Another Hasan Nasir Day in Karachi

Hasan Nasir Shaheed: An inspiration for progressive politics

Communist Party of Pakistan, Karachi Committee invitation: Hasan Nasir Day

Monday, Nov 29, 4.00 pm, PMA House, Karachi

Dr Mazher to preside

Speakers include: Imdad Qazi, Justice (rtd) Fakhrudin G. Ebrahim, Wahid Bashir, Nasir Mansoor, Hassan Nasir, Dr Humayun Bashir, Dr Habibur Rehman Soomro, Dr Nisar Shah, Iqbal Alavi, Manzoor Razi, Fareed Awan, Ayub Qureshi, Khursheed Abbasi, Mrs Ilmia, and Sania Saeed.

Performance by Sheema Kermani

Taking forward Dr Sarwar’s legacy (meeting note)

1-200701-Sarwar-Banner image1. Please see Facebook group created for Dr Sarwar – – we hope this will be useful for interactions and discussions

2. On Sept 16 , a meeting was held at Dr Sarwar’s residence. The agenda included commemorating Jan 8, 2010; a book that SM Naseem has proposed; and the think tank idea floated by F.G Ebrahim at the May 31st meeting at PMA house.

Participants: S. M. Naseem, Iqbal Alavi, Zain Alavi, Mazhar Saeed, Saleem Asmi, Dr Haroon Ahmed, Aisha Gazdar, Asif Saad, Zakia Sarwar, Beena Sarwar


– Need to work towards holding an event on Jan 8, 2010 in Karachi (doesn’t have to be limited to Karachi of course) to highlight the importance of the student movement and its impact. Involve like-minded progressive institutions and youth groups

–  A proposed book in English and Urdu on the ‘Life and times of Dr Sarwar’ outlined by SM Naseem.

Strengthen and support Irtiqa Institute of Social Sciences, which was inaugurated on Jan 8 1994 and has held  events on Jan 8th for several years. Participants of the meeting agreed that this would make more sense rather than start a new progressive think tank as suggested at the May 31st memorial in Karachi.

Comments, feedback and suggestions welcome.


Ali Sardar Jafri, Ismat Chughtai and friends, Karachi, 1980 (?) – Photos by S.M. Shahid

Photos by the photographer and musicologist S.M. Shahid, taken at the Arts Council in 1980 or so, when Ali Sardar Jafri and Ismat Chughtai visited Pakistan. Also photographed is the late poet Suroor Barabankvi, the prominent jurist Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim along with Dr M. Sarwar and Zakia Sarwar. The well-known television anchor Mujahid Barelvi is visible in one of the photos.

Left to right: Ali Sardar Jafri, Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim, Dr Sarwar, Ismat Chughtai, Zakia Sarwar. Photo: S.M. Shahid

Left to right: Ali Sardar Jafri, Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim, Dr Sarwar, Ismat Chughtai, Zakia Sarwar. Photo: S.M. Shahid

L-r: Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim, Dr Sarwar, Ismat Chughtai, Zakia Sarwar, Suroor Barabankvi; standing: Mujahid Barelvi. Photo: S.M. Shahid

L-r: Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim, Dr Sarwar, Ismat Chughtai, Zakia Sarwar, Suroor Barabankvi; standing: Mujahid Barelvi. Photo: S.M. Shahid

Ismat Chughtai, Zakia and Sarwar - Photo: S.M. Shahid

Ismat Chughtai, Zakia and Sarwar - Photo: S.M. Shahid

‘Time to create a left-oriented think tank’, News, Jun 1, 2009

‘Time to create a left-oriented think tank’

Monday, June 01, 2009
By Shahid Husain


Eminent jurist and former governor of Sindh, Justice (Retired) Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim said on Sunday it was high time a “left-oriented” think tank was established in Pakistan.

Speaking at a memorial meeting for the late Dr Mohammad Sarwar at the PMA House Sunday evening, he said people said that Pakistan was a failed state but one should remember that it was the establishment and not the people of Pakistan who had failed. “Things are changing for the better,” he said.

“I don’t know what’s wrong with us. Religion has become a cause of killing,” he remarked. He said people were ready to listen today and this was evident from the fact that there were few people around when the Judges’ movement kicked off but it culminated in a huge success.

He said it was time to live up to the ideals of Dr Sarwar since “it’s our time to say.” He said the people of Pakistan needed a new leadership since the old leadership had failed totally. He said Dr Sarwar fought for a just society, a society free from exploitation and it was time to create a just society.

Dr Badar Siddiqi, former General Secretary of the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) said death was more universal than life because every body dies but there are people who live on even after they’re gone through their noble deeds and universal love. Dr Sarwar, he said, was one such person who strove for the establishment of a just society.

He said Dr Sarwar established the Democratic Students Federation (DSF) that happened to be the first students’ organisation in Pakistan. Thereafter, he also established the All- Pakistan Students Organisation (APSO) and the Inter-Collegiate Body that comprised students unions from across the country.

Dr Siddiqi pointed out that Dr Sarwar led the historic 1953 student movement that forced the authorities to accept many demands of the students, including the establishment of the University of Karachi.

