Tufail Abbas 1927-2019

From the ICMLPO:

Dear Comrades,

It is with profound sadness that we learnt of the death of Comrade Tufail Abbas, which is a great loss not only for the workers and people of Pakistan but for our movement internationally
On behalf of our member parties and organisations, the Coordinating Committee of the International Conference of Marxist Leninist Parties and Organisations offers its deepest condolences to Pakistan Mazdoor Mahaz Party and to the family of Comrade Abbas.

We pay tribute to his life-long struggle, under the harshest conditions, for the working class of Pakistan and in defence of Marxist- Leninist principles against Soviet and Chinese revisionism and the others.

We are confident that our comrades in Pakistan Mazdoor Mahaz Party will keep high the flag of the struggle for revolution and socialism.

Coordinating Committee,
International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organisations.

From Bolivia:

Comrade Tufail Abbas, President of Pakistan Mazdur Mahaz and legendary communist leader of Pakistan died a few days ago. He was born in 1927 and, until his death this year, was a professional Communist. He fought without rest for organizing workers in the ranks of Marxism- Leninism, for the proletarian revolution and the independence of his country. He was one of the first members of the Communist Party of Pakistan and acquired renown in his country for leading the 1954 Air workers strike.

Revolutionary Communist Party.

From Ecuador:

Tufail Abbas, veteran Pakistani communist leader, has passed away. The Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Ecuador expresses its regret for this fact and conveys its solidarity to our sister Party, to the workers and people of Pakistan. The life of Tufail Abbas was entirely dedicated to the organization of workers in his country, to the defence of Marxism-Leninism, to the organization of the social revolution of the proletariat. The PCMLE raises his image, as an example of a Marxist-Leninist communist.

Central Committee
Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Ecuador

From Germany:

Dear Comrades,

We send you our condolences on the death of comrade Tufail Abbas, a Marxist-Leninist leader of the Communist and Workers’ Movement in Pakistan. Comrade Tufail Abbas struggled to defend Marxism-Leninism  from
Khrushchev revisionism and Maoism and made by this a valuable contribution to the international Marxist-Leninist movement. His whole life he dedicated to Marxism- Leninism, socialism and the struggle of the workers and peoples for revolution. For us he is an example of a determined Marxist-Leninist.

Dietrich Moeller,
Organization for the Construction of the Communist Workers Party of Germany

From Iran:

Dear comrades of Pakistan Mazdoor Mahaz,

It is with great sadness we learned about the death of our comrade Tufail Abbas.

Comrade dedicated his life to the struggle for emancipation of the workers and masses of Pakistan. He was a tempered communist who trained scores of Party cadres and supporters. His bold stand against the revisionist critique in the 1960s expressed his principled and international character.

The Party of Labour of Iran (Toufan) sends its deepest condolences to Pakistan Mazdoor Mahaz, to his family and friends. We are confident that his comrades hold high Comrade Tufail’s banner of struggle for emancipation of the toilers and for socialism.

The Party of Labour of Iran (Toufan)

From India:

It is with great sadness that we learnt of the demise of Comrade Tufail Abbas (1927-2019) on Sunday. Comrade Abbas was a leader of the trade unions of Pakistan from the early days of the foundation of the country when he was involved with the Orient Airways Employees Union later the Pakistan International Airline. From there, today, the Pakistan Mazdoor Mahaz, which he founded and headed, functions in the trade union movement in all the provinces throughout the country. From the early days he headed the developing communist movement in Pakistan. For his pains he was arrested and tortured many a time under the various regimes which held sway in the country and which sustained imperialism, feudalism and military rule. Along with Hassan Nasir, Shafiq, Azhar Abbas, and Zaki Abbas he guided the communist movement over several decades. The circles headed by Tufail sahib were in the forefront of the ideological struggle against Soviet and Chinese revisionism which in Pakistan as in India have been retarding factors in the onward march of the movement for People’s Democracy. He upheld the view that the feudal forces were the main enemy of the people of Pakistan. His support for the ideological principles of Lenin, Stalin and Socialist Albania stood the communist movement in Pakistan in good stead over the decades. Tufail sahib observed developments in India with great concern. He expressed the view that as long as the communist movement in India did not adopt a scientific line, there can be no revolutionary movement in the region. At this time of sorrow and grief we extend our solidarity with the comrades and family of comrade Tufail Abbas.

