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Friday December 03, 2021

Veteran leftist leader Iqbal Alvi passes away

May 13, 2021

Iqbal Alvi, a devoted left-wing activist associated with the Communist Party of Pakistan, passed away on Tuesday night. He was 90.

On Wednesday, his funeral prayers were offered at Abubakar Masjid in Clifton and he was buried at a Model Colony graveyard. He has been survived by two daughters and a son. A large number of intellectuals, social and political activists, and trade unionists attended the funeral.

Born in United Province, Ali had moved to Hyderabad Deccan where he was influenced by the trade union movement. After Partition, Ali came to Lahore to meet his maternal uncle - Syed NaqI Ali - who was a central leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami.

Tausif Ahmed Khan, a political analyst, said Ali tried to convince Alvi to join the JI. “But later, Ali came to Karachi and started his activities with the CPP in the volatile decades of the 1950s and 1960s when the state was continuously hunting communist activists. Under the safety act, he was arrested from the CPP’s office in Ratan Talao area in 1957 and jailed along with leaders of the Democratic Students Federation at that time,” Khan told The News.

Khan said Alvi started working in aviation and formed trade union bodies of workers, officers and later retired officers. Alvi was also a founding member of The Secular Forum, the Irtiqa Institute of Social Sciences, and several other forums. He also served as secretary of the Pak-Soviet Friendship Society as a secretary, while noted Sindhi nationalist leader G.M Syed was the body’s president.