Pakistan has got a new president. Dr Arif Alvi of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) was elected as the President of Pakistan yesterday. Dr Arif Alvi has a special connection with India. His father Dr Habib ur Rehman Elahi Alvi was a dentist in pre-Partition India.
According to the biography of Dr Arif Alvi on the PTI website, Senior Alvi was the personal dentist of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. The Alvi family has letters written by Jawaharlal Nehru to Senior Alvi in possession.
“His father Dr Habib ur Rehman Elahi Alvi who practiced dentistry in India migrated to Pakistan in 1947 and opened a dental practice in Saddar, Karachi. Dr Elahi Alvi was a dentist to Jawaharlal Nehru and the family has letters from Mr Nehru to Dr Alvi in their possession,” reads the PTI website’s description about the newly elected Pakistani president.
Dr Arif Alvi is a close aide of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and was a founding member of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI). He defeated Pakistan Peoples Party candidate Aitzaz Ahsan in a three-cornered contest that involved Pakistan Muslim League-N nominee Maulana Fazl ur Rehman.
Elected as the 13th president of Pakistan, Dr Arif Alvi is the third President of Pakistan with ancestral base in India. The outgoing President Mamnoon Hussain has his family roots in India. Hussain’s family moved to Pakistan from their ancestral base in Agra, Uttar Pradesh.
Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf’s family had also migrated from India. Musharraf’s family lived in New Delhi before Partition of the country in 1947.
But unlike Musharraf and Hussain, Dr Arif Alvi was born in Pakistan after Partition. His father had settled in Sind after Partition and opened a dental clinic in Karachi.
Alvi family was also connected to Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the first President of Pakistan. Jinnah’s sister Shirinbai Jinnah had made Senior Alvi a trustee of a trust founded by her.
Before being elected as the President of Pakistan, Dr Ariuf Alvi won two parliamentary elections in Pakistan – becoming the Member of National Assembly from NA 250-Karachi in 2013 and 2018 as a PTI candidate.