My association with the Zahur Elahi family dates back, to the start of the seventies. Ch. Zahur Elahi a jaat by caste had moved with his family to Pakistan sometime around the partition of India. Ch. Zahur Elahi with his brother Manzoor Elahi were the grandsons of Hayat Muhammad and were born to Ch. Sardar Khan. They came and settled in nutt an old rural dwelling but now the citadel of their political base. Whereas Zahur Palace takes the center stage in their present-day political machinations.
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Ch. sahib took a start by joining the police force. While Ch. Manzoor Elahi was dabbling in some textile-related business. But gradually both gained enough prominence. Z. Elahi had the urge to make a mark in the field of politics. He landed a career for himself in the early sixties. Nawabzadaz were then mighty strong, they had been there on the political scene for the longest period of time, and had carried on unimpeded. All this changed when Zahur Elahi joined Mian Akbar to lock horns with them in a bid to contest against the nawabzadas. Before the seventies, both paired up. Mian Akbar was a rising star who had proved his mettle in the west Pakistan assembly of 1962.
Mian Akbar commanded respect in his constituency where the Gujars were in majority A bond which grew overtime. Many of them who stood by the Akbar family through thick and thin. The Gujjar halqa is the one that Mian sahib had introduced to Z. Elahi because they were meant to fight the election together as a team.
Mian Akbar together with his brother Mian Masood got assassinated on October the 25th 1970. Ch. Zahur Elahi now was left alone. This could have been a major turning point in the families of both Mian Akbar and Zahur Elahi. Had Begum Akbar not plunged into the political arena. She came to fight despite her reluctance because of the tragedy that has struck a few months earlier, but she led the party in the most tumultuous circumstances. Everybody knew there was the PPP tsunami rising which would steamroll every person that came in the way. Elections were just around the corner, held in the event of elections in the year 1971. Ch. sahib contested and won… he had a landslide victory from the city. The Akbar family had canvassed under the sign of a lantern. The famous campaign slogan was LAL taen jaley gi sher ki pushal Sarre gi (The lantern would light up, and the lion would be ablaze with its tail ASUNDER).
Ch. sahib won. This was a miraculous victory. He was perhaps the only contender who had turned victorious. He was one amongst all who cruised to victory. He roared like a LION across the country. Unfortunately, Begum Sahiba lost. This was very painful because she lost by a very slim margin, and lost those few pockets which were supposed to be a stronghold of the jaats. She had a hands-down victory over the city. Those who are interested in the historical events of Gujrat may well know that this was the first sacrifice of the Akbar family who could have been resentful of certain injustices on part of certain party members yet they moved on thinking better times would pave way for their victory.
The Akbar family alliance with theirs is probably the longest so far. We have seen the family fragmenting unfortunately but the Akbar family has been with them to date. Ch. Zahur Elahi has been the most dynamic and most productive matriarch in this patriarchal society. He stood firmly against Bhutto sahib. Was like a lone tree in an open field but had the love of the masses, the community the baradari, he was loved by many. The unprivileged looked up to him for assistance many of whom received annuities. He was a great man. The Zahur family has seen their zenith in the power corridors. It is disturbing to see the family fall apart. As a close member of their family, Mian Imran tried his best for rapprochement between the brothers and the cousins but to no avail. We still pray that better sense may prevail and that they all unite as one.
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Akbar family has seen the vagaries of time. Been through choppy waters. But despite having innumerable problems. the family has shown character and nobility. Chivalry, friendship, and respect towards those who remained in contact with the heirs of the Akbar family after the barbarous killing of the brothers. It is hoped the descendants will carry on with the same spirit. The masses want to see them bounce back.
Their humility is proven by the fact that they pardoned and forgave the assassins unconditionally those guilty of this gruesome and abhorrent act only for Allah’s sake. The family wishes to see all live in peace and tranquility.
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