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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pioneers of Freedom (Series)

RAIS GHULAM MOHAMMAD BHURGRI (1 878-1 924)
The surname\" Bhurgri\" is derived from a place named Bhurgarh in Dera Ghazi Khan (Punjab) from where his ancestors had migrated to Sindh. He was the eldest son of Khan Bahadur Wall Mohammad, a well known prosperous Zimindar of Sindh.
Ghulam Mohammad Bhurgri was born in village Dengan, District Tharparkar, Sindh in 1878. He received his elementary education at home. Later, he joined Mission School, Hyderabad (Sindh) N.H. Academy, Hyderabad and Sindh Madrassah-tul-Is!am, Karachi. In 1890 he went to Aligarh and passed his Matriculation Examination from Muslim High School Aligarh. He stayed in England for three years and was called to Bar from Lincoln\'s Inn.
After his return, he started practice in Hyderabad (Sindh). He was elected as Member, Bombay Legislative Council in 1909; re-elected in 1913 and again in 1916. He moved a resolution (1917) in the Council to enquire into the corrupt system under which peasants (Harees in Sindh) had to provide food and other facilities free to visiting officials. A RASAEE COMM ITTEE under Justice Heyward was set up whose shocking disclosures led to discontinuance of the practice.
Mr. Bhurgri was nominated as Member on the Council of State in 1921, but resigned his seat in protest against the Government repression. He was elected to the Central Legislative Assembly in 1924.
In February 1920 he became President of All India Khilafat Conference. He championed the cause of separation of Sindh from Bombay Presidency with a view to safeguarding interests of Sindhi Muslims. He remained a dedicated member of the All India Muslim League all through his life and attended all its annual sessions. He was a Member, Reforms Committee (8th session, Bombay, December 1915-January 1916); Member of the Committee to discuss Congress -League Scheme (10th session - Calcutta, December, 1917- January 1918) and Member, Committee of Moplah Trouble (14th session, Ahmedabad, December, 1921).
He was elected President, All India Muslim League, (15th session) at Lucknow in March-April, 1923. In his Presidential Address Mr. Bhurgri touched upon, among other things, Turkish and Khilafat question and the possibility of a league of Oriental Nations. About the internal problems he said that the British rule in India had worked for both good and evil, that it was neither indelible nor eternal but it could not be eradicated without endangering our own existence; he was critical of the Government\'s arresting the non-cooperators and their ill-treatment. He suggested the appointment of statutory commission to examine the working of the Reformed Constitution and the formulation and implementation of scheme for Indianization of services and the army, for grant of complete fiscal autonomy, for safeguarding the status and interests of Indians abroad and for granting general amnesty to all political prisoners.
He welcomed the Reformed councils which could be used to increase the political awareness of the masses and held that communal representation was unavoidable.
Mr. Bhurgri was a Muslim League delegate, under the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam, to give evidence before the Selbourne Committee of British Parliament on India Bill.
He was interested in the overall awakening of Muslims. He started Sindhi weekly \'Al-Amin\' from Hyderabad which was edited by Shaikh Abdul Majeed Sindhi. Bhurgri was an accomplished lawyer and defended Sheikh Abdul Majeed Sindhi against Government prosecution under press laws.
As President of \'Muhammedan Educational Conference\', Poona he tried to expand educational facilities among rural areas.He died on March 10, 1924 and was laid to rest in his ancestral graveyard. In recognition of his services, the Sindh Government has changed the name of the town and Taluka of Jamesabad as \'Kot Ghulam Mohammad\'.
MIR AHMED YAR KHAN, KHAN OF KALAT (1 902-1 977)
Mir Ahmed Yar Khan, Khan of Kalat belonged to Ahmedzai Branch of Brahavis, who ruled Kalat State in the Province of Baluchistan for well over 280 years.
Mir Ahmed Yar Khan was born in Loralai in 1902. He received his early education in traditional way under private tutors; and in course of time gained a fair knowledge of Holy Quran and proficiency in Urdu, Persian and English languages. He started his adult career as a Personal Assistant to the Agent to the Governor General, Baluchistan in 1920. He underwent Military training for one year with 27 Punjab Regiment. On completion of this training he was entrusted with various important civil and military administrative assignments.
He ascended to the throne of \'Khan-e-Baluchistan XIII\' on September 20, 1933 at the age of 31.
In 1936 he was awarded the title of \'Khan-e-Azam\'. It was his religious zeal, coupled with political foresight, that inspired him to identify himself whole heartedly with the Baluch Community in the Muslim League struggle for Pakistan in the name of Islam.
