Jam Saqi and Benazir in a military court, 1983

Jam Saqi and Benazir in a military court, 1983
In this photo, the late Benazir Bhutto came to give testimony for communist leader and rights activist Jam Saqi. After the general elections in 1977, the military imposed martial law which was opposed by the Pakistan Peoples Party and Communist Party of Pakistan, among other leftist parties. Jam Saqi was arrested in 1978 during the Zia regime and was tried in the 1980s. “Jam Saqi is a patriotic citizen of the state and [must] be released,” Benazir had deposed. According to journalist Mazhar Abbas, who covered the trial, Wali Khan, Ghaus Bux Bizenjo and Mairaj Mohammad Khan also appeared as witnesses.

He was jailed for about seven years until 1988.

Saqi was born on October 31, 1944 in the village of Jhanji in taluka Chachro, Tharparkar. He went to school in his village, and Matriculated in 1963 from the Local Board High School Chachro. After a BA from Sachal Sarmast Arts College Hyderabad in 1967, he did his MA in Politics from the University of Sindh, Jamshoro.

In 1961, he was a member of a student union and was elected general secretary of the Hyderabad Students Federation. He laid the foundation of the Sindh National Students Federation.

Jam Saqi was a left-wing politician. He joined the National Awami Party in 1972 and later served as the general secretary of the Communist Party of Pakistan.

In 2005, he was arrested on the allegation of possessing explosive and Benazir came to his rescue again, condemning the move and demanding that the authorities stop hounding him and his family.

He passed away on March 5, 2018. He was buried in Qasimabad.