Mamnoon Hussain: A man of principles

Published: July 31, 2013
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Mamnoon Hussain was PML-N’s central senior vice president and has also served as an adviser to Sindh’s ex-chief minister, Liaquat Ali Jatoi.. PHOTO: AFP

Mamnoon Hussain was PML-N’s central senior vice president and has also served as an adviser to Sindh’s ex-chief minister, Liaquat Ali Jatoi.. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: 

Residents of Allahwala Market of Arambagh were filled with joy on Tuesday when one of their own was elected as the 12th president of Pakistan.

Welcoming media persons with warm smiles, as they tried to locate the family residence of president Mamnoon Hussain, community members made their way through the busy streets of this commercial hub towards the ground floor of the Ghayan Singh Building on Tirath Singh Lalwani Road, at the back of Allahwala market, where Hussain lived till 1999.

The multi-storey building, now derelict and closed for over a decade, once housed the country’s new president where he lived in a three bedroom house till he became the 27th governor of Sindh, during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s previous regime.

Hussain, who had a cloth shop at Bolten Market, lived in the area with his brothers and uncles who occupied separate houses in the same locality. Hussain’s elder brother, Akhtar Hussain is well known amongst residents of Allahwala market, where he served as president while running the family business. Born on December 23, 1940 in Agra, Hussain shifted to Karachi after partition with his father Azhar Hussain and other family members. Schooled in traditional religious education, the president completed his matriculation in 1958 and was awarded a B.Com Honors degree from the Government College of Commerce. Subsequently, he attended the prestigious Institute of Business Administration (IBA) in Karachi, from where he graduated in 1965.

In 1970, he married the daughter of the owner of one of Karachi’s most famous bakeries, Fresco. The incoming president has three sons who are associated with the banking industry and business.

Belonging to a family with old ties to the locality of Tirath Singh Lalwani Road and Allahwala market, Hussain too enjoys a reputation of being a man of principles.

“He was a polite, simple man with principles. The family never had any problems with anyone in the area and were known to be religious, with an export business to different countries,” said Mohammad Aslam, a resident of the Ghayan Singh Building and a childhood friend of Hussain.

Recalling memories of his childhood, Aslam said that he often played cricket and basketball with Hussain, in a ground close to Arambagh.

Political career

Hussain, who has remained associated with the Muslim League from the beginning, was introduced to formal politics by his close friend and mentor Abdul Khaliq Allahwala, a former member of the National Assembly in the 1960s. Quickly making a mark in the League, Hussain rose to become joint secretary of the party in 1967.

In 1999, he was elected as the president of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) and was soon selected by Nawaz Sharif to become governor of Sindh in June 1999. However, Hussain’s stint as governor ended abruptly after less than six months, when the Nawaz government was overthrown by the then military chief Pervez Mushrraf.

During his political career, Hussain has held important portfolios in a party he will soon have to say goodbye too. He remained the provincial general secretary of PML-N and has also served as party’s acting provincial president of Sindh chapter. He was PML-N’s central senior vice president and has also served as an adviser to Sindh’s ex-chief minister, Liaquat Ali Jatoi.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2013.

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Reader Comments (19)

  • Multan
    Jul 31, 2013 - 2:27AM

    Dear President… Pleease, Please, Please work to END this load-shedding.Recommend

  • sattar rind
    Jul 31, 2013 - 2:31AM

    its ok

    Recommend

  • Ali
    Jul 31, 2013 - 2:43AM

    Sounds like a decent person. I Wish him good luck.
    Oh and what a great relief it is to know Zardari is no more the President of Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Jul 31, 2013 - 3:00AM

    What principles are they if you cannot win a single electoral position in your ‘illustrious’ career and become president simply because you are the most potent yes man for the PM? Disappointed with PMLN.

    Recommend

  • Ralf
    Jul 31, 2013 - 3:13AM

    Mamnoon Hussain is the Pakistani dream.

    One word: Respect.

