Karachi: Trusted lieutenant of the slain PPP leader Benazir Bhutto and senior vice-president of the Pakistan Peoples Party, Makhdoom Amin Fahim, was laid to rest yesterday. Fahim, who was also the Chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarian and member of the National Assembly, died at the age of 76 at a local hospital in Karachi Saturday morning. He was buried at the shrine of Hazrat Ghausul Haq Sarwar Nooh near grave of his father, Makhdoom Mohammad Zaman. He is survived by two widows, six sons and daughters.

The veteran politician was suffering from blood cancer and had undergone lump surgery in Berlin. His treatment plan at the Boston in October was dropped by doctors after his serious condition. He remained under post-surgery treatment in London until he was flown to Dubai and then eventually to Karachi. Amin Fahim was brought back to Karachi via an air ambulance on October 26 and was later treated at a private hospital in DHA. The party leaders after his return to the country, however, refuted claims of his being seriously ill and said he would once again travel abroad for further treatment.

His funeral prayer was attended by hundreds of his devotees from Sarwari Jamaat and PPP activists. PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, former Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, members of the provincial cabinet and other renowned PPP leaders also participated in his funeral prayers. Born in Makhdoom family of Hala, on August 4, 1939, Amin Fahim was a son of one of the founders of the PPP and renowned politician and the spiritual leader of Sarwari Jamaat, Makhdoom Talib-ul-Maula.

He did his matriculation in 1955 and intermediate in 1957 in his native town. In 1958, he got admission in political science department of the Sindh University and did his bachelors in 1961. Being the eldest of the sons, Fahim had always been very close to his father, as in Sindhi tradition the eldest son is considered the political heir of father.

During the popular wave of PPP for 1970 general election, Amin Faheem contested elections and secured a national assembly seat from Thatta constituency - that was vacated by PPP Founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He also served in the Sindh Assembly on PPP platform, working on human rights affairs and educational development. After that, he contested and remained undefeated in eight elections, in 1977, 1988, 1990, 1993, 1997, 2002, 2008 and 2013, creating a national record.

Makhdoom Amin Fahim boycotted the non-party elections of 1985 held by General Ziaul Haq-led military regime in line with the decision of his party. In 1993 he contested as MPA and MNA, and was the only parliamentarian in Pakistan to win both seats unopposed. In a bid to turn him against the party chairperson Benazir Bhutto, who was in exile during 2002 general elections, Makhdoom was offered the post of Prime Minister by then President Gen Pervez Musharraf. Amin Fahim despite refusal from Benazir Bhutto to appoint his son as a chief minister, rejected the proposal and remained loyal with PPP.

Amin Faheem never regretted his decision to turn down a clear-cut offer to become the country’s prime minister on the condition of parting his way from Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister and Chairperson of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). He remained loyal to his party and also did not accept offers from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his past stints in power.

Faheem was the Vice-Chairman of the PPP, and was also the Parliamentary Leader of the same party in the National Assembly at that time. He was twice the federal minister in tenure of Benazir Bhutto. He was communications minister from December 1988 to August 1990, railways minister from December 1988 to March 1989. In the next tenure, he was minister for housing and works from January 1994 to November 1996.