Soviet writers on Pakistan

Karachi:October 18:Researcher and former director of the Pakistan Study Centre at the University of Karachi, Dr Jaffer Ahmed, said people casually observe that Soviet Union was a regimented or a conservative state.

Acknowledging that, “A state by definition is a body that sets rules and regulations to be followed in a country,” Dr Ahmed stated that Russia had a lot going on at the literary and educational end.

Just as America formed foundations – such as the Roosevelt Foundation – that would carry out researches on colonised countries among other subjects, Russia had institutes. The USSR Academy of Medical Sciences among others was mentioned by the researcher as an example of research institutes.

Speaking of works published by Soviet social scientists on Pakistan, Dr Ahmed said while there was a plethora of books produced by American writers available on and in Pakistan, most of them focused on the country’s political history.

However, the book ‘History of Pakistan’ published in 1964 in Russia was the first that connected Pakistan’s politics to its economy. The book provided a completely different narrative and was subsequently banned in Pakistan.

Furthermore, he observed that American social scientists were welcomed by Pakistan with open arms, while Russian writers were not. “Herbert Friedmann, an American ornithologist, was literally based in Karachi,” said Dr Ahmed, adding, that the source of information Russian writers had were Pakistan’s official documents such as the budget or the economic survey.

Among other researchers to have presented papers during the second half of the day-long programme at Szabist were Sartaj Khan – ‘Inclination of Russian Revolutionaries Towards Capitalistic Development and War’ – and Dr Anwar Shaheen – ‘Dawn of Revolution and Women’.

The second session included research papers from member politburo of Greece’s Communist party Giorgos Marinos – ‘Bolshevik Revolution and Role of Communist Party’; renowned journalist Dr Tauseef Ahmed – ‘Impact of Russian Revolution on Journalism of Subcontinent’; women’s rights activist Mahnaz Rehman – ‘Bolshevik Revolution and Women’; Szabist Faculty of Social Sciences Dean Dr Riaz Shaikh – ‘Bolshevik Revolution and National Question’.The news.