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Saturday Apr 07, 2012

JSQM leader Bashir Qureshi dies at the age of 54

KARACHI: Living through many arrests in his life, Chairman Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) Bashir Qureshi, could not survive a cardiac arrest and died at the age of 54, Geo News reported late Friday night.

According to reports he breathed his last in Sakrand, Nawabshah, where he suffered a heart attack at one of his friends residence. Qureshi was rushed to the hospital, after having massive chest pains, but he died on the way.

A shocked JSQM leadership has decided to have him autopsied so that the true cause of his death could be known. His postmortem would be performed at the Larkana Hospital.

A party leader Sarfaraz Memon told Geo News that Qureshi was not feeling well while he was visiting Dardi Magsi, a small town near Sakrand, to attend a death anniversary.

Cohorts have started amassing at both of his residences in Ratodero, his hometown, and Gulshan-e-Hadeed Karachi.

JSQM has announced mourning for three days across Sindh.

It has also been announced that he would be laid to rest in Mubarak Shah graveyard in his hometown.

He left behind a widow, three daughters, and four sons.

According to his relatives and close associates he had a history of hypertensive disease.

Analysts say his demise marks the end of an epoch in the nationalist political history of Pakistan.

Bashir Ahmed Qureshi was born on 10 August 1959 at Motan Pur Mohalla in Ratodero, Larkano District in Sindh.

He took part into students' politics. He joined Jeay Sindh Students Federation in the year 1976.

He was greatly impressed by the thinking of Saeen G. M. Syed and worked hard to spread his message throughout Sindh.

He was elected as President of the Federation Tando Jam Unit in the year 1980 but after two years (1982) was elected as Central Vice President of the Federation.

He was also elected as Central President of the Federation in the year 1986. In 1990, he was re-elected for the same office.

When, in the year 1995, Jeay Sindh Quami Mahaz was formed he was behind the bars but was elected as Deputy Convener of the newly formed party.

Bashir was later elected as Secretary General of the Mahaz in 1996 and finally became the chairman in 1998.

Bashir Khan Qureshi, being a firebrand leader played a very active role in politics of Sindh, which earned him great respect.

He saw his first incarceration at the hands of Tando Jam police in 1978.

The Thori Phattak incident (Aug 17, 1984) was a turning point in his life when five activists of the Jeay Sindh Students Federation were shot dead by the security forces at Thori Phatak, near Manjhand, district Jamshoro. They were encountered by the troops, while they were on their way to Larkana, for protesting against army's intervention in politics.

Bashir played a vital role in mobilizing the members of the Federation and worked hard to strengthen the Federation. Bashir also took active part in the movement against Martial Law. Later, he was arrested on Jan 15, 1985 at Rato Dero.

The Military Court awarded him one-year imprisonment in each two cases along with 10 lashes, which were implemented. Finally, he was set free in August 1986. Bashir was again arrested on August 11, 1988 after Sindhi-Mohajar riots.

This time, he was jailed for 18 months. Again, he was arrested on Jan 02, 1994 (PPP regime) for two years. Later he was arrested on Jan 17, 1999 on his way to attend the birth celebration of Saeen G. M. Syed and was set free in November 1999 after a struggle of 11 months. Bashir remained in prison for the total period of 6 years and 10 months. He spent best days of his life in prison.

He is author of his book entitled "Jaagya Junge Jawaan" in Sindhi language, published in 1989, which is collection of various speeches delivered by him. Bashir was awarded "G. M. Syed National Award" in the year 1997.