Comrade Tufail Abbas ko Lal Salaam!

Comrade Tufail Abbas Amar Rahein!

Organisation “Revolutionary Democracy,” India.

From Mexico:

To the Working Class and to the Peoples of Pakistan

Comrades and brothers:

With deep sadness, we have received the news of the loss of Comrade Tufail Abbas (1927-­2019), an unquestionable combatant for better living and working conditions for the working class and the masses, for the proletarian revolution, socialism and communism.

We join the sadness that takes over our comrades, the workers and the people of Pakistan and the world and their family and friends. We pledge to continue fighting for their ideals and at dawn with red flags of the sickle, hammer and star, in Mexico, Pakistan and planet Earth.

Proletarians of all Countries, Unite!

Central Committee
Communist Party of Mexico (Marxist-Leninist)
Mexico City.

From Spain:

To the brother party, the people and the workers of Pakistan, we make our condolences and solidarity with his struggle, that comrade Abbas asked to continue until victory.

Honour to Comrade Abbas.
Long live Marxism-Leninism!
Long live proletarian internationalism!!

Communist Party of Spain (Marxist-Leninist)

From Turkey:

Dear Comrades,

We are deeply saddened by the news of the passing away of Comrade Tufail Abbas.

We pay tribute to his life-long struggle for the working class of Pakistan both as a trade unionist and as the leader of Pakistan Mazdoor Mahaz, and express our condolences to his family and comrades.

He will always be remembered and missed greatly.

Labour Party, Turkey

From Tunisia:

Dear Comrades of the Pakistan Workers' Front

It is with great sadness that we learnt of the death of our great Friend Tufail Abbas. It is not the workers of Pakistan alone who are losing a great leader, but the entire labour movement in the world as well as the international communist movement.

On this sad occasion, on behalf of my comrades of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Tunisia, I offer you my deep condolences. And we are confident that the comrades of Tufail Abbas will be able to keep up the flag of the struggle for revolution and socialism.

Hamma Hammami,
The Secretary General,
The Workers’ Party of Tunisia

From the USA:

Legendary Pakistani communist, and President of the Pakistan Mazdoor Mahaz (“Pakistan Workers' Front”) Comrade Tufail Abbas, died Sunday, September 8, at the age of 92.

One of the earliest members of the Communist Party of Pakistan, Comrade Abbas’ life was synonymous with the Pakistani communist movement. A distinguished and militant trade unionist, Comrade Abbas gained national fame as the leader of the 1954 airline workers’ strike. He was imprisoned several times for his trade union activism.

An early critic of Khrushchevite revisionism and supporter of Socialist Albania, and often working under conditions of severe state repression, Comrade Abbas became a respected figure in the international Anti-Revisionist Marxist-Leninist movement.

The American Party of Labor extends its deepest and heartfelt condolences to our comrades of the Pakistan Mazdoor Mahaz, and to the working and oppressed people of Pakistan and the world, on the loss of this unforgettable fighter for peace, democracy, and socialism.

Glory to the legacy of Comrade Tufail Abbas!
Long live the Pakistan Mazdoor Mahaz!
Forwards to socialism!

American Party of Labor.

From Pakistan:

My Leader, my guide, Comrade Tufail Abbas, passed away on 8th September 2019 in Karachi, Pakistan. I have had a strong relationship with him since 1970. I have never seen such a pure, true gentleman in my life, standing firmly upon hisideology. I started my political work in 1968 under the leadership of Comrade Tufail Abbas, when I was a second year student in Government College, Asghar Mall Road, Rawalpindi. My class fellow Qazi Ahmad Naeem Qureshi was a zealous member of the National Student Federation (NSF), NSF was the student front. He introduced me to Comrade Zaki Abbas and, later, to Comrade Tufail Abbas. Since that day we two have been the part of their workers. We not only learnt the philosophy of Marxism, but also the philosophy of the meaning of a full life. I am proud of my leader now and will always be. He gave us such courage to struggle and fight against the exploiting forces. We shall always follow this steadfastly. The way of struggle is our way. The way of revolution is our way. Long live revolution. Down with imperialism and the exploiting forces!

