It is a misfortune for Pakistani people that they do not know this legend. He was Pakistani political scientist, anti-war activist and colleague of world-famous personalities e.g. Edward Said, Noam Chomsky, Frantz Fanon, and Malcolm X.
He was born in Bihar India in a landlord family. His father was murdered because of support for peasants which resulted in enmity with other landlords which affected the Eqbal Ahmad. After partition he migrated to Pakistan, he participated in the Indo-Pak war in 1948 but after serving the army briefly, he relinquished nationalism and decided to become a son of the whole earth. He graduated from Forman Christian College Lahore in 1951. Then he moved to the USA and enrolled in Princeton University where he studied political science and later earned Ph.D. During his stay in Princeton, he visited Algeria during the liberation war against French and became a member of Liberation Front due to this he faced imprisonment. He was bestowed with splendid oratory which attracted masses.
Eqbal organized students to launch protest against the US government to halt the Vietnam war. Due to his resistant policies, the US establishment was not happy with him. So he was accused of orchestrating to kidnap Henry Kissinger, went to jail in 1971 but he found guilty and acquitted in 1972. He had pain for Palestine but he advised PLO to remain non-violent and keep away from arm struggle because Zionists would portray themselves as victims which would be a calamity for their struggle.
In short, Eqbal was fierce and combatant against what he perceived as human cruelty and he had an instinctive attraction to movements of oppressed and persecuted.
Making an original contribution to International Relations, He called Cold war ‘Third World War”, he argued people of Latin America, Asia, and Africa have been becoming a victim of it. Eqbal predicted future events in which history proved him right e.g he predicted about 9/11, Iraq war, the rise of fundamentalism among Muslims, the rise of the fascist government in India and the Arab Spring.
He always asserted his identity to Islam. According to him, Islam was misunderstood in the West. He argued Islam is the real essence behind resistance against oppression, Islam compels you to stand with oppressed and persecuted people. He rejected the notion that Muslims are extremists. For this he said the Taliban cannot win a majority in free and fair elections.
In 1997 he decided to resettle in Pakistan to revive Left politics in Pakistan. For this, he decided to establish institute ‘Khuldunia’ named after Muslims philosopher Ibn-e-Khaldun but he was opposed by both Islamists and Marxists. Religious people argued that was trying open ‘a school of Greek revival’, a code phrase which evoked foreign philosophical influences within early Islam that Muslims Scholars rejected during high middle ages. Marxists were upset because of Islamic Identity. Benazir’s government was also a hindrance in way of Khuldunia because of Eqbal’s criticism of Benazir. On 11 may,1999 he died due to colon cancer.