Karachi, March 17: The first volume of the story of the National Students Federation, its cadre and incidents reflecting the left wing history of Pakistan, `Suraj pay Comand,’ was launched at the Arts Council on Saturday.
An overflow crowd came to the launch to hear about the stalwarts of the left movement who dominated four decades ago. Their snapshots have been compiled in this book in Urdu by London based ex NSF activist, Hasan Jawed (a psychiatrist by profession) and Mohsin Zulfikar.
Younger members of NSF were also in attendance to hear about the book, which takes an up close and personal look at the lives of left wing leaders. This includes subsequent reflections of the role they played for the rights of the oppressed people of Pakistan.
The event was presided over by Dr Haroon Ahmed and addressed by Ali Yavar, Lateef Chaudhry, Dr Tipu Sultan, Dr Riaz Ahmed Shaikh, Anees Baqir and Masroor Ahsan.
Former NSF president, Latif Chaudhry analyzed the issues raised in the book, namely how pro Maoist and pro Leninist ideologies led to internal fissures within the movement. In his words, the absence of tolerance for dissenting views ultimately caused the left to split.
The Dean Faculty of Education and Social Sciences in ZABIST, Dr Riaz Ahmed Shaikh said that despite the fissures, even Western writers had acknowledged the role played by the Pakistani left in dislodging dictatorships.
Anees Baqir spoke about the importance of forming a left wing political party in 2018 that could counter the `fickle and corrupt’ mainstream political parties.
Hasan Jawed introduced the author of Aboard the Democracy Train, as having an early association with NSF and then subsequently her work as a journalist, linked with former PPP prime minister Benazir Bhutto.
The updated edition of the book, Pakistan Tracks the Threat Within was sold out on the occasion.
This revised edition can now be ordered through Liberty books and other leading outlets in the country