by : Dr Mir Sadaat

Mir Zafaullah Khan Jamali

There can be many things in life that bring happiness and lesser things that makes you sad and only a handful that inspire you. One of such inspiration for me particularly and generally for Balochistan was Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, his life was a saga that was aspired by magnitude of people. To the general public he was only a politician (but his saga is more than that) that represented Balochistan with valor at the national front and when it came to representing Pakistan at international level. Mir sahib was a show runner with his vigor and simplicity. During his college days in Lahore, he first entered the country’s politics in 1964, supporting Ms Fatima Jinnah against the then military ruler, Field Martial Mohammad Ayub Khan, in the presidential election. His uncle Jaffar Khan Jamali appointed him as a security guard of Fatima Jinnah. He was arrested in Lahore, along with the other political leaders who were supporting Ms Jinnah in the election, on the orders of the then governor of West Pakistan for taking part in anti-government rallies and protests. He then started his formal political career in 1970 and has served in many positions with honesty and dignity. Jamali Sahab was always a traditional man and loved to flaunt his culture. How can one forget his entrance in White House wearing his national attire with utmost pride?

During his Prime Ministerial role, he was instrumental in international politics, his role during transition of Afghan government was vital. He supported Hamid Karzai as President of Afghanistan and assured him of cooperation between the government of both countries in everything, from trade to terrorism. Jamali Sahab announced donations of 300 buses and trucks, scholarships for Afghan students and aid for improvement of road, railway and hospital projects in Afghanistan. Apart from this he vowed to improve relations with India immediately after assuming office and procuring a peace agreement and cease-fire in the disputed Kashmir region. He appointed a special envoy to improve relations and lessen tensions between the two countries which had arisen during the 1990s and early 2000s. His tenure had to end prematurely when he decided to resign after a three-hour meeting with Gen Musharraf mainly because of difference on execution of government policies. Zafarullah Khan choose his principle over power and walked away with dignity. After that he remained active in politics but mostly in a passive manner.

Apart from being a politician Mir Sahab was an eminent sportsman he would play many sports but he was a star hockey player and remained president of the Pakistan Hockey Federation and vowed to solve the problems facing the Pakistan Hockey Federation and revive the Pakistan men’s national field hockey team. He previously played for Punjab province, acted as Chief-de-Mission for the 1984 Summer Olympics and was chief selector for the national team. It was under his supervision that Pakistan won the Atlanta Olympics title.

Finally, Mir Sahab was a family man, known as Jabal Khan (Jabal means mountain in Balochi language) to his loved one. His uncle Mir Jaffar Khan Jamali gave him this name because during school days he would not cry even when seriously injured. He was the bedrock of Jamali family and was loved equally by everyone, he was always there to support and encourage his kinship.

After the death of his uncle Mir Jafar Khan Jamali, he had to fill in his shoes and I will not be wrong if I say he did justice to his role.  During his life he lived up to his nickname of Jabal Khan that was immoveable by storms, floods or earthquakes. He was like a river that paved its way through rocks and was unstoppable like the wind. He was a mentor, a politician, a sportsman but most of all he was close to our hearts. He may be one of the most under rated politician of Pakistan but his legend will continue to inspire many of us in coming day.

The legend of Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali can be summed up with the following fact: He started his political career in love of Fatima Jinnah and ended it in love of Our Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him.


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