Published Date: Nov 28, 2011
A Farewell to Hameed Akhtar (SDPI Press Release)
Hameed Akhtar as a writer, journalist and political worker strived his whole life for the progressive movement, social justice, unity, and prosperity of the ordinary people of Pakistan, said speakers at a remembrance seminar ‘A Farewell to Hameed Akhtar’ organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Monday.
I.A. Rehman, renowned journalist, intellectual, activist and Director Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) expressed that Hameed Akhtar dreamed of a society with noble attributions but it was difficult in an environment where the truth and courage was ridiculed and penalized. He also said that Hameed Akhtar gave voice to the neglected classes of society and vowed that any development without social justice is not a development. Talking of his literary work he said that Hameed Akhtar’s books are a rare reference in Pakistan’s literary history.
Dr Anwar Ahmed, Progressive Writer Critic and Chairman, National Language Authority said that Hameed Akhtar will continue to reside in our hearts through his work. He apprised of his early days of learning from Hameed Akhtar in Daily Imroz Multan, where he was a source of inspiration for budding writers to put their energies for democratic aspirations, left leaning causes, and social justice. He also commended his work as columnist to promote books and literary culture throughout Pakistan.
Dr Rawish Naveed, Poet, Assistant Professor, IIUI and Secretary General Progressive Writer’s Association, Islamabad said that once ordinary poverty ridden people were the center of finest global philosophies, ideas, movements and revolution but today words such as revolution, poverty, and struggle became irrelevant for new minds and persons with such views are dejected to be failed communist. But Hameed Akhtar, he said, represented a vibrant commitment, resolve, and ideology which will never die, even though he is no longer with us.
Writer and Intellectual Ashfaq Saleem Mirza said that unfortunately progressive movement in Pakistan bore no fruits for which the people like Hameed Akhtar strive for their whole lives. But he gave us the hope that someday future generations might complete this incomplete task of equitable, peaceful and prosperous society, he added.
Ahmad Salim, Senior Advisor, SDPI said that today’s discussion will be a continuity of debates aimed at highlighting the work of eminent writers. He said despite old age and suffering from cancer since 1990, Hamid Akhtar continue to produce literary work, which became a stimulus for many including him to work hard in spite of any odds.
Dr Abid Q. Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI said that he grew up reading books of Hameed Akhtar which were must read at that time for young people. He said that progressive writers plaid a very positive role in struggle for social justice in Pakistan. He referred to writers such as Faiz, Sahir Ludhyanvi and Hameed Akhtar who became beacons of change and social justice in society. He commented that future generations benefit from the sacrifices made by their forefathers and legends and we are now living in free societies because of scarifies made by people such as Hameed Akhtar, he added.