Dr. Ghalib Khan Lodhi (1930-2012) – A personal memoir by Eric Rahim

Eric Rahim

Former journalist Eric Rahim’s thoughtful obituary of Dr Ghalib Khan Lodhi, one of the founding members of DSF, who passed away in Karachi recently:

“Goodbye, generous friend, earnest and upright, seeker of knowledge”

Solas Educational Trust, supporting schools in Chitral, remains Ghalib’s most important legacy

Dr Ghalib Lodhi, London, 2001. Still from video footage by Beena Sarwar

Ghalib, who has recently died of cancer, was a founding member of the Democratic Students Federation and, along with Mohammad Sarwar, Hashmi, Haroon, Ayub Mirza, Yousaf Ali, SM Naseem and others, a leading activist in the early 1950s student movement in Karachi. I remember him as one of the most serious minded among his cohort. While a medical student, in his early twenties, he was trying to grapple with Das Kapital.

Along with so many others – students, journalists, writers, and trade unionists – he was arrested in the general round-up that took place in West Pakistan in the wake of the triumph of the United Front in East Pakistan elections of 1954 and Pakistan government’s decision to sign military pacts with the United States. Before his arrest he was acting as general manager of the organ of the Democratic Student Federation, the Students’ Herald. Naseem, who was the editor of the Herald, in a recent communication described to me the occasion of the arrest in the following words. Continue reading

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Barkat Alam – an old comrade passes on

Barkat Alam001_2

Barkat Alam. Photo courtesy Barkat Alam's family via Eric Rahim

From Eric Rahim in Glasgow:

Dear Friends,

I bring you the sad news of the death of Barkat Alam in the early hours of this morning (Saturday, the 10th of October). Barkat had been seriously ill for some months now and the end was not unexpected. I was with him last night, but he was unconscious and the doctor told me that he would probably go during the night. Najma, his wife, and daughter Sabaa were with him when he passed away peacefully.

Barkat joined the Karachi student movement of the early 50s (and the Party), along with Mohammad Shafi and Saghir Ahmad, while still at school. All three of them played an active role in the movement. Many friends from that time will remember him with affection, a quiet, unassuming, serious-minded young man.

Continue reading

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