BM Kutty, Pakistani politician with Kerala roots, passes away

BM Kutty, Pakistani politician with Kerala roots, passes away
Born at Tirur in present-day Kerala's Malappuram on July 15, 1930, Kutty had migrated to Pakistan in 1949 and rose to prominence in Pak politics.
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Karachi: Biyyathil Mohyuddin Kutty, the lone Malayali in Pakistani politics, is no more. The 89-year-old was a prominent Left leader in India's neighbouring country.

B M Kutty, as he is popularly known, was undergoing treatment for long, and breathed his last around 2am on Sunday. His funeral was held in Karachi on Sunday.

"He was ill for a while. He spent his life fighting for civil and human rights," Marvi Sarmad, a human rights activist and journalist, said.

His wife Birjis Siddiqui died in 2010. The couple has four children.

Born at Tirur in present-day Kerala's Malappuram on July 15, 1930, Kutty had migrated to Pakistan in 1949 and rose to prominence in Pak politics.

The eldest of five siblings, he belonged to a Muslim family of peasants and landowners and was raised in middle-class circumstances.

B M Kutty

During his student days, Kutty developed socialist and leftist political views and joined the Kerala Students Federation affiliated with the Communist Party. In 1946, he also joined the Muslim Students Federation under the All-India Muslim League. He attended Mohammedan College in Chennai, where he studied science for four years.

The Left leader had worked tirelessly for better India-Pak ties. He was associated with the Pakistan-India People's Forum For Peace and Democracy.

Kutty was the general secretary of Pakistan Peace Coalition, a group that has been working to promote peace process between India and Pakistan.

He was also in the forefront of the Movement for Restoration of Democracy in Pakistan.

In his long politcal career, Kutty had worked for Azad Pakistan Party, Pakistan Awami League, National Awami Party, National Democratic Party, Pakistan National Party, and National Workers' Party.

Kutty, who was also a journalist, had written several books.

His autobiography "Sixty years in self-exile: No Regrets; A Political Autobiography" was launched by Natwar Singh, former Indian diplomat and Minister of External Affairs, in 2011.

In the autobiography, he narrated the story about his journey from Kerala to Karachi, explaining why he had opted to stay in Pakistan.

Kutty also served as political secretary to the governor of Balochistan. The high point of his career was his association with Ghaus Baksh Bizenjo, the governor of Balochistan province in 1972.

Intellectuals, journalists and politicians expressed their condolences on Kutty's death and paid him rich tribute for his services for Pakistan and the community.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday condoled the death of B M Kutty.

Pinarayi remembered Kutty as a "leader who constantly fought for improving the relation between India and Pakistan".

"He (Kutty) was born in Tirur (in Malappuram district) and later emigrated to Pakistan and emerged as a major figure in Pakistan's politics," Pinarayi said.

"He was also a prominent journalist and a determined leader who fought for peace and against communalism," he added.

The Chief Minister said Kutty worked closely with the major political parties in Pakistan and was closely associated with Kerala.

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