Path not taken: G M Syyed Speech of 1952 on World Peace in Vienna

In 1952, G.M. Sayed was invited by the organisers of the World Peace Conference to attend and address the convention in Vienna. The speech that Sayed gave at the conference indicated his depth of foresight and his thorough study of the world political scene. What Sayed foresaw when he gave his speech at the conference in 1952, the world has witnessed many times over during the last 50 years. The West has never paid attention to his thought and vision, because they have their own vested interests, and Pakistan has had to face several grievous tragedies. It can also be said that the 9/11 attacks in the United States are a glaring example of what he had warned about. 

Following is the brief text of the speech to the World Peace Conference: 

In Pakistan, we are afraid that with the demand for Pan-Islamism, with the demand of unification of the Middle-Eastern countries and with the passing of the Objectives Resolution, the reactionary propaganda may have its effects and the so-called religious groups may be successful in intimidating and cowing down the regime in power with their demands and make them fall prey to doctrines.  

This conference, Mr. Chairman, is endeavouring to advance the cause of peace and I would like to emphasise to the delegates of this conference in general and to those from the UK and America in particular that the efforts of the American and British governments wanting to unite the Muslims on the basis of their so-called religious beliefs are fraught with dangerous possibilities. 

Let them know that it is due to the patronage of these powers  that religious bigotry, fanaticism and Fascist tendencies are being advanced and strengthened and it is due to this patronage that the Middle Eastern countries are moving away with democracy and civil society. It is painful for me also that many of our Muslim countries are being made to sell bases for the armies of imperialistic powers. What consequences will result from these commitments made by our national governments are not difficult to foresee. Our countries lie helpless with the armies of foreign powers on their soil and their national sovereignty will vanish. It is most mortifying for many of us to find the governments of our countries selling away our national honour and prestige.  

Well, ladies and gentlemen, the result of all these trends has been  that the present regime in power does not even allow opposition within the limits of the constitution in our country. People, who oppose the current regime, are put behind bars for voicing sentiments and views that are likely to disturb the so-called religious groups. There are pertinent examples of the famous Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan from NWFP and Abdus Samad Khan Achakzai from Balochistan. Both have been rotting behind the bars for the last five years without any trial. Let me remind you, Mr. Chairman and fellow delegates that these are the people who fought against British imperialism for years and were foremost in the ranks of our freedom fighters. And what 
hardships they had to withstand at the alien ruler's hands. Our country is passing through a most  critical stage in its life and we need the sympathy and help of peace-loving people of the world. I would request all the delegates of this conference to help us stand against the dark-forces gathering in the name of religion. Ladies and gentlemen victories of peace are no less than victories of war. This peace conference is a great landmark in the history of the peoples of the world. I pledge the cooperation of the peace loving people of our country. 

Excerpts from the book, "The Path Not Taken -- G M Syyed Vision and Valor in Politics" by Khadim Soomro.  

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