Senator Gulzar Ahmed Khan – Founder WAKGROUP
A person for the times
Senator Gulzar Ahmed Khan was born in a middle class family in Dera Ismail Khan (D.I.Khan). He received his early education in DI Khan and then in Peshawar. He then moved to Lahore where he received his law degree (LLB) from the Punjab University and acquired expertise in legal matters as an associate of S M Zafar, famous jurist and former law minister of Pakistan. Gulzar Khan was a hard working and far sighted person. For this reason besides advancing in the practice of law he also did well in private enterprise. Gulzar Khan revolutionised real estate in Pakistan by developing the concept of ‘housing schemes’. He planned a modern colony in the Lahore cantonment area many decades ago that eventually became the present day Defence Housing Authority (DHA). It would not be remiss to call Gulzar Khan one of the founders of the modern DHA.
Gulzar Khan was an active and progressive person. It was impossible for him to become static and his fertile imagination made him advance into the field of politics. He started his political life from D I Khan, his hometown in 1965 when he contested the ‘Basic Democracy’ (BD) elections, at which time he also developed close personal relationships with politicians of different social and political thoughts and ideologies. A few years later the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) came into existence. As an astute politician as well as an intrinsically progressive person he determined that PPP was the future of Pakistan at that time. For this reason he decided to become familiar with Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto as well as other leaders of the PPP and rose up within the ranks in The PPP. Because of his popularity in D I Khan area, Gulzar Khan received the PPP ticket to contest elections against Mufti Mehmood the leader of Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam. This was indeed an honour bestowed upon him by the PPP leadership and was a mark of his evolving importance within the party.
During the 1977 martial law, when the Bhutto family and many leaders of the PPP were being victimised, Gulzar Khan emerged as a loyal and pragmatic leader of the PPP. At a time when a lot of PPP ‘leaders’ stepped back, Gulzar Khan actively worked for and supported the party even when the party was under extreme legal pressure. When it seemed that the PPP was going nowhere, Gulzar Khan kept on working with the PPP. Few people know the extent of Gulzar Khan’s contribution at that time.