Tariq Sharif Bhatti of
Barki Badhal Gujar Khan
Mrs Sayeeda Warsi of Dewsbury
and Pukka Khoo
Born and bred in Dewsbury, England, Sayeeda is married to Naeem from ‘Pukka Khoo’ and has a ten year old daughter. She maintains strong links with the Bewal region. For further information about her, visit her website www.sayeedawarsi.com
Admiral (retired) Abdulaziz Mirza of Malhi, Choha Khalsa
Former chief of staff of the Pakistan Navy and former ambassador of Pakistan to Saudi Arabia. Belonging to an influential family of Choha, Admiral Mirza has the credit of establishing the only Bahria Foundation School and College located in a rural location. All the other schools and colleges of the Bahria Foundation are located in prime locations in towns and cities. The Choha Khalsa Bahria School is located on the Choha – Takal Road and has proved to be a tremendous educational asset for the area.
Mrs Salma Yaqoob of Birmingham
In December 2006, she was sent to Venezuela as an electoral monitor in the presidential elections. Salma has been a contributor to many books and journals on issues related to politics, Islam and the Muslims in Britain and the wider world.
Dr Gulfaraz Ahmed Minhas Ph.D of Qazian
Dr Gulfaraz Ahmed is one of the most distinguished personalities in the history of our region. He had a distinguished career in Pakistan Army and retired as a Colonel. He has a Ph.D from Stanford University, in the USA. Dr Gulfaraz has served as the Chairman of Oil and Gas Development Corporation (OGDC) and as a Secretary of State in the Pakistani Ministry of Petroleum. He is well known on the international stage as a leading scholar in the field of petroleum science and has been involved in many UN projects.
He belongs to an influential family of Qazian and his two brothers are doctors in Canada.
Abdul Ghafoor Bhatti of Mozah Takkal
The A.Q. Khan of agriculture, Abdul Ghafoor Bhatti is one of the most distinguished personalities of the Bewal region. He is a renowned research scientist who has discovered several new varieties of maize, potatoes and other crops. He completed his Ph.D in 1958, a time when few people of the area completed even matric (secondary school certificate). He did an MSc from the Faisalabad Agricultural University and his Ph.D in Texas, USA. Ghafoor Bhatti's skills are in big demand. He has been head-hunted by multinational companies and was invited by the Government of Pakistan to become the Minister of Agriculture in the 1980's. He served as the Federal Minister of Agriculture for two and a half years.
Abdul Ghafoor Bhatti has also contested elections to the Punjab provincial assembly. Son of Babu Hukamdad, he hails from a highly educated family. He is the brother of Dr Zahoor Ahmed Bhatti, a doctor in Birmingham, UK and Abdur Rauf Bhatti, a civil engineer.
Abdul Ghafoor Bhatti now has a major business in Skardu growing special varieties of potatoes. He spends spring and summer of every year in Skardu and the winter months in Takkal. He has a son working as a doctor in the USA.
Lt General (rtd) Arshad Mahmood of Kasur and Choha Khalsa
General Arshad is the Vice Chancellor of one of Pakistan's biggest and oldest universities, the University of Punjab, Lahore. Although General Arshad is settled in Kasur (where his family owns a large amount of agricultural land), his roots lie in Morrah Nangrial, UC Choha Khalsa where he attended school. His family has a long history of distinguished military service; he is the son of Captain Sajawal (marhoom) and the grandson of Subedar Madad Khan (marhoom), both of Morrah Nangrial. General Arshad belongs to the Butt 'baraderi' and maintains ties with his extended family in Choha Khalsa. He has donated some prime land for a much needed extension to the masjid in his home village.
Ch. Tassaduq Hussain (s/o of Haji Majeed Hussain) of Dhera Kanyal
Presently serving as the Consul General of Pakistan in Toronto, Canada, Ch. Tassaduq is one of the most distinguished civil servants in the Pakistani Foreign Office. He has an MA in English (PK) and an MA in international relations from the USA. A career diplomat, he has served in China, USA, UK and Qatar prior to his posting to Canada. He speaks several languages fluently including Chinese.
