KARACHI: Eminent politician Mairaj Mohammad Khan, who died here on Friday morning, was laid to rest in the Defence graveyard. His funeral prayers were held at Sultan Masjid after Juma prayer.
Soyem will be held on Sunday between Asr and Maghrib prayers at his residence, 96/22 Khayaban-i-Rahat, 18th Street, Phase 6, Defence Housing Authority, near Ali Masjid.
Talking to Dawn, social activist Anis Haroon paid tribute to him, saying: “It’s the end of an era. At his funeral I was reminded of how he inspired us, what sacrifices he made, and how he worked for the PPP. I still remember when he was released from jail in 1970. We went there and took him to a ground where a jalsa was being held. A large crowd was waiting for him,” said Ms Haroon.
“Now I tend to think that those who do honest, principled politics, who stick to their ideals, have no place in Pakistan. Mairaj sahib had to suffer many ordeals. How painful it would be to see one’s dreams not coming true. He took this grief with him. I don’t think there’s any place for honest politicians in the country.”
Senior lawyer Rasheed Rizvi said: “He did politics with integrity, commitment, dedication and honesty. After him, there is no one who will take a principled stand in politics. I used to say to him that he should write his memoirs. He would reply that he was writing them. He knew a lot. Sad, I don’t see the kind of integrity that he had in any of the current lot of politicians.”
Writer Zahida Hina said: “His death has brought a chapter of progressive politics to a close. He ended his journey from where he began, that is, he never moved away from his path. He always preferred society’s happiness to personal happiness. He did not succeed to shape society the way he wanted, so his dreams remained unfulfilled. A few days back, there was an event held to celebrate his life. There some other participants and I were discussing that these days people like Mairaj sahib are hard to find. He and his brother Minhaj Barna were pillars of this city, of this province. Barna sahib died first and now Mairaj sahib is no more. It’s a great loss.”
Dr Jaffer Ahmed of Karachi University’s Pakistan Study Centre said: “He belonged to that generation of the 1960s which was full of imagination and had ideals. The ‘60s was a time when there was commotion in the entire world: third world countries were gaining independence, American imperialism was being protested against, in America itself street fighting was happening. At that time, Mairaj sahib played an important part in the students’ movement of the left. It was the students who first protested against Ayub Khan’s military dictatorship. It is in that context that he was exiled from the city in 1961 and then in 1962 12 of them were exiled which elicited a strong response from the whole country,” said Dr Ahmed.
Published in Dawn, July 23rd, 2016