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March 15, 2020

End of an era

Editorial

 
March 15, 2020

The death of veteran politician and PPP founding member Dr Mubashir Hasan brings to an end an era. Dr Hasan who remained active as a civil rights activist and political commentator till his final days was one of the people who set up the PPP along with Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Indeed, it is said the foundation stone of the PPP was laid in Dr Hasan’s Gulberg home in Lahore. Mubashir Hasan was a key contributor to the writing of the PPP’s first manifesto and along with other leaders such as J A Rahim and S Muhammad Rasheed played a key role in organizing PPP offices in cities, towns and villages across the then West Pakistan. Students of political science say that this structure of organization was the best ever seen in the country.

Dr Hasan was elected to the National Assembly in 1970 and served as finance minister in the PPP’s first cabinet from 1971 to 1974. He also played a key role in establishing the Ministry of Science and the Kahuta Research Laboratories. However, after 1974 Dr Hasan and others who represented the left-wing elements within the PPP developed differences with Bhutto and left the cabinet. Later on in life Dr Hasan left the PPP itself and joined Ghinwa Bhutto’s PPP-Shaheed Bhutto. He resigned from that party three years ago.

Aside from his important contributions to Pakistan as a politician and a strong advocate of land reforms and welfare Dr Hasan was a founding member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and the Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy. He spoke consistently for better relations with India and the rights of the Kashmiri people throughout his life as an activist. Dr Mubashir Hasan’s death has been condoled by the PPP’s Punjab Chapter, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, the Awami National Party, representatives of various labour organizations and others who knew him as a leader and a friend. His loss is a considerable one for a country which needs people with vision and progressive values in a genuine sense rather than as handy slogans.