD/ 1434 AH



“Author of this creative work Sheikh Javed Ali Sindhi is one of my best friends cum class fellows who have played indispensible role not ony as a social activist but also torch bearers for the contempories and successors. I have always found him busy like a bee inspite of many socio economic and domestic problems. He, with the power of his mighty pen have contributed matchless pieces of literature from 1992. He has produced 22 ebooks which are available on on variety of topics. He has also been succesful in getting autobiographical notes from Mr. Abdul Sattar Bhatti, Professor K.S. Nagpal, Mr. Pir Bux Bhatti and Comrade Wali Muhammad Manganhar.” “The Book entitled “The Story of My Life; Adventures and Experiences on Prasiane, the lost Island of River Indus” (Vol: I), an Autobiography of Sheikh Javed Ali Sindhi is an effort to compile life’s learnings at a very young age. The book presents a series of events of 10 years stretching from 1977 to 1987 AD. I also find some glimpses of my early life by reading his autobiograohy which is so vivid and graphic. Some of the events and incidents like “The fall of American Skylab on earth”, “ Harrasment on the murder of Silra brothers in Shahdadkot-1982”, “ MRD Movement September 1983”, “Celebrations of Latif Day in Shahdadkot Textile Mills”, “Problem of Paroo Chandio” and “Nizamia Night School” are written for the first time in the history of Shahdadkot. I have gone through this type of socio historical personal account of a person for the first time in my life. The book can also be used as a source material on the socio, economic, political and literay history of Shahdadkot. The students of colleges and universities conducting Research on District Kamber Shahdadkot are suggested to go through this invaluable work”. “I wish him all the best for the remaining volumes of his autobiography and pray that he might be crowned with success in every step of his life”. Khalid Hussain Channa Lecturer to English Government Boys Degree College Shahdadkot District Kamber Shahdadkot, Sindh-Pakistan +923337501969


I’m Sheikh Javed Ali Sindhi. I was born on 18th January 1977. The names of my parents are Sikander Ali Khan: a labourer and Ghulam Zuhra Sheikh, a housewife. I’m 36 years old by now. I live in Shahdadkot, the most thickly populated city of District Kamber Shahdadkot, Sindh Pakistan. It is situated 51 Km in the north west of Larkana on Sindh Balochistan border. I have got Masters Degrees in Sociology and Sindhi Literature from Shah Abdul Latif University (SALU) Khaipur Mirs Sindh-Pakistan. I’m also registered as Research Scholar in M.Phil Studies at University of Sindh Jamshoro Sindh Pakistan. I’m a Research Scholar, Social Activist, Freelance Journalist, Photographer & Master Trainer. I started my career as a Private School Teacher from my hometown. My favourite subjects are History, Anthropology, Geography, Archeology, and Sindhi Literature. Since 2006 I have been Associated in Development Sector and I have worked with local Partners of Action Aid Pakistan, UNICEF, Austcare, UCBPRP Government of Sindh, World Food Programme, DFID UKAID, USAID, UNDP & Sightsavers International. During this period, I widely travelled through every nook and corner of Pakistan. I’m Capricorn. My height is 5 feet and 6 inches. I weigh 70 Kgs. I have a lot of friends and followers round the globe. I’m married to Sartaj Sheikhmy cousin and I have 4 sons namely Sarang, Daniyal, Sheheryar and Muhammad Daud and 4 daughters namely Kainat, Almas, Sabreen and Faryal. I can speak several languages like Sindhi, Urdu, English & Siraiki. I have 22 e-books on my credit which are available on I have more than 13,119 Reads by now across Pakistan, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Spain and other countries. Yes, I still remember it was a day of summer 2012, when I got fever and went to the local hospital for treatment. I fainted there all of sudden and lost myself for the time being. After almost half an hour, when my eyes opened and I recovered myself. I saw my dress as well as the floor full of vomiting. I thought a while that there is no difference between Fainting and death. This incident is the dominant factor which made me realize to pen down my life story before I suddenly die. I am deeply grateful to Professor Khalid Hussain Channa who collaborated with me in the creation of this book, providing invaluable assistance in editing and revising the first volume. I want to live an immortal life by writing this piece of Autobiography for my family, friends, citizens and followers. So here is my life story…

Sheikh Javed Ali Sindhi Shahadadkot Monday 29th, July 2013


The Prasiane Island of River Indus in Sindh…
Megasthenes (350 – 290 BCE) was a Greek ethnographer in the Hellenistic period, author of the work Indica. He was born in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) and became an ambassador of Seleucus I of Syria possibly to Chandragupta Maurya in Pataliputra, India. However the exact date of his embassy is uncertain. Scholars place it before 298 BC, the date of Chandragupta's death. Arrian explains that Megasthenes lived in Arachosia, with the satrap Sibyrtius, from where he visited India. Giving description of Prasiane Island Megasthenes says, “The Indus Called by the inhabitants Sindus, rising on that spur of Mount Caucasus which is called Paropamisus, from sources fronting the sunrise, receives also itself nineteen rivers, of which the most famous are the Hydaspes, which has four tributaries; the Cantabra, which has three; the Acesines and the Hypasis, which are both navigable; but nevertheless, having no very great supply of water, it is nowhere broader than fifty stadia, or deeper than fifteen paces. It forms an extremely large island, which is called Prasiane, and a smaller one, called Patale. Its stream, which is navigable, by the lowest estimates, for, 1,240 miles, turns westward as if following more or less closely the course of the sun, and then falls into the ocean.” Fragments from Megasthenes: Indika ("From: Ancient India as Described by Megasthenes and Arrian. Translated and edited by J. W. McCrindle. Calcutta and Bombay: Thacker, Spink, 1877, 30-174.") The Island of Prasiane was also called as Oxykanos or Oxycanus by the historians. According to Arrian of Nicomedia (86 BCE-160 A.D), a Roman (Greek) historian, public servant, military commander and philosopher of the 2nd-century Alexander the Great started campaign against Oxykanos. He writes in Chapter XVI-under the Title of Campaign against Oxykanos and Sambus; “then he took the archers and the Agrianians and the cavalry which was sailing with him, and marched against the governor of a district in that part of the country whose name was Oxykanos, because he neither came himself nor sent envoys to offer the surrender of himself and his country.” Quintus Curtius Rufus in his History of the Alexander the Great says; “Having thereafter the reduced the Musicani, Alexander put a garrison into their capital, and marched thence into the country of Praesti, another Indian tribe. Their king was Porticanus, and he with a great body of his countrymen had shut himself up within a strongly-fortified city. Alexander, however, took it after a three days siege. Porticanus, who had taken refuge within the citadel after the capture of the city, sent deputies to the king to arrange about terms of capitulation. Before they reached him, however two towers had fallen down with a dreadful crash, and the Macedonians having Made their way through the ruins into the citadel, captured it and slew Porticanus , who with a few others had offered resistance. Having demolished the citadel and sold all the prisoners, he marched into the territories of Sambus, where he received the submission of numerous towns”. Curtius calls the subject of Oxykanos the Praesti, a name which would indicate that they inhabited a level country, since the Sanskrit word of which their name is transcript-prastha-denotes a tableland or a level expense. The name, Saint Martin thinks, is in Justin altered to Praesidae; but Justin, it appears to me, means the Praisioi thereby. Oxykanos is called both by the Strabo and Diodoros Portikano; representing perhaps the Sanskrit Partha, “a prince”. It is not easy to determine where his domains lay. They were not on the Indus, for Alexander left that river to attack them. Cunningham places them to the west of the Indus River in the level country around Larkana , which though now close to the Indus, was in Alexander’s time about forty miles distant from it. Their capital he identifies with Mahorta/Mahota, a place about 10 miles north-west from Larkana, where there are remains of an ancient fortress on a huge mound, whence perhaps its name Mahaurddha,”very high”. (The Invasion of India by Alexander the Great: As described by Arrian, Quintus Curtius, Diodoros, Plutarch and Justin By J.W.M’Crindle 1896, Reprint 1992, Indus Publications Karachi Sindh Pages 158).


The Old Courses of River Indus in Kandhkot, Jacobabad, Shahdadkot & Warah

Lous Flam (Ph D U Penn, 1981; Asst Prof) in his Research Paper; “Fluvial Geomorphology of the Lower Indus Basin (Sindh Pakistan) and the Indus Civilization” published in Himalaya to the Sea: Geology, Geomorphology, and the Quaternary Compiled by John F. Shroder London: Routledge, (1993), Says,” The Lower Indus Project (1965) and Holmes (1968) used the comprehensive methodology to delineate 6 major Post- Pleistocene River remnants in the northwest and north central plain of the Lower Indus Basin : (1) Kandhkot Course; (2) Jacobabad Course; (3) Shahdadkot Course; (4) Warah Course; (4) Khairpur Course; and (6) present day course of the Indus River. Of the course remnants listed above, numbers 1-6 belong to former or recent course of the Indus River. Following Butler (1950), Pels (1964) and Schum f bg (1968) , the Jacobabad , Shahdadkot, Warah, Sanghar, and Samaro-Dhoro Badahri course remnants can be considered the older or ‘prior stream’ course of the present Indus River, and the Kandhkot, Khairpur, and Shahdadpur course remnants can be considered younger or ancestral courses of the Indus River. The Jacobabad Course, Course marked by sub recent river terraces, is traceable as the most northwesterly and oldest of the former river courses of the Lower Indus Basin. Traces of this course emerge from the present Indus River near Kandhkot, and run in westerly direction toward Jacobabad where the course’s remnant deposits become mixed with Kachhi Plain piedmont sediments and the course becomes untraceable any further west. The Shahdadkot Course remnant is traceable as a zone of bars and channels from southwest of Jacobabad down to Shahdadkot where it disappears (Holmes 1968). This course is perhaps the remnant of a distinct and independent river course; i.e. separate from the Jacobabad course. Aerial photographs and maps of the prior river courses of the Lower Indus Basin permit speculation that the Jacobabad and Shahdadkot Channels should have been two reaches of the same river. The Warah Course occurs as a distinctive broad zone of extensive high bar deposits and indicative of a major river (Holmes 1968). Similar to the Jacobabad course, the Warah Course had its origin near Kandhkot. Unlike the Jacobabad course, which ran due to west from Kandhkot, the Warah course turned toward the southeast a short distance west of Kandhkot. Running southwest of Kandhkot, the Warah course is clearly traceable as it passes west of Sukkur and Ratodero, through Warah, and west of Mehar towns. West of Mehar the Alluvial deposits of the Warah Course are intermixed with and obscured by piedmont plain deposits of the Khirthar Mountains along the entire length of the trough extending from Jacobabad to Manchhar Lake (Bull 1972 & Ansari 1973). Previously the Warah trough had been thought to have been a major independent river course of the westernmost part of the Lower Indus Basin, but this is not precisely the case. The trough was named Western Nara Channel by Pithawala (1936/1959), Fraser (1958) and Memon (1969), but should not be confused with the seasonal spillway of a later time scalled the Western Nara (Holmes 1968). The trough was a major river course in that it was an extension and part of the Jacobabad and Warah courses. Raverty (1895) called it the Sindh Hollow, and noted that it was also referred to locally as the Ran or Marsh, the Pat or Desert, or the Dasht-i-Bedari. Sindh Hollow was the designation used by Panhwar (1969) and is used herein. According to M.H.Panhwar, the Arab traveler Ibne Batuta (1304-1369), after crossing western branch of the Indus between Kandhkot and Thul / Jacobabad and two days by boat or march along its embankment reached Junnani a large fine town on the bank of the Western Branch (called Warah Course). Ibne Batuta might have entered Sindh by Suleman Range into Lower Indus Valley. His original text (1333 A.D) reads as follows; “After crossing the river of Sind called Banj Ab, we entered a forest of reeds, following the track which led through the midst of it, when we were confronted by a rhinoceros. In appearance it is a black animal with a huge body and a disproportionately large head. For this reason it has become the subject of a proverb, as the saying goes Al-karkaddan ras bila badan (rhinoceros, head and no torso). It is smaller than an elephant but its head in many times larger than an elephant’s. It has a single horn between its eyes, about three cubits in length and about a span in breadth. When it came out against us one of the horsemen got


in its way; it struck the horse which he was riding with its horn, pierced his thigh and knocked him down, then went back into thicket and we could not get at it. I saw a rhinoceros a second time on this road after the hour of afternoon prayer. It was feeding on plants but when approached it, it ran away. I saw a rhinoceros yet another time when in the company of the king of India we had entered a jungle of reeds. The sultan was mounted on an elephant and we too were mounted on elephants along with him. The foot-soldiers and horsemen went in and beat it up, killed it and conveyed its head to the camp.” Ibne Batuta again gives description of a beautiful city called Junani which is situated in present Warah Taluka. He writes, “ After two days’ march from (the crossing of) the river of Sind we reached the town of Janani, a large and fine town on the bank of the river Sind. It has beautiful bazzars and has been inhabited from ancient times by a people called the Samira, whose ancestors established themselves there on the conquest of Sind in the time of Al-Hajjaj [712 A.D], as the chroniclers of the conquest of Sind have noted.The Shaikh, the learned Imam, the ascetic doer of the law, and devout Rukn-Al-Din , son c of, the Shaikh , the devout and ascetic Imam Baha-Al-Din Zakariya, the Qurashite( he was one of the three whom the Shaikh and virtuous saint Burhan –Al-Din the lame told me in the city of Alexandria that I should meet them, God be praised), told me that his earliest ancestor was called Muhammd Ibn Qasim the Qurashite, and he took part in the conquest of Sind in the army which Al-Hajjaj Ibn Yusuf dispatched for that purpose during his governorship in Al-Iraq and settled there and founded a numerous family.These people called Samira never eat with anyone nor may marry anyone outside their clan, nor do they allow anyone to marry into it. They had at this time an Amircalled Wunar whose history we shall relate in due course. From Janani we travelled to Siwasitan (Sehwan), a large town, outside which is a sandy desert, treeless except for Acacias. Nothing is grown on the river here expcept Pumpkins, and the food of the inhabitants consists of Sorghum and Peas, of which they make bread. There is a plentiful supply of fish and buffalo milk, and they eat also a kind of small lizard stuffed with curcuma.” (Ibne Battuta: Travels in Asia & Africa 1325-1354; first published 1929, Reprinted in Great Britain by Redwood Burn Ltd. 1983) In 1955, M.H. Panhwar discovered the ruins of Ibne Batuta’s Janani settlement in Taluka Warah, Deh Junani at Junani Inspection Bungalow, constructed by Sindh Public Works Department (PWD) in 19th century. Before advert of automobile, this vast bungalow had stables for horses. It was built on a high mound of ruins and appears 3 to 4 feet high from surrounding land, which had risen by 3 to 4 feet. From Junani, Ibne Batuta travelled down to Sehwan. He does not mention if he travelled by road or by boat and whether he passed through Manchhar Lake. Currently, Junani is known for its Islamic School, beautiful Mosque and old Library containing thousands of Arabic, Persian & Sindhi manuscripts and rare books. Junani is situated 3 miles in the west of Warah on Warah-Hamal road. Another important River Indus course was of Sirwah. Sirwah It started from Bolan River in the south of Sibi and finally reached Manchhar Lake near Sehwan. Amini-ul-Mulk Nawab Mir Muhammad Masoom Bakhri, the Amir of Mughal Emperor Akber the Great (1542-1605) has given details of this course in his Persian Account “Tareekh-e-Masoomi” in 1600 A.D. According to Yousif Merak Bin Mir Abu-al-Qasim Namkeen the length of Sibi/ Bolan River was 50 Miles and later it joined Sirwah on Sindh Border and finally its waters flowed down towards Manchhar Lake. (Tareekh-e-Mazhar Shah Jahani 1634 A.D). He also tells us about Mulla River, Cotton Plants grown in Sibi Area and the Poisonous Snakes found in that part of country. Main Shahal Muhammad Kalhoro (1657A.D) is said to have dug Ghar Wah from River Indus near Larkana to irrigate lands of this area.













