Saturday November 27, 2021

In memory of Mir Zafarullah Jamali

December 08, 2020

Time generates memories and these memories keep reminding you of those friends who are no more in this world. No one knows who is next in the line to join his Creator. The news about the demise of Mir Zafarullah Jamali took me down the memory lane when I had met a young Baloch politician, who was moving forward with bright goals in his mind. I recalled some of the most beautiful memories when I was the PSO [personal staff officer] to Mr Sattar Gabol, former federal minister of the PPP government. I was introduced to him by Sattar Gabol and we became good friends over time. We used to be together whenever he visited Karachi. He was a very soft-spoken politician and I remember the day when he called me after taking the oath of a provincial minister from Quetta and, in fact, he made it. I used to tell him, “Zafar Bhai you will rise very high because of your very humble habits and a smiling face”.

The news of the death of ex-PM Zafarullah Jamali was shocking for me, and I felt depressed having lost a great friend. It took me back to the past when as a young assistant director, I had started my assignment with Mir Taj Jamali, a cousin of Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali. The meeting place of the three of us used to be the residence of Sattar Gabol in the garden area. Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had also close association with both Jamalis and I am witness to their few meetings with Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

I always found PM Jamali a very loving and caring human being. I watched him flourishing in his political career and always found him down to earth while meeting people from all walks of life.

The Jamali family got a great history and they were very decent people, who had always received love and respect from the public. I served with the late Mir Taj Jamali for almost two years and during that period, I came to know other family members of the Jamali family. Mir Zafarullah Jamali became a great friend.

When I was posted to Karachi on my promotion in Islamabad, meetings with Mr Jamali increased and I learned more about the Balochistan politics from him.

Jamali Baloch tribe is famous for their bravery, hospitality, and humbleness and is settled in the Sindh and Balochistan provinces of Pakistan. Mir Zafarullah Jamali was humble, gracious and polite and I never found an iota of pride in his personality even after he became the prime minister of Pakistan. Despite suffering at the hands of General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, he remained sagacious. As a result of the 2002 general elections, he became the first and only elected prime minister from Balochistan, but in 2004, PM Jamali was replaced by Shaukat Aziz in an undemocratic and hurtful way. Mr Jamali took it with a brave heart and the only sentence he uttered to me on telephone was “I have been stabbed in the back by my own [friends]”. History termed his resignation as forced and humiliating for democracy, but he displayed his quality of patience, graciousness, and political wisdom and tendered his resignation. It was interesting to note that he became a prime minister by winning only with one vote and he played his innings very well, leaving nobody annoyed. I remember when I met him on my return from exile, he invited me for a meeting in his room in Sindh House after I took oath as the interior minister.

He used to visit my office often and I miss the memories of his cousin Taj Jamali, who was a man of great qualities. It was a great interaction with their family when I visited their village to inaugurate the passport office there and we all together recalled the memories of his father Mir Taj Jamali. I found Mir Changez Khan Jamali very supportive to his people and I found this family patriotic to Pakistan. Despite being a Sardar of his clan and having a background of political hierarchy, I found the family very modest, humble, and down to earth. Mir Taj Jamali, Mir Zafarullah Jamali and Mir Changez Khan Jamali used to meet their people with very open heart, love and affection.

Mir Zafarullah Jamali was a veteran, intelligent and kind politician, and not only Balochistan has lost a great politician but it is also a setback for all of us and to the nation. He grew in his career by all his efforts and he played an excellent role in reconciliation process and peace restoration in Balochistan. His family is playing an active role in politics.

Mir Jan Muhammad Khan Jamali, former speaker of Balochistan, is head of the BAP, and he is serving the province with his administrative abilities. He is a retired army officer and one can see a spark of discipline in him. Senator Sana Jamali, daughter of Jan Jamali, is also a veteran politician, who is contributing a lot to the parliamentary working in the Senate and raising voice for her people on the floor of Senate of Pakistan. The Jamali family has really given great patriotic leaders and Zafarullah Jamali made to the highest office and became the pride of the Jamali tribe. I would like to recommend that the government should make a monument to commemorate former prime minister Zafarullah Jamali either in Islamabad or in Quetta to pay tribute to him as he always looked for the betterment of Pakistan. Mir Zafarullah Jamali shall always be remembered in the history of Pakistan as a very polite prime minister and we all friends will always miss him; may his soul rest in eternal peace.

We will miss you dear PM Zafarullah Jamali.

Note: Opinions expressed are solely my own, and not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of my party.

The writer is former interior minister, chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior and chairman of think-tank Global Eye. He can be reached at:; Twitter @Senrehmanmalik