The Express Tribune
Published Date: May 9, 2017
The state and society in Pakistan had been dehumanised during the 1980s. To counter and even reverse this trend, it was necessary that the politics of left is revived.
This was stated by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Farhatullah Babar during the launch of a book on the life of veteran politician Jam Saqi at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) on Monday. Titled ‘Jam Saqi: Chale Chalo Kwh Wo Manzil Abhi nahi Aye’, the book has been co-authored by Ahmad Salim and Nuzhat Abbas. Babar said that to curb extremist tendencies at every level, leftist politics based on the notion of ‘justice for all’ was required to respond to the destructive tendency of selective justice.
The senator further countered that the leftist politics was all but dead were wrong and that under the prevailing circumstances, only such politics had the potential to respond to religious extremism and the blood being shed in the name of nationalism, religion or ethnicity.
Realising that this would be no small task, he urged left-wing politicians to unite on a common platform while focusing on fighting religious extremism.
Detailing how the left offered an alternative, Babar explained that only the left promotes different peaceful forms of public expression such as arts and music – imperative for a balanced society. Referring to the book and Jam Saqi, Babar said that the veteran politician’s struggle was a symbol of resistance and courage.
Former senator and leader of the Awami National Party (ANP) Afrasiab Khattak said that religious extremism in Pakistan had been propagated by certain elements as a ‘nation-building strategy’. However, he said, it had today proven to be a ‘nation-destruction strategy’.