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From Saeein to Bhai


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Nabeel Gabol - 670 x 350 - File Photo
Former PPP Leader Nabil Gabol. — File Photo.

While he was being welcomed into the MQM, in Lyari people danced in the streets on his exit from the PPP. Now, he may be the most hated person in his old constituency but Nabeel Gabol doesn’t seem to care. As armed men stand guard outside his palatial Defence residence, he holds back-to-back meetings. Charged about being included in the MQM’s central executive council, he seems to have found a renewed sense of purpose. Asked about people’s reaction, he shrugs and remarks: “I wasn’t criticised as much as I thought I would be [on joining the MQM]. Many people knew how I had been sidelined for four years, so maybe that’s why.”

Nabeel is the only one amongst his siblings that has taken a keen interest in politics. His two brothers chose business over politics like their father, Ahmed Khan Gabol, but he followed his grandfather, Khan Bahadur Allah Buksh Gabol. The latter was elected as a member of the Bombay legislative assembly in 1927 and as a member of the Sindh Assembly in 1936; he also served as the first deputy speaker of the Sindh Assembly and twice as the mayor of Karachi. Nabeel Gabol’s uncle, Sattar Gabol, was elected a PPP member of the National Assembly in 1970 and later 1977, contesting from Lyari.

Nabeel, born and raised in Lyari, studied at St Patrick’s College. He entered politics at the age of 24, joining the PPP from Lyari. In 1988, Nabeel was elected as a member of the Sindh Assembly. Since then, he has been winning elections from Lyari. In the 2008 general elections, he won a whopping 96,000 votes from Lyari, against Wasiullah Lakho of the MQM who won 4,200 votes. He resigned from his seat in January 2011, after having issues in getting complete control of the ministry of state for shipping.

Nabeel spent a turbulent few years in Lyari, mainly due to continuing strife between him and the Uzair Baloch-led People’s Amn Committee (PAC). He was ‘banned’ from entering Lyari, allegedly because of the rift with the PAC, though Nabeel denies this vehemently. “They cannot stop me from entering Lyari,” he asserts. “I left the party, not the people of Lyari.” About the nomination of a leader linked to the PAC from Lyari in the coming elections, Nabeel observes: “These people ruined Lyari so much that now the PPP is forced to give its party ticket to such people.” About the party he has joined, according to Nabeel, between Azizabad and Lyari the problems are the same, but the way to sort them out is different. “The MQM is more disciplined. If you have a grievance, the party leader asks you himself,” he comments.

Apart from contesting elections from Azizabad, Nabeel is contesting from Lyari too. Does he think there will be resistance to his return there? Only three union councils (UCs) in Lyari are under the control of the PAC, he explains, with eight other UCs where it has no hold whatsoever. “I don’t see why I can’t go there,” he adds confidently.

His number one aim, if elected, is to bridge the gap between Urdu-speaking and Sindhi people. Being “half-Sindhi and half-Baloch,” Nabeel says he wants to “reduce the fear” between different ethnicities. He adds that the MQM is not predominantly an Urdu-speakers’ party. “I have met a lot of Sindhis and Baloch at the MQM headquarters, Nine Zero,” he adds.

Nabeel believes that the next Sindh chief minister will be from the MQM. Asked whether the nationalists would allow such a development, he says “the nationalists are irrelevant.”

As for the challenges that he faces in his old constituency, he retorts instantly: “It’s not resistance any more, it’s a war between politicians and criminals. I can’t fight with them with a gun, elections are the only way to tackle such people.” Here, he takes a deep breath: “But let’s get elected first.”

Comments (15) Closed

Rauf Nizamani Apr 15, 2013 10:52am
Hataf Shahab Apr 15, 2013 11:31am
While he was being welcomed into the MQM, in Lyari people danced in the streets on his exit from the PPP. SUMS EVERYTHING UP
Sami Apr 15, 2013 12:24pm
The Gabol Family can not be sidelined in Lyari, whose ancestors have been serving for centuries for the betterment of the area and the city. His opponents are sneaking through the hole only to earn out of the Lyari situation.
Ali from Muscat Apr 15, 2013 12:58pm
As being from Lyari, he did nothing in his tenure for the people of lyari but to just filled his pocket. He has more time to visit his brothers in Muscat rather then visiting lyari and asking the problems of the people. Just a rubbish and selfish person he is. And that what made him to jump to MQM as a matter of fact it was sure that he will not be getting a PPP ticket anymore. In short PPP has not done any justice to lyari by giving the tickets to the person like him and now to Shah Jahan baloch of PAC...
N B Barsa Apr 15, 2013 02:42pm
I hope he also does not become AVATAR BHAI and we may have to be content with "telephonic" addresses!
WALEED FAKHAR Apr 15, 2013 05:17pm
Abdullah Hussain Apr 15, 2013 08:02pm
Nabil Gabol has taken a correct decision of joining MQM. He will act as a bridge between new & old Sindhi. He will gain much from MQM as MQM will gain much from him.
Zak Apr 15, 2013 08:13pm
I wish everything was seen from a Pakistanis perspective and not Sindhi, Baloch, or Pakistani.
khan Apr 15, 2013 11:33pm
I agree..Born in Lyari and now .""As armed men stand guard outside his palatial Defence residence""" So he use people of Lyari to get hsi wealth and Lyari is still same where he left...Now people of Azizabad should be his next victim...
khan Apr 15, 2013 11:35pm
Hi, Can you please give at least 1 service his family has given to Lyari??? Then why don't he move and live there ???
khan Apr 15, 2013 11:36pm
Nabeel Bhi first 25 years with PPP and now next 25 with MQM and then you are history...
Shahid Latif Apr 15, 2013 11:39pm
Nabeel has always appeared as soft spoken and a sober person on TV talk shows. MQM will gain a lot by his inclusion in terms of its image and can have a claim on Chief Minister's slot in Sindh
TKhan Apr 16, 2013 12:08am
"The Gabol Family can not be sidelined in Lyari, whose ancestors have been serving for centuries for the betterment of the area and the city." What betterment??? Any examples or proof?
zafrkhan Apr 16, 2013 05:19am
Nabil Gabol Bhai Zindabad
Husain Jan Apr 16, 2013 05:45am
Each and every one who recently changed loyalties has had one and the same thing to say that he /she was not happy with old masters and so this change. If the previous party was not good it could have been easily ascertained in a year or two and so leaving the party after many years of association on the above pretext is beyond imagination. Gabol's instant induction in new party's central executive committee is also something not easily digestible.