River Indus is Pakistan’s longest river. The total length of the river is 3,180 km (1,980 mi). Its estimated annual flow stands at around 207 km3 (50 cu mi), making it the twenty-first largest river in the world in terms of annual flow. It has also courses through western Tibet (in China) and Northern India. Originating in the Tibetan plateau in the vicinity of Lake Mansarovar, the river runs a course through the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit, Baltistan and flows through Pakistan in a southerly direction along the entire length of Pakistan to merge into the Arabian Sea near the port city of Karachi in Sindh. The Indus Valley Civilization (2600-1900 BCE) is one of the world's earliest urban civilizations, along with its contemporaries, Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. At its peak, the Indus Civilization may have had a population of well over 5 million. Inhabitants of the ancient Indus River valley developed new techniques in handicrafts and metallurgy. It extended west to the Makran coast of Balochistan, north to northeastern Afghanistan and south to Daimabad in Maharashtra. The civilization was spread over some 1,260,000 km², making it the largest ancient civilization. To date, more than 1,052 cities and settlements have been found, mainly in the general region of the Indus River and its tributaries. Among the settlements were the major urban centers of Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro, Ganweriwala, Dholavira, and Rakhigarhi. Many of the archaeologists opine that "flood" was the most probable reason for Indus fall. Indus River Basin has many Indigenous tribes and communities living on its banks for last thousands of years. These Aboriginal or Indigenous tribes have deep roots with Indus Valley Civilization. Some of the m are 1) Bhils 2) Kolhi 3) Menghwar 4) Gurgala 5) Shikari 6) Wartia 7) Saniasi 8) Sami 9) Khati 10) Kochhara 11) Kumbher 12) Ravera 13) Kabotaria 14) Jogi 15) Burira 16) Gurara 17) Muhana 18) Bagari 19) Hadwar 20) Bhangi 21) Guaria 22) Baleshahi 23) Rebari 24) Charan 25) Sati 26) Oad 27) and 28) Lohar. The “Kihals”, in some areas referred to as “Mors”, is also an Indigenous group of Indus Valley stretched from Chashma Barrage District Dera Ismael Khan to Taunsa Barrage District Muzzafergarh, Punjab, on the banks of River Indus. As regards religion, this community is Muslim converts and like many converts in the country they also introduce themselves as “Sheikh”. The Kihals are boat people who live in the upper Indus region. They travel up and down the river, shifting their huts according to their needs and the time of year. They have distinct social organization and cultural value system. According to some figures their population is estimated 40,000 to 45,000 families in above areas. The territory and livelihoods of these Indigenous peoples lies within the 170 Kilometers long and 15 Kilometers wide strip of Indus River Basin between Latitude 30-32’ E in Dera Ismael Khan, Layyah and Dera Ghazi Khan, Siraeki Waseb Pakistan. They speak Siraeki language which is a dialect of Sindhi. The only historical references available on the community are the Colonial ones. Almost all Gazetteers of British Government of India 1881, 1884, 1929 and 1931speak about this Riverine community but only to count. “The Kihals and Mors are said to be one tribe. In the north of the district they are called Mor, eat crocodiles and tortoises, and no Muhammadans will associate with them. In the south they do not eat these reptiles, and are considered good Muhammadans. Kihals and Mors live by fishing, but some have taken to agriculture. They, as well as the Jhabels, are fond of cultivating Samuka. These tribes live separately in villages near rivers. (The Punjab District Gazetteer, Volume XXXIV-A, Muzaffergarh District, 1929, P-77). According to some other historians this is a nomad tribe of fishermen and boatmen, who ply their boats between Kalabagh and Sukkur on the Indus, rarely if ever quitting the valley of that river. But Mallahs, described as Jhabel by caste and Kehal by Got are found in Ludhiana, and doubtless elsewhere. The Kehals claim to be the earliest converts to Islam between Kalabagh and Karachi, but profess to follow Imam Shafi, and eat unclean animals and fish found in the Indus in spite of the Quran. The Kihals are divided into 3 groups 1) Loria 2) Daphala and 3) Mora. (Rose. H.A, 1911 AD). Instead of fish, crocodiles, and Indus Dolphin, the Kihals also eat different birds like wild-duck, wild goose, and partridge as well. In early summer, during April and May, Kihals, Mors and the Sheikh engage in harvesting in the Kachha (low lying Riverine area). This agriculture labour was once so rewarding that in addition to instant wages landlords obliged them through vegetables, fruits and other such products round the year. In late summer they harvest, clean and dry Kaanb, Kanh, Koondre and Sar (Sacchaarum Munja) from delta on both sides of the river. They make tokris, cages, thatched roofs, and ropes from reeds and grass grown on the Indus River banks. This work is also done by

Kurutana, Kuratana or Kutana community. Possibly the Kutana of the Indus River are a distinct caste or people from the Chuhras , but they
return no large tribes and appear to be a caste formed from the debris of numerous tribes degraded by function. This occupation of Reed Work (Patals) is still continued by Sheikh Community in Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan. So they are called Patrai Sheikh the Sheikh who works in reeds.


According to Rose. H.A, (1867-1933) Book entitled “A Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province (1911A.D), Reprinted New Delhi India 1997, Vol: III, “Sheikh is an Arabic word meaning an elder or a chief, and probably corresponds very closely among the tribes of Arabia with Chaudhri among those of the Punjab. Thus the title should probably be confined to, and is very generally assumed by, tribes of true Arab descent. But it has been degraded to a much more vulgar use. If a Rajput or Jat, turn Muhammadan he retains his caste name, and is still a Rajput or Jat, Sir Danzil Ibbetson had known Musalman Rajputs who had fallen in life and taken to weaving call themselves Shaikhs, though still recognized as relations by their brethren of the village whence they came.” (Page 399) “So if an outcaste man of impure calling becomes Musalman and retains his occupation, or at least substitutes for it another only slightly less degrading, he also retains his caste name or is known by an entirely new one, such as Dindar or Musalli. But the class which lies between these two extremes, and are neither so proud of their origin as to wish, nor so degraded by their occupation as to be compelled , to retain their original caste name , very generally abandon that name on their conversion to Islam and adopt the title of Sheikh. There is a Persian proverb; “The first year I was a weaver (Julaha), the next year a Shaikh. This year if prices rise, I shall be a Sayed. More over many of the inferior agricultural Musalman tribes of Indian descent have, especially in the west of Province, set up a claim to Arab origin, and though they are still known by their tribal name, probably or almost certainly return themselves as Sheikhs in a census.” (Page 399) He writes again, “Shaikhs do not bear the best characters in some parts. In Rohtak they are said to, “Supply recruits to our armies and jails with praiseworthy indifference”, and in Dera Isamel Khan the Nau Muslim Shaikhs are described as, “a lazy thriftless set of cultivators.” The Shaikhs thus described are of course to be sharply distinguished from the true Quraish of the south-west Punjab. According to Monkton the term Shaikh is applied loosely to an extraordinary number of Musalman artisans and others of similar status in Gujarat.” According to Rose. H.A, Shaikh is also a title among Tarkhans in Dera Ghazi Khan. He also describes Shaikh Bhangi or Shaikhra, a class of Muhammadan Chuhra’s found in Delhi who say that they accompanied the Muslim invaders from Arabia. Sometimes they are also called as Lalbegi. In the same book he describes Shaikh Khel; a non Pathan sept found, with the Mandezai, Senzai and Khwazazai in Jandol (Bajaur), said to be of Kafir descent, but now reckoned as Pathans. Regarding Shaikh Simalani, he says it’s a Sayed clan (Agricultural) found in Montgomery area.


I was born on 18th January 1977 AD at a village called Kot Ghulam Shah, Taluka Kamber, District Larkana presently District Kamber Shahdadkot, in the province of Sindh Pakistan. It was the place where Mian Ghulam Shah Kalhoro (1722-1772), the Ruler of Sindh once constructed a mud fort to safeguard Larkana area from invaders of the north. My ancestors had also taken active part in the construction of this royal fort by cutting dense jungles through their sharp sickles. They were settled beside the fort before the arrival of Magsi tribe in the village. The remains of this historical fortress are situated 30 Kilometers in the north-west of Larkana in a dilapidated condition these days. Like Kihals and Mors, the two aboriginal and indigenous tribes of Indus Valley Civilization; my forefathers were also associated with hunting and cutting jungles which were grown on River Indus and its canals and watercourses .During summer they harvested, cleaned and dried Kana/ SAR from both river banks. They were skilled in making baskets, cages, thatched roofs, and ropes from reeds and grass grown on the water. Thatch is a historic roofing material still seen in some reconstructions and homes designed for a traditional appearance. Thatch roof utilizes bundles of tightly packed long-stem plant material as the roof sheathing. The roof not only sheds water but also serves as insulation for the building. As with all traditional building methods, there are materials that have been used for centuries. This occupation is still continued in upper and lower Indus Valley by thousands of families. Due to making Patar/ Patal (thatched roofs Sheets) my grandparents were called as Patrai Sheikhs. The Sheikh Community, I belong to, is totally different from Sanjogi Sheikhs due to its colour, language, customs and traditions. Its socio-economic conditions are also weak as compared to others. The Patrai Sheikh Community lacks in Education Their major sub clans of this coomunity are Teji, Mandhar, Rati, Gharoo, Allana etc. My grandparents used to speak Siraeki language which shows their connection with southern Punjab. Sometime after I had been weaned, my father came to take my mother from the house of Jaro Khan Sheikh, who was his father in law. He was a tall man with fair complexion. His occupation was sowing rice seeds, harvesting crops and sometimes doing reeds work. He took Patals on his head and went to sell them in Kamber which was much at the distance from his home. His wife –my paternal grandmother, Haliman Sheikh was a housewife who took care of the house as well as children. My mother had a brother called Muhammad Ramzan who died in his childhood. My maternal grandfather Jaro Khan Sheikh lived many years at village Kot Ghulam Shah. Later on he moved towards Larkana where he used to work with Sindhi Sheikhs who sold different fruits and vegetables i.e. Lotus Roots called in Sindhi as Beh. He lived his life in Manghoo, Kot Ghulam Shah, Larkana and finally in Shahdadkot. My father, Sikander Ali Khan had neither formal education nor much wealth; despite these advantages, he possessed great innate acumen and generosity of spirit. My parents couple was ideal for many of our relatives. I was only one year old when Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the first elected prime minister of Pakistan was assassinated on April 4, 1979. My family members did not cook meals on that day due to severe grief and attachment with Bhutto family. My grandfather died very soon after this incident. I crawled at that time so I don’t have any of my grandfather’s memories. The Royal Mud Fort of Kot Ghulam Shah near Kamber


Due to unavailability of family written records, I can only trace father of my grandfather, Muhammad Saffar Sheikh, who lived in village Dadu Hullio, Deh Hullia, Taluka Kamber District Larkana, Sindh. According to Din Muhammad Kalhoro the village was founded by Dadu Khan Hullio in 1715 A.D. It is also called Hullian Ji Wandh in the area. There is tomb of a Sufi Saint named Ahmed Shah Bukhari in this village which is said to be the disciple of Shah Nasiruddin (died 1900 A.D) of Naushehro Feroze, Sindh. The lands of this village were irrigated by Koor Dato, a canal dug by Mian Dato Khuhawar during early 18th Century AD. He was a disciple, courtier and a general of Mian Yar Muhammad Kalhoro and his son Mian Noor Muhammad Kalhoro, the rulers of Sindh. My great grandfather, Muhammad Saffar Sheikh was a poor farmer. He used to cultivate lands of Hindus and prepare thatched roofs from jungle reeds and grass. Umendan Khatoon, her wife was a skilled woman who would also work with him. Both the husband and wife were living a happy life but they had no children. It is said that Muhammad Saffar Sheikh was a devotee of Ahmed Shah Bukhari, whose tomb stood in his village. Ahmed Shah Bukhari was disciple of Shah Nasiruddin of Nausheroferoz. My greart grandfather used to visit and look after the tomb of Ahmed Shah Bukhari. My great grandfather was highly inspired by Sufism and other Islamic teachings. He constructed a little mosque for travelers and caravans on main Kamber-Miro Khan road which stands till today. The elderly people of the area call this mosque after name of my great grandfather. due to poverty and lack of resources , my grandfather as well my father did not take care of the mosque. The villagers of Dadu Hullio repair it annually with their donations. After passing some years, one day he decided to migrate from his ancestral village Dadu Hullio to nearby village Mena in order to live with his close relatives. He had no child for a long time which made him sad and despair. Someone told him to go inside the old graveyard to pay visit to the graves of Syed Sisters locally called Hadeero for prayers at night for child blessing. It is said that he went to the old sandy graveyard for three consecutive nights by carrying clay balls in his hands for rituals and prayers. While he was reciting the Holy Scriptures during 3rd night he saw the ghost of above graves who gave him blessings for children’s birth. After this prophesies, he returned back to his home happily and very soon his wife became pregnant and gave birth to a son (My grandfather Nehal Khan) and a daughter (Qaiman Khatoon). Muhammad Saffar Sheikh became prosperous soon after. He bought a pair of Bullocks, cows, and some goats. He never built a house but always lived in thatched huts. He was chief of his tribesmen. There were more than 100 households under his control and he dealt them with respect, love and brotherhood. Nothing else is known about the life of my great grandfather. It is quite clear that he died before the partition of Indo Pak subcontinent in 1947. When my great grandfather died his wife Umendan Khatoon was married to Faiz Muhammad Sheikh. He was a laborer and lived in the same village. There, Umendan Khatoon gave birth to Toto Khan, Mai Syedan and Mai Bachul. Faiz Muhammad Sheikh had many spirits and ghosts in his control which were transferred later to his daughter Mai Syedan Khatoon. It is therefore our family still holds these spirits with high esteem.

Sindhi Bullock Cart


In olden days records of births and deaths were not kept in our family ily but I am quite sure that my grandfather ndfather N Nehal Khan Sheikh was probably born in 1919 A.D at village llage Mena, Mena Taluka Kamber. Village lage Mena is one of the historical, commercial and cultural villages s of Taluka Taluk Kamber, Sindh. It is 11 Kilometers ometers in the north from Kamber on Kamber-Miro Khan road. It t has nearly nearl 400 houses with a population ulation of 10,000 souls. This village was founded by Rais Bhanbho ho Khan Meno M during 1700s. It developed eloped du during Talpur rule and caught fire during British Government ent of India. Ind There were 2 large Hindu du temple temples inside the village. The headman of Hindus was Mukhi i Moorand Mal. Three wells belonged onged to M Moorand Mal, Awat Roy and Chetoo Mal who were businessmen nessmen and a landlords of the area. a. Mostly t the Hindus did trade in gold and grain. The gold bazzar, , cloth bazzar baz and sweetmeat shops were ve very popular in the surroundings. Wadero Nehal Khan Sheikh The main tribes and casts residing here are e ; Mena, C Chandia, Syed, Lohar, Soomro, Khuhra, Machhi, Chaki, , Malha, Magsi, M Gopang, Sheikh, Ghanghera, Mashori, Manganhar, Mangi, Mirbahar, Mugheri, Jat, Lashari, Daya, Khokhar, Kori, mangria, Mochi, Seendhur, See Kunbhar, Boohar, Memon, Jhinjh etc. A Government t Primary School was established in village Mena in 1904. The village llage has 11 mosques and 2 Islamic Madressahs. It has also 10 workplaces for leaf cigare cigarette workers whose number is more than 250. The village has always alwa remained under the attack of dacoits and robbers. One of the important figures of this village was Swam Swami Dhramdas alias Dharmoon (1804-1916), a Sufi saint. He came here in 1827 from Miro Khan. He was so honest that Seth Basant Ram invite invited him to become his partner in business. During this he was spiritually spiri attached with Hindu Sadhus whose centre was at Raunti i a few Kilo Kilometers in the west of this village on Kur Dato banks. In Raunti, Diwan D Nebho Mal was organizer of Sufi gatherings in which mystic tic songs w were sung by Hindu and Muslim singers. In 1847, the elder lder brother brothe of Swami Dhramdas died due to measles. On this incident he renounced enounced f from the world and led a secluded life under an old jungle gle tree located loc near his village. He lived there for 13 years. Finally Diwan Wasan san Ram to took him to Syed Wasan Shah. He lived in his company for 6 months mont and thence returned back to village Mena and established a Spiritual iritual Cen Centre called Dharmoon Darbar. Atal Ram served him with great respects re and care. The Swami read poetry of Shah Inayat Sufi, Baba ba Bulha S Shah, Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai and Sachal Sarmast, the well-know known saints of Sindh. s poetry. H He knew Hindu Writing Script. He was also expert in Arabic abic language. langu In his last days he Dharmoon also composed Sindhi religious set out for a long journey and went up to Quetta uetta and Bombay. Sufi Kheraj Mal advised him to live at Larkana a where he h established a temple near Gandhi Garden. He died on 4th December ber 1916 at Hyderabad. His disciples took his dead body back to Larkana for f cremation. Many of his disciples migrated from Sindh to India where the they established Swami Dharamdas Trust. Sheva Mandli Rohri started star publishing his poetry in the shape of a monthly magazine entitled led Sangwas from January 1916. Dharmoon never married in his life. Other important Hindu figures of this village were famous poet Azad ad Sufi an and singer Ram Panjwani. While the well-known Muslim personalit ersonalities of the village were Syed Din Muhammad Shah (1880-1973), Allah Dino ino Mashori, Karim Bux Meno, and Dr. Syed Mehmood Shah, a Ph D Scholar. My grandfather was only 12 years old when n 7.1 magn magnitude earthquakes destroyed present day Quetta city killing illing 40,000 40,0 dead. The incident took place on 31st May 1931. In 1932 Sukkur ur Barrage was inaugurated by the Government of India. On 28th January 1933 19 the name Pakistan was coined by Chaudhry Rehmat Ali Khan and was a accepted by Indian Muslims as their new state. Another quake on 31st May 1935 killed more 50,000 people in Quetta city. When my grandf grandfather Nehal Khan Sheikh reached at the age of 25 he fell ll in love with w a girl. Nothing is known about her life and nature but it is generally enerally to told by my elders that my grandfather left his house and vanished away a in the bushes. Later on he attached himself with spirituality lity and mu music. He received his musical training from Nooral Mirbahar, bahar, who also lived in the same village. Well-known Research Scholar Dr. Nabi Bux K Khan Baloch (1917-2011) has given description of Nooral Mirbahar Mirbaha in his book on Dodo Chanesar, published by Sindhi Adabi Board Hyderab yderabad, Sindh 1976. He took music lessons for 10 years from m his master mas Nooral, the fisherman. Nooral Mirbahar died during the he reign of General Muhammad Ayoob Khan. Later on, my grandfather father moved mov into the company of mystics and started singing at different shrines rines of Su Sufi saints throughout the province. He grew long hair and nd adopted the costumes of Sufi folk singers.He frequently paid visits to the e shrine of Muhamad Shah Kaheri on Indus banks on opposite side de of Larkana. Larka


