ATP Quiz: Guess Who This Is (More Hints)

Posted on January 22, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, ATP Quiz, History, People
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Adil Najam

Thank you to those who have so actively responded to our current ATP Quiz where we gave you some quotes and asked you to guess who they are from (here). Many of you have gotten to the bottom of this, but others are still further away. For those who have not seen the first set of hints, do so here; also, a number of comments already posted on that may be helpful.

Largely becasue I wanted to post the following quotes anyhow, and partly by way of giving more clues to teh identity of the person we are thinking of, here is a little more from him.

Let me first finish the story where we left it – his going to Gen. Zia ul Haq’s Majlis i Shura. Here is what he did there:

On the 12th of July 1984, I finally stood up to speak and the venerated members of the assembly, along with General Zia ul Haq straightened up to listen…. “You formed this Shura according to Islamic concepts… [but] when there are no human rights, domestic laws, facilities for health and education, protection for domestic servants and kisaans, there is also no Shura. Does anyone still want to call this assembly an Islamic Shura? …Have you converted mosques into courts of genuine Islamic justice or into schools for the illiterate? Are you using Zakaat funds for development programs? Are you rehabilitating destitutes on a provincial and district level from the Bait ul Maal? Are you reducing unemployment by giving small loans and setting up small industry? … As a rule based on victimisation, self-preservation and greed is visionless, it is also destructive. This country needs help, help to recover from its past and now its present. The people have been neglected long enough, one day they shall rise like mad men and pull down these walls that keep their future captive. Mark my words and heed them before you find yourself the prey instead of the predator…. If you talk of an Islamic system, let me guide you towards the West which has adopted it…. When you push people against the wall, they reject you. As Martial Laws and restrictive methods are tantamount to terrorism, they are the mother of terrorist activities.” … Somebody shouted, “Ghaddar, Ghaddar,” but another urgently silenced him.

So much for his direct involvement in politics. But his passions went outside of parliament and created furors.

Extremist groups … rose against me without understanding what I propounded. Some said I was from the Aga Khani sect, others declared me a Shia, a Qadiani, even an atheist… I noticed a huge banner declaring me a non believer outside [a] mosque… A letter from the Imam of a mosque in Islamabad arrived saying, “I believe you are a good man. Your ideas and interpretations are, however, adopted from the Aga Khan faith. If you come to me I will convert you into a true Muslim.” …I issued a press release, “Nobody in the world is in a position to declare my faith except I, myself.”

[Speaking to a group of Pakistanis in USA] I objected, “You have spent four and a half million dollars towards a mosque when another stands just one and a half kilometers away. Reevaluate your priorities and your responsibilities.” Pakistan’s Muslims are split into hundreds of sects. All they do is try and establish what is haram and what is halal…People had conveniently forgotten that I propagated a concept that Sufi saints had already preached…. The humanitarian traditions of sufism spread Islam in the Subcontinent, and Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Muslims were equal before God. The inspiration derived from Sufi character was an advantage to our faith, and the tolerant and refined image of Islam was the ideal…

So, does this help us in getting to an agreement on who this person is?

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25 responses to “ATP Quiz: Guess Who This Is (More Hints)”

  1. Abdul Sattar Afghani?the ex mayor of karachi?

    anyway I am more intrested to learn photoshop from you than guessing this image :-)

  2. Ahmed says:

    It can’t be Qudrat ullah shahab though many a traits point to him. He was in civil services and may had been a part of majlis-e-shura on grounds of beauraucretic set up. But according to my limited knowledge he never once contested for election.
    Another thing, it just occured to me that Shahab sahib was in self intiated exile to switzerlad during Zia regime so he could’nt paossibly participate in majlis e shura. Somebody please correct me if the exile was in bhutto period.

  3. Raza Haider says:

    Definitely not Edhi – he has been invlved in his charity full time since 1951 and could not have been playing an active political role in Ayub Khans regime

    Come on Adil….tell us already!!

  4. MQ says:

    Some important clues are:

    1.He won an election from Mithadar in 1964. That rules out any Punjabi, Pathan, Baloch or an Urdu speaking person from Karachi and points to a person of Memon, Bohri or Khoja community.

    2. He went to a “madrass” or “the madrassa” upto class four and then dropped out. This could be Sindh Madrassa and not necessarily a relgious seminary.

    3. He is/was controversial to some and revered by others. Now how many people who have been in politics are “revered” in Pakistan — past or present? Only Edhi comes to mind, but was he ever an MNA or in Zia’s shorba? I don’t know. Never read his life story.

    Whoever he is, his message is powerful, gripping, and so relevant — in fact, much more so — even today.

    P.S: The man in the silhouette shown at the top of the post looks more like Ardehsir Cowasjee, though!!!!

  5. A. says:

    To clarify – I suggested Altaf Hussein based on the karachi connection and a liberal attempt at recognising that his followers might think of him as a great man – my opinion is to the contrary.

    I actually think (considering the silhouette) that it can’t be Edhi sahab. Consider this a second vote for the author of “Shahab Nama”, as suggested by Sajjad Haider above.

    I think all of us are eagerly awaiting the answer just to relieve the suspense!

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