This blog is about the late Karachi-based physician and former student leader Dr M. Sarwar (1929-2009), containing articles and memoranda about him and his life which reflects the struggle for progessive politics in Pakistan. Dr Sarwar formed Pakistan’s first student union, the Democratic Students Federation (DSF). He got his final medical exam results while still in prison in 1954. (After DSF was banned many of its activists later formed the National Students Federation, NSF).
He was also the driving force behind the Inter-Collegiate Body (ICB) comprising student unions in different colleges and the All Pakistan Students Organisation (APSO), established in 1953, which became an influential political force until the crackdown on progessive forces. He was also one of the pioneers of the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) and the Medical Gazette, both of which played a vital role in progressive politics, particularly during the oppressive Zia years.
May 26, 2009, note sent to friends and family:
We’ve had a good week, with Babba relatively calm and peaceful, and in some discomfort but not suffering too much. The last couple of days he was having trouble breathing. Overall, he put up a heroic fight – no one had expected him to be around till now. But I think he had had enough. Early this morning left us peacefully, in his sleep.
We are so grateful that he did not suffer more than he did, and for all the love he received and gave.
- Beena Sarwar, Karachi
(The articles and letters he wrote are being uploaded gradually to the relevant pages. Feedback is welcome)