Video links: “Looking back to look forward”

Finally managed to convert and upload the video of the inspiring event held on Jan 9, 2010 to commemorate Dr Sarwar and the 1953 student movementtotal of 16 clips, featuring great speeches, music, poetry and people –
Click here for photos and report of the event

Video footage by Sakhawat Ali, tel 03012712659, Karachi.

Aur Nikle.nge Ushhaq ke Qafle: a documentary film on DSF

The inspiring story of Democratic Students Federation (DSF), Pakistan’s first nation-wide student movement, led by Dr M Sarwar (1930-2009). A historical documentary based on interviews, extensive research and archival material.

Credits: Continue reading

Cambridge Karachi Portrait: Dr Sarwar

British artist and filmmaker Caroline Jaine was recently in Pakistan as part of her Cambridge – Karachi project,in which she finds connections between these two cities. She has edited several short films for story-telling purposes and is about to begin work on the 23 minute film about Karachi. The part on Dr Sarwar is embedded above. Below, links to all the films:

PMA protest walk and press release


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Adieu Minhaj Barna

Happy times: Dr Sarwar, Minhaj Barna, and Iqbal Alavi, at Dr Sarwar's residence, Karachi, 2007 (photo by beena sarwar)

Sad to hear about the passing away of Minhaj Barna, icon of struggle.

Condolence note from National Council of Academics and Irtiqa Institute of Social Sciences

On behalf of the National Council of Academics, and Irtiqa Institute of Social Sciences, we offer our heartfelt condolences on the demise of our stalwart of democracy, freedom of press, and one of the pioneers of democratic struggle, Mr. Minhaj Barna. He was a mentor of the political activists, poet, journalist, and advocate for the right of the down trodden. He was imprisoned several times for the cause of the rights of the information, and welfare of the working journalist. He was an avowed Marxist and remained steadfast in his bliefs and principles. His death is a loss to the democratic journalist fraternity all over Pakistan.
We offer our heartfelt condolences to his bereaved family members and his illustrious brother Mairaj Mohommad Khan.

Wahid Bashir, Former President of KUJ, Dr. Jaffar Ahmed, Iqbal A. Alavi
and members of the Executive Committee of National Council of Academics.

NSF: Commemorating Jan 8, Karachi event

NSF invite for Jan 8 event at PMA House Karachi, 3 pm

DSF documentary complete, with subtitles

Aur Nikele.nge Ushhaq ke Qafilay (And there shall be more caravans of passion – Faiz), 30 min, produced by Beena Sarwar, directed by Sharjil Baloch.

Finally managed to update our documentary on the Democratic Students Federation with new visuals (thanks to the talented and committed K.B. Abro) and subtitles in English. We are grateful to all those who supported the making of this 30-minute archival film, including old stalwarts of DSF who shared their insights, experiences and memories, especially S.M. Naseem whose valuable archives of the Students’ Herald provided the basis of much of the research, and Dr Haroon Ahmed, Mazhar Saeed, Saleem Asmi, Iqbal Alavi, Shahida Haroon, Mazhar Jameel, Mirza Mohammad Kazim who also participated in the film. Zehra Nigah and Nauser Messman who as young students were not part of the movement but still vividly remember and shared their impressions of the events that shook the nation.

In recent weeks we have showed the documentary at Kuch Khaas in Islamabad and at The Second Floor in Karachi. Various people would like copies to show at different events, including Jan 8 commemorations coming up in Karachi and perhaps also Islamabad. We’ll be happy to share the documentary with them.

What always crops up during discussions of DSF is the point made in the documentary that DSF kept the student movement independent of Communist Party politics although many were members and sympathisers. As Iqbal Alavi explained after the showing at T2F yesterday, this allowed them to build a broad base that even included Muslim League, Jamat-e-Islami and Islami Jamiat-e-Tulaba affiliated students – even though the agenda and the ideology were clearly CPP, as Sheema Kermani rightly commented later.


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