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Makhdoom Muhammad Ameen Faheem (Urdu:مخدوم محمد امین فھیم; alt. spelling: Amin Fahim), is a populist left-wing figure and Marxist poet who is the current senior vice chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party also holds the government secretaiat as the Senior Minister of Commerce and Trade, as of 2008.
Earning Bachelor of Science from the University of Sindh in 1961, he started his political activism in 1970 and contested successfully in the 1970 general elections and was a close ally of Benazir Bhutto during the 1990s. He is the spiritual figure of the Sarvari Jama'at as well as the prominent sufist in his native province, Sindh. After successfully contesting in the 2008 general elections, he notably stepped down for the candidacy of Prime minister office in favor of Yousaf Raza Gillani.
Biography and overview
Family roots and early years
Makhdoom Muhammad Ameen Faheem was born in Hala in Sindh, which is located 200 km off the southern port city of Karachi, on August 4, 1939. His father, Makhdoom Muhammmad Zaman was the 17th spiritual leader of Sarwari Jammat and as well a powerful feudal figure in the province. His father was one of the prominent 67 participant who laid the foundation of the Pakistan Peoples Party where he was made the senior vice chairman of the party and PPP was found at his house in Hala, Sindh. Makhdoom Muhammad Zaman 'Talib ul Mola' successfully contested in the 1970 general elections and stepped into the national parliament as an member of parliament (MP). Makhdoom Muhammad Zaman was also offered many high-ranking posts in the time of General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, but he refused and chose to stay in Hala and look after his Sarwari Jamaat.
Education and early career
Amin Fahim completed his primary education in 1955 from Hala and did matriculation from a local high school in his native town Hala, in 1957. After passing the university entrance exams, Fahim enrolled in the University of Sindh as an undecided major and declared his major in 1958 at the department of social sciences. Faheem declared major in political science and gained Bachelor of Science (with honors) in Political science from the Sindh University in 1961.
Known as a humble politician, Makhdoom entered in the political arena in 1970 when he was elected as member National Assembly from southern district of Thatta in Sindh province. Since then, he has contested eight elections from elections held in 1977, 1988, 1990, 1993, 1997, 2002, 2007, remaining undefeated and creating a national record. Makhdoom Amin Fahim, however, boycotted the non-party elections of 1985 held by General Muhammad Zia-ul-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. After that he gave up the MPA seat to his younger brother and he even came unopposed on it .
Makhdoom was offered the post of Prime Minister in 2002 by then President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, keeping in mind his party's leader Benazir Bhutto's refusal to appoint Mr. Amin Fahim's son Makhdoom Jameel Zaman as the Chief Minister Sindh, though he was offered the post of Prime Minister thrice before 1988-1990 and 1993. He remained loyal to his party and did not accept offers from then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the military dictators. Makhdoom Amin Fahim is currently the senior vice-chairman of PPP, and is also the Parliamentary Leader, (President) of the same party in the National Assembly. 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.
Makhdoom Amin Fahim is also the leader of the largest spiritual group of people called the "Sarwari Jamaat" in Pakistan, consisting of millions of people across the world. It was recorded that Sarwari Jamaat consisted of 900,000 people, 300 years ago and was titled as the 'No Lakhi Gadi' which means the Gaddi of 9 lakh disciples.He was once married to Dina ,Elder sister of famous Bangladeshi Singer Runa Laila who later passed away due to Cancer.
Career after Benazir Bhutto assassination
Makhdoom Amin Fahim was mentioned as a possible Chairman for the PPP, in the wake of the December 27, 2007 assassination of Benazir Bhutto, but Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Asif Ali Zardari were named party co-chairs and he was considered the party's probable candidate for Prime Minister. However, the PPP hesitated to name Mr. Makhdoom as its candidate following its victory in the February 2008 election. It was suggested that Benazir Bhutto's widower Asif Ali Zardari, might be reluctant to nominate Makhdoom Amin Fahim as Prime Minister, because he was worried that Faheem could strengthen his political base in Sindh and threaten the influence of the Bhutto family there.
On 15 March 2008, Makhdoom Amin Fahim said that he did not understand why the PPP had still not named him as its candidate. According to Faheem, if Zardari wanted to take the position for himself, he would support him.
Later, the PPP nominated Yousaf Raza Gillani as Prime Minister on March 22, 2008. Although this was viewed as a snub to Mr. Amin Fahim, he said that he would not leave the PPP and had the "best wishes" for Gilani. Amin Fahim, however, was made the Commerce Minister of Pakistan in November 2008 shuffle as a consolation.
Initially, Makhdoom Amin Fahim was more interested in poetry than politics. However, he had no choice but to jump into the fray as the political heir of Makhdoom family.
He once said, 'Poetry is my first love. I am still fond of saying verses and reading poetry of others' His forte is mystic poetry. His poetry speaks about love, Peace, and simplicity.
"I have always been fond of the poetry of Maulana Rumi, Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, and Sachal Sarmast. Their poetry has left a deep impact on my life. I have learned from them (Poets) to be loyal, to be loved, in good or rainy days"
He further said, 'I don't believe in ruling the people. I believe in ruling their hearts. That is why my voters love me, and they never disappointed me'.