Shaukat Ali Choudhry,
Secretary General
Pakistan Mazdoor Mahaz

From Pakistan:

Chairman Communist Party of Pakistan (CPP) Engineer Jameel Ahmad Malik condoles the death of Tufail Abbas who was ill for quite a long time and died in Karachi today.

Tufail Abbas remained Chairman of the Pakistan Mazdoor Mahaz till his death. He was the founder and Chairman of the Pakistan Airways Employees Union.

Tufail Abbas was a committed Communist and his death is indeed a great loss to the working class and left movement as a whole. May Allah rest his soul in peace. Ameen.

His Namaz-e-Janaza would be offered tomorrow on Monday 9th Muharram ul Haram 9th September, 2019 at Zasrab Imam Bargaa in Defence Two Karachi after Zohar prayer.

Jameel Ahmad Malik
Communist Party of Pakistan

From Pakistan:

Pakistan Mazdoor Kissan Party would like to express its heartfelt and comradely condolences to the family, comrades, and party of comrade Tufail Abbas.

It is a great irony of history that when you march with the tide of history, the world marches with you. And the trials and tribulations of the struggle feel light because of the support that one is able to get from the people. You are carried forward by the energy and Zeitgeist of the moment. But when the tide turns against you and you are forced to swim against it that is the true test of a revolutionary. Sacrifices and struggle are made without the public ever recognising them. In small groups of diehard friends you soldier on. As Faiz would have said kuch ahle junoon teray nam leva hai (some passionate lovers who still take your name).

Tufail Abbas was such an ahle junoon. A man who breathed and lived the revolution. When the tide of history turned against the communist movement owing to the revisionism and opportunism in the Soviet Union, he stuck firmly to Marxism-Leninism. He did not waver, he did not falter, he believed that the setback would be reversed in time. Steeped in the anti-revisionism of Enver Hoxha, he understood that the defeat was the result of a new bourgeoisie coming to power from within the party in the former Soviet Union.

For his steadfastness in defence of Marxism-Leninism, his commitment to communism, for exposing the corrosive results of revisionism, and for being a soldier for the working class, the Pakistan Mazdoor Kissan Party salutes Tufail Abbas and promises to carry forward his mission in a firm fraternal alliance with his party the Pakistan Mazdoor Mahaz.

In solidarity
Dr. Taimur Rahman
General Secretary
Pakistan Mazdoor Kissan Party

From Pakistan:

The Central Committee,
Pakistan Mazdoor Mahaz


The news of the demise of Tufail sahib came to us recently. We recognize him as the paramount leader of Pakistan Mazdoor Mahaz whose services rendered to the Mahaz and its magazine Manshoor would be remembered by his friends and patrons around the world. Further, being the founder of the erstwhile Oriental Airways Employee’s Union, his work inspired many trade unionists across Pakistan. We hope the magazine Manshoor, which he founded and we still read with delight, would continue its operations and would spread the cause for which he earnestly worked. The copies of Manshoor, which used to reach us through our mutual friend Comrade Shaukat Ali Choudhry, are still placed in the Library of the Stalin Society, Pakistan, for our readers. Further he would be remembered for his support for the Stalin Society, Pakistan and its vision.
Considering his demise a source of agony for his friends and family, we extend our heartfelt condolence to the house. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un.

Dr. Saad Yousaf Aahni
Chairman, Stalin Society, Pakistan, Lahore.

From Britain:

Distressed to learn of the passing away of comrade Tufail Abbas, I express my deepest condolences to his family, friends and to all the comrades who loved him in Pakistan and abroad. When I met him lately few months ago in Karachi, his health condition was not great but he had such extraordinary determination that one imagined he could will himself to continue for a longer time. I am very sorry he had to go.

