DSF founding member Asif Hameedi passes on

Hameedi1DSF founding member, cardiologist Dr Asif Ali Hameedi passed away recently, aged 85. His first posting as a doctor after graduating from Dow Medical College was in Tharparkar. (Updated info: see his son’s detailed note below)

Dr Hameedi had been living in the US for many years, most recently in Grand Rapids, MI. He had diagnosed with throat cancer and had complications with diabetes. His wife passed away three years ago. They are survived by their three children, Samia Hameedi-Brown, Ashraf Hameedi and Jamal Hameedi.

Informed by the family, old friends like Dr Yousuf Ali in London and Eric Rahim in Glasgow informed other friends. 

‘Very sorry to hear the sad news. I recall him as a serious scholar of Marxism (some called him “our Liu Shao-chi”) and a committed DSF activist, who shunned the limelight,’ recalled S. M. Naseem.  Continue reading

‘Blood on the streets’

Journeys to democracy

Student mtg 1951 or 52 M. Sarwar addressing a meeting in Karachi, early 1950s, Khaliqdina Hall. Seated left: Rehman Ali Hashmi.

Looking back to look forward: The DSF-led movement of the 1950s eschewed party politics, was inclusive, and focused on student unity. Besides students from medical, engineering and and law colleges, it involved students from girls’ and boys’ high schools, and women’s colleges. 

Below, an extract from my forthcoming memoir on the struggle for democratic spaces in Pakistan. This is from the chapter about the student movement of 1953 that shook the country and laid the foundations for the University of Karachi, published in The Friday Times, Jan. 8, 2016. Thanks to Raza Rumi for pushing me to share this

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Remembering the historic January 7 student movement

DSF poster Jan 2016Message from DSF: In memory of the great struggle and demands day led by the then Democratic Students Federation of 1950’s, the present cadre of Democratic Students Federation Sindh is holding a program to highlight the achievements of that struggle and movement. Please join us on 9th January 2016 5.00pm at Railway High School, Kotri, Hyderabad. The program will be marked with speeches from student activists, trade unionists and Political activists – DSF secretary.

Remembering the historic January 7 student movement – by Shahid Husain in The News, Jan 6, 2016. Text below: Continue reading

Candlelight vigil commemorates 1953 martyrs

Jan 2015-NSF vigil for 1953 martyrs

By Shahid Husain
The News International, Friday, January 09, 2015

The National Students Federation (NSF) held a candlelight vigil in memory of martyrs of 1953 students’ movement in front of the Karachi Press Club on Thursday. Continue reading

Appeal for medicines for free medical camps

Appeal from Democratic Students Federation:
DSF medical camp

Dear Friends/Comrades/Followers,

D.S.F Karachi Zone is holding free-of-cost Medical Camps in Shanti Nagar area and Nehru Goth, in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Karachi. For that friends and comrades we need your support and assistance in terms of Medicines, Volunteers and Funds if you are willing to donate for a social cause.

We require medicines for pain relief, diarrhea, first aid, and antiseptics – listing below some items needed for the medical camps in bulk quantity, or their equivalent, if you can arrange:
* PONSTAN * PANADOL * LEFLOX * FEXET * NIMS * FLAGYL * INTESTOPAN * DETTOL * BAND AID
We hope that the way you all came forth for Thar drought on our call, you will respond in a similar manner this time as well.

If you can help, please respond to:
+92-345-236-4701
+92-331-976-5452

D.S.F Karachi Zone

Commemorating Jan 8, 1953: 2013 events, Jan 6 and 8, by DSF and NSF

2012 Jan 8-NSF Demands DayAs we remember Jan 8, 1953 Demands Day and those who gave their lives for the cause of students’ rights, it is good to see that progressive young people in Pakistan are organising and work for students’ rights, with the revival of Democratic Students Federation and the National Students Federation. In keeping with the rallying cry of the original movement – ‘Student Unity’ – activists of DSF and NSF must put up a united front, and attend and support each others’ events even if they don’t merge into one organisation. Demands should include lifting the ongoing ban on student unions. Below, information about several events being organised this year, some on Jan 6, in different cities of Sindh and Punjab by DSF, and NSF event on Jan 8: Continue reading

Petition urging India, Pakistan to ease visa restrictions, let the people meet

The people of Pakistan and India, people of Indian and Pakistani origin around the world, and friends of India and Pakistan, are fed up of the visa restrictions that prevent them from visiting families in the other country. There isn’t even a tourist visa protocol between these two biggest neighbours of South Asia. People in the region want the right to travel and to trade, to walk along coastlines and roads that represent their collective past, to seek and spread harmony across a subcontinent not divided by politics and propaganda. In this modern age of interdependence, it is a tragedy that the citizens of India and Pakistan are left peering over a border made indomitable and intimidating. There is little space for the hand of friendship to be extended across this border. This must change. Please sign the Aman ki Asha Milne Do petition at Change.org . Let’s get a thousand signatures ahead of the Foreign Ministers meeting in Islamabad on September 8 2012.

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