President-elects Dr. Arif Alvi will take the oath as 13th president of Pakistan on September 09. He is well qualified to hold the highest constitutional office in this country. He is an honest, upright and capable person who has a long history of struggle behind him. He worked in the grass root level political movement and knows the problems and the issues of masses and lower middle class. He himself belongs to a middle-class family. His other qualification is that he doesn’t belong to the traditional political elite of this country.
Dr. Arif Alvi is one of the founding members of the PTI along with Prime Minister Imran Khan and few others. Dr. Alvi stood firmly with Imran Khan for nearly 22 years in all the ups and downs and lows and highs. He never lost hope and continued his struggle for social justice and democracy in the country. It is a good sign for the Pakistani democracy that a staunch democrat like Arif Alvi will be sitting in the presidency.
Very few people know that Dr. Alvi’s political activism is spread over five decades (50 years). He was involved in the student movement in the 1960s and actively took part in the radical student movement against the military regime of Ayub Khan. He was elected president of the student union in De’ Montmorency College of Dentistry in Lahore also known as Punjab Dental College.
He paid the price for his student activism during the military regime of Ayub Khan. He was shot and injured in a demonstration on The Mall Lahore. He still carries that bullet in his right arm. He knows the importance of basic democratic and human rights in this country for which many people made sacrifices. He surely will uphold the constitution and democratic values as the president of Pakistan.
As a former student leader, he might be able to play an important role in the restoration of the student unions in the country. Even though, the office of the president has become ceremonial one since the passage of an 18th constitutional amendment. Almost all the powers of the president been transferred to the president. But his position within the close circle around PM Imran Khan and PTI enable him to influence the wider policy issues of the PTI government.
He entered into electoral politics in 1997 and tried his luck for a provincial assembly seat from Karachi on PTI ticket but lost the elections. He met with the same feat in 2002 general elections. He won the national assembly seat from Karachi in 2013. He was the only legislature from Sindh in 2013.
Dr. Arif Alvi worked at the different positions of the party. He worked as secretary general of the party from 2006 to 2013. He served as president PTI Sindh twice. In the general election of July 25, 2018, he was elected to the National Assembly from Karachi’s NA-247 after bagging 91,020 votes.
It is really a great achievement for a middle-class political activist and a full-time practicing dentist to become president of this country where politics is dominated by handful elite. Dr. Arif Alvi might not be as charismatic and intellectually blessed and well known as Aitzaz Ahsan and not part of power corridors for years like Maulana Fazal Ur Rehman. But he defeated both his rivals to win the presidency. The divided opposition made it much easier for Dr. Alvi to clinch the presidential election.
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