Abdul Rauf Malik is a living legend of Pakistan Movement who was honoured with Gold Medal by Government of Pakistan. He was among those who being committed Marxist ideological people supported the cause of Pakistan Movement. He served the Punjab Muslim Student Federation as Joint Secretary from 1945 to 1946. In an interview with The Nation Malik talked about the freedom struggle and his memories of Pakistan Movement. Following are excerpts of the interview:

Tell us about yourself and early years of your life?

I am Lahori. I was born in Lahore. I am 90 years old. It has been a long journey. I have seen the ups and downs in my life. I have lived a very active life. I was associated with political and social welfare work since I was the student. I belong to a middle class prosperous family.

I got educated from Chinian Wali Masjid located inside Walled City in Muhala Kucha Chabiq Sohara near Sunehri Masjid. I brought up in a staunch Ahl-e-Hadith family.

In 1935, I enrolled in Central Model School, Lower Mall. Then I passed my matriculation in 1942 from Mission High School Rang Mahal. Then I enrolled in Islamia College Lahore run by Anjuman-e-Himayat-e-Islam where I was enrolled in B.A.

How did your family support you in the cause of Pakistan Movement?

My family played a vital role in the nourishment of ideology of Pakistan. My elder brother Abdullah Malik, a renowned journalist was associated with the then Daily Imroz and Pakistan Times. He was very outspoken and taught me tolerance, scholarship and faith in social justice.

You were associated with anti-imperialist and religious movement Tehreek-e-Ahrar (Movement for Liberation) and joined the Communist party of India (CPI) and still now uphold the flag of Communist ideals. How all of this leads you to work for the Pakistan Movement?

Thank you for asking; actually in 1940s, being a student I was politically active. When in 1942, Cabinet Mission Plan comprised upon three cabinet ministers came to spend three weeks, gave recommendation on May 16, 1946 of dividing Sub-continent into three zones, A, B and C. Quaid-e-Azam accepted the recommendations but Pandit Nehru gave up on it.

I got membership card of Communist Party of India (CPI) in 1945. And I am the only person in Lahore who got membership card of CPI. CPI was banned and illegal until 1942. But after the party decided that some of the workers would go into Muslim League to empower it. I, along with Daniyal Latifi, Attaullah Jahania and many others went into Muslim League. I then become Joint Secretary of Punjab Muslim Student Federation.

Malik Fazal Elahi Qurban nourished us on politics and through him I came to ignite my political conscious.

I want to make facts clear that CPI supported the cause of independent Pakistan on political grounds and on the basis of Marxism as according to Karl Marx Muslim are entitled to have right of self-determination and determined their own fate.

What are your comments on the communal riots at the time of Partition? 

Please don’t ask me about those unfortunate events, that was the dreadful time. What I can say, being a Laborite I saw Shah Alami Market burning for two days and nights. We saw hundreds of thousands of refugees coming from India having no hope of life because they had to pass the long journey of East Punjab through trains that were ransacked and looted and people were murdered.

Are the communal riots were inevitable?

I personally think and I write also in my upcoming biography ‘Umar-e-Rafta Ki Kitaab’ that the unfortunate events at the time of partition were maneuvered and British and bureaucrats and establishment of both countries were responsible for that.     

Any message for the youth?

Pakistan was made after many sacrifices and coming generations should work day and night to make Pakistan prosperous.