TOBA TEK SINGH: Thousands of people from all over the Punjab attended funeral prayers of Kissan leader and founder of Pakistan Kissan Committee Ch Fateh Muhammad here on Tuesday.
He was 97. Those who attended his funeral prayers include former Punjab Counter Terrorism minister Sardar Ayub Gadhi, PTI MPA Saeed Ahmad Saeedi, PTI central vice president Chaudhry Muhammad Ashfaq, former MPAs Amjad Ali Javed and Mian Rafiq, AWP provincial general secretary Abida Chaudhry, former Pakistan Kissan Committee general secretary Malik Muhammad Ali Bhara and AWP Multan president Farhat Abbas.
Ch Fateh had migrated to Pakistan from Jalandhar after the partition and settled in Toba Tek Singh’s Chak 305/GB, the centre of Kissan Sabha movement in the Punjab. He joined the Communist Party of Pakistan in 1948 and was elected a member of the Central Committee of Pakistan Trade Union Federation in 1950 while Faiz Ahmed Faiz was re-elected as vice-president and Mirza Muhammad Ibrahim as president.
Later, he and his fellow comrades joined Mian Iftikharuddin to form the Azad Pakistan Party which was later merged in the National Awami Party (NAP) at the Dhaka congress on September 25, 1957. He was the main organiser of an international historic Kissan conference held in 1970 in Toba. More than 100,000 delegates of trade unions and peasants organisations from west and East Pakistan, India and European countries attended it. He was imprisoned for several years in his life.
He had written his autobiography "Jo Hum Pe Guzri" in 2016. His book contained a lot about the history of leftist movement, parties, peasants and working class, after the formation of Pakistan and was an important document for researchers. Review of his book was written by prominent intellectuals IA Rehman, Abid Hassan Minto, Prof Azizuddin Ahmad and Prof Nazir Tabassam.
On the nomination of Pakistan-American Democratic Forum, he was given Faiz Ahmad Faiz Award in 2011 by poet’s daughter Salima Hashmi in London in recognition of his lifelong struggle against feudalism, militarism and imperialism. He was the third Pakistani after renowned writer, journalist and activist Tariq Ali and Workers Party Pakistan president and eminent constitutional expert Abid Hassan Minto to receive this award.
Chaudhry Fateh had left behind five sons, two daughters and 18 grandchildren. He was the father of Naeem Fateh, Dr Javed Fateh, Engineer Pervez Fateh, Saleem Fateh, Nadeem Fateh, Dr Yasmin Ashraf and Nazneen Saleem and father-in-law of Dr Muhammad Ashraf and banker Khalid Salim.
Meanwhile, the AWP leadership expressed profound grief and sorrow on the demise of Chaudhry Fateh Muhammad.
AWP founding president Abid Hassan Minto said: "In the passing of Chaudhry, I have lost a great comrade and a genuine working class revolutionary.” Recalling his five decades association and fond memories with Chaudhry Fateh, Minto said Chaudhry not only belonged to the working class family, but also had the knowledge and understanding of the history and ideals of the working class.
He added that Chaudhry had played a key role in organising the peasants movement throughout the country and the historic Toba Kissan conference in 1970.
AWP president Yousuf Mustikhan said: “we have lost a great revolutionary leader and an imitable human being". Chaudhry was an inspiration for all the progressive political activists as he remained committed to the revolutionary cause and dedicated his life for the oppressed classes, he added.
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