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November 19, 2016

Jehangir Badr — a man of high level of tolerance, sincerity


November 19, 2016


Speakers, including former student leaders, social activists and intellectuals, showered tributes on the late Jehangir Badr, PPP leader, for his untiring advocacy for the cause of the oppressed and for the promotion of democracy, at a condolence meeting held at Safma office with the collaboration of South Asia Free Media Association (Safma) and Social Democratic Forum, here, Friday. 

Imtiaz Alam, Safma Secretary General said “Jehangir Badr who stood in most difficult times with successive Bhuttos during their long trials and emerged from the narrow alleys of inner-city of old Lahore as a workers’ leader, Jehangir Badr known as JB finally lost his struggle for life.

He expressed Jehangir Badr was not the product of PPP and PPP was not discovered by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. It was the era ZA Bhutto gave it direction. This was during the most popular upsurge of students, youths and working classes in 1968-69 against Field Marshal Ayub Khan’s authoritarian model of development that he got his first lessons of popular democratic politics. A student of commerce in Hailey College right in the centre of the city, he could not have escaped the most progressive movement in Pakistan’s history that was, eventually, to determine its fate. 

Jehangir Badr had been fighting against dictators like Ayub, Yahya, Zia, and Pervez Musharraf as well. He never bowed before any brutal force. He never betrayed party. Imtiaz Alam said “ZA Bhutto spotted the promise in JB who became his disciple and remained loyal to the party, PPP, till his last breath. Reverting back into the narrow streets of old city, JB built a base of his own in what was in fact a bastion of PPP power. His real talent came to fore during the most ruthless and reactionary military dictatorship of General Ziaul Haq. He was among those thousands of Jayalas who defied the dictator and were imprisoned for longer time. He was among those who assisted Begum Nusrat Bhutto to build a campaign to save ZAB from the gallows through what is universally seen as a judicial murder. When many leaders abandoned ZAB, JB stood with the party and helped to organise Movement for the Restoration of Democracy.

Unlike Jamaat’s student leaders, including Javed Hashmi, he preferred jail rather than finding an easy way to a dummy parliament that Zia created through non-party elections. His reward was long imprisonment and lashes for fighting for the restoration of democracy and peoples’ rights.

Other participants from PPP Shahida Jabeen, Khalid Butt, Aslam Gill, Wajid Ali Shah, Khalid Farooqi, Suhail Malik, Khalid Chaudhry, Abdullah Malik and Khalid Qayyum paid tribute to Jahangir Badr. Speakers paid him glowing tributes while appreciating his role as a true democratic soul, a man of high-level of tolerance and sincerity. They said his name had become a doctrine of agitation all politics and his role in the Movement for Restoration of Democracy will be remembered forever. Wajid Ali Shah lauded Safma for organising a reference in the honour of Badr and demanded a seminar for international audience. Mani Pehlwan said Badr had also organised reception for Benazir Bhutto in 1986. Khalid Qayyum said he was also organising Kashmir campaign of Bilawal Bhutto. He remained stick to the ideology of Bhutto, he added. 

Another speaker said setting up of a political academy was dream of Badr and the party should fulfill it by establishing an academy in his name. Mian Hanif said he was a trustworthy party worker of Benazir Bhutto. She did not come out of plane until Jehangir Badr joined him on the airport, he added. Hanif Tahir Advocate said Jehangir Badr had always promoted hard working party workers. He said death of Jehangir was a loss to Bilawal, who is on a new political journey. One Mutahir, his fast friend, said they had worked hard for the party. He said Badr had devoted his politics to Benazir Bhutto. Rana Arshad termed his death a great loss to the party. 

Baba Najmi paid tributes through poetry. Iftikhar Shahid said Badr was a friend of party workers in their good and bad times. He said Imran Khan had collected garbage of all political parties in the name of change. Sohail Malik said Badr had always taken party workers an asset of the party. The PTI invited him to join them but he was committed to the PPP. He had a mission of organising a mammoth of reception for Bilawal Bhutto like he did for Benazir Bhutto. Khalid Saeed said Badr was a man of strong nerves and a darling of party workers. He was committed and loyal to the party, he added. Senior journalist Khalid Chaudhry said his association with Badr started as student leader at the Hailey College. Rafique Badr, brother of Jehangir Badr, said Badr was second name of struggle. His services for party were countless. 

Aslam Gill said Badr struggled against all dictatorships in the country.

He never betrayed party leadership. He started politics from grass roots level and ended up as Secretary General of the party. He urged the establishment not to kill PPP, as it is a symbol of federation. He was equally respected by the political parties in Pakistan. 

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