My Comrades and Friends

Tufail Abbas

Last year my comrades decided to celebrate the combined anniversary of those who had joined the labour movement and not left it till their last breath. It was also decided that we will celebrate their anniversary in the month of June. These four comrades are Hassan Nasir, Shafiq Ahmed, Azhar Abbas and Zaki Abbas.

I have been associated with all these four – Hassan Nasir who had been working in the movement before the partition of the sub-continent came here from India. Hassan Nasir was arrested in 1960 in the martial law era of Ayub. For some time in Karachi, the C.I.D. had interrogated him and then he was sent to Lahore fort where he was killed on 13th November 1960. In this connection a lot of people were arrested, I too had been arrested two times and in those 22 months they had tortured and interrogated me. After that I was sacked from the job of P.I.A., later I was reinstated after my release. My comrade Azhar Abbas was also arrested in this connection and he was also interrogated and he was released after six   months. He was also sacked from his job. Azhar Abbas was my only comrade who will remain associated with the movement after his release while others who were arrested all quit the movement.

My three comrades Shafiq Ahmed, Azhar Abbas and Zaki Abbas from the beginning till their last breath remained associated with movement. Comrade Shafiq got associated with the movement when I started living in Drigh Colony. At that time it was the new colony for the migrants, allotments of 80 yards with one room being made. We decided to settle there as the airport where we were working in Orient Airways and later in P.I.A. was also near that colony. Landhi Industrial area was also near that colony that’s why we have resided there.

My first arrest was also made from that colony from quarter number 40/4. Azhar Abbas and Shafiq Ahmed were residing in block 5 of the same colony. During the struggle we met each other. With Azhar I had an acquaintance as he was my distant relative and at that time he was associated with K.E.S.C., while Shafiq belonged to the shoe workers union.  Zaki Abbas who was my brother was acquiring education at that time. In the beginning that was the  small karvaan which expanded and contracted but these three comrades remained associated with the movement till their last breath, these comrades went everywhere for the movement and they sacrificed everything for the movement.

Comrade Shafiq left me on 16th December 1980 in Karachi where he breathed his last in my arms. On 13th May 1995 Comrade Azhar left me. When last time I had a meeting with my comrade he was unable to talk to me, at that time I realised that my comrade was leaving me I was in helpless condition.

Zaki Abbas who was my last comrade who was with me, got a stroke after one of our meetings and got admitted to the hospital. He was in coma for 22 days. I never met with him in those 22 days and at last he also left me on 9th June 2003 and I was left alone with no comrade, no one from whom I could get suggestions, no one who could organise the party, anyhow I controlled myself. At that time comrade Shaukat Chaudhry was also in Karachi and he gave me strength and we again started our march towards our destination.

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