[LINK] | Monday, June 01, 2009 By Shahid Husain Karachi
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 Nigar, 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.