    Recommend

  • GS@Y
    Jul 31, 2013 - 3:55AM

    @Ahmed: Which of the past presidents had won electorally in the past except may be Leghari? How many current presidents in parliamentary democracies have electoral backgrounds? I would have preferred a more well-known civil society or political figure, but there’s nothing in Mamnoon Hussain’s background which should disqualify him. He’s a self-made, hardworking man, and clearly someone respected by his peers and community. Well-suited for a purely ceremonial role in my opinion.

    Recommend

  • Asad Zaman
    Jul 31, 2013 - 4:36AM

    So a “mohajir” elected president of Pakistan backed by a Punjabi party,where is Altaf Bhai’s mubarakbad to Mohajirs like he congratulated Punjabis after General Elections 2013

    Recommend

  • Truth detector
    Jul 31, 2013 - 5:07AM

    he attended the prestigious Institute
    of Business Administration (IBA) in
    Karachi, from where he graduated in
    1965.

    Well at least he graduated from a known institute unlike out going President whose institute of graduation has never been found !!!

    Recommend

  • Azmat Ali
    Jul 31, 2013 - 6:47AM

    He is a good person, never heard anything selfish or unnecessary words from his mouth.

    Recommend

  • jibran
    Jul 31, 2013 - 9:27AM

    What principles? Enlighten us.

    Recommend

  • Irshad Khan
    Jul 31, 2013 - 12:41PM

    A very very simple person; driving car himself and buying fruits from patharas after Juma prayers, just as a very ordinary person but with a good personality. He was never seen with any armed guards. He always behaved as an ordinary and unknown person in Mosque. No-body knew, till recent, that he is the next president of our country. I believe he is well aware about sufferings of common man. God bless him.

    Recommend

  • Jul 31, 2013 - 1:20PM

    Besides being a decent man, this is the first uninterrupted transition in Pakistan’s quest towards democracy.
    Thank God we have finally done that, and let’s hope and pray that this becomes the norm.

    Recommend

  • Sam
    Jul 31, 2013 - 1:24PM

    Any one over Zardari!!!

    Welcome Mr Prez

    Recommend

  • Realist
    Jul 31, 2013 - 3:38PM

    @Truth detector:

    Oxford

    Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli
    Jul 31, 2013 - 5:48PM

    Old Karachi occupied by muhajirs in 1947 and local hindus were forced to send it to india..
    and Urdu speakers still cries I don’t understand why?????

    Recommend

  • Jul 31, 2013 - 6:37PM

    Pakistan requires towering personalities llike Mr. Mamnoon Hussain to look after its growth and stability. We pray to Allah Almighty for his long life, good health, and contribution to the economy of Pakistan. Salams

    Recommend

  • Syed A. Mateen
    Jul 31, 2013 - 7:43PM

    Ladies and Gentelmen:

    Here comes the President (elect) of Islamic Republic of Pakistan Mr. Mamnoon Hussain.

    A man of principles and dignity is from Karachi.

    Please give him a standing ovation.

    Recommend

  • @Ali Tanoli
    Aug 2, 2013 - 11:13AM

    @Ali Tanoli: would you like to enlighten us a little further what you mean by “Old Karachi occupied by muhajirs in 1947 and local hindus were forced to send it to india..” So if the Muhajirs forced the Hindus to send them to India, were there any Hindus in other places in Sindh, and who forced them to India? And, were there Hindus in Punjab, and who send them to India? Before you open your mouth, please check to see if there is any logic in your statement.

    And, what the Muhajirs are crying about is the same thing that the Bengalis were crying about before they bolted from you. The Bengalis had won the elections but you never wanted them to rule themselves. At least learn from history.

    Recommend

  • nida
    Aug 3, 2013 - 11:59PM

    A very warm welcome to our new president….I just want to say plzzzz sir…kindly pay attention to our literacy rate ……education is really important need of our people….secondly plzzz improve to show our good image to other countries plzzz try to remove the tag of terrorist from our country….Recommend

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