KARACHI/THATTA, Oct 19: The Shirazi group of Thatta, until now associated with the Pakistan Muslim League-Q, called on Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah on Friday and announced joining the Pakistan People’s Party.

The chief minister’s adviser Syed Aijaz Shah Shirazi, former Thatta nazim Syed Shafqat Ali Shah Shirazi, MNA Syed Ayaz Shah Shirazi and provincial minister Mohammad Ali Malkani held a meeting with the CM, who is also the president of the Sindh chapter of the PPP, and informed him that they would make a formal announcement regarding their joining the PPP at a public meeting to be organised by the PPP in Thatta on Nov 7.

The CM and federal minister for religious affairs Syed Khurshid Shah, who was also present at the meeting, praised their decision and welcomed them into the PPP fold, according to a handout issued by the CM’s House.

Besides the Shirazi group, the PPP and Rasool Bux Palejo’s Awami Tehreek wield influence in Thatta district.

The PPP has one MNA and three members of the provincial assembly from Thatta. The PPP recently succeeded in persuading the Mahar group of Ghotki district to join the party.

A political profile

The late Syed Qadir Dino Shah Shirazi, the father of the Shirazi group’s heads Syed Aijaz Shah Shirazi and Syed Shafqat Ali Shah Shirazi, began his political career in 1970 by contesting local bodies’ elections.

In the 1985 party-less general election, Syed Qadir Dino Shah contested the election against Haji Usman Jalbani but lost with a narrow margin.

In 1985-86 Syed Muzaffar Shah Shirazi, the eldest son of the late Syed Qadir Dino Shah Shirazi, became chairman of the Thatta district council when his brother, Sattar Shah Shirazi, who was a member of the district council, was assassinated.

In 1988, Syed Aijaz Shah won a provincial assembly seat on a ticket of the PPP. During the same tenure, Syed Shafqat Shah Shirazi was elected a member of the senate.

In the 1990 general elections, Syed Shafqat Shah Shirazi and Aijaz Shah Shirazi won one national and one provincial assembly seat as independent candidates.

In the 1993 election, Aijaz Shirazi became MPA and Shafqat Shirazi won a national assembly seat on PPP tickets.

Both brothers contested the 1997 general election as independent candidates and again won the national and provincial assembly seats.

The Shirazi group won the 2001 local government election on 46 union councils and their 850 members out of 1,200 elected Shafqat Shirazi as district nazim.

The Shirazis contested the 2002 general election from the platform of the PML-Q. Syed Sarfaraz Shah Shirazi, Manzoor Shah and Imtiaz Shah became MPAs, while Syed Ayaz Ali Shah Shirazi, son of Aijaz Shah Shirazi, was elected a member of the national assembly. Another member of their group, Mohammad Ali Malkani, was also elected MNA from Sujawal-Bathoro constituency.

The Shirazi group swept 90 per cent seats during the 2005 LG election and Shafqat Shirazi once again became district nazim.

The Shirazi group made their presence felt in the 2008 general election when  Ayaz Shah Shirazi was elected MNA, and Shah Hussain Shah and Mr Malkani were elected MPAs on PML-Q ticket.

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