Molvi Abdul Ghafoor Sitai, a great scholar and intellectual

By: Sikandar Solangi
Sindh has always given birth to great intellectuals, scholars and the leaders, who have banded the wounds of this land with their skills, wisdom and leadership. Molvi Abdul Ghafoor Sitai was one among them. His sincere contributions for Pakistan – and, especially for Sindh cannot be removed from the pages of history.
This great man was born in very small village on the bank of Indus River called Bacho-wahan in ‘Kacha’, the rural area of district Dadu. Since his childhood he was known for intellect, nice character and decency. He belonged to a poor family that’s why he was very well aware of the problems and miseries his village men were facing and he had courage and determination to do something for his people.
As he grew-up he witnessed the backwardness of his area, which encouraged him to get education and be the maseeha of his people. For that purpose he left his village and moved to Paat-Sharif, where he got his basic education. Then, he went to Delhi & Dakhan for further education. With his hard work and commitment he got his degree and become expert of Arabic and Persian. After completing his education he joined ‘Madrsa-Mazharul-uloom’ in Karachi where he was known among the best teachers of institution.
Since he was much concerned with the problems of the people, he wanted to help and serve the people so joined some renowned newspapers’ of his time as the editor. Pakistan movement was on its peak when Molvi Abdul Ghafoor Sitai was the editor of very famous newspaper ‘Al-waheed’, he used his editorial pages as a great weapon, his editorials created courage among the Muslims. ‘Al-waheed’ was the only Sindhi newspaper which played a vital role in generating mass awareness and mobilization in Sindh. Since the creation of Pakistan till eighties – he was the one who served every Sindhi without any discrimination of religion or caste and treated everyone equally.
When ‘Al-waheed’ was shutdown – he along with his aides like late Mohammad Ayub Khuhro, late Ghulam Mohammad Wasan started a new newspaper called ‘Nawa-e-Sindh’ – where he served as the editor. In his editorials, he use to write on the issues and rights of Sindh which was hard to be digested by then government and the rulers.
History witnesses that Nawa-e-Sindh played a great role in breaking up the One-unit. This month Sindh government passed the resolution eulogizing the services of students who launched movement against the dictatorship of Field Marshal Ayub Khan and One-unit who were tortured in Hyderabad on March 4, 1967. But during that time, Abdul Ghafoor Sitai and his paper stood by students and raised the voice through his editorials against the injustice done with students. His writings gave courage and enthusiasm to the students and provided them a proper forum to generate public awareness. Besides, he encouraged Assembly members of West Pakistan who stood up for the rights of Sindh keeping aside their political interests i.e Ghulam Mohammad Wasan, Abdul Majeed Jatoi, G.M Syed, Malik Sikandar Khan, Syed Zafar Ali Shah and many others.
He always used his pen for the rights of oppressed Sindhis and never bowed down in front of any dictator. He was a man of principles – he would always prefer human values over personal interests, that is the reason great intellectual Rasool Bux Palijo in his book “Kot Lakhpat jo Qeedi’ writes about him as; “Perhaps it was 1952-53, I was editor in Nawa-e-Sindh in Karachi. Khohro use to run two papers Sindh obsrever and Nawa-e-Sindh, Pir Ali Mohammad Rashdi was the Editor of Sindh observer and Molvi Abdul Ghafoor Sitai was the editor of Nawa-e-Sindh. He was a calm, honest, respectable and man of integrity.” Not only Mr Palijo, all those who spent some times with him or worked with him have observed and acclaimed his greatness and commitment with the land.
Molvi Abdul Ghafoor Sitai great man died on May 24, 1981. He left behind two son and five daughters; he educated his sons and daughters equally. His son, Mohammad Ashraf Solangi is one of the famous and senior politicians of Pakistan People’s Party. His struggle and efforts will always be written in golden words.