Many politician in Pakistan have Pir lineages, especially in Pakistan Peoples Party, as of our 18th prime minister of Pakistan, Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, Late Makhdoom Ameen Faheem, the senior vice chairman of PPP, Hamid Saeed Kazmi, who had served as federal minister for religious affair in the cabinet of Ex prime minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani and 29th and current chief minister of Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah. However members of Pir lineages were also to be found in prominent positions in other mainstream parties, as of Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat, who was the lineal descendant of Pir Syed Mehboob Alam Shah. He served as federal minister in numerous ministries which includes: Commerce ( 1988-90), Environment, Housing and Works, Interior (2002-04), and Kashmir Affairs.

As a matter of fact, they attracted whole local tribes by using the names of their sufi saints with their cock and bull stories for political gain. Owing to form power networks of kinship and patronage they have tied the knot with other Sayyid families. IN country like Pakistan wealth plus either kinship or spiritual prestige gives political power. According to the eminent scholar of Sufism Lukas Werth, there are two sides of same coin of Pirs and shrines: their political property-owning and sometimes criminal role co-exists with the beneficial spiritual and social function. As we know that many PPP Pirs are belong to Sindh. The matter of fact is that people of Sindh love their Pirs and our whole culture is bound up with them. Because of that reason PPP clinched more seats in Sindh as compare to other provinces of Pakistan. The negative side of mysticism and saint worship makes the people of Sindh passive. The People Sindh should need an industrial revolution to take themselves out from feudal domination of which the Pirs are part. The Pirs and the shrines are therefore sword of Damocles over the modern reforms, democracy and development in Pakistan. The fact is that at least Pirs provide psychological help for poor people facing maladies when no help whatsoever is forthcoming from the state or the regular medical services.

NAIMATULLAH GADHI,

Khairpur Mir’s.