He had been in close touch with the Quaid-e-Azam since 1936 and remained so till the demise of the Quaid in 1948. He was a personal friend of the Quaid, who alongwith his sister Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah, stayed with him on several occasions during the crucial phase of Freedom struggle. His love with Quaid-e-Azam can be judged from the fact that when Khan-e-Kalat heard the news of the murderous attempt on Quaid-e-Azam he was shocked and pained and fearing such repetition he sent out his personal body guards to Bombay for the protection of the Quaid \'s life. By the grace of Almighty the biggest Muslim State came into existence on the map of the world on August 14, 1947.
Kalat state under the regime of \'Khan-e-Kalat\' was the first to nter into an agreement with Pakistan, ten days before the actual declaration of Pakistan and then realising the difficulties faced by Pakistan during the initial period of 1948, the Khan of Kalat, without obtaining the formal sanction from the Tribal Sardars, signed the merger in his own capacity as the Khan-e-Azam on March 30,1948 on their behalf.
Although he apparently exceeded the scope of his mandate yet, in doing so he enjoyed full confidence of the Tribal Sardars as they did not raise a single voice of any nature of protests; rather they welcomed the decision towards the noble cause of solidarity of Pakistan.
He accompanied the Pakistan delegation to the United Nations during the Prime Ministership of Liaquat Ali Khan. He also visited China as a member of Pakistan delegation. He was appointed Governor of Baluchistan in January, 1974 and continued as such till July, 1977.
He died on 23 October, 1977 and was laid to rest at his ancestral graveyard with full honours.
MOHAMMAD ABDUL LATJF PIR SAHIB ZAKORI SHARIF (1914-1978)
Mohammad Abdul Latif Pir Sahib Zakori Sharif was born in a famous spiritual and religious family of Dera Ismail Khan (North West Frontier Province (NWFP) in 1914. After completing his education, he devoted himself toward reformation of society and propagation of Islam. The plight of the Muslims of South Asia compelled him to join the All India Muslim League in 1935.
He soon started playing an active role in politics and led the famous Movement concerning the incident of Islam Bibi in the North West Frontier Province in 1936.
He actively participated, alongwith his followers, in the Lahore Session of the All India Muslim League which adopted the historic \'Pakistan Resolution\' on March 23, 1940. On his return from Lahore he stepped up and launched in full gear \'Pakistan Movement\' in the Frontier Province. Pir Sahib was a trusted lieutenant of the Quaid-e-Azam who nominated him in 1945 to the Parliamentary Board of the Muslim League from the NWFP.
Pir Sahib Zakori Sharif played a leading role in the 1945 NWFP Assembly elections and was instrumental in securing17 seats for the Provincial Muslim League; himself returning from Lakki Marwat, Bannu District constituency.
During the crucial phase of Pakistan Movement he faced bravely a lot of hardships and imprisonment on many occasions. During the \'Civil Disobedience Movement\' he hoisted the Pakistan Muslim League flag after removing the Union Jack from the Deputy Commissioner\'s House in Bannu and was arrested soon after leading a procession against the British Rule. The arrest of Pir Sahib turned into a great public uproar and a large number of his followers turned up for voluntary arrest which almost filled the entire jails of NWFP; resultantly temporary prison houses had to be arranged at Serai Naurang, Bannu, and other places to lodge the protest-ors. On his release on June 3,1947 he preceded to New Delhi on the special invitation of Quaid-e-Azam to participate in the All India Muslim League Council meeting at Imperial Hotel. He delivered there an impressive and forceful speech. Quaid-e-Azam had a great faith in Pir Sahib\'s political acumen and sagacity and reposed a great confidence in him to turn the forthcoming \'Referendum\' in NWFP a success.
Pir Sahib Zakori Sharif did, indeed, come to the high expectations of the Quaid and worked so tirelessly for the NWFP Referendum that the Quaid-e-Azam addressed him as \"Fateh Referendum\".
He was one of those luminaries of the Pakistan Movement who laid the foundation of Muslim League in NWFP and nullified the hold of all India Congress and otherAnti-Pakistan forces in the Province.
He remained a member of the NWFP Assembly from 1945 to 1950.
He died on February 2,1978 depriving the Country of a great freedom fighter and leaving millions of his followers to mourn his death.
To commemorate the Pioneers of Freedom (Series) Pakistan Postal Services Corporation is issuing a set of three commemorative postage stamps of Re. 1/- denomination on August 14,1993.