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Dr. Mubashar Hassan (1922-2020)
Dr. Mubashar Hassan is a well-known academician and political figurehead who rose to prominence during Bhutto’s democratic interlude. Though a civil engineer by profession, yet he possesses great insight into politics. The prevalent political environment during the last years of Ayub’s period and widespread economic disparities that were the outcome of the policies pursued by the regime moved him. He was a Marxist and it would not be wrong to term him the brain behind the reforms introduced by Z.A.Bhutto.
Dr.Mubasher Hassan was born on Jan 20 1922 in Panipat, India. He had a Ph.D. in civil engineering and joined UET Lahore as a teacher. But he could not remain insensitive to the political and economic discontentment. During Ayub’s “decade of development,” the entire wealth of the nation got concentrated in 22 families, and the gap between the haves and have nots was becoming unbridgeable. In 1967, he published his socialist manifesto “A Declaration of Unity of people” in which he advocated Techno-Democratic Socialism in East Pakistan. In the same year, Bhutto, Mr.J.A Rahim and Dr.Mubashar Hassan laid the foundation stone of PPP at his house whose manifesto declared Islamic socialism as the goal.
In the election of 1970, he was elected as a member of The National Assembly and after the debacle of East Pakistan when Bhutto acceded to power as president civilian CMA he was made Finance Minister, the office which he held till 1974. He helped Bhutto in establishing the Ministry of science in 1972 and played an important role in making Pakistan a nuclear power as he was the person who was originally assigned the responsibility of financing the project. He was Director of the Directorate of Science and had a defining role in establishing the Kahuta research center in those circumstances.
Similarly, the plethora of reforms that were being implemented during this period ranging from land reforms to the nationalization of industries as well educational institutions was advocated by him.
However, in 1974 he resigned from the finance ministry owing to differences with Z.A.Bhutto because of the dismissal of Malik Meraj Khalid, a Marxist. But he became Secretary-General of PPP in 1975 and later during the PNA movement, tried to resolve the crisis. But with the imposition of the Martial Law, he was arrested and had to go behind the bars. He after his release in 1984 served as a professor at UET Lahore. Benazir wanted to induct him as his Finance Minister in 1988, but he refused to accept the offer. He died on March 14, 2020.