Born in Tharparkar in 1944, Jam Saqi was a prominent activist, politician of Pakistan who rendered invaluable services for res­toration of democracy and workers’ rights in the country. He began his political career through stu­dent unions in 1961. He was considered a hero of 1967 March against General Ayyub’s one-unit sys­tem. He was also a founding member of Sindh Na­tional Students Federation in 1968. He was charged in 1983 by General Zia’s regime for acting against the ideology of Pakistan. During his trial in the mil­itary court, Benazir Bhutto appeared in his defense and stated how he was a patriotic citizen of the state who must be released. He was nonetheless convict­ed for seven years. During his imprisonment, he was kept in a solitary confinement and was tor­tured to the extent of permanent physical disabil­ities. During his confinement, his wife was misin­formed about his death. She could not bear the pain and committed suicide. After his release, he joined Pakistan People Party and also worked for the Hu­man Rights Commission of Pakistan. Besides activ­ism, Saqi also wrote “Khahori Khijan”, a book about the Sindh students’ movements. He died in 2018.

To this day, the state has continued the brutal, un­democratic practice of labelling people critical of its policies, exposing its exploitations as “traitors” to then justify the suppression of their voices through torture. Perhaps, it is time we realize that “traitors” like Jam Saqi have served this country, humanity more than the so called “patriotics.”