NSF (PUNJAB) CONVENTION 2011,25-26 Nov, Faisalabad.

27 Sep

Summary of NSF Punjab Convention proceedings 25-26 Nov, Faisalabad

Dear friends and comrades,

The National Students Federation formally came alive after a period of more than two decades on 25th-26th November in Faisalabad, upon successfully concluding its two-day NSF Punjab Convention (the first NSF convention to be held in Punjab since 1991). Before giving you a summary of events, we would like to thank all those who took the time and made the effort to attend the Convention, who extended moral support and personal contributions which made this event possible, and who have appreciated our efforts in the wake of the Convention. It truly means a lot to us.

Here is a brief run-down of the events that took place over the course of the two-day Convention.
25th November was the ‘closed session’, meant only for delegates (who of course have to be NSF members). A total of 140 delegates, representing a total of 16 districts of Punjab, were present in addition to 50-55 observers (who, as the word implies, were not delegates and hence did not have voting rights or powers of amendment but were welcome to share their thoughts and suggestions on the issues presented before the House).

The closed session began with a welcome note by outgoing president Irfan Chaudhry who briefed the audience about the purpose of the Convention and a brief history of the earlier NSF as well as of the rebuilding process which began in 2008. The welcome note was followed by a detailed report of organizational developments since 2008-9, delivered by the outgoing General Secretary Alia Amirali. This report included an account of organization-building efforts in the various districts, the activities of each district-level body, the roles and responsibilities of the care-taker cabinet that was in place till before the Convention, the development of the organization’s resources such as “The Student” (the NSF magazine), website, various kinds of literature, and a syllabus for ideological/theoretical grooming, and an account of NSF’s public activities- including rallies, seminars, strikes, protest camps, and participation in left-wing alliances and activities.
The organizational report was followed by the presentation of NSF’s (draft) manifesto and constitution before the House. The floor was opened up for discussion after the presentation of each document, and suggestions were noted down. Both documents were then passed by the House. (The documents will be made public after incorporation of the suggested amendments.)
After the passing of the Constitution and Manifesto, elections were held. The parliament (majlis-e-amla) was elected first, representing all districts participating in the Convention (regardless of their organizational status/strength). This was followed by the parliament’s election of the new Punjab cabinet, which, following a consultation/discussion session of the majlis-e-amla, emerged with the following composition:

President: Irfan Chaudhry (Faisalabad/Lahore)

Senior Vice-President: Mohammad Babar (Sheikhupura/Islamabad)

Vice-President: Nasir Sohail (Pakpattan)

General Secretary: Alia Amirali (Islamabad)

Joint Secretary: Ali Raza (Lahore)

Information Secretary: Ali Hassan Fatemi (Chiniot)

Finance Secretary: Usman Chaudhry (Sargodha)

Elections were followed by enriching and dynamic lectures delivered by senior comrades Khalid Masud (Pakpattan) and Aasim Sajjad (Islamabad) on “The Evolution of Human Thought and the Building of a New Society” and “The Challenges of Resurrecting Progressive Student Politics in Pakistan” respectively.

The second day of the Convention, 26th November, began with a Students’ Rally at 11:00am. This rally, which began from Dhobi Ghat ground and concluded at the venue for the Convention’s open session (Quaid-e-Azam Hall), comprised just under 2000 participants, the vast majority of them students, along with left-wing political workers from Faisalabad as well as from other cities and towns who came in specially for the event. The atmosphere at the rally was electric, the slogans defiant, and streets of Faisalabad were flooded with red flags after a long, long time. (pictures can be seen atnsfonline.wordpress.com/convention2011)

The Open Session began with the oath-taking ceremony of the new cabinet, to which Abid Hassan Minto, who was invited particularly because he began his political career as a DSF activist and is now amongst the senior-most and widely respected leftist leaders from Punjab, administered the oath followed by a comprehensive speech outlining the various challenges faced by the Left today and encouraging the new generation to step up to the difficult task of rebuilding a progressive movement in Pakistan. The Open Session also featured speeches by the re-elected President and General Secretary of NSF Punjab, the organizer of NSF Sindh, Khurram Ali Nayyar, and the leaders of invited progressive student organizations from across the country which included the Baloch Students Organization, Pashtunkhwa Students Organization, Jammu Kashmir People’s National Students Organization, and Jammu Kashmir National Students Federation. NSF’s role as a potential bridge between a progressive movement in Punjab and Pakistan’s oppressed nationalities was a significant feature of the open session. Other progressive youth organizations who participated in the Open Session were Progressive Youth Front, Progressive Youth Forum, and Youth Vision.

Speeches were followed by a cultural show featuring comedian and radio presenter, Babar Qureshi from Faisalabad, and concluded with an enthusing performance by sufi artist and singer Arieb Azhar, who came in from Islamabad specially for the event.

On behalf of NSF Punjab, I would like to thank all of you who made the Convention possible, who have encouraged us with your kind words and good wishes before and after the event, who have made yourselves available to us in times of need, and to whom we know we can look for guidance and support when we need it. This is only the beginning of a long and difficult journey for the NSF, but one that will be – and has been – made easier because of your support.

We will soon be sending out a note to acknowledge and thank those who contributed funds towards the Convention, and practically helped make the Convention a success.

In solidarity,

Alia Amirali

General Secretary

National Students Federation (Punjab)

Student Rally pictures:

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.275249972521461.62829.247826218597170&type=1

Convention Video & Pictures

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.275254515854340.62831.247826218597170&type=1

Arieb Azhar performing at NSF Convention

Pictures on Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.275254515854340.62831.247826218597170&type=3

Pictures on Flicker

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nsfonline/sets/72157628170181267/

News Coverage

NSF brings ‘national’ back into national reconciliation:Ahmed Yousuf ,Pakistan Today
http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2011/11/nsf-brings-%E2%80%98national%E2%80%99-back-into-national-reconciliation/

This is what politics looks like: Aasim Sajjad Akhtar,The News,27 Nov,2011
http://jang.com.pk/thenews/nov2011-weekly/nos-27-11-2011/pol1.htm#8″>http://jang.com.pk/thenews/nov2011-weekly/nos-27-11-2011/pol1.htm#8″ target=”_blank”>http://jang.com.pk/thenews/nov2011-weekly/nos-27-11-2011/pol1.htm#8

NSF convention: ‘Progressive’ students of Pakistan unite!: Umair Rasheed,Express Tribune
http://tribune.com.pk/story/298178/nsf-convention-progressive-students-of-pakistan-unite/”>http://tribune.com.pk/story/298178/nsf-convention-progressive-students-of-pakistan-unite/” target=”_blank”>http://tribune.com.pk/story/298178/nsf-convention-progressive-students-of-pakistan-unite/

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2 Responses to “NSF (PUNJAB) CONVENTION 2011,25-26 Nov, Faisalabad.”

  1. Mr WordPress September 27, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

    Hi, this is a comment.
    To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts’ comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.

  2. Amjad Ayub Mirza October 14, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

    The courage that you have shown to decide to hold the convention is like a dream come true. For years I have been asking senior NSF members from Karachi as well as Punjab to hold such a convention but they could not make it happen.
    Now that you have taken a bold step I can assure you that Shab O Rose and Dr Ayub Mirza Foundation will sponsor your convention. I will also use my personal connections to make others come forward and support you.
    In Solidarity
    Dr Amjad Ayub Mirza
    President Dr Ayub Mirza Foundation, Pakistan
    Chief Editor Shab O Rose Lahore

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