British Viceroy of India Lord Mountbatten visited Pakistan on 3rd June 1947. Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was recommended as the first Governor General of Pakistan by the then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Mr. Clement Attlee. On 8th August Pakistan’s National Flag was approved and finally Pakistan came into being on 14th August 1947. The partition of India in 1947 had brought about a complete change in the population of village Mena. The Hindus started leaving Sindh and offered their fertile lands to my great grandfather Muhammad Saffar Sheikh who was already working as a farmer to them. It was a piece of 7 Jarebs of land irrigated by K0or Dato Canal. The land was later usurped by Sirai Khakan Guramani who was a friend of my grandfather. It is said that Hindus houses were empty for many years. Some of my elders did not accept the lands of migrating Hindus. After the death of my great grandfather Muhammad Saffar Sheikh his son Nehal Khan Sheikh became the head of the tribe. He and his other relatives were of this opinion that who would irrigate the lands and will wait for crops ripe. And who will serve Tapadar and will accompany him with his pony towards Kamber. They used to earn their livelihood by sowing rice seedlings and cutting reeds at Naurang, Ghari, Hatri, Larkana, Bagirji, Abdoo, Jehaniyan and old Sukkur. They lived there for 15 to 30 days with their wives and children. In this way each of them earned 50/- to 100/- Rupees each season. From this amount they bought food, clothes and utensils from Old and New Sukkur. Due to severe poverty the women of the tribe washed clothes weekly and fortnightly. The women of the family used to grind flour early in the morning with millstones placed in the houses. Their daily food was boiled rice with milk and other vegetables. They ate fish and beef on eids and other religious days. They feared that their clothes would be torn if these would be washed again and again. They always lived in thatched huts because they feared that the roofs of the houses would fall on them and they would be dead. They had sickles and axes for cutting reeds from jungles. After preparing reed thatched roofs called Patals they would place on their heads and sold them in Kamber on foot. Some of them had Bullock carts to carry 30 to 40 Patals for selling these to Larkana instead of Kamber which earned them much cost. They liked the route of Larkana because arched bridges of Koor Dato and Noor Wah were difficult for bullocks to cross from. Sometimes people hired their bullocks for carrying grain towards different villages and towns. As they were herdsmen therefore they had plenty of milk, butter and curds. They also dried different vegetables like turnips for cooking in difficult days. They entertained their children with sugarcane only. They had cots and mats for sleeping and pitchers for drinking water. The house of my grandfather Nehal Khan Sheikh as well as others was treeless. Old graves, jungle bushes and sands surrounded them. Their locality was locally known as Sheikhan Wari Buth in the area. It was completely an unprotected area without fences. All of the village cattle stood there and relaxed for hours. Edan Wah flowed from its northern side. Umendan Khatoon cut reeds from jungle and prepared Patals for his household expenditures. His Patals were sold by Wadero Foto Khan Sheikh, Jaro Khan Sheikh and Rasool Bux Sheikh. It is said that Umendan Khatoon buried the savings in the ground; it’s why she sometimes forgot where the money was hidden. During hot summers she made grass brooms and sold them door to door. She could get flour in the return from the houses which was cooked by family members. She was a tall woman with dark complexions. Her teeth had been broken in last of her days. Her house was situated in the north of Eidgah in village Mena. Wadero Photo Khan and Khabar Khan were brothers to each other. They lived in Shahdadkot while some of their closed relatives lived in village Bharmi near Shahdadkot. Khabar Khan Sheikh was married to Mai Muradan alias Chhuti Sheikh. They had five daughters Mai Shanul Sheikh: she was previously married to Sabar Khan Sheikh but afterwards. She married Sirai Wajid Ali Khan Khuhawar, a landlord and her husband’s master. She had two sons 1) Hidayatullah Khan Khuhawar and 2) Nazir Ahmed Khuhawar. • • Mai Satbhirai Sheikh: She was married to Gul Hassan alias Jaro Khan Guramani in village Mena. Mai Ashraf Sheikh: She was married to Wadero Nehal Khan Sheikh who gave birth to 1) Sikander Ali Khan Sheikh 2) Roshan Ali Sheikh and 3) Ayesha Khatoon Sheikh.


• •

Mai Moomal Sheikh: She was married to Punhal Khan Chandio of village Buthi near Baharam Mai Marvi Sheikh: She was earlier married to Lashkri Khan Magsi of village Usman Khokhar near Mena. There she gave birth to 1) Hasina Magsi and 2) Sakina Magsi. After her husband’s death she was married to Muhammad Ali Guramani of village Mena. Here she gave birth to 1) Shamshad Begum Guramani 2) Irshad Guramani 3) Asghar Ali Guramani and 4) Balqees Guramani.

My grandmother, Mai Ashraf Khatoon was a simple housewife. His first son was Himat Ali Sheikh who died within a few months after his birth. Later on my father Sikander Ali Khan was born in 1948. Very soon she gave birth to twins Roshan Ali alias Majan Khan, my uncle and Ayesha Khatoon, my mother in law. She died in 1960s in a very young age and was buried in Mena graveyard. My grandfather’s mother Umendan Khatoon started caring little orphans. After her sudden death my grandfather engaged himself fully with music. He was a close friend of Ustad Gulzar Ali Khan, Ustad Muhammad Juman Sakhirani, Mai Jeevni Gurglo, Allah Wasai Mallah, and Utstad Makhno Faqir Wadho. Shamshad Sheikh alias Koyal, the wife of Makhno Faqir and mother of Master Manzoor also sang with him. Many times he was advised to record his songs with Radio Pakistan Hyderabad but he refused to do so. He liked the company of Dadli Sheikh, one of the most famous singers of Larkana. Haki and Bashi, another two famed Sheikh singers also accompanied him during his trips. He left his house for many days even months and returned back after so much time. On returning to his house he would distribute his savings to household members. My aunty Ayesha Sheikh said that his sweet voice was recorded in a reel but nothing is known about this reel or recording. Seeing my grandfather, some of my father’s cousins Anwer Ali Sheikh and Anwer Khatoon Sheikh later known as Razda Parveen took interest in singing. Razda Parveen joined Ustad Muhammad Juman and settled at Hyderabad. She has 40 Albums to her credit. She married Bashir Ahmed Sheikh and gave birth to 1) Muhammad Aslam Sheikh 2) Mushtaque Ahmed Sheikh and 3) Baby Shabana Sheikh. Her daughter Baby Shabana is famous singer of Hyderabad. While the family of Anwer Ali Sheikh also took singing as their source of livelihood. Both of the families are connected to this profession till this date.

One year during his stay in the village Mena, Nehal Khan Sheikh went to live beside Sir Shahnawaz Khan Bhutto (1888-1957) Bungalow at Larkana. Many houses of Sheikh Community lived and earned there. Mirbahars and Brohis were their neighbouers. Peeral Brohi along with his wife Malkan and their daughter Fatima lived there. My grandfather’s shelter logs were spread on the walls of Al- Murtaza House. Sir Shahnawaz Khan Bhutto was the father of Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (1928-1977) and grandfather of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto (1953-2007). My father and his younger brother and sister sometimes climbed up the boundary walls of the bungalow for plucking flowers. Sometimes they could succeed in plucking flowers while at some occasions they had to bear the scolding of gardeners. My father as well as my aunty tell that they saw many times to Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Begum Nusrat Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto, Murtaza Bhutto, Sanam Bhutto and Shahnawaz Bhutto in their garden.


My father Sikander Ali Khan was born in 1948 at village age Mena. He got married with his cousin Ghulam Zuhra Sheikh in 1958. He was only 10 years old at the time of his wedding ceremony while my mother was 8 years little girl. The marriage took place at Dari Muhalla Larkana with extreme simplicity. The guests uests were only served with cooked rice and cold water. In return Wadero Photo Khan gave his daughter to Jaro Khan’s brother called Rasool Bux Sheikh. n twice in 1960 and 1964. On 25th General Ayoob Khan was elected president of Pakistan May 1965 India Pakistan Border fights started which brought a great destruction within the countries. During 1965 Indo-Pak War my parents settled themselves th near AlMurtaza House at Larkana which belonged to Mr. Zulfiqar lfiqar Ali Bhutto B and his family. My father told me that one day during that time Naodero dero Railway Railw Station was bombed twice and whole of the area was in great fear. On 22nd September Septembe 1965 a ceasefire went into effect. It was the time when Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto tto founded founde Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on 30th November 1967 and became its first irst chairman. chairm After a civil war on 16th December 1971 East Pakistan declared independence ence with the name of Bangladesh. On 20th December 1971 Pakistan president t General Y Yahiya Khan resigned as the president of Pakistan. The conditions were quite unpredictable and everyone wanted to settle tle somewh somewhere with his relatives. One of my father’s relatives was Rais Wajid Ali Khan Khuhawar who was well off at Shahdadkot. It was the time whe when Hidayatullah Khuhawar, the eldest son of Rais Wajid Ali Khan Khuhawar, urged my parents to leave Larkana and settle down at Shahdad Shahdadkot. My grandfather took all house belongings to Shahda Shahdadkot and dumped them into an old house near Rawat Magsi agsi Hotel Hote on Railway Station Road Shahdadkot. There was a small room and stabl stable inside the old building. Beside my grandfather’s house there were we the houses of Jaro Khan Sheikh, Rasool Bux Sheikh, Rais Tooh oh Sheikh, Yar Muhammad Lashri, Rajab Ali Sheikh and Bashir Ahmed hmed Sheikh. She All of them did reed work and made Patals and Tooas. They had d their ow own donkey carts which were used for carrying reeds. There re were seven date palm trees inside the house which were said to be haunted. The trees gave a large quantity of red dates annually. A water ter supply situated under the shady trees beside the main entrance. All neighbouers and our house members filled water from that water point. The total area a of our house was roundabout 5000 feet. An Imambargah (Shia hia comm communal place) was situated beside the house which was named med after Nooro Loro . A sweet watercourse flowed from Tanwary distry by y passing through Ratodero chowk down to Mehmood Shah Imambargah mbargah beside b Railway line. Finally it turned through Khuzdar Chowk and ran in front of our houses and finally ended at the place where now Happy Hap Home High School is situated. It emptied in a lake in which Khanbaha hanbahadur Pir Bux Khan Khuhawar- II would visit for hunting birds irds and fish f through a boat. It is said that this lake came into existence on account of fort built in defense of Shahdadkot. Its mud was used in the construction cons of mud fort. t Khan Ma Magsi, a local broker who belonged to village Sarangani, District Jhal Jh Magsi Balochistan. Our neighboring houses belonged to Rawat His hotel was famous where a Black & White ite TV ente entertained the people. His wife Sadori Magsi taught Holy Quran to the t children. Rawat Khan Magsi left behind a son named Advocate Niaz Ali Magsi. Another neighbouer was Ustad Jamaldin Dayo, PST by profession originally belonged to village Abad near Jacobabad. After the c creation of Pakistan he shifted towards village Mena near ar Kamber. Kamber Later on he moved on to village Nao Tharo Wadho and finally settled at Sh Shahdadkot. He left behind five sons namely Nizamdin, Imamdin, mamdin, Sadardin, S Badardin and Qamardin. His son Sadardin literary known as Sadar Jamal Dayo is a famous poet and writer of Shahdadkot. He is one on of the active members of Sindhi Adabi Sangat Shahdadkot from many years years. He entered education department as Primary School teacher on 17th August 1987. There was our another neighbor named Muhammad mad Ilyas Mir Jat who also became a teacher while I was learning at Govt: (Prov :) Boys High School Shahdadkot. One of our neighbors was Anwer Ali Chandio who was a descendent of Moulvi Barkat Ali Chandio, a great Arabic rabic and Persian scholar and courtier of Nawab Sir Ghaibi Khan Chandio. Muham Muhammad Alam Mir Jat and his sons Madad Ali Mirjat, a local well-known stage artist and Mashooque Ali Mirjat originally belonged to village Kot Ali Nawaz Khuhawar. They were the descendents of Jamadar Panjo Jat who was a famous wrestler and head of watchmen in Shahdadk Shahdadkot. The famed folk singer Haaj was his wife whose beauty ty and sweet sw voice were so popular in Larkana region. Syed Pir Hisamuddin uddin Ra Rashdi has given her description in his book Hoo Dothi Hoo oo Deenh. Another house near our home belonged to Muhammad Juman Brohi, hi, who ha had three sons Intizar Hussain, Zakir Hussain and Mehar r Hussain.


Whereas Jaffar Mgasi our neighbouer had two sons called Mumtaz and Altaf. There was also house of Mai Phami Magsi, Mag a Physical disabled lady. Her husband’s name was Ghulam Rasool Mach Machhi who belonged to Larkana. She would eat meal, drink k water, and an put thread into needle with her feet because she was armless. I myse myself saw Mai Phami Magsi practically doing all these things. Her eyes ey always seemed to be reddish and heavy. She was fond of Naswar r and biri. It is said that she went to perform Hajj on grant of General Zia-ul-Haq, Zia the then president of Pakistan. Comrade Wali Muhammad ammad M Manganhar wrote an article on her life which was aired on n All India Radio Sindhi Service by Veena Shringi. Her son Sikander Ali Magsi agsi was a donkey cart maker. Muhammad Azeem Magsi, Shoukat t Hussain Soomro and Iqrar Hussain Soomro were also experts in this profession profession. It is said that there were a great number of huts of Nari Wal Chandama faqirs in olden days that lived beside e the garden gard of Sardar Ali Khuhawar which was famous for Pomegranates tree trees. Bano Punjabi worked there who was murdered later. Imdad Magsi, Ma Mai Goher Barijo, Muhammad Haroon Brohi, Habibullah Chandamo, o, S Sikander Magsi, Qasim Magsi, Rozi Faqir Sheikh, Durani ni Sheikh, Moula Bux Bhatti and Jaffar Magsi were also some of the neighbouers. The There was a shop of Punhal Sheikh whom I saw very old and weak. He H seemed to be model of old Hindu Shopkeepers in his appearance. Beside these houses there was house and Rice Mills of Khadim Hussain ussain Langah, La a well-known diehard of PPP in Shahdadkot. On the other er hand in the opposite side of road there were Municipal shops and nd houses of Baleshahi Sweeping Community. There was a garage of Ustad Lutuf Mast Mastoi who repaired vehicles of all kinds. At walking distance ce there was a bungalow of Mir Abdul Qadir Magsi. The houses of Kalhoros, , Chandio Chandios and Chakis located in the neighborhood of Mirs bungalow. Next Nex to it were Kamber Larkana Bus Stand, Bengal Rice Mills and Railways Quarters. The other notable buildings were Godown locally known know as Diko. Actually it was a shed of Old Railway Station Shahdadkot which was considered to be the center of Rice and other crops s supply. There was a cemented water tank for donkey and horse carts. There ere was ho house of Goher Barijo on the present site of Prince Cinema. The growth gro of cinema started from 1947 to 1958. The golden age of this industry w was under President Ayub Khan (1959-1969). The age of VCR was 1970 to 1977. Zia-ulHaque’s Islamization, Gandasa Culture & downfall p period stretch from 1979-1988. My parents and their relatives also went to see Sindhi films in the cinema like Chandoki, Mithra Shaal Mila Milan, Pardesi aen Piyar and Jeejal Maa. The film industry collapsed in Pakistan from 19882002. The Prince Cinema started working round about 198 1980s. Its plot originally belonged to Mai Goher Barijo. Jahan han Khan Niazi, a rich Pathan bought this plot from her at meager amount. His anc ancestral village lay in Mianwali District Punjab. His wish was to construct con a grand mosque on the site but his son Lala Ghulam Muhammad mmad Nia Niazi was of this opinion that he would build a cinema on that plot. plot Finally the latter succeeded in his desire. He himself labored during th the construction of the cinema. It is said that a labour was as killed during d the construction work. The cinema was very famous among the peopl people. It showed pictures three times in a day i.e. from 3:00 pm, 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm. Its ticket was very cheap. The films of Muhammad mad Ali, Z Zeba, Nadim and Shabnam were very popular. The cinema ma was functional fu up till 1990s. Abdul Razzak Joyo and his brother Muhammad mmad Asla Aslam Joyo were the cinema painters. Their father was Karim rim Bux Joyo, Jo a Railways employee. Lala left Shahdadkot and finally ly moved b back to Mianwali around 2008. He had three sons Sher Bahadur Niazi, N Sherdil Niazi and Sher Samad Niazi. Currently the owner of the cinem cinema property is Shahnawaz Khan Brohi who lives in village Machhi hi Khan K Khokhar near Shahdadkot.


In those days, Making Beedi or Leaf Cigarettes was a flourishing profession. A bidi or biri is a thin, Indian cigarette filled with tobacco flake and wrapped in a tendu or possibly even Bauhinia Racemosa leaf tied with a string at one end. The name is derived from the Marwari word beeda—a leaf wrapped in betel nuts, herbs, and condiments. The commercial Indian beedi industry saw rapid growth during the 1930s probably driven by an expansion of tobacco cultivation at the time but also helped by Gandhi's support of Indian industry and Indian products. My father learnt the profession of biri making from Ustad Punhal Sheikh who was one of his close relatives. After becoming skilled in this work he earned his bread in Mena, Larkana, Shahdadkot, Ranipur, Sakrand, Khuzdar and Quetta. My father, my uncles, my brothers and my cousins all were associated with this profession so almost every male of my family took to this profession eventually I myself was a biri-worker from 1987-1994. My mother Ghulam Zuhra Sheikh was a housewife. She was simple, house decorating and caring lady. Everyone honored and respected her due to her loving behavior and attitude to others. She was matchless and exemplary lady even among our distant relatives. She loved my father. She bore him five sons Ghulam Abbass, Akhter Ali, Javed Ali, Khalid Ali and Aijaz Ali and three daughters called Rozina, Mahtab and Seema. Rozina and Aijaz died recently and untimely. She recited Holy Quran and told beads on regular basis. She loved my siblings especially she was attached with me to the core. She passed away in 1986. After her death my father never married again. The couple was in fact an apple of eye to all my relatives.

