Progressive Students’ Collective held a memorial reference yesterday for the student activist killed earlier this year. Sunaid Dawar, a student of seventh semester from the University of Lahore and a vocal student activist, was gunned down along with three other Pashtoon students in Haider Khel, North Waziristan on June 19th, 2022. Dawar was the ex-chairman of Pashtoon Council UOL and had just returned to his hometown with three of his friends – Asad, Waqar and Hemmad – when he got killed by unknown assailants, belonging to Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan.
The session was held in the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan’s main auditorium in Lahore. Notable personalities including Mohsin Dawar and Bushra Gohar from National Democratic Movement; Abid Saqi, former vice chairman Pakistan Bar Council; Hina Jillani, Chairperson HRCP; Farooq Tariq, CEC Haqooq e Khalq Party; Riaz Khan, chairman PEDM and Qaiser Javed, president Progressive Students’ Collective, were in attendance.
The panelists strongly condemned the brutal murder of student activist, raised concern over growing violence in Waziristan and ex FATA, and demanded the perpetrators be held accountable.
Chairman NDM, Mohsin Dawar read out a post Sunaid had written for his daughter from his timeline. He exclaimed how people like Sunaid are the conscience of this society and we have been continuously robbed of these voices one after the other.
Chairman Executive Committee HKP, Farooq Tariq ariq talked about religious extremism at length and explained how fundamentalist groups like TLP and TTP are produced by our state, every few years or so, to counter progressive forces.
Mohsin Abdali, founding member Progressive Students’ Collective added that dissenting voices like Sunaid and Ali Wazir are muffled at the behest of the state, yet state’s outsized machinery cannot put reins to the songs of freedom that are echoing round the country.
President Progressive Students’ Collective, Qaiser Javed confronted the authorities by stating that it were students who removed Ayub Khan from office and this very lot can and will dispose off these religious fanatics today. He recalled that Sunaid used to raise alarm over goverment level negotiations with terrorist outfits. He was concerned about the resurgence of Taliban in Waziristan and the Pashtun Belt. And he was proved right, but unfortunately we lost him to the very beasts he had been warning us all along.
Towards the end of the session, participants pledged to move Sunaid’s struggles forward and take his message to every nook and cranny of the country. Qaiser Javed and Behram Gadhi encouraged panelists and participants to raise slogans vowing to keep Sunaid’s legacy alive. The hall kept echoing with ‘Sunaid tera mission adhoora, Hm sb mil kr karen gay pura (Sunaid, we will take your mission of resistance forward) for a long time.