HYDERABAD: The first death anniversary of former Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Parliamentarians chairperson Makhdoom Amin Fahim was commemorated in his hometown of Hala, Matiari district, on Monday. The party's central and provincial leadership, however, was conspicuously absent from the commemorative event, which took place at Fahim's ancestral shrine of Makhdoom Nooh Sarwar.
"Makhdoom Amin Fahim stood by the party in good stead in difficult times and even rejected positions like prime minister [a reference to reported refusal of an offer by former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf]," said provincial minister Makhdoom Jameeluz Zaman, Fahim's son who succeeded him as the 19th spiritual leader of Sarwari Jamaat as well as his political heir.
The Sarwari Jamaat, followers of sufi poet Makhdoom Nooh Sarwar, is considered the second biggest spiritual group in Sindh in terms of the followers after the Hurr Jamaat of Pir Pagara. For years, Fahim fought a battle against cancer before his death on November 21, 2015.
Thousands of political supporters and followers gathered at the shrine to offer prayers for Fahim and pay tribute to him. MNA Makhdoom Saeeduz Zaman and other family members were present at the event.
"No one supported Shaheed Benazir Bhutto more than Makhdoom sahib," Jameeluz Zaman recalled, referring to the period of Musharraf's regime when his father acted as the PPP-Parliamentarians head while Benazir was in exile. "He was an asset not just for the people of Hala or followers of Sarwari Jamaat but for people of the whole country."
The Makhdooms of Hala have remained politically invincible since Fahim's father, the late Makhdoom Talibul Moula, was elected as a legislator in 1962. Fahim himself was elected seven times as an MNA from the same constituency.
Despite the family's long association with the PPP, Fahim, and now Jameeluz Zaman, appear to have been sidelined by party leadership.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 22nd, 2016.