Farewell, Aslam

Aslam-2013-photo beena

Aslam Azhar, Islamabad, 2013. Photo: Beena Sarwar

My personal tribute to a giant of progressive politics in Pakistan, published in The Friday Times on Jan 15, 2016, posted below with links that didn’t make it into the TFT copy. 

By Beena Sarwar

Aslam. That’s what everyone, junior or senior, in the theatre group Dastak called him. He insisted upon it. That was just one aspect of Aslam Azhar, the founding father of Pakistan Television and already a legendary figure in the late 1980s. That was when I joined the theatre group that he had started in 1982 with his close friend and comrade Mansoor Saeed – who also insisted on being called Mansoor. Continue reading

Pakistani doctors in America: Giving back to the community

Poet Fehmida Riaz with Dr Naseem Shekhani of NHF at the launch of the Urdu English Medical Dictionary in Karachi, Dec 31, 2010

Anyone interested in healthcare in Pakistan – check out and support National Health Forum (NHF), a registered tax-exempt organisation in America initiated by a group of Pakistani doctors, many of whom were activists with the progressive National Students Federation (NSF)in their student days.

Screengrab of NHF website

I know some of them personally and am inspired and moved by their dedication and the work they do. The causes they have taken up include maternal care, child cancer (working to build a children’s cancer hospital) and helping flood survivors in Pakistan through the Pakistan Medical Association. They also support non-profit organisations in USA in the healthcare and medical education sectors. I love that Dr Sher Shah is listed in their website as one of the ‘projects’ they support (if you don’t know who he is, you should. Look him up). Another project, and a great success, is the launch of the much-needed Medical Urdu-English Dictionary. The informative website includes links to PDFs of their reports). Also do check out and ‘like’ the NHF facebook page. 🙂

RIP Comrade Chacha Maula Bux Khaskheli

Just received via email: The Communist Party of Pakistan (CPP) announces with deep sense of bereavement pain and profound sorrow, to all the fraternal parties, comrades and friends, that Comrade Chacha Maula Bux Khaskheli, the Secretary General of the  CC of CPP, has passed away at 11 pm on 30th August, 2011.  He was 76 years old. The Communist Party of Pakistan offers LAAL SALAM (RED SALUTE) to Comrade Khaskheli for his unforgettable militant struggle and sacrifices for the party and people of Pakistan.

A BRIEF PROFILE OF COMRADE KHASKHELI: Continue reading

Left and nationalist parties rally and declaration on Sindh situation

Yusuf Mastikhan

“SEVEN PROGRESSIVE AND NATIONALIST PARTIES HAVE RESOLVED TO STRUGGLE AGAINST THE WELL PLANNED ETHNIC AND LINGUAL MAYHEM IN KARACHI BY ARMED TERRORIST GROUPS SUPPORTED BY PARTIES IN POWER. TO OPPOSE THIS A RALLY IS BEING ORGANIZED ON SATURDAY THE 27TH AUGUST AT 3PM FROM REGAL CHOWK TO PRESS CLUB, YOU ARE REQUESTED TO PARTICIPATE WITH YOUR FRIENDS, THANK YOU”, says an email from progressive leftist activist Yousuf Mustikhan. See below for the declaration of these parties on the Sindh Situation Continue reading

The real Pakistan: report on CFD’s inspiring signature campaign

CFD volunteers engaged with the public and got a great response. Photo: Shuja Qureshi

Posted to the Citizens for Democracy blog:

“Without exaggeration, the exercise was a phenomenal success. Not only because a total of 15,000 signatures were collected… but also because it showed that ordinary people… overwhelmingly agreed with the cause…”

The real Pakistan | By Farieha Aziz Continue reading

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