Sikander Ali Khan Sheikh=my Sheikh=my father


Khuzdar or Khozdar is a town located in Khuzdar District in Balochistan, Pakistan. Khuzdar is the capital of Khuzdar District, which was created on 1 March 1974. Previously, Khuzdar was part of Kalat District. A large military complex is near completion near Khuzdar, which would make it the second largest cantonment in Balochistan, after Quetta. Khuzdar was the capital of the Brahui kingdom of Makran. In the early 17th century it was part of the Jhalawan kingdom, but it soon fell under the Kingdom of Kalat, where it remained until a series of revolts during the reign of Khan Khudadad Khan (1857-1893). By 1896, after Khudadad’s death, the authority of Kalat was restored. Under a treaty with Kalat, the British appointed a political agent at Khuzdar in 1903. British assistance continued until 1947, after which the area was forcibly made part of Pakistan, and became part of the Baluchistan States Union. When the Baluchistan States Union became Kalat Division, Khuzdar was established as the divisional headquarters. The divisional administration of Pakistan ended in 2000. Khuzdar was again established as the Divisional headquarters in June 2009 by the Pakistan People’s Party Government. It was 1970s when a young man named Wattar Khan Brohi came to my father while he was working at Larkana and asked him to teach him how to make Biris. He belonged to Channal, a sub clan of Zehri tribe living at Khuzdar. His father Ghulam Rasool Zehri died 4 days before his birth. When he became 3 years old his mother Ayesha Khatoon also died. After this, his uncle Ghulam Hyder Brohi took care of him. Wattar Khan Brohi was an orphan with no future planning. At that time my father taught him how to make Biris. He remained one year with my father like a household member. My father considered him as his brother. After one year’s period he went back to Khuzdar and opened a shop in 1973. He invited my father for working together at the shop. As my father had experience and vast friendship with Biri workers so he helped him collecting round about 150 Biri workers at Khuzdar. Most of them belonged to various parts of Sindh i.e. Shahdadkot, Kamber, Gaji Khuhawar, Ghogharo, Larkana and Mehar areas. Each of them could earn Rs. 6 on every 1000 pieces of Biri at that time. Presently this rate has reached to Rs. 330/= per 1000. My father in law- Rais Tooh Khan Sheikh along with Rajab Ali Sheikh and Lal Muhammad Sheikh had also joined him. My father also took me there and my father reminds me that Wattar Khan Brohi loved and cared me as his own son. Nowadays he has grown rich and owns a general store at Jinnah Road Khuzdar. He has three sons 1) Aijaz Khan 2) Zuber Khan and 3) Elyas Khan and five daughters named 1) Nasrin 2) Samrin 3) Sumera 4) Afshan and 5) Sadia. He focused his children and provided them good education. His eldest son Aijaz Ali Brohi holds a key post in Khuzdar Engineering University. The family lives in Kathan near Khuzdar. Famous Baloch folk singer Akhter Channal is one of his relatives. I saw him in my present home during his visit in 1980s.


Sheikh Javed Ali Sindhi


Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was the first elected democratic prime minister of Pakistan. He had close relations with King Faisal (1906-1975) of Saudi Arabia. A serious secessionist and rebellious conflict occurred in Balochistan province in 1973. In response, Bhutto ordered Pakistan Armed Forces an armed action, which was quelled by the Pakistan Armed Forces successfully in 1978 and speeded up economic and political reform in the region. Bhutto and his party won the parliamentary elections held in 1977. However, in a successful coup d'état led by General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haque under codename Operation Fair Play; Mr. Bhutto was removed from the office and was held in Central Jail Rawalpindi (CJR) as General Zia-ul-Haq proclaimed himself as Chief Martial Law Administrator of Pakistan. Mr. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was executed in 1979 after the Supreme Court of Pakistan controversially sentenced him to death for authorizing the murder of a political opponent, in a move that many believe was done under the directives of General Zia Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was hanged on 4th April 1979 at Rawalpindi. His dead body was taken to his ancestral village Garhi Khuda Bux Bhutto through a helicopter. Bhutto ‘children Murtaza and Benazir worked on rallying the international support to release of their father. In all, the entire Muslim world was silenced on Bhutto's execution, and Libea‘s Gaddafi was in shock after his request was denied and publicly sympathized Bhutto's family over the loss. Before being hung, Bhutto made a final speech and his last words were: "Oh Lord, help me for... I am innocent". Many Pakistan's political scientists and historians and the leading U.S. experts such as Ramsey Clark believed that Bhutto's removal and his execution was a single and most dramatic change in the world politics and a major setback for Soviet Union who failed to realized the effects of Bhutto's executions, in which, will emerged on Soviet Union's future. Bhutto's death was a turning point of Cold war, and critical and a breakthrough in world power alignment since World War II. After eight months passed since Bhutto's death, Soviet Union intervened in Afghanistan that hampered the Soviet economy and led the dissolution of Soviet Union, and United States emerged as single most powerful country in the world. All wept and cried on his death because he promoted the poor and farmers. He gave them voice of freedom. It was awakening period hence whole of the country went into grief and mourning. Our grandfather and his other relatives felt sorry for their beloved leader and went without eating and drinking for a long time. All male and female Chuhras and Baleshahis (sweeping community) of Shahdadkot rushed towards Garhi Khuda Bux Bhutto / Naudero to attend funeral prayers of their beloved supporter because many of the sweepers had been appointed in Shahdadkot Municipality during his rule. The funeral of Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was offered at Dargah Mian Ghulam Siddique Mekan and Eidgah. Riaz Hussain Awan was arrested by Police on funeral prayers announcement openly through loudspeakers. When I was a child I roamed with my brothers around Shahdadkot Railway Station. People pointed to a large piece of iron and said that it was a remains of an aircraft in which Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was present. Later on when I grew I felt that it was a part of Railway Engine. It was Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who built metelled roads, constructed bridges and brought electricity and Water supply to Shahdadkot. He provided facilities to poor farmers. Donkey carts were introduced in his times and he asked all the people for collective labour. Saifullah Magsi Branch was dug on his order for tail end farmers of Qubo Saeed Khan and Shahdadkot. In order to curb unemployment, Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto established Textile Mill at Shahdadkot. Pakistan Army remained in Shahdadkot from 1979 to 1986. I found Bhutto as a hero for my family and other citizens of Shahdadkot.



My grandfather Nehal Khan Sheikh was now in his 60s. He used to eat good food as he was invited by rich men in their weddings and joyous occasions. He ate meat, fish and cooked rice with butter and milk. He was quite healthy but in the last of his days he became patient of Asthma. He showed himself to Dr. Mandho Mal who gave him medicines. He also took herbs but could not recover. My father took him in his arms to the doctor. He finally died after one year’s treatment. When he died, it was 7th day of holy Muharram and the night he breathed his last, my father was marking Shia Flag in nearby Imambargah. His dead body was taken to Imambargah and laid into rest in Kurk or Misri Shah Graveyard in the south of Shahdadkot. My grandfather’s nature was simple and soft. He used to wear a smiling look. He devoted his whole life for promoting message of Sufi saints through music. His dress was simple. He mostly wore colorful loincloth. In winter, he wore black coat. He always put Boski turban on his head. He wore shoes and sandals and was highly respected by the people. His facial complexions were wheat colored. He was fond of puffing leaf cigarettes and sometimes used Hubble-bubble. When he died, my younger sister Mahtab alias Marvi had been born. His songs were recorded on tape but none of these are available now. In August 1979 highest monthly rain 792.2 mm at Thar was recorded. In Shahdadkot it rained 3 months continuously. My grandfather died on 7th Muharram 1400 AH. / 27th November 1979 AD. It was cold winter season at that time.





One of remarkable incidents of my life in childhood was the fall of Skylab. The Skylab was a space station launched and operated by NASA, the space agency of the United States. Skylab orbited the Earth from 1973 to 1979, and included a workshop, a solar observatory, and other systems. It was launched unmanned by a modified Saturn V rocket, with a mass of 169,950 pounds (77 tons/ 1925). On July 11, 1979, the American Skylab Satellite fell on the western part of Australia. However, for a few days before its fall, the parts of the earth on its route generally were tense, nervous, apprehensive and frightened. Pakistan Radio and Television had inadvertently suggested that the Skylab might fall anywhere on the Indo Pakistan and Bangladesh subcontinent. In Pakistan, people in general but especially women, had come to believe that Doomsday was close. A number of people left their normal activities and spent all their time praying in the mosques. There was a general atmosphere of hopelessness and senselessness but of enhanced religious fervor. During the waking hours people either talked about the Skylab in an apprehensive tone or kept on thinking about its fall. Fortunately, however, Pakistani’s faith in God and in life hereafter kept them resigned to whatever might happen and this attitude prevented any sign of panic behavior. My family and Shahdadkot citizens were also in great fear due to the fall of Skylab. They would say that women would die on 27th of Ramadan and men would bury them but who would be available to dig out graves for men on eid day?! Many men and women as well as children died in this fear and turmoil in Sindh. Islamic Republic of Iran was established in December 1979 under the leadership of Ayatullah Khomeini (1902-1989). The public talked about Iranian revolution everywhere which gave strength to Shia community in Shahdadkot too.

The Skylab


Our old house was located on Railway Station Road Shahdadkot. The house contained 2 rooms and a big courtyard with groves of date palm trees. There was my grandfather’s fruit shop beside my father’s cabin. The Prince Cinema which was center of peoples gatherings, stood at some distance on the same road. The area used to be very busy in the evening when Cinema night shows started. Vendors lined up on the road and sold their items. There was a well locally called a Charkhi from which my grandfather would draw water for drinking purposes before the Water Supply connection in the town. I remember those days when we used to track far distance from our house to nearby railway station for merry making. There we played games and plucked flowers. We waved bye-bye to every vehicle that passed by our house and in response we enjoyed a lot. We sang songs for aero plane that flew in the sky. We used to see gigantic National Logistics Cell (NLC) Trawlers carrying machinery and other goods of Shahdadkot Textile Mills. It was the time when inventions of modern Science & Technology were entering into public life. Radio, Television, VCR and Telephone were the most recent discoveries that the residents of the city had. Cars, Ford Wagons and Buses transported the people from one place to another and making the journey faster. Horse Carts (Tanga) and Bullock Carts were also commonly used by the people. In my childhood, the town lightened with electricity and its total population was round about 100,000. Khanbahadur Pir Bux Khuhawar-II (1903-1978) was the most influential personality and he was master of each and everyone. His word was law in the city. Love, peace and prosperity ruled the area because of his fear and strictness. Another important event of the era was the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana that took place in 1981. In 1982 I used to watch news of Lebanon Israel War on black and White television at Rawat Magsi Hotel. We shifted in present house in the beginning of 1982. My father took me to Ustad Lutuf Mastoi who was owner of a garage near my previous house in order to make me a good mechanic in the future. Though I was of very little age for the work but my father took me there in order to pass my time. One day while working I hurt my toe and it bleed bitterly by uprooting my foot nail but I still continued working there. One day an audio cassette of Imdad, a senior worker was missed there. I was blamed for it. I tried a lot to prove my innocence but was rebuked. This incident broke my heart and I left the work. Since 1980s Yar Muhammad Sheikh, the owner of Shezan Shahdadkot Hotel lodged a false claim of our house against my father and other relatives. My grandfather and his close relative Muhammad Khan Sheikh continuously went for hearings in Kamber Civil Court for 3 years. In this crucial situation, our neighbors kept a bad eye on our house for occupying it. They started making plans against us. Three of the Magsi Bodyguards of an influential person in the city occupied our house early in the morning. My father had arrived from Khuzdar on that day. He was told whole the situation by Sirai Wajid Ali Khan Khuhawar and other kiths and kins. Later on, the Magsis paid an amount of 27,000 Rupees to Sirai Wajid Ali Khan Khuhawar for the occupation which was quite handsome amount of that time. In the result of this situation, my family went into bitter agony. They were helpless and homeless but sooner Wajid Ali Khan Khuhawar offered them a deserted Hindu house situated beside his Haveli near Qazi Mosque Shahdadkot because he had taken the amount of 27000 from Magsis on behalf of my father for our home. My family shifted to present house in early 1982 through a truck and unloaded household belongings at the courtyard of the house. It was very old house and in dilapidated condition. So my father demolished it and constructed a room and a large veranda. When our house reached at the roof, Sirai Wajid Ali Khan Khuhawar passed away on 15th May 1982. On his death my family underwent heartfelt pain because he was so kind to them. He was buried in Tajar Graveyard where his father had constructed a burial chamber for his wives and other family members in 1930s. The building of the graveyard was a remarkable structure with Mughal Patterns. I saw him while our house construction work was under way. He was short and he would put on Jinnah Cap on his head. He was of wheatish complexion. After some days of his burial my father once again started the construction work and finalized the house. Actually it was an Evacuee Property left by a Hindu named Hiro Mal S/o Deo Mal. Its city survey number was 1255 Ward B. Its total area was 345 yards. It had a big room and courtyard with 3 entrances. A cattle shade was also situated in its southern side. The construction work was started by chief mason Abdul Latif Lashari, who was my father’s friend. While demolishing old building many Black Cobras came out of their hidings. Abdul Latif caught these snakes with his hands and put Naswar in their mouths. By this, the snakes started shivering and died at once. It was the scene which I have never forgotten. Since then I have also been killing many poisonous snakes in the house.


My grandfather’s sister Qaiman Khatoon died soon after we settled in new house. She was married to Wadero Photo Khan Sheikh. My mother served her with extreme respect and honur. Qaiman Khatoon was in habit of puffing Hubble bubble. She loved and kissed me a lot because I had been given name of her deceased husband Wadero Photo Khan. She was with dark complexion. As she was severely ill therefore she was brought from Larkana to her brother’s house in Shahdadkot where she breathed her last and was buried beside her brother in Kurk or Syed Misri Shah Graveyard. I still recall that she would emphasize me to shoulder her dead body while taking it to graveyard. It was the year 1983. Our new neighbourers were Sheikhs, Pathans, Punjabis, Khuhawars, Chandios, Mugheris, Channas and Hindus. The house beside our northern side belonged to an old Sheikh Lady called Hajani. She sold clothes in the city. She had many young and beautiful daughters. A black and white television was in her house. We all brothers and sisters used to watch dramas in their house. The lady had no male family members at that time therefore one of the rented shopkeepers succeeded in getting control of the property on the meager amount. Beside the house of old Sheikh Lady there was the house of Muhammad Ali Kharani. His family sold fried soft food on cart on the main road. Her mother was so frank with my mother as a neighbourer. The women of our house used lipstick pasted on wooden pieces. Their sandals were made of hard wood. My mother did Kitchen gardening and grew Brinjals, Onions, Garlic, Chilies, Cauliflower and other vegetables. There was a house of Habib Pathan beside ours. They were engaged in making and selling of Iron Trunks. The family lived above the shop. I saw an old lady there who always chewed Betal nuts and leaves. Though her house was small but it was full of bags, utensils and other household items. I still remember that they had beautiful Parrots and Cats in their home. I usually went there to see these Parrots and cats. Very near to this house there was residence of Chaman Qureshi and his brother called Nanho Qureshi. One brother had business of iron trunks while another was Watch maker. After some time a dispute arose among both brothers and finally they were separated. The Chaman House was very small but attractive. He had 3 sons named Rehan, Rizwan and Arsalan and 6 daughters Shama, Shabana, Kousar, Hina, Sana and Farida who were all educated. One of them was a teacher in KG Primary School Shahdadkot. Lessons of Holy Quran were held in their house daily in the evening. Opposite to Chaman house there was a shop where Cotton was cleaned. Muhammad Ali Channa alias Mamoo was its owner. Beside this shop there were the graves of Qazi family in decaying condition. The children of Chaman were our close friends. They used to come in our house and played with us. The family of Chaman specially his wife Fatima always remembered us on eids and other happy occasions. She would send us meals and sweetmeats on such events. We also took care of them as they had fear of thieves from our side of home which was actually an open plot spread on thousands of square feet. My father in law Rais Tooh Sheikh’s thatched hut was situated beside the Hindu house of Lachhi Bai which was started from the end of Chaman’s residence. Other houses of Chandios and Mugheris were at a distance from us. The Mugheris had lands and Al Shakoor Hotel near Khuzdar Bus stand in Shahdadkot. While the only Chandio house belonged to the family of Ahmed Ali Chandio. He was employed in Sindh Police. He left behind one son and a daughter named Salim Raza Chandio and Noor Jehan Chandio. Both of them have worked in NGOs. The building looked like a compartment of train. The Garanths were placed in her house. She was considered to be a pious lady. Every one respected and honored her. She was aged women and her husband was also tall man with meek nature. I saw him buying vegetables and fruits from bazzar. Round about 30 to 40 women came to their house daily for religious gatherings. Veena Shringi has mentioned Lachhi Mai in his Reminiscences published from New Delhi 1984. She had sons and daughters. Among these Mr. Sukhdev Gurnani was famous who became a lecturer at Govt: Boys Degree College Shahdadkot. I saw him combing his hair beside window that opened into our house. His sons Dr. Rajesh Kumar, Mahesh Kumar, and Suresh Kumar studied at Government Mehran Primary School Shahdadkot.


