ISLAMABAD: A programme was held at the Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) on Tuesday in memory of Hassan Nasir, who died in the Lahore Fort on Nov 13, 1960, in an operation against communists and trade unionists by Gen Ayub Khan.
The programme was hosted by the Islamabad chapter of the National Party to mark his death anniversary. Speakers, including academics and politicians, spoke about Nasir’s life and struggle for democracy and the rights of the working class.
Nasir was born in 1928 to a rich family in Hyderabad Deccan, and became a communist while studying at Cambridge. Speakers said that despite being from a rich family, he chose a life of poverty and migrated to Pakistan when India was partitioned.
Nasir died at the age of 32 in Lahore Fort, where he was held for weeks and allegedly tortured.
Senator Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo said Nasir was a true Marxist, who believed in ending exploitation and the gap between the haves and the have-nots.
“It was not easy to work in that period of time when the awareness level was not of today. Today’s youngster is looking for new thoughts but it is our incompetency that we have not publicised the great struggle of our heroes among young generation,” he said.
Comparing Nasir’s struggle to the current situation in the country, he remarked that while Nasir’s family had received his body, today families did not receive the bodies of their loved ones and spent their lives wondering if they were alive or dead.
Senator Bizenjo said Nasir was a true revolutionary political leader, as well as a friendly man who never turned his back in difficult circumstances.
Writer Nadeem Umer Tarar said Nasir’s cultured background made him a people-friendly leader, and he fought for a democratic Pakistan and for the rights of the working class until his death.
“The dream Hassan Nasir saw is still a dream in this country. Unfortunately, the youth has become part of the consumer world and do not have knowledge about the heroes like Hassan Nasir, who fought against dictatorship and for the rights of the oppressed community,” he said.
Nazir Mehmood said Nasir gave his life to bridge the gap between the haves and have-nots and despite coming from an aristocratic family opted to take up the cause of the oppressed.
The speakers concluded on the note that the present chaos and growing disintegration calls for a strong and vibrant collective movement in Pakistan to free people from unjust policies.
Published in Dawn, November 14th, 2018
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