LARKANA: Renowned lawyer and author Abdul Ghafoor Bhurgari died here after a long illness on Tuesday. He was 94 and has left five sons and six daughters.

Spiritual leader Syed Hussain Shah Qambar Waro led his funeral prayers at Qasmia Mosque attended by a large number of people drawn from different walks of life.

He was the author of four books including the ones on the lives and political careers of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Quaid-i-Awam Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

He was buried in the Abubakar graveyard amid moving scenes. Those who attended the funeral included former ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Abdul Razzak Soomro, former MPA Haji Munwar Ali Abbasi, Ghulamullah Mahoto, Sindh Bar Council member Asif Soomro, High Court Bar Association president Ghulam Dastagir Shahani and general secretary Shamsuddin Abbasi and a good number of lawyers.

Work at the high court and lower courts remained suspended due to the death of Abdul Ghafoor Bhurgari, said the High Court Bar Association general secretary.

Majid Bhurgari, the elder son of Abdul Ghafoor, who lives in the US, could not reach to attend the funeral.

Abdul Ghafoor Bhurgari was popular not only among lawyers, but also in society because of his courtesy and soft-spoken nature.

He was born in Ghulam Nabi Bhurgari village on Jan 1, 1921, received primary education in Shahdadkot and did his matriculation from Madrassah High School, Larkana, where famous educationist Shamul Ulema Daudpoto also studied. After doing graduation from C & S College, Shikarpur, then affiliated with Bombay University, he went to Aligrah University for higher education.

He did his LLB from Aligarh Muslim University during his stay there from 1942 to 1946, after doing a Masters in the Persian language.

A true patriot, he enrolled as lawyer on July 14, 1947, and to date remained attached with the profession, said Abdul Hamid Bhurgari, his son who now serves as additional advocate general of the Sindh High Court Larkana circuit bench.

Mr Bhurgari not only took part in politics from the platform of the Muslim League, but also devoted his time to literary activities under the flag of Jamaat Shoara-i-Sindh and played a key role in organising literary conferences in Larkana.

He was its secretary from 1949 to 1956 when All Sindh Adabi Conference was convened in Larkana.

He had association with former Sindh chief ministers Qazi Fazulullah and Muhammed Ayoub Khuhro.

Drawn to journalism, he joined the weekly Insaf and, according to his family, also remained its editor for some time. Just at the age of 32, he became the first elected president of the Larkana Municipal Committee in 1953.

He was an active member of the Muslim League during his student life, prior to the creation of Pakistan.

He was nominated as a member of Sindhi Adabi Board in 1960 and also remained the president of Jinnah Citizen Club, Larkana, from 1977 to 1982.

In 1977, he contested elections from PS-31 (the then Mirokhan Taluka) and won a seat of the provincial assembly where Pir Bux Bhutto, Ali Hassan Hakro, Abdul Waheed Katpar, Wahid Bakhsh Bughio, Chakar Ali Junejo and Imdad Hussain Kehar were also members.

He was sent behind bars five times during 1978 and 1987. He represented Pakistan in the United Nation in 1983 and 1995 and remained revenue and culture minister of Sindh from June 1984 to February 1985.

At one stage, he was appointed as PPP deputy general secretary Sindh chapter. But when on Dec 24, 1981, under a presidential order a federal council (Majlis-i-Shoora) was constituted, he and Dr A.M. Sandelo were made its members.

Mr Bhurgari, who was also fond of literature, developed his interest towards recording the history and wrote a book titled Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the Falcon of Pakistan, published by SZABIST in 2002 and digitized in September 2008. With the foreword written by Benazir Bhutto, the book was launched by her in Larkana.

He was also the author of another bulky book on the life and achievements of the Quaid-i-Azam.

He did not stop his literary contributions and gave another book to readers titled Zindagi Jo Safar (journey of life) in which he compared the works of of Rumi, Shah Latif and Iqbal on the basis of Sufism.

He also penned his autobiography in the name of The Olden Days which was launched in Hyderabad in December 2012.

Mr Burgri remained convener of the High Court Bar Association twice , prior to its elections in 1995-96 and 1996-97 and president of the District Bar Association in 1989, said Shams Abbasi, general secretary of the High Court Bar Association.

It would not be out of place to mention the name of his (Abdul Gafoor Bhurgari’s) illustrious son Abdul Majid Bhurgari, who after doing his CSS and serving income tax group, was the first person to develop Sindhi computing solution in 1987-88. This initiative made use of Sindhi possible on personal computers and revolutionised Sindhi printing and publishing industry.

In 2000-2001, Bhurgari developed the first-ever Sindhi unicode font, obtained support for Sindhi on Windows platform and developed needed resources to make use of standard Sindhi possible on Windows OS and made these freely available on internet.

Rana Bhagwansdas, former acting chief justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and chairman of the Federal Public Service Commission, was junior to Mr Bhurgari in law practice.

Published in Dawn, February 11th, 2015

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