He said Dr Sarwar was injured when police resorted to firing on a student’s procession on January 8, 1953 in which seven students and a child were killed, and he also was arrested.

He said after he was released from jail, he along with his colleagues, including Dr Adib-ul-Hasan Rizvi, Dr Syed Haroon Ahmed, Dr Moinuddin Ahmed, and Dr Jaffer Naqvi played a vital role in the affairs of the Pakistan Medical Association and transformed it into a strong and dynamic force.

He said Dr Sarwar struggled for provision of health cover to the people and was never overwhelmed even by ferocious dictators such as Gen. Ziaul Haq while negotiating on behalf of PMA.

“I will not classify him as an individual; he was an institution,” he said. He said the number of people who visited Dr Sarwar’s residence was unbelievable and they included Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Syed Sibte Hasan, Habib Jalib, Zohra Nigah, Ali Imam, and Bashir Mirza, just to name a few.

Former student leader Mairaj Mohammad Khan said Dr Sarwar was an institution whose roots were very deep in society. He said 1953 movement led by Dr Sarwar was not confined to the students but impacted the entire society. “It was movement to change Pakistani society,” he said.

He said the DSF was banned in 1954 because it was against imperialist military pacts and was against a dependent economy. Prof. Dr Jaffer Naqvi said Dr Sarwar was a phenomenon and a staunch enemy of dictatorship. Prominent singer Tina Sani sang a poem of Faiz Ahmed Faiz.

Messages of Asif Hameedi, Eric Rahim, and Dr Mangi who are abroad were also read at the ceremony. A six-minute documentary on Dr Sarwar was also shown in the programme.

KARACHI: Progressive student leader remembered, June 1, 2009

Progressive student leader remembered, Dawn  –

By Our Staff Reporter
Monday, 01 Jun, 2009 | 02:39 AM PST

KARACHI, May 31: Tributes were paid on Sunday to a pioneering former student leader, Dr Mohammad Sarwar, who struggled for the rights of students, workers and the downtrodden masses.

Friends and admirers of the late Dr Sarwar belonging to different walks of life, including law, engineering, literature and the fine arts, spoke of their association with the late general practitioner at a meeting organised by the Pakistan Medical Association at the PMA House.

Former Sindh Governor Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim, who as a young lawyer had defended Dr Sarwar and many of his comrades in the 1950s, said that Dr Sarwar founded the Democratic Students Union in the early 1950s because he felt students adopted the “politics of idealism”, and he also created a body that linked all students in other educational institutions in the city together, so that “principled politics could be strengthened in the newly born country”.

Unfortunately, however, first the DSF was banned and then succeeding governments banned student unions altogether for many years, Mr Ebrahim said.

He said that the “old leadership has failed and it is high time that a new leadership, believing in high ideals, emerges to lead the country and bring justice to society. He said equal rights for all must be ensured.

Mairaj Mohammad Khan said that Dr Sarwar was a “true progressive”, having a broad minded and secular way of thought, he “respected religion but was against this kind of interpretation of religion under which women were lashed and people were beheaded”.

Dr Jaffer Naqvi said that people could have a discussion with Dr Sarwar for hours and while they may continue to disagree with him, he would always listen attentively and was so tolerant that would never get angry or raise his voice.

In an interesting revelation, Arif Hassan said that the government had originally prepared a master plan of the city in 1951, with the proposed federal government buildings located opposite the university. When the DSF brought students into politics, however, and took to agitations and protests against the government, voices were heard in cabinet meetings calling for a change in the proposals, to relocate the federal government buildings. Eventually, he said, Ayub Khan moved the federal government apparatus over 1,000 kilometres away.

Aziz Tank, Samreen Hashmi, Badar Siddiqui and others also spoke while Arshad Mehmood, Tina Sani and Atiya Dawood recited poetry. A few documentaries on interviews and discussions with Dr Sarwar were also screened.

‘Celebrating Sarwar’ – pix from PMA meeting, May 31, 2009

More photos here

'Celebrating Sarwar' - Banner at PMA Hall

'Celebrating Sarwar' - Banner at PMA Hall

Zakia Sarwar pays tribute to the man behind her success

Zakia Sarwar pays tribute to the man behind her success

Dr Badar at Memorial mtg at PMA, Karachi May 31, 2009
Dr Badar at Memorial mtg at PMA, Karachi May 31, 2009
Fakhruddin G Ebrahim at Memorial mtg at PMA, Karachi, May 31, 2009
Fakhruddin G Ebrahim at Memorial mtg at PMA, Karachi, May 31, 2009
Salima Hashmi remembers an old comrade
Salima Hashmi remembers an old comrade

‘Dr Sarwar intiqal kar gaye’ – BBC report, May 26, 2009

BBC report, May 26, 2009 p-1

BBC report, May 26, 2009 p-1

BBC Report, May 26, 2009, p-2

BBC Report, May 26, 2009, p-2

BBC report, May 26, 2009, p-3

BBC report, May 26, 2009, p-3

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