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Literature, politics, and resistance: Part - II

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In the first part of this column yesterday, we discussed some personal accounts by political activists and leaders. My definition of resistance literature is broad and includes biographical literature too, which shares personal experiences and observations with readers.

Parveen Khan’s two books that provide valuable information are 'Mushadidaat' (Observations) and 'Martial Law ke Qaidi' (Prisoners of martial law). The first presents the experiences and observations of a senior left-wing intellectual and leader, Raza Kazim. In the second book, Parveen Khan writes the painful stories of renowned political leaders who were sentenced under martial-law regulations.

Such leaders included Nasrullah Khan, Wali Khan, Benazir Bhutto, Meraj Muhammad Khan, Rasul Bakhsh Palijo, Maulana Fazlur Rahman, Sardar Shaukat Ali, and dozens of others. Sardar Shaukat Ali reminds me of his book 'Bhutto, Zia, aur Awam' (Bhutto, Zia, and the people) which was published by the Frontier Post in 1993. In this book, Shaukat Ali sheds ample light with his left-wing perspective on people’s political struggles in Pakistan. Afzal Tauseef’s book 'Election, Jamhuriat, Martial Law' (Election, democracy, and martial law) is an account of the days characterized by imprisonments, lashes, and hangings.

The book translated by Dr Zafar Arif is titled 'Insani Huqooq ki Pamali' (The trampling of human rights) narrates the violations of human rights during and immediately after martial law and under the Junejo government. It is based on a report from the International Jurists Commission, and reflects very well on that era. Another book, 'Aur Bayan Apna' (And thus we spoke) contains the full statements submitted to the Supreme Court of Pakistan by Wali Khan, Bizenjo, Khair Bakhsh Marri, Attaullah Mengal, and Arbab Sikandar Khan Khalil. It also includes the response from the executive council of the National Awami Party submitted to the Supreme Court by Qaswar........

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