S M Zafar

Gulzar Ahmed Khan was a personality full of humility and good will. He was resourceful, hard working and considerate and came up in life to become an important person. I first met him many decades ago when he first brought some legal work to my office. He was simply dressed and acted in a straight forward manner. He presented his case in a very concise and legal manner forcing me to remark that you are almost a lawyer yourself. He just smiled back and said nothing. His presentation of the legal matters was so detailed that I had almost no need to prepare myself for the case that we eventually won. This started a new phase of our relationship and he started referring cases of his friends and associates to my chamber. Whenever he introduced me to some client, it would seem that he was a well trained lawyer himself. Being complimentary towards friends and acquaintance is not as much a part of our culture today as it used to be. But Gulzar Ahmed Khan always praised his friends and acquaintances, a habit that stayed with him throughout his life. Where people often try to find fault with everybody, Gulzar Khan would always accentuate the positive and dwell only on the good points of other people. One day he came to my chambers and reminded me of what I had said four years earlier about him being almost half a lawyer. I smiled and said to him whether the half lawyer needed a full lawyer to help him out? He smiled and replied that he had completed his LLb qualifications and come to me as a full lawyer. I was both surprised and pleased at this news since I was well aware of the difficult times he had gone through and the hard work he had put in over the last few years. Considering his legal acumen and experience in matters pertaining to revenue and real estate I gave him a place in my chambers to take care of such matters. However I soon realised that Gulzar Ahmed Khan was not very interested in pursuing the legal profession. It seemed that he was more interested in politics. Due to his hard work and his single minded efforts he soon became financially secure. Having achieved financial wherewithal he then turned his attention to politics and started his journey in the political arena on the platform of the Pakistan Peoples Party. He soon became close to Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and later on became a close associate of Mohtrama Benazir Bhutto. Over the years his home, Gulzar House became the place where Mohtrama would stay in Lahore and it became a centre of the PPP politics. Son Gulzar Ahmed Khan had become an important part of the PPP hierarchy and almost all official matters would go to the Mohtrama through him. In spite of his increasing importance within the party he maintained his humility and became even more popular in the party circles. The person who once brought me a case in my chambers went on to become a lawyer and eventually a senator; and then we both joined each other in the chambers of the Pakistan Senate. Even though he now participated in important party meetings, he would always avoid giving me any information by saying that he didn’t really understand what went on. In my opinion the greatest political weapon that Gulzar Ahmed Khan had was his humility. This was of great use to him especially when his brother joined him in the senate and his wife became member of the National Assembly. Subsequently both his sons also joined him in the Senate. That members of one family had so seats in the parliament became a point of contention among some people. However it was his humility that would silence his critics. Even though Gulzar Ahmed Khan was not very vocal in the Senate he was however a man of principle and stayed with and defended his beliefs whenever the need arose. We developed family relationships and whenever I visited with him, I was always provided an excellent repast. He has indeed done a lot for his children and if both of his sons demonstrate the same qualities that their father possessed then in my opinion they will have no problems in the future. Both of the sons were not only very respectful of their father but also extended similar respect their father’s friends. Gulzar Ahmed Khan led an honourable and successful life and leaves an important legacy behind.