Chairman of the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) Sahibzada Haji Muhammad Fazal Karim passed away on Monday after a protracted illness. He was 56.
Haji Fazal Karim, a former federal lawmaker and provincial minister, was admitted to Faisalabad’s Allied Hospital a few days ago for treatment of liver disease. A team of 10 senior doctors, led by Dr Zahid Yaseen, was treating him but he slipped into a 24-hour long coma. Then, at Monday noon, he expired.
Karim is survived by four sons – Hamid Raza, Husain Raza, Hasan Raza and Mohsin Raza – and a daughter.
Karim was born on October 24, 1954, to a religious Jatt family of Faisalabad. His father, Allama Sardar Ahmad Qadri Rizvi, was a leading religious scholar of his time. Karim completed his master’s degree in Islamic Studies from Jamia Rizvia in 1987.
His foray into politics began when he became an MPA on a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz ticket. He remained a members of the Punjab Assembly from 1993 to 1997. He was assigned the portfolio of religious affairs in the provincial cabinet.
In the 2002 and 2008 general elections, Karim was elected to the National Assembly from NA-82 on PML-N’s ticket. However, because of differences, he quit the party for good. He was planning to contest the 2013 elections from the platform of Sunni Ittehad Council, a politico-religious party that claims to represent followers of the Barelvi school of Sunni sect.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2013.