Hakim Ali Zardari, father of the President Asif Ali Zardari, father-in-law of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto passed away this morning in PIMS where he was admitted in March for multiple organ failure. It was recent brain hemorrhage that caused his death. He lived for 81 years and played active political role with Pakistan Peoples Party. He had been involved in Pakistani politics since the 1970s and had served as a federal minister twice. Originally a member of the Pakistan People’s Party, he later joined the National Democratic Party. He rejoined the Pakistan People’s Party in the 1980s and was active in the early 1990s in politics.
In his own right, the late Hakim Ali Zardari made significant contributions to the progressive aspects of Pakistan’s politics. ANP was conceived at his house and he was one if its first VPs. When NAP leaders were arrested for Hyderabad Tribunal, he posted bail for 70 leaders and cadres . He came to Peshawar to see an ailing Bachaa Khan and formally told Wali Khan about AZ and BB’s proposed marriage.
He remained most active Chairman of Public Accounts Committee of National Assembly of Pakistan, which is strongest democratic forum for government’s accountability. PAC had been largely dormant before him due to long period of dictatorship. But Sayeen Hakim Ali Zardari activated it and issued defaulters’ list to the shock of many bigwigs in the political and industrial arena. That was the first time people of Pakistan came to know the level to which elite of Pakistan exploits resources.
In its initial days, he remained one of those members of PPP who wanted a viable socialist manifesto to be adopted by the party. He raised voice through his columns in different newspapers, against feudalism and monopoly of resources by the few.
Dr. Mohammed Taqi who is also a regular columnist at the Daily Times, remembers him:
“I met him last during the lawyers movement at his ISB residence and asked if he would write his memoir. He said ‘ Doctor, kiya likhna. Pehlay to meri apni bahoo naraaz ho jaiay gi ‘.”
He was much more than the father of the President Zardari. A loveable person who would go out of the way to help friends. A very fine gentleman with egalitarian mannerism, he would be remembered by the haaris of Sindh, whose voice he raised throughout his life.
May he rest in peace!