Condolence reference: Tributes showered on Left intellectual

Speakers say in the death of Prof Khalid Mehmood, the country has lost one of the great scholars.


Obaid Abbasi July 07, 2011

ISLAMABAD:


Speakers at a condolence reference on Tuesday paid tribute to renowned intellectual, left-wing activist and scholar Professor Khalid Mehmood. They said in the death of the professor, the country has lost one of the great intellectauls. He played vital role in mobilising youth against oppression during military dictator General Ziaul Haq’s regime and founding trade unions in Pakistan. His death, they said, has created a wide gap that may never be filled.


The reference, organised by the South Asian Free Media Association, was attended by a large number of intellectuals, the late professor’s students and friends.

Speaking on the occasion, Tahira Abdullah, a human rights activist, said she met the professor in 1984 when he worked for the capital’s first English newspaper ‘The Muslim’. At the time, protests and strikes were held against the military dictator, General Haq, and his laws restricting freedom of expression, but professor Mahmood played a constructive role by accommodating news items despite tough restrictions. “He silently did much for the country,” she added.

Tariq Mehmood, the late professor’s brother, said that when his family migrated from India they could carry only a few belongings, but even then his brother had filled his pockets with books. “Such was his love for books.”

He said that his brother was offered many scholarships to the US but he never showed any interest, he would always say that he had much important things to do for his country.

Dr Rashid Amjad, vice-chancellor of Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) and the late professor’s friend, said that Prof Mehmood would organise a group at the Punjab University which held to mobilise left-wing students in bringing revolution in the country.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 7th, 2011.

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