Comrade Tufail Abbas, the founder of Airways Union of Pakistan International Airline, National Students Foundation, the founder Chief Editor of the monthly progressive magazine “Manshoor” and one of the founding members of the Pakistan Communist Party established by Sajjad Zaheer in 1948, devoted all of his life to the socialist cause. He made outstanding contributions through his writings, lectures and discussions, based on his knowledge and experience as a dedicated leader and brave fighter and gave insight into important developments in the capitalist world of global corporate, the struggle of trade unions and working class in Pakistan and abroad against imperialism and capitalism. His autobiography “Sobah ki Lagan” will assist younger comrades, who did not know him personally.

We worked together and I consider it a privilege. His experience of Trade Unions, the Pakistan Communist Party and the struggle against imperialism, feudalism and capitalism always provided a revolutionary orientation to the cadre and preserved the continuity of Marxism, even after the party was banned in Pakistan in 1954. He was a great comrade and a loving friend with a great heart. Although that heart has stopped beating, but a heart that has touched so many lives will always live on. His death is a great loss to the socialist cause and a loss of progressive political activists in Pakistan and abroad.

His political and ideological work will go down in history and he will be recognised by generations to come. I am sure that the fellow comrades will carry on his unfinished lifework, turn sorrow into strength and keep making new achievements in the cause of building a Socialist, Democratic, People‘s Republic of Pakistan, a dream that he worked for throughout his life.

Ali Jaffar Zaidi

From India:

On September 8th Comrade Tufail Abbas died in Karachi at the age of 92. He was a leading communist and trade unionist for much of the history of Pakistan. His unwavering support for Lenin and Stalin throughout his life had many consequences for the country. It enabled support for the Soviet Union in its revolutionary period and it was a factor which reduced the impact of Soviet revisionism at a time when many local parties anticipated that the invasion of Afghanistan would extend to Pakistan. It was also a significant reason why the prescriptions of peasant revolution, divorced from the working class, unlike India, let alone individual terrorism, gained little traction. Tufail sahib never tolerated egoism, individualism, factionalism and violations of democratic centralism in the Communist Party and its mass fronts which was a great source of strength for the working class in its activities. Comrade Tufail Abbas felt a special bond for the activities of Revolutionary Democracy and the Stalin Society, India, inviting an Indian delegation to Karachi for the release of his political autobiography. Whilst Tufail Abbas is no more the communist movement and the trade unions he helped to build shall continue their work to build People’s Democracy. At this time of grief we extend our support to his family, comrades and friends across the world.

Red Salute to Comrade Tufail Abbas!
Long Live Comrade Tufail Abbas!

Stalin Society, India.

From India:

Comrade Tufail Abbas

The death of Com Tufail Abbas is a big setback to the Left and trade union movement of Pakistan. He was one of the pillars of the organized working class movement in Pakistan for several decades.

I met Com. Tufail Abbas through Com. Ali Ahmad, a theatre personality of Karachi (originally from Agra) who was also a Communist and one of the founders of the progressive theatre movement in Pakistan. I reached Karachi in March 1988 as a Consul in the Indian Consulate where I was given the charge of Visa Section. We used to issue over 1,200 visas every day. As usual, there used to be many restrictions on visas for India, especially for certain categories including PIA employees. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) was under the Defence Ministry of Pakistan and hence, the visas for its employees had to be either cleared from India or, a special waiver had to be granted for issuance of such a visa without referral. Comrade Tufail Abbas had also come with such a request. As I was told by Com. Ali Ahmad that he was a trade union leader, I got excited and asked him about the trade union movement in Pakistan and the overall condition of the Left. It was Zia-ul-Haq’s time and the MQM had also become quite popular in Karachi. When he heard about my past association with the Left Movement in India and my experience in trade unionism, a natural bond was created between us and we remained in touch for over three years till I left on transfer to India in May, 1991. Another reason for this special relationship was the fact that he was from Dibai in Bulandshahar District in UP and had many relatives in my home town, Meerut.

