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Pir Pagara: some facts

January 12, 2012

I READ the obituary on Pir Pagara (Jan 11).

I would like to place on record some important facts about the early life of Pir Pagara which have not been touched.They are based on facts as told by my father, Hamid Zubairi, then a staff member of Dawn, Delhi.

When colonial rulers of the subcontinent hanged Pir Sabghatullah Shah Rashidi (father of Pir Pagara) on March 20, 1943, in the Central Jail, Hyderabad, Sindh, and abolished his Gaddi (Spiritual Office), Pir Pagara Syed Shah Mardan Shah-II was hardly 15 years old.

During the same year Dr Ziauddin Ahmed, who was at that time the vice-chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, took him and his brother to Aligarh.

At Aligarh both the brothers stayed in 'English House' which was a hostel established specially to house the sons of nawabs and rajas of the subcontinent. In 1946 again Dr Ziauddin arranged for their education at England.

Dr Qayyum Pasha, son-inlaw of Dr Ziauddin, went to England with Pir Pagara and his brother, through ship from Bombay, and stayed with them as their guardian.

After the partition in 1947 it was the campaign launched by Pir Ali Muhammad Rashidi, through Sindh Observer, that in fact was instrumental in restoration of the Gaddi of Pir Pagara in 1952.

JALEEL BIN HAMID ZUBAIRI Karachi