The residents of this house were rich in gold and money. Our cricket ball usually went inside their neat & clean house. Though my family was illiterate in their eyes yet they never looked down upon us. One day thieves entered their home but failed to take away anything because of the cries that awakened the whole neighborhood including ours. After this incident this Hindu family protected their house with electric fence and shifted away. They sold the property to Hajji Lal Bux Soomro in Rs2, 70,000 in 1986-87. He had 4 sons namely Qurban Ali, Imdad Ali, Deedar Ali and Nadir Ali. The family had blood relations with Ustad Peeral Kamber (1933-1994), the famed poet of Shahdadkot. The houses of Dr. Nazir Ahmed Jarwar, Dr. Sobdar Jarwar and Syed Raunaq Ali Shah were also situated in this area on main road. The house of another Hindu shopkeeper Sunder was also situated in the western side. His daughters and sons also played with us. He prepared Lai (Sweetmeat) at his shop along with his other assistants. His sons Sunil Kumar and Ravi Kumar were my brother’s friends. Their friendship was mostly about Indian films as we had obtained a VCR connection from them. I myself went to their house many times. The grinding machine of Moulvi Abdul Qadir Khoso was located in our street. He was tall man with white beard dyed with hena. I saw many rare Arabic and Persian books in his hands while he worked in the machine. He was a religious man. In front of him were some carpenters shops that belonged to Moula Bux Soomro, Gahi Khan Soomro, Ali Goher Patoojo, Muhammad Pariyal Soomro and Moriyo Soomro. Besides these shops, there was a Shifakhana of a Doctor and residence of Muhammad Khan Magsi. After some time this residence was rented by a dramatic group of city under Mirani’s supervision. From this point of location started the Maqbool Khuhawar Rice Mills and houses of Rais Feroz Khan Khuhawar. During my primary education I used to go to this mill and did preparations of my exams in the evening. The labourers took bath from the water tank after finishing their work here. The large houses of Khuhawars were decorated with deer horns. The Qazi Mosque was built by Qazi family in mid 19th century. The Qazis were the assistants to Khuhawars in Shahdadkot and kept their lands record. They had come from village Tando Murad Ali Khuhawar along with Khanbahadur Pir Bux Khan Khuhawar-I. Some of the graves of Qazis were situated under a large Neem tree which were given a boundary wall later by Captain Dr. Abdul Hameed Qazi. The children were taught Holy Quran by Ustad Ghulam Abbass Imam of the mosque. Now a day’s Moulvi Ghulam Asgher Solangi is performing this duty. The caretaker of the mosque was Hajji Sardar Ali Khan Khuhawar who has passed away recently in July 2013. The shop of Muhammad Ali Kalhoro was opposite to Qazi Mosque where he sold different scented oils. During my childhood, I collected many toys by stealing through a shop located near Qazi Mosque. My elder sister Rozina would talk to the shopkeeper while I would hide these toys behind my back. We were never caught by the shopkeeper but soon we were fed up with this practice because my father bought us many toys. There were the shops of Murad Sheikh and Hidayatullah Sheikh near Qazi mosque. Sunder Nagdev made delicious sweet meal called Lai in Sindhi. The people purchased oil from Ghulam Hussain Alvi’s shop. His son Ghulam Kamber sold candies and biscuits on a cabin. We bought Indian Stars photographs from him. A Pipal Tree stood high near to it. The tree gave cool shade to the labour working under the tree in the Shahi Bazzar. In my childhood, I used to play with puppies and cats roaming inside the house and in the nearby streets. I along with my brothers and sisters collected cold drink covers from the town. There were many Rabbits, hedgehogs, squirrels, frogs, owls, cuckoos, Pigeons, doves, Sparrows, dragonflies and Wasps in our house. Our house looked like a habitation in the woods. The mushrooms grew on the mounds and owls owled in old date palm trees. We tried to offer milk to hedgehogs at night because it was said that their presence is a good sign for luck. We had kept Parrots in cages that ate green chilies and tomatoes most.


Rais Wajid Ali Khan Khuhawar was an influential landholder who owned fertile lands in Shahdadkot, Miro Khan and Qubo Saeed Khan Talukas in Larkana district. His father Sirai Muhammad Bux Khan Khuhawar-I, who was son of Khanbahadur Pir Bux Khan Khuhawar-I, died in 1932. He married from Khuhawar, Pathan and Chaki tribes of Shahdadkot and Shikarpur. He left behind 6 sons named 1) Khanbahadur Pir Bux Khan Khuhawar-II 2) Feroz Khan Khuhawar 3) Yar Muhammad Khan Khuhawar 4) Wajid Ali Khan Khuhawar 5) Safdar Ali Khan Khuhawar and 6) Imdad Hussain Khan Khuhawar. Most of them were philanthropists and played their vital role in the development of Shahdadkot. The great grandfather of Rais Wajid Ali Khan Khuhawar, Sirai Pir Bux Khan Khuhawar-I, was a local tribal chief and he descended from Mian Dato Khuhawar who was a celebrated minister of Mian Yar Muhammad Kalhoro (1701-1719) and his son Mian Noor Muhammad Kalhoro(1719-1753), the Kalhora rulers of Sindh . Sirai Pir Bux Khan Khuhawar-I was a socio-political and public spirited Zamindar. He had close relations with Sir John Keane who was Commander In chief of British Army. Sir John Keane drew supplies from Shahdadkot for his Army on advancing towards Afghanistan, during first Anglo Afghan War in 1840. During that time Shahdadkot was badly hit by River Indus floods and everything was washed away in the whole area. Another important friend of Khanbahadur Pir Bux Khan Khuhawar-I, was General John Jacob who established many out posts to protect Upper Sindh Frontier from mountain robbers. These outposts guarded the border from 1839 to 1858 through Dost Ali, Shahdadkot, Garhi Khero, Rojhan, Khangarh (Jacobabad), Dilmurad, Garhi Hassan, Tangwani, Kandhkot, Kumri and Kashmore posts. He constructed roads, bridges and canals to develop Garhi Khero, Shahdadkot, Kamber and Larkana areas and brought peace and trade in a turmoil conditions in the land. General John Jacob died in 1858 at Jacobabad. After 1858 Khan Bahadur Pir Bakhsh Khan Khuhawar-I took initiatives to rehabilitate Shahdadkot town. He also brought illustrious saint and scholar Mian Noor Muhammad Mekan, his family members, disciples and other Hindu traders from Village Kanda / Balochistan to Mirokhan on 60 Bullock carts and made arrangements for their houses in the town. Soon after, Shahdadkot was again hit by a great flood disaster in 1874. According to A.W.Hughes, “Shahdadpur was a Government town in Kamber taluka of the Larkana Deputy Collectorate in 1874 and, distant about 30 miles north-north-west from Larkana. It was seated on the west bank of the Dato-Ji-Kur Canal, and had road communications with Kamber, Garhi Khairo Jamali, and Hamal, and was the Head-quarter Station of a Tapadar. The population, in number was about 783, comprised 464 Muslims of the Pirzada, Kalhora, Lashari, Sial, Magsi and Muhana tribes. The remainder (319) being Hindus. The chief man of note in this place was Pir Bakhsh Khuhawar, a very influential and public spirited Zamindar, who had done much towards raising this town to its former prosperity.” (Gazetteer of the Province of Sind: Compiled by A.W. Hughes, F.R.G.S., F.S, Bombay UNCOV Civil Service, London George Bell and Sons, York Street, Covent Garden , 1876). A Certificate was awarded to Khanbahadur Sirai Pir Bux Khan Khuhawar- I, in the name of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, Empress of India by Governor General of Bombay and Viceroy of India on 1st January 1878 AD for his loyalty and good services as a landholder of Sindh. Shahdadkot was made a taluka of District Upper Sindh Frontier/Jacobabad in 1883-84. It was separated from Jacobabad District in 1932 and was made a taluka of Larkana district. There was a major role of Khanbahadur Sirai Pir Bux Khan Khuhawar- I, in making Shahdadkot as a taluka. He had married three wives from Khuhawar, Ghaloo and Chandio tribes who bore him two sons namely Muhammad Ali Khan Khuhawar-I and Muhammad Bux Khan Khuhawar-I. The haveli of Sirai Wajid Ali Khan Khuhawar was divided into 2 parts. Both houses belonged to her wives. The haveli was built before 1942 great flood disaster. Its walls were strong and of attractive designs. The courtyard of both houses was covered with Mimosa and Ber trees. Birds twittered on the trees and their shadow was very pleasant. The ceiling of the haveli was made up of black wood. Its upper part was connected with a staircase. The vaulted doors were so beautiful and wide. Peacocks sang whole day in the old building. It was the efforts of Rais Wajid Ali Khan Khuhawar that a Primary school was opened on 5th May 1963 after his name which was later called as Government Primary Mehran School Shahdadkot. He started the school in his own building opposite to Tharo Khan Sheikh Mosque. The earliest Head Master of the school was Mr. Ali Gohar Mastoi. While other teaching staff was Juma Khan Thahim, Muhammad Bux Umrani, Muhammad Yousif Soomro and Abdul Rasheed Soomro. Later on this school was shifted in present building where a fish market earlier existed. Now the school has five rooms building reconstructed and inaugurated by Mir Nadir Ali Khan Magsi, in 1995.


One day, I went to fetch water from haveli along with my sister. I saw there a middle aged teacher who was sitting in the chair. He was teaching English to Miss Naheed Khuhawar the youngest daughter of Wajid Ali Khan Khuhawar at the corner of haveli. She had long hair and a charming face. Later on I came to know that the teacher was Mr. Abdul Sami Arain. He was a senior teacher at Govt: Prov: High School Shahdadkot. He also taught me English in VI Class in 1987. He died recently in on 4th February 2012 at Lahore. His son Dr. Javed Arain is Captain in Pakistan Army while his daughter lives in Canada. Miss Naheed Khuhawar has reconstructed her old haveli in a bungalow. Her only real brother Amjed Ali Khuhawar was addicted to drugs. He died recently before his fixed marriage. Sirai Wajid Ali Khan Khuhawar had married Aman Khatoon Chandio, Shanul Sheikh and Khursheed Begum Khuhawar. He had three sons named Hidayatullah Khuhawar, Nazeer Ahmed Khuhawar and Amjed Ali Khuhawar. He passed away on 15th May 1982. Madam Naheed Khuhawar took part in 2013 elections on PS 40 Shahdadkot, Sijawal Junejo and Qubo Saeed Khan from PML (F) Platform. Election Commission of Pakistan declared following results of PS 40; Mir Nadir Ali Khan Magsi 36,555, Mir Ghaibi Khan Mugheri 13880 and Naheed Wajid Khuhawar 3278 votes. Though she could not win elections yet she made a breakthrough by taking part into politics in Shahdadkot. It was in fact a great change in the community like Khuhawar which she belonged to. After elections she went to Saudi Arabia to perform Umera in July 2013. She holds 118 Acres of agricultural land in Shahdadkot. Names of some notable people who got primary education from Government Primary Mehran School Shahdadkot are as under; Dr. Muslim Khoso, Manzoor Ahmed Bhutto, Dr. Latif Akber Sheikh, Dr. Shahnawaz Sheikh, Dr. Barkat Silro, Dr. Razia Jarwar, Dr. Muzaffar Silro, Dr. Sumera Niaz Solangi, Dr. Nadir Khoso, Maqbool Ahmed Shahani, Dr. Rajesh Kumar Gurnani, Riaz Hussain Ganwas, Zamir Hussain Kharal, Hajul Silro, Professor Khalid Hussain Channa, Sikander Ali Sheikh, Shahid Hussain Abbassi, Liaqat Ali Channa, Abdul Razzaque Channa, Juned Ali Soomro etc. Mr. Abid Hussain Wadho is presently serving as Head Master of Government Primary Mehran School Shahdadkot.

Government Primary Mehran School Shahdadkot


Another important incident that took place was the murder of Silra brothers in Shahdadkot. Shah Muhammad Silro and his son Muhammad Ameen Silro were murdered in Shahdadkot by an unknown killer through dagger knife. While their father Allan Khan Silro was badly injured. The city was in grief due to this murder and a wave of fear arose in the city which persisted for long. Whole the city was closed due to fear and this harassment. Murder was unexpected thing in Shahdadkot at that time. It was the day of 20th January 1982. One of the killed people was a worker in Shahdadkot Textile Mills. Therefore the family of the victims went to the mills for seeking support from labour union. Police arrested Abdul Aziz Silro in this case who spent many of his life years in prison. He remained in Jails from 1982 to 1985 and second time from 1992 to 1998. He taught us Sindhi in 1991 as a Subject teacher in Government Prov: High School Shahdadkot. Professor Abdul Latif Silro is the brother of both above victims. Mr. Abdul Aziz Silro encouraged us in our lessons while we were students of IX Class. It is said that he was a well off in the area and had transport vehicles in partnership with Wadero Adal Silro. It is said that the killer was rented and his name was Shamoo Kharani who was from Kamber. He was also imprisoned for three years or more. Mr. Abdul Aziz Silro had 4 sons and 7 daughters. One of them was Miss Hajul Silro who worked with in NGOs Development Society (NDS) Shahdadkot from 2006 to 2009. I found her bold, laborious and caring person. Her struggle for the empowerment of women in the district is worth appreciating. She teaches at Government Girls High School village Silra near Shahdadkot. She is one of those females in Shahdadkot who are socially and politically a role model for the new generation to follow.


There were many old Mimosa, Date Palm and Ber Trees in our house. Some of them were haunted with ghosts. The Date Palm Tree is worth mentioning in this regards. Actually it was a grove of five seeds with large and scattered branches and leaves. Many ghosts lived there. Old men and women of our family paid homage to the Date Palm Trees and kept special cleanliness around the grove. We the children also thought it holy site like a shrine and swept the area all the time and burnt fragrance sticks. My family members tell that when my parents would sleep at night, the ghosts would carry me away and played with me. When they awoke they found me smiling and playing in the courtyard at the dead of night. Yar Muhammad Lashari, the husband of Mai Kauri Sheikh was said to be the master of ghosts that lived in the graveyard of Hafiz Natho. It is said that Hafiz was disciple of Mian Ghulam Siddique (1844-1905) of Shahdadkot. Mai Syedan Sheikh, one of our relatives from paternal side, had ghosts in her control. Some of them were named as Mirchoo, Muhammad Pannah and Mandiro. The ghost’s entered into the bodies of our relatives who moved their heads in meditation. Afterwards they were served with Piyalo or bowl of water filled with ashes of fire. It was like a cold drink to them that brought them again to the normal life. Yar Muhammad Lashari was brother in law of my maternal grandfather Jaro Khan Sheikh and his brother Rasool Bux Sheikh. Both of them had no children except my mother. Many of our family members saw white dressed ghosts wandering in our house and thatched huts. They are said to be of low height and black colour with long hair. Their eyes were fixed in their heads. Our whole family honored and gave respects to the ghosts living in the trees. Old Yar Muhammad Sheikh always talked about a rare and precious book named Kokapind which was actually used by Hindu priests to control spirits and handle day today matters according to their wishes. He said that it was the book of great value, magic and rituals. He wanted to transfer his ghosts to me but my parents refused him. He originally belonged to village Muhammad Khan Bhutto. He died childless in Shahdadkot. After his death all his relatives took his body to the above village and buried him in an old grave yard situated at the banks of Edan Wah. He was considered as a pious man and till this day our relatives visit his grave annually. My elders were in Ghost phobia since long time. We were fed with ghost stories by our aunty and other female relatives. We did not venture out of doors after dark due to ghosts fear living in the old trees of our house.


Our house was hub of Syeds, Beggars and Transgender who came there on different occasions. Syed Shah Jehanian of village Doonhon/ Rohri paid his visits to our community annually and collected a handsome amount from his followers. The Syed was accompanied by his Khalifa and other persons. They lived 2 to 3 days in the house. Beautiful Quilts and pillows were spread for them. All household members sat on mats while the Syed was placed on a cot. Special dishes like meat, fish and rice were prepared in the honor of the religious guides. Each of the married members was bound to pay annual donation as a sign of gift. Without cash the Syeds also took hens, cocks and goats from their followers. They told my elders that Muhammad ibn Al-Hanafia (633-700 AD) , the son of Imam Ali (AS) will rule over the world before the judgment day. I saw these Syeds many times in my house. They were said to be our ancestral Murshids for last many centuries. None of them impressed me. I saw them only collecting annual gifts and having delicious foods during their stay at Shahdadkot. Last time I saw Syed Sharfan Shah Jahanian who was brother of Syed Shah Jehanian. He was stutterer. Rohri is famous for Muharram Al Haram processions.


Besides these Syeds, my house was also centre of some beggars. One of them was Siddique Ali alias Sidkli Mirasi, an old man of 70 years approximately. He sang with my grandfather and belonged to Dadu. He wore long rings in his ears. He was short but of fair skin. He had an Iron Stick for walking and a bowl for alms. He was accompanied by a blind companion who had beard on his dark face. Most of children feared from him. Sidkli, after returning from bazzar gave us bananas, oranges and olives as a token of love. He also gave us white coins as pocket money. He stayed for a week or two in our house and returned back with his companion to his native town. It was the period of 1982-83 when we went to Larkana on the circumcision ceremony of the sons of Atta Muhammad Sheikh, who had a cold drink shop in Jiles Bazzar at Larkana. His father Sojhro and mother Rani were poor vendors who sold edible items in the streets. Atta Muhammad Sheikh had three brothers Abdul Ghafoor, Muhammad Hassan and Mirza. At that time this family was very rich and famous. On the celebration day they threw hundreds of coins over the participants of the event. It made happy to children as they collected coins in great number. The children of this family studied in different schools. I saw there Arabic Text Book of 6th Class in a room. Atta Muhammad’s son in law Qasim addicted to drugs hence he divorced his young wife Sughera who was married to another person later.


On the birth of children many of Transgender Community members came to our house for gifts and money. They mostly demanded for beautiful dresses. My parents gave them such dresses and money in the return of blessings. Aloo Khadro Dayo was their head in Shahdadkot. The only annual festival in our area was of Syed Hakim Ali Shah Pat Waro near Bahram on Shahdadkot Kamber Road at the distance of 15 Kms. I went there with my elder brothers who were fond of visiting this annual celebration. We bought colorful foamed caps and sweetmeats from the Mela. In this festival, we entertained ourselves through magic shows, dances, wrestling matches, and animal’s shows. My father would also install a cabin there and earn handsome amount in three days. We used to buy pieces of wood from a nearby shop fixed on a big thatched hut beside present Bago Daro Stand. In the absence of wood sometimes we also used buffalo dung for cooking. My aunty told us stories of fairies, ghosts and demons in cold winter nights when there was no electricity in our house. She told us that Sun and the Moon were brothers to each other. One day their mother was taking bath. The Sun rushed towards her disturbing her privacy. She cursed Sun that it would always burn. Similarly the moon also came there on the same day but it hid himself while its mother was taking bath. Finding this mother of both Sun and the Moon blessed moon with charming Moonlight. She said that rest of the world would love the moonlight. Regarding earthquakes older people of my family told me that a heavy and powerful bull has taken earth on its horns. Whenever he changes the horn the earthquake comes and brings the destruction in the world. We used lanterns filled with Kerosene oil at night. Our relatives also told us the stories of Kings, queens and the princes. Some of these mythical and folk stories were of Lal Badshah, Chhateeh Lakhno, Bateeh Lakhno, Bhol Rani, Sassui Punhoon and Umer Marvi etc. My family was spiritually attached to Qalander Lal Shahbaz, Shah Latif and Sachal Sarmast. They elders of the family annually visited the shrines of Mian Ghulam Siddique Mekan, Mian Shahal Muhammad Kalhoro, Yousif Shah Jilani, Pir Jan Muhammad of Naodero, Aalo Sain and Shah Godrio. They were also followers of Mianwal Movement started by Mian Adam Shah Kalhoro in Sindh.


