Pakistan lost another loud progressive voice for the rights of Pakistani people. The former Secretary General and founding member of PPP died in Lahore today at the age of 98 years after protracted illness. He was born in 1922.
He spent his entire life in the struggle for democracy-socialism and people’s right. He was one of the most trusted comrades of former PM and Founding chairman PPP ZA Bhutto along with JA Rahim. He played important role in popularising the basic radical ideas of PPP along with Sheikh Rashid (Babai Socialism), Malik Mairaj Khalid and Hanif Ramay in Lahore and Punjab.
The founding convention of PPP was held at his house in Gulberg Lahore in 1967. He was elected as the first president of PPP in Lahore. PPP won all the constituencies in Lahore in the 1970 general elections. He was socialist and defended the ideas of socialism and PPP’s founding radical ideas throughout his life.
He won the election from Lahore constituency in 1970 general elections. He served as federal finance minister in the cabinet of Prime Minister ZA Bhutto in the 1070s. He was architect of nationalisation programme initiated during first tenure of PPP government. He worked as federal minister finance -planning and development till 1974. He resigned from both the ministries and become secretary general of PPP in 1974.
He was a man of integrity –ability and commitment. He was very committed ideological leader. But when he announced to resign as secretary general of the party in March 1977 at the peak of PNA movement against Bhutto government-that decision shocked many. His decision of resignation did not go well with many PPP workers. Many people raised questions on his sudden resignation from party position within the party. ZA Bhutto never accepted his resignation and kept him an adviser for science and technology.
He played leading role in establishing the ministry of science during PPP government of ZA Bhutto. He introduced financial assistance programme for young scientists. He was also involved in the nuclear programme. He tried his best to promote scientific research- innovation and nuclear technology.
He was a civil engineer by profession and did doctorate in civil engineering from America.
He was true democratic socialist who stood for his ideals throughout of his life. He was a committed political leader who never compromised his ideas and thoughts. He was imprisoned during the military regime of General Zia. He was also arrested and tortured at the notorious torture cell in Lahore Fort during General Ayub Khan’s rule.
He later developed differences with PPP leadership and joined the PPP-Shaheed Bhutto led by Mir Murtaza Bhutto when he returned back to Pakistan in the early 1990s. He remained committed with PPP-SB till the last moment.
Dr. Mubashar Hassan was a well-known academician and political figure who rose to prominence during Bhutto’s democratic interlude. Though a civil engineer by profession, yet he possesses great insight into the politics. He completed doctorate in civil engineering from USA.
He remained active in politics till his last breath. He wrote many books on politics and policies. He advocated the idea of small dams many years ago. He will be remembered as a pro-people politician- socialist ideologue and progressive public policy maker with a clear vision.
Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un
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03 April, 2020