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Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

A metaphor of resistance
By: Altaf Hussain Asad
A biography of Jam Saqi, a die-hard left-wing leader widely hailed as the voice of the common people
Jam Saqi’s name is synonymous with everlasting struggle, utmost dedication, and steadfastness amidst difficult times. Due to these traits, his name resonates in left-wing politics even today and he is regarded as a legend of sorts. Off and on, he is pleasantly remembered by his comrades Since we need to give due space to these men of conscience who waged battles for the political and social uplift of the common people of Pakistan, it is commendable that he has left behind such a positive legacy.

Ahmad Salim and Nuzhat Abbas, the duo that wrote this biography of the fiery Jam Saqi, should be lauded for attempting to set the record straight. Such endeavors play a crucial role in acquainting our younger generations with the sons of the soil who refused to cow down to repressive state authorities.

Ahmad Salim is an indefatigable writer who has written and edited scores of books focused on similar politics, and more are in the pipeline. Salim plans to write more on Pakistan’s left-wing workers and leaders in recognition of their championing the cause of the downtrodden.

Nuzhat Abbas, also a coauthor, has interviewed Saqi many times and it was her desire to use these interviews for compiling a biography of her hero, Jam Saqi.

The result of their concerted effort is the seven-chapter Jam Saqi, Chaly Chalo Kay Wo Manzil Abhi Nahi Aai.

The book commences from Saqi’s early days in Tharparkar, Sindh, where he was born in 1944 to Muhammad Bachal, a primary school teacher. From there Saqi moved to Hyderabad where he was first introduced and then hooked to the country’s left-wing politics. A large part of this addiction was due to Inayatullah, one of his teachers who was an underground worker of the Communist Party of Pakistan. After that there was no looking back. He worked day in and day out for a classless and just society based on the principles of the left-wing manifesto.

Even during Bhutto’s era, he proved to be a thorn in the eyes of the state and was intermittently incarcerated and constantly harassed.

According to the book, Saqi was at the forefront of many leftist activities while in Hyderabad. Along with his comrades, he ran a campaign against the One Unit and wrote pamphlets denouncing the oppressive political order. He laid the foundation of the progressive students’ body under the name of ‘Hyderabad Students Federation’ and later ‘Sindh National Students Federation’. Through such student bodies Saqi was able to bring together like-minded students of the province to rally under one umbrella.

And so a stage was set for waging a long struggle in which Saqi had to undergo many hardships. He was constantly in and out of jail but this did not dampen his revolutionary spirit. From Hyderabad, Saqi graduated into a die-hard left-wing leader who was widely respected and hailed as the voice of the common people.

However, Saqi was maligned at the behest of the powers that be and as he got more influential he was branded as an enemy agent amongst other slanderous accusations. These accusations were nothing but a pack of lies. Every true revolutionary pays a heavy price for his stance and so was the case with Saqi. During one of his imprisonments there were rumours that Saqi had been killed. This caused much grief to his beloved wife, Sukhan, who committed suicide by throwing herself in a well.

Even during Bhutto’s era, he proved to be a thorn in the eyes of the state and was intermittently incarcerated and constantly harassed. Saqi was also falsely embroiled in a dubious case. The case became famous in our political history because stalwarts such as Benazir Bhutto, Wali Khan and others appeared before the court to support him; he thus became a metaphor of resistance and struggle for all Pakistan’s progressive people. Ultimately, he was released and when he landed in Lahore he received a hero’s welcome.

The disintegration of USSR was a setback for people like him because their bastion had crumbled. Till his last breath, however, he espoused the ideals of a peaceful Pakistan with equal rights to all the marginalised people of the country.
Salim and Abbas have produced a valuable political document that should be read by all serious readers.


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The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint or stance of SDPI.