PADF Widens Its Strategic
By Hazem Kira
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
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
Founders of the PADF have worked with Mr. Minto for the last
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.