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Aisha Amin: peace hero

Labour Party Pakistan activist confirmed dead

Thursday 22 February 2007, by Farooq Tariq

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Aisha Amin, (73) a Labour Party Pakistan activist from Shahdra Lahore, was declared dead today three days after being listed as missing after the Delhi-Lahore train bomb blast.

Aisha Amin at a December 2006 demonstration

Her grandson Kamaran (23) was also one of those who lost their lives on the Shamjhauta Express train, a peace train between India and Pakistan. The train was coming from Delhi to Lahore on 19th February when, after a bomb blast, a fire gripped three compartments of the train. Over 70 are so far confirmed dead.

Aisha Amin was elected as a councillor for Shahdrai n an open contest, serving between 2001 and 2005. She got a record 1272 votes to top the list of women councillors. She joined Labour Party Pakistan during that year. She participated in numerous demonstrations and played an important role in expanding the network of Labour Party Pakistan. She was a close fried of Nazli Javed, member of the National Committee of LPP, and helped her to win a council seat as well.

Aisah Amin then went on to build the Women Workers Help Line and also helped the Labour Education Foundation to open an adult literacy centre at her home. She was one of the pupils at the literacy center although she was over 70. She said, “there is no age limit to learning".

Aisha Amin did not contest the local election in 2005. She was very much a critic of the local government system where women councillors were not given any power to help the local population. She asked me several time "what is the use of being elected as a councillor when we cannot help the people; there are no funds available".

She always participated in demonstrations. During the end of December, she participated in an anti-imperialist demonstration organized by LPP in Lahore.

By profession she was a midwife for the local area, although not qualified she learnt to become a Daiya (midwife). Her brother died earlier in India and she left Pakistan to grieve with her family. Her family lived in Saharan Pur.

The family waited three days after she went missing during the train fire. Two of her relatives went to India yesterday to check on her whereabouts. This morning they were informed that she was found unconscious in a jungle and would be OK. They also informed us that Kamaran was also ok; But at 2 pm today, the unfortunate news arrived that both are dead.

She is one of the victims of those who want to kill anyone to make a point. It seems that the burning of the train was carried out by some religious fundamentalist group who want no peace between India and Pakistan. Aisah Amin is a peace hero who lost her life in a train that is known as a peace train.