One of the important events in my family history was the wedding of my Uncle Roshan Ali alias Majan Khan Sheikh which took place in 1983-84 at village Raunti, 12 Km in the north of Kamber city. It comprises 250 houses with a 6000 population. Presently Kalhora, Manganhar, Hajam, Hulia, Sheikh, Chandia, Syed, Bhatti, and Channa tribes live in the village. Raunti was a ferry on the banks of Koor Dato Canal. Its neighbouring villages are Allahdino Chandio, Hasula, Mubarak Kalhoro, Mena, Jhinjh and Kot Ghulam Shah. The village is said to be founded by Mai Raunti, a Hindu woman who traded in livestock during 17th Century AD. Later on Kalhora tribe stteled here with the efforts of Mian Nasir Muhammad Kalhoro. Rais Pariyal Khan Kalhoro was a famous landholder of this village. He was son of Chholi Khan Kalhoro. Their agricultural lands stretched from Raunti to Imam Bux Jamali near Shahdadkot. Mahraj Gopi Krishan Shringi (1910-1992), the first Chairman of Shahdadkot Municipality had also lands in Mairi, Raunti and Tando Murad Ali Khuhawar. Its Irrigation Bungalows were constructed in 1903. In 1945, Shamsuddin Kalhoro, Din Muhammad Bhatti and Illahi Bux Manganhar were famous wrestlers. Hindus left the village after the partition of 1947. Stage dramas started in 1965. Walan Sheikh, Gulan Sheikh and Peeral Sheikh played music in stage dramas such as Suhni Mehar, Ishaq-e-Laila and Sassui Punhoon. While Razi Sheikh, Bagh Ali Sheikh and Dilmurad Sheikh were famous folk singers of the village. They mostly entertained people on the shrine of Syed Misri Shah Bukhari whose tomb stood on large sandy dunes in the south of village. My father’s close relatives like Budhal Sheikh, Mula Muhammad Saffaer Sheikh, Arbab Sheikh, Mehar Sheikh,Gulzar Sheikh and Sadoro Sheikh advised him to arrange grooms programme at village Raunti which was near to Kot Ghualm Shah. The bride was Zarina Khatoon Sheikh, the daughter of Kauro Khan Sheikh. The Marriage procession reached Raunti through donkey carts from which 5 wagons were hired for Kot Ghulam Shah. The wedding ceremony took place in village Kot Ghualm Shah. The guests had also come from Miro Khan, Kamber and Larkana. Lady Imam Machhi sang in the programme. Ahmed Khan Sheikh, Muhammad Khan Sheikh, Nooral Sheikh, Muhammad Achar Sheikh, Wazir Muhammad Sheikh, and Khamiso Sheikh served the guests with their core of hearts. Sindhi Jhumer (folk dance)was also performed The special dish of rice and beef was cooked on the occasion. The marriage procession returned back to Shahdadkot on bus. Roshan Ali alias Majan Khan Sheikh was a minor employee in Sui Gas Company at Larkana. Later on he worked at Rice Mills. During his last days he quarreled with my father and left Shahdadkot. He went to live in village Kot Ghulam Shah along with his wife. He left behind a son Muharam Ali Sheikh and a daughter Kalsoom Sheikh. He died in a very young age in TB and was buried in the historical graveyard of Kot Ghulam Shah village. He was blunt and short tempered by nature. My mother took great care of him and prepared for him buttermilk foods. He would take me to his wife while he went to cut reeds from jungle early in the morning.


The Circumcision is derived from Latin word Circumcidere which means "to cut around". It is the surgical removal of the foreskin (prepuce) from the human penis. According to a survey about one-third of males worldwide are circumcised. The procedure is most prevalent in the Muslim world and Israel, the United States and parts of Southeast Asia and Africa; it is relatively rare in Europe, Latin America, parts of Southern Africa and most of Asia. The origin of circumcision is not known with certainty; the oldest documentary evidence for it comes from ancient Egypt. Circumcision is the world's oldest planned surgical procedure, suggested by Grafton Elliot Smith to be over 15,000 years old, pre-dating recorded history. My circumcision ceremony was organized with pomp and show in 1982. A message for the celebration was sent to all of our close relatives living in Shahdadkot, Miro Khan, Kamber and Larkana areas. It was the winter season. Our relatives had put on pink shawls on their heads and shoulders. Delicious food was prepared for all the guests and cultural songs were sung. My father’s cousins took me to the Barber with Red loincloth. I was fully prepared with new dress and scented with talcum powder and henna on my hands and feet. Every male and female member loved and kissed me. At the time of circumcision my relatives put sweetmeat in my mouth and asked me to look into the sky for areoplane. I did this and during these seconds they performed well what they had to do. I was circumcised with razor. My penis was bleeding. They spread powder on it and started its treatment on regular basis. My mother filled a bowl of water and put Neem Tree leaves in it. The bowl contained hot water and she put me in the bowl and tried to wash my wounds with bird feathers. This act lasted for many days and finally I was healed. I clearly remembered that I collected a lot of pocket money from my Circumcision. I used to buy carrots Halwa from nearby Sweetmeat shop every day.

My elder elder brothers Ghulam Abbass, Akhter Ali, aunty Zarina & me





I got my early education from Government Primary Mehran School Shahdadkot. The School General Register shows that I was enrolled in school on 18th May 1982. A Cattle Pound once existed at the site of the school building during British period. After Indo Pak partition, a fish market was constructed by the government on the same location. Previously the school was named after Rais Wajid Ali Khan Khuhawar which was run in his plot near haveli. As the number of students grew day by day which was quite difficult to accommodate under only one room. District Inspector of Schools Larkana and Deputy Commissioner Larkana ordered Mr. Khuda Bux Soomro to occupy vacant building of Fish Market due to unavailability of school building on 16th August 1971. In 1972, Honorable Advisor to Governor Sindh Education Department issued an order to run school at night and change its name from Rais Wajid Ali Khan Khuhawar Primary School Shahdadkot to Government Primary Mehran School Shahdadkot. Such copy of letter was also sent to Chairman PPP Shahdadkot on 15-4-1972. The Janbaz Force Training was organized for school teachers, Municipal employees, Irrigation staff and citizens since 1974. Mr. Taj Muhammad Wadho and Mr. Abdul Rasool Mangi and Aijaz Ali Wadho taught us during initial years. Mr. Khuda Bux Soomro administrated the school at that time. Our classes started with only thirty students, twenty seven boys and three girls. The school assembly bell rang at 7:30 a.m in the morning. The recess started from 10:30 to 11:00 a.m. While school closing time was 1.00 p.m. In winter season the school opened with half an hour’s difference. After Assembly we read Yasarna-al-Quran in our classes. The classes were small in size but these were beautifully decorated with colorful charts, pictures and maps. Abacus for learning counting was also available in primary classes. Wooden blackboards were hung on walls. There were small utensils filled with water for erasing iron slates. There was a small washroom in the whole school. There was no proper arrangement for cleaning in and around the school. Students regularly cleaned classes and the school whereas there was heaps of garbage outside of school. Many people urinated in the drain on southern side where windows of the classes were fixed. Many naughty students used to watch people urinating from these windows. Some of our teachers used to puff Cigarettes and Biris in the school and chatted with each other for hours. Once the school headmaster also issued circular to such teachers by prohibiting them not to do so. There were not chairs for the students neither desks but there were benches on which usually four to five students were seated and students would sit-upon them like sitting on the horse while writing dictation. Some students also used these benches as slides in the recess. We drank water from urns and pitchers kept at the corner of the school. We went to eat meal on nearby hotel during recess beside the Shia Communal place of the dumb. Sometimes we friends enjoyed the delicious beef soup from an old couple on the road. We also bought edibles from Shamshoo, the vendor. We played different games in the recess. There was no gender difference. Girls and boys would play together without any difference. As soon as the school closing bell rang the students would rush forward by shouting out of happiness and would try to get out of the school gate first from the rest of the students. Eventually many students fell down or stumbled on the ground. Burnt bricks were pitched into the school floor. My ears got infection during initial classes which usually puss out in the school time. Then my father took me to the doctor for the treatment. After sometime I recovered. It was a usual scene especially in early primary classes that one or the other student would stool in the dress out of shyness and fear of the teachers. One day I could not control myself as well and did stool in school uniform. When I reached home I was so frightened from my family. I stood at the corner of my house but could not dare to go forward. Noticing my anxiety my mother came to me and realized the scene. She washed me and changed my dress in proper way. My mother had keen interest in Kitchen gardening. She would grow Onions, Spinach, Brinjals, Tomatoes and Garlic inside the house. She loved flowers so much. I had been assigned the task of watering vegetables and flowers with my brothers and sisters. We would eat dates and berries from the trees grown in our house.


The Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD) was a major alliance formed by secular- socialist democratic political forces aiming to end General Zia-ul-Haque’s martial law and military dictatorship in the country. It was formed in 1981. Within Sindh, however, the movement had broad support, forcing Zia to send 45,000 troops into the province to suppress the uprising. Between 60 and 200 people were killed and up to 15,000 were arrested. In Pakistan round about 20,000 Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) workers were killed and between 40,000 to 150,000 people were made political prisoners in crackdown by Zia. The people of Sindh called General Zia as Zialoo out of hatred and anger. According to simple villagers he had made grain expensive that gave tough time to the poor masses. On 24th August 1983, at round about 12:30 pm, angry mobs of the city burnt Municipal Committee, WAPDA Office, Municipal Park and Railway station. According to the Records of RM Larkana Court Crime no 13 of 24-08-1983 mobs of people attacked Shahdadkot Railway Station and burnt its government records. They also threatened Railways staff present on the site. The mob had guns and sticks in their hands. The names of the active persons on that day were as follows; 1) Ghulam Mustafa Abdul Karim Chandio 2) Suleman Ghulam Mustafa Khoso 3) Ali Jan Ali Dost Khoso 4) Sodhal Ali Khan Khaskheli 5) Salim Bux Feroz Khan Khuhawar 6) Asgher Ali Muhammad Siddique Sheikh 7) Irshad Illahi Bux Sheikh 8) Sajjad Hassan Noor Hussain Alvi Advocate 9) Ghulam Murtaza Hafiz Mehrab Brohi 10) Ghulam Sarwar Rehmatullah Magsi 11) Muhammad Ramzan Muhammad Mithal Bhayo 12) Muhammad Aslam Shaukat Ali Punjabi and 13) Gul Muhammad Sherdil Mugheri. The FIR had been lodged by Station Master Railway Station Shahdadkot. The challan was made on 1st October 1985. Later on the accused persons were released by Muhammad Ashraf Arain, Resident Magistrate Larkana. Under the leadership of Comrade Jam Saqi, Shaheed Nazeer Abbassi, Imdad Chandio, Sher Muhammad Mangrio and Ghansham Parkash, the student of 8th Class Momin Jamali of Gandakha gave his arrest in Shahdadkot police Station in 1983. Attaullah Pandrani, Abdul Khalique Jamali, Attaullah Jamali and Muhammad Yaqoob Brohi were already arrested from their native villages. Ghulam Rasool Brohi and Momin Jamali were badly tortured by SHO Syed Abid Shah at Police Station Shahdadkot. After 9 days custody all these prisoners including Comrade Muhammad Uris Silro, Abdul Majeed Silro, Nek Muhammad Silro and Faqir Muhammad Silro were sent to Miro Khan and Ratodero Military Camps. Later on these political prisoners were sent to Ladies Jail Larkana for further prosecution. Muhammad Ali Gadahi, a Biri Worker of Shahdadkot also went to Karachi and gave his arrest alongwith journalists, workers, peasants and students in Azadi-e-Sahafat Movement in 1978. He was badly tortured to death by Pakistan Army Camp at Karachi. Ahfaz-ul-Rehman (1942) a famous Pakistani journalist, writer and poet was struggling behind this movement for the freedom of press. Once I saw his photograph hung on the walls of Umer Brohi Biri Workplace near MCB Shahdadkot. In 1984, General Zia-ul-Haque called for a Referendum seeking approval for his ultra conservative and authoritarian brand of Islamization. Most of the MRD Parties boycotted the referendum and only 10% of eligible voters participated. I saw helicopters flying over Shahdadkot and throwing printed material regarding Referendum in my childhood. People rushed to get any one of those in order to know what was written on them. Some people guessed that those were rupees so they tried to follow the movement of the helicopters. The helicopters were so down to earth that one could easily see pilots sitting in the helicopters. There was much hue and cry. Everyone was uncertain. Conditions were quite capricious. I saw Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan Huqa Wala (1918-2003) in a political congregation organized at Khadim Hussain Langah Rice Mills near Prince Cinema Shahdadkot during my childhood. He was a tall man with weak health. He put on Turkish cap. He made his speech there for the restoration of democracy in the country. I used to join my father’s cabin situated near Khuzdar Bus Stand. From 1985 Abdul Latif Mangrio started Study Circles in Labour Hall and other Workplaces of Biri workers. He introduced books, Magazines and Newspapers to the labour. His personal library contained 500 books on different topics. He also took active part in MRD Movement. My father and brothers made Biris hence I went these places and took meals for them. There, I saw these study circles being conducted with my eyes. I compiled the profile of Abdul Latif Mangrio in Sindhi which was published in Quarterly Indus Valley Newsletter printed by NDS Shahdadkot.



The Pakistan Industrial Development Cooperation (PIDC) Shahdadkot Textile Mills was situated in the north of Shahdadkot City and was one of the biggest Industrial Complexes in the country, employing round about 8000 workers in Larkana or present Kamber-Shahdadkot District, Sindh. This Textile plant was established in 1974 under the instructions of Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the then Prime Minister of Pakistan. His Majesty Muhammad Raza Pahlavi (1919-1980) the Shah of Iran had assisted Pakistani Government for the installation of this Mega Project in Shahdadkot. The Mills was spread on 200 Acres or 400 Jarebs of Land in Deh Chandia, Shahdadkot. Originally this land belonged to Rais Ali Hassan Khan Chandio who was one of the close friends of Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. On the special request of PPP President Taluka Shahdadkot Muhammad Usman Sheikh, Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto constructed this mill to provide employment to the people of Shahdadkot area. While Saifullah Magsi Branch was dug on the special request of Maulana Comrade Illahi Bux Qureshi to provide irrigation water to the tail end farmers of Qubo Saeed Khan and Shahdadkot area. On the special requests of Mahraj Gopi Krishan he founded Govt: Prov: Boys High School and Government Boys Degree College in Shahdadkot. In 1976 the Machinery was installed in this Mill. This installation work was done by Chinese and Japanese engineers who stayed at Sambara Inn Hotel at Larkana for many years. The heavy machinery was brought to Shahdadkot through NLC Trawlers from Karachi Port. I saw these heavy yellow trawlers with NLC Mark during 1980s. We used to take out black grease from their tyros. Whole of the Plant took many years for completion. In 1977, it was about to be completed when Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was arrested. The total expenditure on this mills is said to be 66 Crore Rupees. In 1978 this Mills was started and it became a main source of income for many laborers of Sindh, Balochistan, NWFP, Punjab and Kashmir. Its first General Manager was Brigadier (Rtd) Yaqoob Beg Siddiqui. Other MDS of this mill were as follows; 1) Chaudhri Ashraf Warich, 2) Muizuddin Khan, 3) Nafees Ahmed Siddiqui and 4) A.H. Solangi. Other minor officials of the mills were Abdul Qadir Chandio, N.A. Baloch, Munir Ali Qureshi, Rahim Yar Khan Khuhawar and Hakim Ali Unar. Momin Electric Press Shahdadkot printed ID Cards for the Mill workers. The number of workers employed in the mill is said to be approximately from 5000 to 8000. Majority of them belonged to Shahdadkot, Garhi Khero, Kamber, Biro Chandio, Rato Kot and Larkana. While nearly 100 Technical Staff belonged to Faisalabad, Lahore, Bhakkar, and Karachi. After its completion, the plant started up production regularly around 1981. It had 25000 spindles which had 117 Frames. It was a complete industrial plant of its times, comprising spinning, weaving, dying and all required processes for textile production. The laborers worked in shifts. Each of the shifts worked for 8 hours and had total 35 working men. In this way each of the Shift could produce 30/35 or 40 Bales and each of the Bales Mills was of Rs.8000/= worth. There were 40 Cones in every Bale. The cloth of different kinds was printed here and it was sold in Faisalabad/ Punjab. A famous Lawn called JHALAK was printed here and it had large sale in whole of the country. Its Advertisement was also shown on PTV. The basic pay of a Fitter in 1981 was Rs. 750/= per month. After the MRD Movement the workers, laborers, social as well as political activists once again united themselves for a long-lasting struggle for democracy restoration. The Mills caught sudden fire in 1981-82 but was extinguished at the earliest and no major loss occurred. In the 2nd week of October 1984, Watan Dost Mazdoor Federation and Trade Union Mazdoor Federation Shahdadkot celebrated Latif Day in Shahdadkot Textile Mills. It is one of the most remarkable celebration events in the history of Shahdadkot for me in case of my primary education. The organizers of the programme were Comrade Abdul Aziz Abbassi and Qurban Ali Soomro. They collected a donation of round about Rs. 1, 50,000 from Mill workers, citizens and other influential’s of the area. More than 5000 participants attended this historic event besides labour workers. The programme had been arranged with different categories i.e. speeches, wrestling matches and musical shows. The chief guest of the programme was Sardar Muhammad Bux Khan Khuhawar-II, the ex-chairman and famous landholder of Shahdadkot. Other important figures were Mir Amir Khan Magsi, Abdul Haque Khatiyan (Pak Saudi Fertilizer Company Mirpur Mathelo), Makhdoom Abdul Rasheed (Al-Noor Sugar Mills Shahpur Jahania/ Nawabshah), Dr. Arbab Khuhawar, Lal Bux Larik and Syed Mushtaque Shah. Sirai Sajjad Soomro, Comrade Muhammad Uris Silro, Abdul Fattah Markhand and Ghulam Sarwar Silro also attended this event. Wrestling matches were played among the wrestlers from Sindh and Punjab. One of the wrestlers had taken up tractor with his hands by displaying his strength. Whereas the famous singers Alan Faqir, Manzoor Sakhirani and Abida Parveen entertained the audience. The programme lasted till late night. Round about 250 guests were served with meals in residential quarters of the mills. Some of the participants had come from far-flung areas such as Jacobabad, Shikarpur, and Larkana.


