About Abid Hassan Minto
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Public Meeting in Bradford UK - Oct 09
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Abid Hassan Minto addressing at City Council Chambers Birmingham UK on October 6, 2009

Abid Hassan Mintoˆ (born 3rd February 1932, Rawalpindi, Pakistan) is a constitutional expert and senior lawyer of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. He is also a literary critic and a leftwing civic and political leader. His legal career spans over 50 years during which he was elected member of the Pakistan Bar Council from 1966 up to 1983; President, Lahore High Court Bar Association (1982); Chairman, National Coordination Committee of Lawyers (1981 to 1985) and President, Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan (SCBA) (1997 to 1999). Minto has also been affiliated with the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) in which he was elected vice president at its Barcelona Congress (1990) and Bureau Member at its Cape Town Congress (1995). He was professor of law at the Law College of the Punjab University (1963 to 1983). Minto belongs to the Marxist school of thought in politics and letters.

Education: - Minto attended Gordon College (Rawalpindi). He received his law degree (LL.B) from the Punjab University Law College in 1955. While at Law College he was elected President of the Students Union and won and retained the title of Best All Pakistan Debater for four years.

Politics Beginning: - Minto became a member of The Communist Party of Pakistan (CPP) in 1949 and remained with it until it was banned in 1954 after the Rawalpindi Conspiracy Case along with the Democratic Students Federation (DSF) which was also co-founded by Minto in 1949 while at Gordon College. The DSF had been popular in all four provinces and was succeeded, after its ban, by the National Students Federation (NSF) which exists to date.

Trade Unions: In his younger days Minto was an active Trade Unionist and organized the Military Engineering Service (MES) Workers Union. He worked for the Attock Oil Company Workers Union in Rawalpindi and the Railway Workers Union which was led by Mirza Muhammad Ibrahim, a veteran trade union leader of the Indo Pak sub continent. Minto was a member of the Central Executive of the Pakistan Trade Union Federation (affiliated with the World Federation of Trade Unions) from 1967–1986.

Farmers/Peasants: Mintos' ties with local peasant movements are in place to date. Along with veteran peasant leader Chaudhry Fateh Muhammad, he has worked to organize Kissan (peasant) Committees in rural Punjab. These committees provide local farmers with a platform for discussion and action in respect to the problems faced by them in Pakistan’s agrarian society where ownership of land vests predominantly in big landowners.

Political: - Abid Minto is currently the elected President of National Workers Party  (NWP) of Pakistan, founded in 1999 following a merger of three progressive, leftist political parties, namely Pakistan National Party, Awami Jamhoori Party and Pakistan Socialist Party , along with a number of other progressive democratic groups, anti-imperialist intellectuals, trade unionists and enlightened youth. He is also elected  convenor Awami Jamhoori Tehrik (Peoples Democratic Movement), a united front of the seven Pakistani Left parties and groups formed in March 2006.

Background: In 1967 Abid Minto joined the National Awami Party (NAP Balochistan). The following year, at the party’s general elections in Dacca, Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) he was elected member of its Central Executive Committee. In 1971, on the eve of East Pakistan’s separation from (West) Pakistan, a number of leftwing political workers from NAP and other groups, held a conference and founded the Pakistan Socialist Party (PSP). C. R. Aslam, a veteran communist leader was elected President while Minto was elected first General Secretary. He stayed with PSP until 1986 and was elected General Secretary three times. Following a split in the PSP in 1986, Minto founded the Awami Jamhoori Party (Peoples Democratic Party) in 1987 which comprised of dissidents from the PSP and members of a Sindh based left group called the Communist League. On 1st May 1999, the Awami Jamhoori Party, Pakistan Socialist Party and a faction of Pakistan National Party (led by Baloch leader Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo) formed the National Workers Party (NWP). Minto was elected its first President and holds the office to date by election.

Arrests: For his politics generally, and especially during the lawyers movement against General Zia ul Haq, Minto faced arrests and detentions several times.