Due to obsessive surveillance on me by the intelligence authorities of Pakistan, our social interaction was extremely limited. But, whenever we met in functions or, seminars, we could exchange views on several issues concerning the future of the Left and working class movement in the Indian sub­continent. He used to ask for more information about the Left Front Government in West Bengal and, if possible, literature about CPI(M) and several factions of CPI(ML). We always differed on some issues like the ‘Cultural Revolution’ and Albania. After the Government of Benazir Bhutto was formed and
Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi visited Islamabad for SAARC Summit (in December, 1988), the surveillance had become somewhat relaxed for a few months. I was also invited to some seminars organized by trade unions (like the diplomats of other countries) where I could witness the difficult life of trade unionists in Pakistan. I could also talk to them, albeit cautiously. However, this bonhomie was short-lived and excessive surveillance by the agencies (especially after the violence started in Kashmir in 1989) restricted my interaction with people like Tufail Abbas. His visits to the Consulate to obtain visas also became restricted due to his PIA connection.

Ashok Kumar Sharma

From Manipur:

Campaign for Peace & Democracy (Manipur) pays red salute to late Comrade Tufail Abbas (1927 – 8th September 2019) and expresses heartfelt condolences to his family, relatives, and comrades of Pakistan Mazdoor Mahaz and the monthly journal Awami Manshoor.

Comrade Tufail, based in Karachi, was a prominent communist leader in Pakistan and a legendary figure of the labour movement from the late 1940s onwards. He was dedicated to the cause of the struggle for a people’s democratic movement and was opposed to the domination by revisionism since the mid 1950s. He stood for the cause of the liberation of the oppressed nations and nationalities, though he was equally critical about the role of armed adventurism under the leadership of bourgeois reactionary chauvinists.

The death of comrade Tufail Abbas is a great loss to the ongoing movements for labour rights, people’s democracy and the defence of communism, not only in Pakistan and South Asia, but internationally as well. This vacuum left by comrade Tufail Abbas can only be filled by the sincerity, commitment and consistency of the united struggle of the comrades across the borders to achieve a world free from subjugation, exploitation, and oppression. Red salute to late Comrade Tufail Abbas.

Malem Ningthouja
Campaign for Peace & Democracy (Manipur)

From: Karachi, Pakistan:

The Party of Labour of Iran (Toufan),
Central Committee, Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Ecuador
Communist Workers Party of Germany
The Stalin Society of Pakistan
Revolutionary Democracy, India, Vijay Singh
Workers’ Party of Tunisia and Secretary General, Hamma Hammami
The Labour Party of Turkey
American Party of Labor
Communist Party Mexico Marxist-Leninist and others

Thank you for your messages of condolence to the bereaved family and friends of my father, Comrade Tufail Abbas. Your sentiments, and your acknowledgment of his commitment, struggle, and overcomings, have touched us greatly and allowed us to hold his memory as more than a father or friend—as a teacher and guide, as an honest and unyielding revolutionary, and as a worthy trustee of the cause and struggles of millions around the world. Even in his last years, much less mobile than the sprightly man we knew him to be, and as his memory and recognition of others including his own family faded, he never failed to recognise and acknowledge a true comrade among the rest. Even in his moments alone, seemingly removed from the everyday traffic of the world, we know that this left him never lonely. In him we have lost an archive itself, a few years shy of a century of human history, in which the world was lost and reclaimed many times over. Always showing us the way to be devoted to humanity and to never separate politics from ethics and morality, we have indeed lost a beacon of righteousness whose human failings and imperfections have also taught us much, and give us something to smile about as we grieve and try to find our place in the world without him.

He held you in sincere and high regard, and the assurance of your camaraderie allowed him to go on as long as he did, in situations that would have broken almost anyone else. He has trained so many of us to blaze paths out of dungeons, precisely because of his unconditional faith in the cause of the working and oppressed people of this world.

Thank you again.

Asma Abbas

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