For the guests 35 tents were fixed in the programme according to Riaz Hussain Awan, the owner of Mazdoor Decoration Shahdadkot. I recall that I went to attend this programme with my elder brothers Ghulam Abbass and Akhter Ali. Both of them were Biri workers and were in the attachment of Textile Mills workers. I clearly remember that that Shahdadkot Garhi Khero Road was illuminated with flood lights. The roads wore charming look worth remembering. We entered through the main gate. There was a great rush of people. We succeeded in getting a place for sitting there. I saw Allan Faqir and Abida Parveen in that celebration for the first time. It is said that Allan Faqir was drunk bitterly. After two weeks of this celebration, Indian Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi was assassinated on 31st October 1984. The active political presence and pressure in north western Sindh General Zia gave tough time to Mill workers in 1985. In 1986 General Zia visited Qazi Fazalullah House at Larkana. There some Workers of Shahdadkot Textile Mills reached in one or other way and presented their case before General Zia therefore he announced the Salaries of workers from Ushar & Zakwat Funds. Almost 4000 Mill workers got their salaries in this way. He also announced that the Mills would not be shifted to Punjab or somewhere else in the country.

In 1988, after returning to the country Benazir Bhutto once again started the mills during her tenure. It continued up to 1990s in PPP government. The Mills produced fine Polyester productions of various designs. On 6th August 1990 President Ghulam Ishaque Khan dismissed Benazir Bhutto government. On 4th August 1991 Mill workers took out procession against closure of Mills. On 13th November 1993 Farooque Leghari was elected President of Pakistan. During his president ship, Benazir Bhutto’s government again paid special attention towards the mill and its name was also changed as Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Textile Mills (Pvt) Limited under Ministry of Production, Government of Pakistan. Later Nawaz Sharif government also issued a 2.5 Crore Rupees grant to Mills in a bid to operate this mill but it could not survive and faced problems from different quarters. In this way the chances of mills closure came in the vogue. In the meanwhile the administration of mills offered Golden Handshake to the workers. On 26th July 1994, about 700 Mill workers submitted application for Golden Handshake to District Magistrate Larkana. On 12 October 1999 General Parvez Musharaf took power in Pakistan from Nawaz Sharif through a bloodless coup. The Musharaf regime sold it to a local petit bourgeois, Nisar Memon, who was a raw material & scrap trader in Karachi. The workers of this textile plant protested and struggled against its privatization and closure but all in vain. The Mills Workers lodged a case against Government in Sindh High Court which issued decree to continue the mills. Later on Mr. Liaqat Ali Jatoi, Sindh Government Minister liquidated the Mills to Nisar Memon who purchased it in 8 Crore Rupees. He, in the presence of Mir Nadir Ali Khan Magsi and Sirai Sultan Ahmed Khan Khuhawar promised that he would not shift the mill from Shahdadkot. He also ensured that he will run the Mills for more 2 years but unfortunately the Mills could not work more. On this issue Laborers started a movement for reoperation of the mill and observed hunger strikes with social and political activists of the city. Initially the struggle was very strong but later on it was subsided through different means either by threatening of dire consequences or by bribing to the key activists. Shahdadkot Textile Mills was finally closed by PIDC in 2001-02. A lot of families employed there are now suffering and going hungry. Whatever it was but the fact is that it was the bad luck for the poor masses of this area. There seemed to me three major causes for the closure of Shahdadkot Textile Mills which were 1) the underline invisible forces from government especially Ant PPP governments were quite reluctant and indifferent for the successful operation of this mill 2) Leaders of Trade Union who along with Mill Administration enjoyed privileges and benefits and 3) the Mills Workers themselves who were not duteous and sincere. According to the audit of 2002 the total worth of Shahdadkot Textile Mills was 82 Crore Rupees which was sold in only 8 Crores to a scrap trader.


We enjoyed a School leave on the assassination day of Indira Gandhi in class II. She was assassinated by Sikh guards on 31st October 1984. She was mother of Sanjay and Rajiv Gandhi. Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi Nehru; was born on 19 November 1917 and was killed on 31 October 1984. She was the third Prime Minister of India and a central figure of the Indian National Congress party. Gandhi, who served from 1966 to 1977 and then again from 1980 until her assassination in 1984, was the second-longest-serving Prime Minister of India and the only woman to hold the office. Both Gandhi and Bhutto families had good relations with each other. It was Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who succeeded in releasing 90, 0000 Pakistan Army Soldiers from India on July 2, 1972 through Simla agreement. Indira Gandhi was the only child of Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. She served as the Chief of Staff of her father's highly centralized administration between 1947 and 1964 and came to wield considerable unofficial influence in government. Elected Congress President in 1959, she was offered the premiership in succession to her father. Gandhi refused and instead chose to become a cabinet minister in the government. She finally consented to become Prime Minister in succession to Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1966. As Prime Minister, Gandhi became known for her political ruthlessness and unprecedented centralization of power. She presided over a period where India emerged with greater power than before to become the regional hegemon of South Asia with considerable political, economic, and military developments. Gandhi also presided over a state of emergency from 1975 to 1977 during which she ruled by decree and made lasting changes to the constitution of India. She was assassinated in the aftermath of Operation Blue Star. In 2001, Gandhi was voted the greatest Indian Prime Minister in a poll organized by India Today. She was also named "Woman of the Millennium" in a poll organized by the BBC in 1999. A short time after her death Shahnawaz Khan Bhutto, the youngest son of Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was killed in July 1985. He left behind a daughter named Sasui Bhutto. She lives with her mother in Paris –France. We studied in Class III when Shahnawaz Khan Bhutto was murdered.

The Bhutto children


I learnt Holy Quran from Bua Ameeran Kalhoro from 1984-85. She was grandmother of my class fellow Shahid Hussain Kalhoro. They also called themselves as Abbassi. She was widow of Muhammad Achar Kalhoro who was Imam in a mosque in Sheikh Muhalla Shahdadkot. The family claims its origin with Mian Nasir Muhammad Kalhoro (1657-1692), the well-known leader of Mianwal Movement in Sindh. I used to go to her house early in the morning. She gave us Kettle for getting meals and tea from door to door from her neighboring houses. We did this job very well because we would also be shared something out of it. Here for the first time I saw books having Biblical stories. According to my class fellow Shahid Hussain Kalhoro they had sacks full with such type of books. I went there for many years. My mother had beautifully made wooden racks of Holy Quran and her personal copy of Holy Quran. As in every home of a Muslim, my family would hold Holy Quran in high esteem and I remember I was told many anecdotes related with the miracle of Holy Quran. I was informed that Holy Quran flies away saving itself when any home get fire. There are in fact many places till today where we can see people coming for prayers at the sight of landing of Holy Book. I have seen a number of times people reciting Holy Quran over the dead body while burying it. My father once bought a small copy of Namaz-e-Jafaria for me as a gift which was published by Asgheria Students Organization from Sindh.

The Holy Quran



NajafNajaf-e-Ashraf IRAQ The Shia represents the second largest denomination of Islam. Shia Islam is based on the Quran and the message of the Islamic prophet Muhammad attested in Shia Hadith, and certain books deemed sacred to Shia called Nahj al-Balagha. In contrast to other types, the Shia believe that only God has the right to choose a representative to safeguard Islam, the Quran and Sharia. Thus the Shias look to Ali, Muhammad's son-in-law, whom they revere and consider divinely appointed, as the rightful successor to Muhammad, and the first Imam. The Shia extended this belief to Muhammad's family, the Ahl al-Bayt and certain individuals among his descendants, known as imams, who they believe possess special spiritual and political authority over the community, infallibility, and other traits. Although there were many Shia branches throughout history, modern Shia Islam has been divided into three main branches, namely the Ithna Ashariyya (Twelvers), the Ismailis (Seveners) and the Zaidis (Fivers). In Sindh, there is majority of the Ithna Ashariyya My family was also attached to the sect of Shiaism since past. My grandfather sang songs in the praise of the Ahl al-Bayt. My father wore black robes and mourned in Muharam Al-Haram every year and he still does this. He got prepared cooked food, cold drinks and would distribute those among the mourners in the procession crossing through the main road near our street. He would also go to Rohri and Larkana for beating his chest on Chehlum. My elder brother Akhter Ali would beat his chest and cut his head with knife during these days. Whereas the children used shaving blades to cut their chest and bleed. They raised the slogans of Ya Ali, Ya Ali and Hyder Moula Ali Moula with such a loud and emotional voice which affected everyone there and people started beating their chests fastly. The Bhil Community also joined the processions as a respect also. I was sent to the Jamia Qaim-e-Ale Muhammad locally known after the name of Syed Hassan Ali Shah who settled down there in 1970s on the sandy dunes in the west of Shahdadkot. His father Syed Ali Akber Karam Hussain Shah was caretaker of the shrine of Syed Hakim Ali Shah Pat Waro. I learned lessons of Shia Islam from this school since 1985. The teacher was Moulvi Ameer Hussain Marri who lived with his family in the corner of that Medressah. I used to go into his house sometimes with other pupils. He was of kind nature with vast knowledge and experience in Islamic teachings. In his absence Moulvi Riaz Hussain Leghari would teach the students. I received some of the lessons from Allama Ghulam Kamber Karimi, who was a great scholar of Arabic and Persian. The Medressah building was simple at that time. We played badminton sometimes for entertainment. Tea was served to all students in early winters. I studied various Shia books, magazines and newspapers there. Wahdat-E-Islami was the best among these magazines which was published from Iranian Embassy Islamabad Pakistan. It published also magazines for children as well as women. I learnt many good lessons from these publications.


Sikander Ali Khan Sheikh My father earned his livelihood through making leaf cigarettes. He would sell these Biris into Larkana on fair prices. It was the year of 1985 when one day my father went to Larkana for selling his product. He received the money and got into the wagon with his close friend Sirai Abid Ali Khuhawar. In Those days law and order situation was very bad in the district. Dacoits and robbers robbed passengers frequently. The Sirai advised my father to hide money in the wagon due to the fear of robbers. Unluckily when the wagon reached Golo Wah dacoits trapped the passengers with an artificial road accident. The robbers then came out from the hide and started firing on the passengers and pointed to stop the vehicle. Seeing this driver geared the wagon and tried to escape from the site. In meanwhile the passengers were shot from backside by the dacoits. There were many holes in the wagon and blood gushed out from the passengers which caused great panic to them. My father was also wounded badly due to the firing. A bullet went through his right leg which colored his dress red. He fainted when the wagon reached Shahdadkot city. The police sent all wounded persons to Civil Hospital for first aid. There were many people who were shot with the bullets in this incident. One of them was Arbab Ali Bhatti, the father of Dr. Niaz Kalani, a Sindhi nationalist. My father was in the hospital for many hours. My brothers were told about this incident by someone. They rushed to the hospital without informing my mother at home. After first aid my father was taken back to home where he was dressed daily by a dispenser. Sometimes Sirai Abid Ali Khuhawar took my father on his back to the doctor for treatment. On this act, other Khuhawars laughed at him. He proved himself a true friend at that time. I remember my father’s those days when he was wounded and was in the bed rest. During those days my mother received house expenses from my elder brothers and ran the house matters.


The most notorious dacoits in Larkana direction on Sindh Balochistan border are said to be Sanwlo Burdi, Abdul Rehman Brohi and Limo Kosh during Talpur and British era. I read about them in history books and listened their robberies and plundering stories from the old people in the area. After the creation of Pakistan Muhammad Pariyal alias Paroo Chandio and his brother Ali Gohar Chandio were notorious and most wanted dacoits of Sindh. In 1972 Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto became the president and then the prime minister of Pakistan. Under his government, the Government of Sindh started a crackdown on Hurs. Matters got worst when 4 prominent fakirs were gunned down by police. Their photos appeared in the newspapers as dacoits gunned down by police in armed combat. This happened despite the fact that Sindhis considered Hurs as Sindh's heroes and the historic Bhutto family personally respected Pir Pagaro. In the general elections of 1977, Pir Pagaro decided to break the tradition of not becoming involved in power politics and ran for the seat of parliament from Mr. Bhuttos hometown of Larkana. This was a symbolic gesture of protest but Pir Pagaro was arrested. This saw a bloody clash of Hurs and government leaving hundreds of Hurs and government officials dead. In a 1977 coup which overthrew Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the newly empowered dictator General Zia-ul-Haque, who was looking for some foothold in Sindh, restored the status of Hurs in the Pakistan Army. He also appointed a famous Sindhi civil servant, Bashir Ahmed Siddiqui as Inspector General of Sindh to face the growing problem of dacoits, especially Paroo Chandio. Siddiqui formed a militia called Hur Force out of Hurs; this had 1965 war hero Faqir Jamal Mangrio killed by Chandio. The most infamous incident of the Sukkur Jail break took place in 1980s. Many believe that the dacoits who attacked the jail were well protected by the people in power. It was a well organized and preplanned ‘operation’. Scores of dacoits — according to some reports, they were well over 100 — had cut the electric wires, scaled over the walls, broken the locks of the death cells of condemned prisoners and rescued no less than 35 prisoners involved in various heinous crimes. How could that have happened in broad daylight if officials were not involved? The mystery is yet to be solved. Paroo Chandio and his brother Ali Gohar Chandio were the most wanted and notorious dacoits of Sindh. They indulged in cases of looting and kidnapping people all over the province. In 1986, Paroo Chandio along with his brother Ali Goher Chandio and other accomplice Manzoor Buriro, Almoo Choliyani and Nooro Chandio kidnapped Tahir Salim Sheikh a young man from Shahdadkot. He was the eldest son of well-known Captain Dr. Muhammad Saleh Sheikh. The gang of the dacoits rushed on jeeps through our house street by firing in discriminately. They were loudly delivering message for SHO Syed Abid Shah to chase them. The dacoits took Dost Ali Road and vanished around Zero Point in the south west of Shahdadkot. Though some influential landlords like Nawab Mir Zulfiqar Ali Magsi, Niaz Ahmed Khoso and Mithal Khan Mugheri chased them but all in vain. Roshan Ali Kalhoro and Gul Muhammad Detho two Policemen were killed by dacoits firing. Dacoit Gul Hassan Chandio was also killed on the occasion. One of the Jeeps of Paroo Chandio caught fire therefore the dacoits took the hostage to Khirthar Range hideouts. The kidnapped Youngman remained 2 months in their captivity and was released after receiving 200,000 Rs as ransom. The name of Paroo Chandio was sign of fear in the region. The news of kidnapping of Sheikh young-man spread like fire in the jungle. Everyone was harassed on this incident of kidnapping. Mr. Bashir Ahmed Siddiqui, IG Sindh Police killed Paroo Chandio. It may be recalled that Paroo Chandio was killed by third person Abdul Latif Chandio though according to the police he was killed in encounter. Paroo Chandio was very popular. His coffin was decorated with more than 2000 Ajraks and a Sindhi film was made on his life. Paroo Chandio and his brother left very little money for their parents. Their mother begged in Dadu to meet her basic necessities. It is said that he was poisoned near Shah Panjo Dahot in River Indus area. His native village was Sita in Dadu District, Sindh. His friend Ghulam Qadir Mirbahar was also killed with him on the spot. Paroo Chandio


I fell in love with birds, animals and plants during my Primary School days. I used to collect Arabic newspapers thrown outside by laborers of Wajid Ali Silro, the fruit broker. There were cartoons in these newspapers that focused Lebanon, Israel, Syria and America. I cut these papers and trace their duplicates on other tissue papers. I collected English and Urdu newspapers also in this way. The Sindhi newspapers were not common in those days. I developed my drawing and handwriting skills very nicely. My class fellows implored me to make such drawings for them on some amount. There was an old and clumsy person named Samander Magsi. He had a small shop in Shahi Bazaar near our house. He sold colorful charts of animals, birds and plants. I frequently bought such charts from him. He had a big flesh ball in his throat which made his voice very heavy and unclear. He made frames for pictures and portraits too. He also worked in iron and repaired Kerosene lights. He looked like villains of English films and fairy tales as his curly hair hung around his shoulders. He behaved hard with children like me. He had long moustaches. I started making drawings from 1983 to 1986 and later.


One day all the students of Govt Primary Mehran School were taken to Nishat Cinema for watching, Allah-O-Akber an Islamic documentary. Our school teachers led student’s lines through the city streets. The people stared at us as we moved through streets to the cinema. The cinema authorities did not ticket charges from school students. It was the only Pakistan made religious Urdu film about Islamic holy places. Allah-o-Akbar was released on March 5, 1976 in Rivoli cinema Karachi. The great actor Mohammad Ali was commentator and Rafiq Chamman was director. I remember that we enjoyed a lot by visiting the cinema gallery. We paid a little attention to the film.. Later on I found that we were being Islamized under the government of a military dictator who killed thousands of innocent political and social activists in the country in his 11 years cruel rule.