Ch. Tassaduq hails from a highly educated family of Dhera Kanyal: his grandfather, Jemdar Mustafa, was a JCO in the British Indian Army and his father, Haji Majeed Hussain, had a distinguished service in the Pakistani civil service. Ch. Tassaduq has three brothers, one a Major in EME, one a college professor and one in the UK.
Haji Aurangzeb of Morrah Bhottian and Birmingham, UK
Haji Aurangzeb is the owner of Alamgir Supermarkets in Birmingham, UK. He has invested many crore rupees in a major food processing plant in Jabbar by the name of 'Adil Trading Company'. Employing over 50 people, the highly successful company produces spices, pickles, biscuits and other foods for both the local and the UK market. Haji Aurangzeb has plans to expand his operations in Jabbar and is soon opening a major retail supermarket and family restaurant in Jabbar.
Other than his businesses in PK and UK, Haji Aurangzeb takes a keen interest in politics. He is the General Secretary of the PPP, tehsil Gujar Khan and a close friend of Raja Pervez Ashraf, the MNA for Gujar Khan.
Haji Mohammad Nawaz of Dhera Kanyal, Bewal
A senior politician and current Nazim of Bewal Union Council. Businessman and property tycoon, Haji Nawaz is one of the oldest and most successful faces on Islamabad's property scene. He spent about six years in England in the early 70's before returning to Pakistan to pursue a property business in Islamabad. He has, amongst other things, set up a flour mill and a modern bakery in Bewal.
Raja Riasat of Choha Khalsa
Businessman and property tycoon, Raja Riasat is the present Nazim of UC Choha Khalsa. Belonging to the PPP, he is from a powerful political family; his father, Raja Muhammad Khan, has also served as the Chairman of Choha Khalsa U.C. for many years.
Raja Jehangir Ahmed Bhatti of Changa Bangial
Raja Jehangir Bhatti belongs to an influential family and is the present Nazim of UC Changa Bangial.
Sahibzada Badr Munir of Chakrali
Belonging to an influential family of the area, Sahibzada Badr Munir is the present Nazim of the Suin Cheemian union council.
Ch. Muhammad Ayub of Kalian Sialian.
Ch. Muhammad Ayub is the current Nazim of Samot union council. He comes from a powerful political family and is a relative of the former MPA, Ch. Khalid (marhoom).
Qazi Muhammad Nauman, advocate of Qazian
A lawyer by profession, Qazi Nauman belongs to an influential family of Qazian. He is the present Nazim of Qazian union council.
A Royal pursuit: the horses
of Ch. Wadi of Dhera Kanyal, Bewal.
Colonel (rtd) Muhammad Shabbir of Sambal Smot
Following a distinguished career in Pakistan Army, Colonel Shabbir entered the field of politics. Known for his skills in public speaking, he stood as a PPP candidate in the last elections to the Punjab provincial assembly.
Mohammad Zafar and Brothers of Palhot (UC Qazian) and Halifax, UK
Mohammad Zafar appeared on the Eastern Eye Asian rich list a few years ago. The brothers own Sleepline Beds, a major manufacturer of beds, mattresses and other furniture. They have been suppliers to the major UK catalogue chain, ARGOS, for many years. Although the company is believed to have lost it's contract with Argos, they continue to do well by concentrating on independent retailers.
Mohammad Rafique of Palhot (UC Qazian) and Dewsbury, UK
Mohd Rafique owns Kozy Sleep, a major bed and mattress manufacturer based in Ravensthorpe, Dewsbury. The company supplies bedroom furniture to independent retailers throughout the UK.
NOTE: Mohd Rafique Kozy Sleep and Mohd Zafar of Sleepline Beds split up a few years ago to form their separate companies.
Mr Nasir Javed of Qazian and California, USA
CEO and President of Princeton Technology Inc. in California. An engineer and enterprenuer, Nasir has been leading this hi-tech electronics manufacturing company in California since 1989.
Abdul Hamid Mirza of Malhi, Choha Khalsa
Brother of Admiral Abdul Aziz Mirza, Mirza Abdul Hamid is a veteran politician who has served several terms as the Nazim of Tehsil Kahuta and what is now, tehsil Kallar Syedan.
