‘350 miles across five states over 22 days’: Sindhi community in US to hold march against Pak atrocities
Members of the Sindhi community, a minority from Pakistan, are gearing up to stage a protest of a different kind against atrocities committed by Pakistan authorities in Sindh province.
US-based Sindhi Foundation has decided to raise awareness for climate change through a “Long Walk’ or a march stretching from New York City to Washington DC, covering a distance of more than 350 miles on foot.
Titled “Long Walk for Freedom, Nature and Love”, is a demonstration that will cut through five US states: Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. Along the way, participants will meet with community members, other human rights groups and even political leaders who wish to support the fight against climate change and human rights violations.
The idea of the Long Walk stems from the appalling realities of Sindh province in Pakistan.
Issues such as enforced disappearances, the plight of Sindhi women in Pakistan, environmental problems in Sindh and even something as basic as water has been some of the major concerns for the people of Sindh for decades, including those who live away from home in exile, including a Sindhi activist based in Washington DC, who is also the person behind the Long Walk.
Munawar Langri, aka ‘Sufi’, left Pakistan to seek political asylum in the United States more than two decades ago and is one of the most known faces of hope for the many oppressed minorities of the Islamic country. Langri has often appeared on streets of Washington voicing the atrocities against minorities in Pakistan. And the New York to DC Long walk is largely Langri’s effort to raise awareness about his homeland Sindh.
“I have been marching about 15- 20 miles a day for a while now, as a practice for the walk,” said activist Langri.
“We have to fight against Pakistan. That’s the only way. There is no other way. We have to unite because they don’t learn from one or two protests. I invite all the people belonging to persecuted nations to join us in this effort, ” Munawar Langri, Executive Director of Sindhi Foundation further added.
While speaking to ANI, Langri said that he draws the inspiration of the Long Walk from his friend and fellow activist- Sindhi Inam, a prominent Sindhi voice living in Pakistan. Earlier in June, Inam decided to stand alone outside the Karachi Press Club to protest against enforced disappearances. That’s when he decided to walk to Rawalpindi from Karachi spreading awareness around enforced disappearances of Sindhi people.
“Inam’s struggle has been very unique. He has not only inspired someone like me sitting almost 10,000 miles away in America but also to many even in Pakistan. And it’s because of his struggle, many were released, but still there are many in the hands of the Pakistani inter-service intelligence agencies (ISI)”, Langri further added
With a budget of USD 60,000 USD to cover all the logistics, the march will end in Washington DC with a meeting between Long Walk participants and members of US Congress. The march is tentatively scheduled on the April 7th and is to end by April 29th.