BUNER: Central chairman of Awami Workers Party (AWP) and a known name in progressive political circles, Fanoos Gujjar, expired here on Saturday evening after suffering from cardiac arrest. He was 68.

Fanoos Gujjar, who remained associated with left wing politics in his life, will be laid to rest at his ancestral Rayal village. His Nimaz-i-Janza will be held on Sunday (today) at 3pm at Badal Ground in Chagerzai tehsil.

His associates informed Dawn that he was busy in party activities at Daggar when he suffered a heart attack and was rushed to the district headquarters hospital where he was provided treatment but he could not survive.

“Mr Gujjar was a hardworking and dedicated leader who had always strived for the rights of the poor,” said Awami National Party’s central general secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain. He told Dawn that the deceased had also remained in ANP and he had interaction with him during which he had found him to be a genuine political activist working for the peasants, workers, labourers and other disadvantaged groups in the society.

The deceased had received initial education in Buner, but later on he had graduated from Lahore. He had started his political career in early 1970s in his student life and at that time had remained a member of National Students Federation, a left-wing students’ body. Subsequently, he also remained in Democratic Students Federation.

The deceased had also faced imprisonments several times, especially during military rule of Gen Ziaul Haq. He was arrested during Zia’s government when he was leading a procession in Karachi, and due to severe torture during captivity one of his kidneys was also badly affected. Later on, his other kidney had also stopped proper functioning and he was on dialysis for many years.

He had been suffering from heart ailment for last few years. He had a substantial vote bank in his native Buner and Shangla districts, but he could not make it to any of the law making bodies despite contesting different general elections.

Published in Dawn, December 2nd, 2018

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