(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
August 22, 2010
Comrade Nazir Abbasi’s Martyrdom Recalled
August 11, the Communist Party of Pakistan, Communist Mazdoor Kisan
Mazdoor Mahaz and some other Left organisations jointly observed the
anniversary of the martyrdom of Nazir Abbasi, a communist revolutionary
It is to be noted that Comrade Nazir Abbasi fell to brutal ISI torture on August 9, 1980, during the regime of military dictator Ziaul-Haque.
Shaheed Hasan Naasir, Comrade Nazir Abbasi too is one of the icons of
Comrade Nazir was one of the key figures behind the Patt Feeder peasant movement in Balochistan in 1976, organising and educating the local people about how to resist the local landowners who were out to displace them from the lands they had been cultivating for decades. The resistance also paved the way for agricultural workers’ and sharecroppers’ unity, leading to the formation of Balochistan Bazgar Committee, on the pattern of the Sindh Hari Committee.
In the same year, Nazir became vice president of the Pakistan Federal Union of Students, with Raziq Bugti (later assassinated) as its president. In this capacity, Nazir played a seminal role in the unity of students and his efforts bore fruit when a number of student organisations --- the Sindh National Students Federation, Baloch Students Organisation and Pakhtun Students Federation, among others --- agreed to form a single united forum of progressive students. This was what came to be known as the Democratic Students Federation (DSF) later --- established shortly after Comrade Nazir’s martyrdom.
On July 4, 1977, after the dismissal of
the Z A Bhutto government, usurper General Ziaul-Haque proclaimed
Martial Law in
the country, which involved complete ban on political parties and
constitutional rights. In a letter addressed from underground to the
of a students convention in 1979, Nazir Abbasi wrote: “General
terrified by the people’s consciousness and believes that like
Before his last arrest, Comrade Nazir had spent a good part of his adult life in prison under the notorious Defence of Pakistan Rules, akin to our DIR.
On July 30, 1980, Nazir was arrested
Comrade Nazir was buried in the Sakhi Hasan graveyard in Hyderabad Sindh.
Comrade Nazir Abbasi was known for his
simple and incorruptible life, inspired by the ideal of associating
with the most marginalised and oppressed classes in
While observing the 30th anniversary of
Comrade Nazir Abbasi’s martyrdom, the Left and democratic groups in
Addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on August 8, Comrade Nazir’s widow, Begum Hamida Ghangro pointed out how Brigadier Billa is still roaming at large, flaunting his credentials about torturing many Sindhi and Baloch political workers to death. Professor Jamal Naqvi and Kamal Warsi, who were arrested at that time along with Nazir Abbasi, accompanied her. Begum Hamida said the likes of Billa and his cruel ISI subordinates continue to hunt the Sindhi and Baloch political workers even today, and they can be taught a suitable lesson by bringing Billa and his associates to justice.
One notes that when Ziaul-Haque, angry over the moves to unify the students movement, ordered Nazir Abbasi’s arrest, Begum Hamida Ghanghro was already in jail.
Begum Hamida also recalled that the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had once made the promise to bring to justice all the culprits who had killed Nazir Abbasi. Though an FIR was filed on August 17, 1980, an investigation started much later. The court case commenced during the last stint of Benazir Bhutto’s rule, but the proceedings stopped after a few hearings and then the issue was put on the backburner when her regime was toppled. Now it seems that the leaders of the PPP have conveniently forgotten her promise. The general belief is that any attempt to get Billa and others punished would evoke protest from General Kiyani and several others.
On the 30th anniversary of Comrade Nazir Abbasi’s martyrdom, progressive political workers also recalled how even the Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s regime had jailed scores of student leaders and did not spare their family members either. In case of Nazir Abbasi himself, when the police failed to apprehend him for months together, Bhutto’s regime got imprisoned Comrade Nazir’s mother, father, brothers and sisters in Tando Allahyar Jail.
Addressing the press at