KARACHI: Born in Hyderabad on 12 January, 1954, Dr Zulfiqar Mirza holds an MBBS from Liaquat Medical College Jamshoro.

He admits that he bounced around schools, which included Cadet College Petaro, Muslim College Hyderabad and Cantt College Hyderabad.

Mirza was active politically with the PPP from his student days. He was elected the vice president of his college union on the PPP platform. He recalls that, back then, there were no actual units of the Peoples Student Federation.

After graduating with an MBBS in 1980, he joined the Pakistan Army medical corps as a captain. Then, after training from Kakul, Mirza was was posted to the Pakistan Navy.

Mirza is no stranger to controversy and has been landing up in trouble for his strong stands since those days.

He was “thrown out” of the armed forces in 1985 – the year of Gen. Ziaul Haq’s referendum, because he refused to vote.

In the middle of his stint in the services, Mirza got married – a time which he refers dotingly to as “the best part of my life” – in 1982. He would go on to have four children, two sons and two daughters.

He then joined Pakistan International Airlines, where he worked till 1989.

In 1989, Mirza opened up a sugar mill in Badin, during Benazir’s first government. Therein after, Mirza became actively involved in “real” politics.

He first applied for a PPP ticket in 1993, which he contested from Badin – and won a seat to the National Assembly.

He was parliamentary secretary commerce, director of the Pakistan medical and dental council, a member of the International medical parliamentarians association, a member of the then accountability committee, a member of the Kashmir committee as well as a member of the overseas foundation.

Despite his activeness, or perhaps due to it, Mirza would not see the inside of the assemblies till 2008.

He went underground in Pakistan for 12 years due to a number of cases against him. He spent time in different areas of Pakistan, including areas of Punjab and what is now referred to as Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

But his wife, Fehmida Mirza, who is currently speaker of the National Assembly, took over from him and won the Badin NA seat in 1997 – the year the PPP won only 17 seats – in 2002 and then in 2008.

Because of her success, Mirza opted to contest for Badin’s provincial assembly seat in 2008, and was made home minister of the province.