PADF Widens Its Strategic Circle
By Hazem Kira

Abid Hasan Minto

Founded in 1982, the Pakistan American Democratic Forum (PADF) has always acted independent of any and every government in Pakistan and it has consistently upheld the cause of democracy. At times, it has been the only Pakistani-American organization to speak out against the egregious violations of the Constitution by the Musharraf regime.
Inspired by Ibn-Khaldun’s observation that "it should be known that history, in matter of fact, is information about human social organization, which itself is identical with world civilization", the PADF has focused on help build stable and efficient democratic institutions.
As stipulated in its mission statement, the PADF works for social development, institution building, literacy enhancement and consolidation of democracy in Pakistan, and community development, civic education, leadership training and citizen efficacy in the United States.
The PADF is committed to protecting and promoting Pakistan’s vital interests in the US through effective communication of Pakistan’s perspective to fellow Americans - public and policymakers. Its organizational philosophy involves dynamic interaction and creative cooperation among intellectuals, academicians, poets, artists, activists and political leaders.
In the last two years, the PADF has held strategy meetings in New York, Illinois, California, Michigan, Florida, and Washington DC to promote independent, creative, out-of-the-box, thinking on a wide range of relevant issues.
Over the last two decades the PADF has held strategy meetings with a number of important pro-democracy figures, which included poet Habib Jalib, historian Abdullah Malik, political scientist Eqbal Ahmed, peasant leader Rasul Bux Palejo, labor leader Usman Baloch, artist Saleema Hashmi, progressive activist Mairaj Muhammad Khan, film director Mushtaq Guzdar, and political leader Afzal Bungush.
The next strategy meeting will feature Mr. Abid Hasan Minto. (Yes, he is related to Sadat Hasan Minto; he is Sadat Hasan Minto’s nephew).
An eminent jurist, constitutional expert, professor, author, literary critic, public intellectual and political leader, Mr. Minto has been a major force against military rule, economic exploitation, and oppressive social practices in Pakistan.
During the Zia period, Mr. Minto was elected to chair the All-Pakistan Lawyers’ Association against Martial Law. Of course he had to pay a heavy price for his courage of conviction. Imprisoned by Gen. Zia, he was adopted as a prisoner of conscience by the Amnesty International.
In 1990, when Mr. Nelson Mandela was elected President International Lawyers’ Association, Mr. Abid Minto was elected as Vice President of the same organization. They worked as a team from 1990 to 1995.

In 1997, he was elected President of the Pakistan Supreme Court Bar Association.
Declining many offers of judgeship in the higher courts and ministries in various governments, he has spent fifty years, half a century, leading nationwide movements for poverty alleviation, rule of law, due process and equal justice in Pakistan. His principled stand and struggle against militarism, feudalism, nepotism and malfeasance has been internationally applauded.
He has spent his life struggling for human rights, women’s rights, minority rights and rights of the working classes in Pakistan.
Founders of the PADF have worked with Mr. Minto for the last thirty-five years.
The PADF is holding a special strategy meeting with Mr. Abid Minto in the San Francisco Bay Area on Tuesday, July 12.
For more information contact PADF at (510) 252-9858.

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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