Blinding dust storms and heavy rains hit Shahdadk Shahdadkot and its surrounding in 1986. Agricultural lands were e destroyed in the western parts of Shahdadkot and Qubo Saeed Khan in the result of lo low floods. It rained for many weeks. I was fond of catching ing sparrows sparro through cages and would eat them by frying. Sometimes we took ook out th their eggs and chicks from their nests. We played with them em usually in the house. Whenever a snake tried to enter their nests the sparrows ows would chirp loudly. As there were many trees grown inside my y house hence h dozens of Sparrows died in heavy rain and sizzling cold. Dead bodies of these Sparrows were scattered everywhere especially under der the trees and bushes. Cats and dogs enjoyed a lot by galloping down their cold dead bodies during the rains. I and my sister collected dead bodies of these sparrows from trees and the bushes. We dug their graves under the trees and buried their bodies. It took the shape of a graveyard. veyard. This graveyard remained there for many months and finally disappeared eared from the house.


My mother Ghulam Zuhra Sheikh left this mortal world on Monday 9th June 1986/1st Shawal 1406 A.H from a heart attack. She was tall, caring and loving mother. She nurtured us with great care. She used to recite Holy Quran and offered prayers. She helped my father whole the life and would cut leaves which were used in making leaf cigarettes. She used to sew clothes for neighbouers on cheap rates. The Baleshahi women especially Sehat Khatoon brought her siblings to her for sewing. The women of this community were engaged in sweeping. Some of them cured the sick with their Leeches kept in covered clay pot who sucked blood of the patients. This practice can be seen on eid days on roads even today. While some of the Baleshahi women collected animal bones and prepared Chhajs. (tool to clean rice). My mother was generous and her hospitality was very famous. Everyone would respect and honor her due to her nature, attitude and behavior. She taught us discipline, responsibility and commitment. She lived her life in village Mena, Kot Ghulam Shah, Larkana, Khuzdar and Shahdadkot. She loved flowers and kitchen gardening. She had planted a Ber tree beside my father’s Willow tree. Both of them still exist and provide my children shade and merry go round. I never saw her quarrelling with her husband. She gave me food for my father who worked in Office Labour Union Shahdadkot, situated near Khuzdar Bus Stop. It was a large building having shady Neem Trees. There roundabout 30 Biri Workers worked from day to night. Sometimes they would arrange VCR for entertainment. They usually entertained themselves with Blue print movies also. I used to ask my mother about the dead bodies placed in wagons which were killed in the name of honour killings. One day I found myself with my mother, uncle and other relatives in local police station at Larkana. My father had been arrested due to Honour killing case committed by our Raunti relatives. Sooner my father was released as he was not involved in the issue. The story of my mother’s death is very painful and unforgettable. It was the day of Eid-ul-Fitr when everyone was preparing for eid celebrations. My brothers and sisters prepared themselves and wore new clothes. The elderly were also preparing for eid prayers. All of sudden some reeds caught flames near motor pump. When my mother saw these flames she hurried to extinguish fire. During this she fainted and fell down on the earth. My youngest sister Seema was on her chest. She was born on 29th February 1986. Everyone was worried on this situation. She fainted for a long time. Dr. Guru Dino Panjwani was brought for her check up. He came quickly because he was our family doctor. He checked her up but it was too late. My mother had passed away. Eid celebrations were changed into Funeral preparations. Everyone was informed about her sudden and untimely death. Her funeral procession brought tears in everyone’s eyes. She was laid into rest in Kurk or Misri Shah Graveyard near Shahdadkot. I still remember my mother every moment and every step of my life. She is indispensible guiding force and symptom of love in my life and I think whatever I m today I’m because of prayers of my beloved parents. I have also named one of my daughters after her name.

Ghulam Zuhra SheikhSheikh-My mother



Martial Law was lifted on December 30, 1985 and General Zia introduced new Civilian Government which was in fact a charade. Bribery and crime had become nationwide industries. Smuggling, Kalashnikov culture, and drug trafficking were so common originally linked with Afghanistan. In this crucial situation Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan on 10th April 1986. She was given a warm welcome by the people of Pakistan. She led demonstrations and marches in the whole country. It was second phase of MRD Movement in Pakistan. During 1986 MRD Movement demonstrations were taken out for restoration of democracy. I and my class fellow Aijaz Ali Soomro also joined such demonstrations in Shahdadkot. I clearly remember that the protestors up sided down the carts of Urdu speaker community living in the city. Their fruits and vegetables were destroyed in great quantity. Afterwards the participants set on fire the railway station, Municipality and other government buildings in the city. Police attacked the protestors and during this rush and fear I along with my friend Aijaz Soomro fell into salt ditch near Municipality and Government Prov: High School. Someone took out us from the ditch. Later on we ran towards High School in order to escape from Police Baton charge. There we saw Mr. Abdul Razzak Awan in the class while other students were watching a documentary on VCR. Sometime later Mr. Awan taught us in the High school. He wore uniform and was fond of hunting. He was killed in an accident near Shahdadkot. It was the time when Benazir Bhutto married Asif Ali Zardari in on 18th December 1987.


My father’s father in law Jaro Khan Sheikh and his brother Rasool Bux Sheikh had no male children. My father gifted both his elder sons Ghulam Abbass and Akhter Ali to them forever. I and my elder sister Rozina lived with our parents while our elder brothers lived and worked with above old couples at Larkana and Shahdadkot. When my eldest brother Ghulam Abbass became an expert in making leaf cigarettes he earned handsome amount daily. He was adult now. From his savings he bought golden lockets and chains and was considered as a rich person among Biri workers in Shahdadkot. He wished for the marriage now. A girl named Mukhtiar Sheikh was selected for him from village Gopang near Miro Khan. This marriage was one of the mega events for my family. My father as well as other members was very happy. All relatives had been invited at Shahdadkot from where they got into buses and moved on to Miro Khan. There were round about 30 houses of Sheikh Community near Warah Bridge in village Gopang. It was a pleasant site with shady trees and cool breeze. The family celebrated the event with great pleasure, dances and songs. Special food was prepared for the guests. My brother’s father in law Paliyo Khan Sheikh and his wife Zuhra Khatoon Sheikh were simple persons and their sons Buxal Sheikh and Rakhial Sheikh worked as a labour. As a child I enjoyed a lot in this marriage by visiting countryside for the first time. I saw Warah Branch closely and took bath on its banks. The houses were enlightened with colorful tube lights, bulbs and buntings. A rented electric generator was also taken for the occasion as there was no electricity in the village. This marriage took place on Monday 7th April 1987. Ghulam Abbass Sheikh was blessed with a son on 15th January 199o but he died at a very young age a few years ago.

Sheikh Javed Ali Sindhi, Sartaj Sheikh, Ghulam Abbass Sheikh, Khalid Ali Sheikh, Akhter Ali Sheikh, Ghulam Sughera Sheikh, Mahtab Sheikh, Rozina Sheikh and Himat Ali Sheikh at Khalid Photo Studio Shahdadkot January 1983.



Night School is a school that holds classes in the evening or at night so that people working day jobs can continue to pursue their educations. They are the schools which also teach the students at night so that more and more students can learn education. In the year 1966 Mr. Nizamuddin Soomro was Manager National Bank Shahdadkot Branch. While Gul Muhammad Channa was Assistant Manager in the same bank. Both of them were friends and philanthropists. They founded Nizamia Night School in Shahdadkot and started its initial classes near Shezan Hotel area. Mr. Allahwarayo Qureshi, Mr. Sijawal Khan Wadho, Mr. Seetaldas of Larkana, Mr. Ali Abbass Langah, Mr. Muhammad Hassan Pathan and Mr. Shaukat Hussain Soomro taught the students during late nights in this school. After some years, Nizamia Night School was shifted in Shahi Bazzar Shahdadkot. Some of the neighboring shops were of Andal Khan Sheikh, Raza Muhammad Sheikh and Dr. Nawaz Sheikh. I myself used to get lessons from Mr. Shaukat Hussain Soomro in this school. He belonged to Shikarpur and was expert in Donkey Cart making. I found him very polite, cooperative and hardworking. I learned here the English Book of 6th Class in advance. Most of the students of this school were Biri workers, hotel workers and tailors. They earned their bread during day and got education at nights. The school stood on the ceiling of a Medical Store which belonged to Dr. Nawaz Sheikh. Its stairs were very old and I feared by climbing up the school. In winter we all teachers and students sat in a large wooden cabin. Another room was also full with students of various classes. Here English and Sindhi languages were taught. The monthly fee was 20 to 30 Rupees per month during my time. The famous Nizamia Night School was a ray of light for poor labourers and workers of the city who could not get education during day time in Government schools. The school was closed in 1990s and now it has become story of the past. A sign board hung at the main entrance and bore the name of the school. Mr. Abbass Ali Silro learnt lessons in this school. Later on he was appointed as Primary School Teacher by Education Department. He is now Assistant Head Master in Government Boys Primary School village Silra near Shahdadkot. The main important point of this school was its simple building, devoted teachers and hardworking students. Corporal Punishment was not allowed here. This historic institution is unseen today and I think such institutions must be established today in order to eradicate illiteracy especially among the poor.


Every year a Magic Show was organized to entertain students in Government Primary Mehran School Shahdadkot. Magician is an entertainer or performing artist who creates illusions of impossible or supernatural feats or magic tricks. They are also known as a stage magician or illusionist. After getting formal permission from Education Department Officials the magicians showed us different items of magic in the school. There was a Transgender Community Residence locally known after the name of Aloo Khadro Dayo. She is said to be one of the most important figure of Transgender community living in Shahdadkot. She was huge figure with great weight. She always sat on a charpoy in a dark room. One day when I went to drink water in his room, she asked me to switch on the bulb. I got frightened and came out of the house in hurry. Her house was changed in a shop after her death. Beside her Marhi was the famous Khalid Photo Studio where people came for getting their photos taken by him. I saw one of my friends sending a love letter to a girl during primary school days. I got up early in the morning and went to buy biscuits for morning tea from one of my father’s friend’s shop named Mahboob Pathan. His younger brother Munawar Pathan later became my class fellow in High School days. We used to take bath with water supply and washed our bodies with Lifebuoy and Neem soap. We also used MET, Neem tree leaves and Lemons while bathing. It gave us freshness and comfort. Tooth brush was not so common in our family so we cleaned our teeth with coals and Dentonic. In summer we drank White Soda cold drink which cost one rupee only. We bought these bottles from a Hotel run by Muhammad Salim Pathan. Beside him was Sardar Magsi’s vegetable shop from whom we bought fresh vegetables and potatoes. I saw first time the saplings of Mango tree and potatoes there. We used Prickly Heat Powder in hot season to sooth ourselves from scorching beams. We used to iron clothes with heavy iron and burning coals. One day I was hit with a Bicycle and received minor wounds. Altaf Mangi, a barber working outside school took me and laid me on the bench. He offered me water and asked me for the pain I had received. I usually told stories to my friends in the class during recess. We used to buy pink tablets from Umer Medical Store for Skin diseases. The clinic of Dr. Muhammad Nawaz Soomro was located beside the shop of Raza Muhammad Sheikh. Dr. Wazir Soomro, his son runs a clinic till this day in our neighborhood. We usually bought candies from Roshan Channa’s cabin beside florists. There were also shops of barbers, snacks shops and kiryana merchants in the same area. There was no electricity in our house hence we lit Chimini or Lantern. We got filled these lamps with Kerosene Oil daily. Andal Khan Sheikh, Hidayatullah Sheikh and Raza Muhammad Sheikh were famous greengrocers. We had a small garden with water flowing through it in the house. The Noor Rice Mill tower was at a distance of our house and was visible from all directions of the city. It was constructed by Noor Muhammad Khosa in 1940s. Near Khuzdar Bus stand situated Holo Mal Rice Mills. My uncle Roshan Ali Sheikh worked there and carried bags of rice. I saw there an old bus in ruins which was said to be of Sodho Khan Sheikh. We had a Sanyo Tape with a lot of Sindhi and Urdu Cassettes. During Primary School days I had visited Mourning processions of Muharam Al Haram at the Imambargahs of Nooro, Goonga, Mehmood Shah and Jaffer Shah. A great number of women also followed these processions. Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was thought to be hero therefore I bought his Black and White Photographs and would garland them in my house windows. I saw story books at the shop of a vendor near Khuzdar Chowk. I saw Wajid Ali Silro selling mangoes here on a cart. Near Shezan Chowk was a Bungalow of Khuda Dino Khan Chandio. The gate was decorated with heads of the deer. It is said that Benazir Bhutto came to this historic building twice. The characters I saw during Primary School period was Janati Faqir Dayo, Dedar Faqir Manganhar, Dr. Tiloo Kalhoro, Sheikh Gulo Tetri and Gosho Sheerazi. A Hindu rich man used to distribute sweetmeat among school children after wining money in gambling. I also took sweetmeat from him may times. I saw huge Pelicans alive and dead during my childhood. A vendor sold its bones and oil near my house on roads on handsome amount. People purchased this oil to relieve from wicked pain. One day I accompanied my father up to village Kot Chhatoo, a village situated near Imam Bux Jamali on Sindh Balochistan border. We returned back with donkey cart loaded with reeds. The violent Hathora Group was very active during 1985 as some killings were reported from Jacobabad, Shikarpur and Larkana.


In fifth class/B, my class fellows were Khalid Hussain Channa, Sikander Ali Sheikh, Muhammad Khan Khuhawar, Aijaz Ali Soomro, Imam Ali Mirjat, Iqbal Ahmed Khoso, Anil Kumar Makheja, Anwer Ali Khoso, Abdul Qadir Sheikh, Wasim Bari Sheikh, Shahid Hussain Abbassi, Zamir Hussain Soomro, Maqbool Ahmed Khoso, Shafqat Ali Sheikh, Muhammad Iqbal Khoso, Ali Khan Khoso, Anwer Ali Khoso, Abdul Qadir Sheikh and Amir Bux Khoso. My best friend was Khalid Hussain Channa who is presently serving as lecturer in English at Government Boys Degree College Shahdadkot. Of the girls, the oldest was Abida Parveen Sheikh. Other girls were Reshma Magsi, Hasina Begum Sheikh and Vejanti Kumari Makheeja. I got first position in 5th Class. I was so happy on this achievement. My handwriting was neat and clean. Mr. Abdul Haque Silro, our class teacher encouraged us very much in studies. We used to go his house for delivering fresh vegetables and fruits. His house lay in between Hirabad and Baqarabad. The area of Baqarabad is named after his father Haji Muhammad Baqar Silro. A railway lines separated both of the areas. We stole Iron Bars from railway lines as these were easy to take out from the wooden plaques of the line. We used these bars for ringing school bells. Some of my class fellows sold them to scrapers. I got 540 out of 700 Marks. My fifth class Result Sheet Cover 1986-87 gives following results; S.No 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 Subject Deeniyat/ Islamiat Sindhi (Mother Tounge Riazi/Maths Samaji Abhyas/Social Studies General Science Urdu Drawing/ Arts Marks 80 90 100 60 70 80 60 Total: 540

A farewell party was arranged and a group photo was taken. I found this historic photograph after 26 years on Saturday 20th July 2013 from Government Mehran Primary School Shahdadkot old Records. When I received first position my class teacher Mr. Abdul Haque Silro gave me a reward by offering special cup of tea for me. I took tea and thanked him a lot for his honur. Our class was situated near the main gate of the school. Beside it there was Shamsuddin Mangi alias Shamshoo’s stall where he sold edibles to the students in recess. We would complain him that he would give girls more edibles in case of boys. He was as red as a tomato. Many years later he became a Primary School Teacher and has died some years back. It was the time when I was pushed forward in school Assembly. I fell on the ground and my head struck with burnt brick fixed in the ground. The blood gushed out from my head and I was taken to the clinic of Dr. Muhammad Saleh Sheikh. He put a bandage on my head. I was healed but a mark remained forever on my face. I entered Government Mehran Primary School Shahdadkot on 18-5-1982 and left it on 31-3-1987. Some days before leaving this school on 15th March 1987 Jashan-e-Baharan was celebrated in Govt: Main Primary School Shahdadkot where some of our teachers had been invited in the programme. We all friends decided to plan a trip after passing the examination. Finally it was unanimously decided that Golo Wah would be a pleasant place as it was the village of our Khosa class fellows. We got into the bus and reached at Railway Bridge near Golo Wah. The air was fresh and full with crops scent. A Saline watercourse came from the east. Our friends Muhammad Iqbal Khoso, Anwer Ali Khoso, Ali Khan Khoso and Amir Bux Khoso had fertile lands beside this village. We visited the fields and swum in the watercourses and ponds. We also caught fish and entertained ourselves with different games. Our Khosa friends served us with meals and butter milk. It was a remarkable trip in the early years of our life.



Mr. Taj Muhamad Wadho, Mr. Aijaz Ali Wadho, Mr. Shamsuddin Soomro, Mr. Nazar Muhammad Dayo (Head Master), Mr. Muhammad Yousif Brohi (Supervisor Education Department), Mr. Abdul Haque Silro and Mr. Moula Bux Wadho,

Mr. Ghous Bux Bhatti, Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Wadho, Mr. Muhammad Yousif Khoso, Mr. Abdul Rasool Mangi, Mr. Azizullah Soomro, Mr. Abdul Rasool Bhatti and Mr. Ali Gul Mangi. Aijaz Ali Soomro, Khalid Husaain Channa, Amir Bux Khoso, Maqbool Ahmed Khoso, Anwer Ali Khoso, Ali Khan Khoso and Muhammad Iqbal Khoso Wasim Bari Sheikh, Sheikh Javed Ali Sindhi, Shahid Hussain Abbassi and Aijaz Ali Soomro



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