By Maryam Iraj
Abdul Rauf Malik, one of the founding members of the Communist Party of Pakistan and the author of Surkh Siast, was born in Lahore’ s famous Mohallah Kocha Chabakswaraan on Oct 1, 1926. Malik was a member of the Communist Party of India. A younger brother of the celebrated writer Abdullah Malik and nephew of Fazal Elahi Qurban, Mr Malik grew up on the progressive ideas along with his class fellow Shamim Ashraf Malik.
Mr. Zafarullah Poshni is the last surviving of those 15 comrades who were arrested along with Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Sajjad Zaheer in a case famously termed as The Rawalpindi Conspiracy Case. On the night of 9th March 1951, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Sayyid Sajjad Zaheer, Major-General Akbar Khan,several of Pakistan’s Army officers, and Zafarullah Poshni were arrested for the alleged crime of hatching a conspiracy to overthrow the government of the then Prime Minister, Liaquat Ali Khan. At the time, Faiz was serving as the editor of the Pakistan Times, whereas Sajjad Zaheer was the General Secretary of the Pakistan Communist Party. The trial which resulted from these arrests was to become famous in Pakistan’s political history as the “Rawalpindi Conspiracy Case.”
Surkh Siast is that political discourse of Pakistan which is less talked about in open public spaces and often hushed by the Rightists. Communist literature is already very rare in Pakistan but with this book, Jamhoor Publication took a giant leap in its pursuit to tell the untold, yet much needed truth of Pakistan’s buried political narrative of the leftists.
Ms. Noor Sajjad Zahher, daughter of Sajjad Zaheer along with Zafarullah Poshi, would grace the occasion. Ms. Noor is especially coming from India to be a part of this auspicious gathering, and we welcome her from the depths of our hearts.