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Loharu family’s get-together in capital

May 26, 2005


ISLAMABAD, May 25: The visit of Nawabzada Aimaduddin Ahmed Khan of Loharu (Durru) to attend Safma’s South Asian Parliamentary Forum provided an occasion to the large Loharu family residing in Islamabad for a meet together. Durru had come as a member of the Indian parliamentarians delegation. He belongs to Sonia Gandhi’s Congress. The dinner was held at the residence of his sister, Mah Bano Begum, (Mrs S M Koreshi) and attended by about 80 or so members of the Loharu clan. It was a one-dish party.

The Loharu have their origins in Central Asia and count the famous Uzbek poet Saint Ahmed Yesavi as the founder of their family, mentioned in he Cambridge History of Islam. His grand Mausoleum is situated in Tashkent and recently Uzbek government has published six volumes of his works in Turkish language. Three centuries ago, they came as warlords to South Asia moving from Attock to Delhi to Agra and founding the Firozepur Jhirka State near Delhi. However, they are known in the history more for their illustrious sons and son-in-laws as poets and men of letters like Ghalib, Zauq and Dagh, and in modern days Jamiluddin Aali and so many others. The British hanged one of their ancestors in a case of honour killing of the British resident to Delhi Sir Frazer and reduced the state to Loharu about the size of Singapore. In 1947, the state acceded to India.

Durru’s entire family has been with the Congress, his father was the Indian Punjab governor when he died, and his sister Nur Bano, Begum of Rampur a Lok Sabha member and is a prominent leader of the Congress. Wife of the late President of India Fakhruddin Ahmed was also from the Loharu family.

All the guests were either from Loharu family or connected with the Loharus through marriages or mothers like Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri, former Naval chief Admiral T. K. Khan, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Khusru Bakhtiar, Begum Dera whose son was the Frontier Assembly speaker, wife of late Jamil Nishtar ( National Bank Chairman), or like former foreign minister Sahibzada Yaqub Khan, (who could not make it as he had a dinner engagement), Begum Silvie Sher Ali of Pataudi, and so on so forth. The Loharus were like Hapsburg Muslim family of North India who through marriages were connected with Gumanis, Mamdots, Malerkotla, Rampurs, Dera, Bhopal, and several other Muslim princely states.