HYDERABAD: Syed Qamaruz Zaman Shah, a veteran politician, agriculturist and an aficionado of poetry and poetic gatherings, who dedicated himself to religion in the last decades of his life, breathed his last on Sunday in a hospital in Karachi. He was 83.
The deceased is survived by three sons and two daughters. He was twice jailed by Zia’s regime in 1977 and 1981.
A nephew and son-in-law of a towering socio-political figure, Syed Miran Muhammad Shah, he inherited political acumen and a penchant for literature. Shah was elected a senator and remained one between 1973 and 1977.
Subsequently, he was elected MPA from Tando Muhammad Khan in 1977 and served as deputy speaker of Sindh Assembly for 3 months. He also served as the deputy speaker of the Sindh Assembly for a few months before the imposition of martial law by the late Gen Ziaul Haq.
One of his sons, who is a former federal minister and Pakistan Peoples Party MNA Naveed Qamar, is continuing his political legacy. Another son, a cardiologist by profession, Dr Syed Nadeem Qamar, now heads the Sindh Chamber of Agriculture which his father founded in 1968 with four other leading agriculturists. The deceased remained in coma for the past two years after spending many years bed-ridden.
Shah was a contemporary of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He was among the founding members of the PPP who attended one of the first party meetings held in Tando Mir Mehmood in Hyderabad.
The Zamindar Association, representing Muslim and Hindu farmers of Sindh, which was founded in 1935, was renamed and registered as the Chamber Of Agriculture Hyderabad and Khairpur in 1968. Shah was among its five patron members and years later became its president. The Federation of Chambers of Agriculture was established in 1988. It represents all the provinces. The deceased was also among its founding members.
The chamber credits him with rendering valuable services to the farming community in Sindh on several counts. Among them are his opposition to the levy on income tax on farmers, issuance of passbooks to growers and struggles on water issues. He was known for arranging gatherings of mushaira which were participated by Urdu and Sindhi poets.
According to the family sources, Shah will be laid to rest in Makbaro Shareef graveyard in Tando Muhammad Khan district. His funeral prayer will be offered at the family’s residence in Latifabad, Hyderabad.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 24th, 2016.