Journalist Wahid Bashir passes away
KARACHI: Wahid Bashir, a revered trade unionist and veteran journalist, famous for being a member of a group of a dozen students who were expelled from Karachi for spearheading the 1962 student movement, passed away on Sunday after protracted cardiac ailments.
Born in Hyderabad, India, in 1928, Mr Bashir studied in a school there and migrated to Karachi in 1949.
He lived in Karachi for a few months before moving to Mirpurkhas where he opened a jewellery shop. But soon the shop was burgled, forcing him to work at another jewellery shop for a few years until he paid off all his debts.
He came back to Karachi where he did his matriculation in 1956 and was admitted to a college. He became an activist of the National Students Federation (NSF), the mainstream Left wing students’ organisation. He was among the leaders of the NSF which was leading the movement against the ordinance for three-year honoursprogramme.
He and fellow leaders, including Fatehyab Ali Khan, NafeesSiddiqui and Amir HyderKazimi, were identified by the military regime of Gen Ayub Khan and ordered to leave Karachi. That gave him an opportunity to organise students’ movement in different cities and villages.
“He became quite popular among students who would welcome him everywhere, but soon the local administration would ask him to leave for somewhere else,” commented a colleague.
He was a prominent figure in the labour movements of 1960s and 1972. In those days he joined the Al-Fatah magazine, a radical publication, as a member of its editorial team and then worked as a professional journalist for the rest of his life.
He was a founding editor of Irtiqa Publication and president of Irtiqa Institute of Social Sciences.
With the fusion of journalism and his experience of trade unionism, Mr Bashir was once elected president of the Karachi Union of Journalists.
He is survived by a daughter and a son. His funeral prayers will be held at Masjid Abu Bakar in DHA Phase II after Asr prayers on Monday.
Karachi Union of Journalists president G.M. Jamali, general secretary WajidRazaIsfahani and other office-bearers issued a condolence statement in which tribute was paid to his services for the community.