Lifetime Achievement Award - Mr Khalid Hashmani

Mr Khalid Hashmani:

Khalid Hashmani was born in Matyari, a town in Sindh province of Pakistan. He attended Mian Ali Bux Primary School (now closed) in the Gadi Khato area of Hyderabad, a large city of Sindh where the modern movement of Sindhi Rights started in late 1950's. After passing primary school, Khalid attended Government High School in Hyderabad.  He later joined Cadet College Petaro and obtained his High School diploma (Intermediate Certificate) in 1964. After completing first two years from Dawood Engineering College (now called Government Engineering College) in Karachi (Sindh), he transferred to the Sindh University Engineering College in Jamshoro, Pakistan. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering in 1968. He joined the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) as Assistant Electrical Engineer in 1969 and in 1970; he secured a scholarship to pursue post-graduate studies in the USA. He obtained a M.S. in Electrical Engineering (1972) and MBA in Management Information Systems (1975) from the University of Hawaii, USA. 

Khalid was an active participant in student political and literary activities. His interest in Sindhi Rights started when he observed that even at the Sindh University and associated colleges, only a minority of Sindhis was represented in the staff, faculty, and student populations of those institutions. During his student days, he was influenced by the books written by the father of modern Sindhi nationalism G. M. Syed and inspired by the nationalistic poetry of Sindhi poets mainly Shah Abdul Latif and Shaikh Ayaz. He was a vigorous participant in the protest marches and rallies that demanded Sindhi Rights during his college days. The mass awakening created by the Sindhi student agitation later became a mass movement of Sindhis joining Sindhi students, poets, writers, lawyers, and many non-Government organizations who worked together to strengthen Sindhi identity and the resolve of Sindhis to secure their rights. That grand alliance ultimately led to the dissolution of one-unit, a system that the over-centralized government of Pakistan had imposed on its small provinces and laid the ground work that continue to nourish the Sindhi Rights movement.

After completing education at the University of Hawaii in 1975, Khalid spent four years in Iran, where he married a Kurdish Iranian (Nasrin) and where his eldest daughter (Parisa) was born. After the Iranian revolution in 1979, he lived in Kuwait for about two years and migrated to Canada in 1981. In 1984 he joined an already underway effort of few North American Sindhis to create an organization of North American Sindhis. This effort succeeded in the formation of Sindhi Association of North America (SANA). Khalid was elected as the first President of SANA in 1984 and was re-elected for two more times and remained President until the end of 1990. His lifelong dream was and remains to form a world-wide organization of Sindhis whose primary goal will be to preserve and advance the cultural, language, political, and economic rights of Sindhis. He lived in Scarborough and Markham areas of Metropolitan Toronto region from 1981 to 1997 and his second daughter (Anita) was born. He also co-chaired the Local Organizing Committee that organized the 1997 SANA Annual Convention in Toronto, Canada.

He and his family migrated to the USA in the end of 1997 and they have since lived in the McLean area of Metropolitan Washington DC. He regularly attends key public meetings, seminars, and hearing on Pakistan related matters that are held by various think-tank and government institutions, universities, and US Congress and where necessary explains Sindhi interests and creates awareness about the issues of Sindhis.

Khalid remains active in to promoting Sindhi Rights by focusing on the unity of Sindhis and Sindhi organizations and has extensively participated in the advocacy activities on behalf of Sindhis in the United States of America. He has written numerous articles and viewpoints mainly in the context of challenges faced by Sindhis and solutions to overcome those challenges.

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