BNM condemns demolition of Syed Zahoor Shah Hashmi library in Sindh as attack Baloch heritage

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Demolition of Famed Baloch Scholar's Library
Syed Zahoor Shah Hashmi Library (Photo - News Intervention)

Nationalist leaders have voiced outrage over the Sindh authorities’s decision to demolish the Syed Zahoor Shah Hashmi Reference Library in Karachi, calling it an attack on the cultural heritage of the Baloch people.

The library, named after the renowned Baloch scholar and researcher Syed Zahoor Shah Hashmi, houses thousands of books, manuscripts, and historical documents relating to Baloch history, language, and culture.

In a statement, the central spokesperson for the Baloch National Movement (BNM) said the planned demolition represents “a direct assault on the Baloch national heritage” that should be condemned by all intellectuals.

“This library is not only preserving our scholarly and cultural wealth but is an important center for promoting Baloch civilization,” the spokesperson said. “The hard work of great researchers like Syed Zahoor Shah is enshrined here.”

The BNM said that the destruction of the library would result in an irreplaceable loss of the Baloch nation’s historical archives and cultural identity. It has appealed to the Sindh government to immediately reverse its decision.

Noting the library also holds significance for the Sindhi people, the group said the foundations contained “the blood of martyr Saba Dashtiari” – likely referencing a Baloch activist killed during the fight.

“The existence of this library is a matter of pride, and protecting it is our collective responsibility as Baloch,” the statement read. “We warn the Sindh authorities against demolishing this heritage.”

Baloch Yakjehti Committee has also expressed its dismay stating the atrocities that Pak Army is committing by demolishing houses and the Sayed Hashumi Reference Library at Gulam Muhammad Goth Malir on the indigenous people of Malir, the Balochi language, and cultural heritage.

The Army is taking steps for constructing Malir Expressway, a road construction project by the Defence Housing Authority, a multi-billion housing scheme to demolish Goth Gulaam Muhammad.

However, the DHA has always been involved in disrupting the ecology of Malir by forcibly vacating many villages in the area. Recently, they have marked several houses and the Sayed Hashumi Reference Library for demolition and deployed heavy machinery to carry out the destruction.

The decades-old library is seen as a symbol of Baloch ethnic pride, memory and more importantly, the ecology that is under distress for a long time. Therefore, the Baloch community should raise their voices against this move and unite for the protection of this heritage.

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