Ch. Iftikhar Ahmed Warsi (son of Ch. Fazal Marhoom) Dhera Kanyal
Belonging to a prominent family of Dhera Kanyal, Ch. Iftikhar is a senior politician, who served several terms as Chairman of the Bewal Union Council. For family and health reasons, Choudhry Iftikhar has withdrawn himself completely from public life for the last couple of years. Friends and supporters are watching to see if he will re-launch his political career in the forthcoming elections.
Chaudhry Shafiq Ahmed of
Dhok Baba Faiz Baksh and Slough, UK
Ch. Mahmood Hussain of Maira Shams and Luton, UK
Ch. Mahmood Hussain is a businessman and elected Councillor in Luton Borough Council, UK. He has taken an keen interest of not only his local community in Luton but also welfare and development projects in his native Maira Shams.
Sufi Muhammad Ikhlaq of Dhera Kanyal
Principal of Hira School and Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami, Bewal.
Sufi Ikhlaq is from a prominent family of Dhera Kanyal. He is an experienced politician who has contested elections for the post of Nazim in Bewal. Under his leadership, Hera School has grown rapidly and attained a reputation for educational excellence. Sufi Ikhlaq is a highly respected figure in Bewal who is also involved with Islamic dawah.
Saleem Akram of Morrah Nangial (Maira Shams)
Saleem Akram is a well known and popular personality of the Bewal region. He has contested local elections in Suin Cheemian Union Council several times. Son of Brigadier Akram (Marhoom), Saleem Akram is also the President of PML(N) Gujar Khan tehsil. With the return of PML(N) leadership to Pakistan, there is speculation that Saleem Akram may well be given a ticket to stand for the Punjab Provincial Assembly for his party.
Following in the foot-steps of his grandfather, Saleem Akram's son won a commission in Pakistan Army in 2006.
Haji Mehboob Hussain and brothers (s/o Haji Ismail Marhoom) of Morrah Hafyal and Bradford.
Haji Mehboob and brothers own the highly successful chain of ‘Nawab Restaurants’ with branches in Bradford, Manchester and in the holiday resorts of Southern Spain. In 2002, the brothers opened a new branch of their popular restaurant on the A6 in Levenshulme, Manchester, which has been billed as the biggest ‘curry house’ in Europe.
Choudhry Fiaz and brothers (sons of Ch. Zar Marhoom) of Dhera Kanyal
Choudhry Mohammad Fiaz and brothers own a large supermarket in North London as well as a wholesale halal meat business. They have spent a large amount of capital on building the beautiful Masjid and Dars at the Darbar of ‘Saeeh Muhammad Jee’. The brothers have also invested heavily in property and agricultural land in the Bewal area. Choudhry Fiaz and brothers have been active in local charity work through the Saeen Muhammad Jee Trust and Bewal Welfare Trust.
Choudhry Naseer Ahmed (son of Ch. Khadim Hussain) of Dhera Kanyal
Ch. Naseer is a property developer in Islamabad involved in several prestigious mega projects. From humble beginnings, Ch. Naseer has risen to become one of the major players on Islamabad's property scene. He has recently won a PKR 2.5 Crore contract to build the Resham Memorial Hospital in Nala Musalmana. He is believed to be one of the wealthiest men of Bewal.
Raja Jehangir Akbar and brothers of Dhok Bangial, Choha Khalsa
Businessman and President of the Pothowar Press Club, Raja Jehangir hails from one of the most influential families of Choha Khalsa. He is the son of the prominent Muslim League politician of Choha, Babu Ali Akber. These days, Raja Jehangir divides his time between Choha Khalsa and Luton, England.
Raja Jehangir's brother is a retired Colonel who now works for the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
Dr Atique of Dheri and Birmingham
A consultant surgeon in Birmingham, UK, Dr Atique is the chairman of the Abdur Rahman Memorial Trust. He has shown great vision and leadership in the setting up of the Bewal International Hospital. Dr Atique belongs to an influential family of Dheri; he is the cousin of Ch. Javed Kausar advocate.
Imran Abbas of Morrah Bhottian and Cambridge
A nephew of the naib Nazim of Bewal, Muhammad Shabbir Bhatti, Imran is the first known man or woman of Bewal to have studied at the world famous University of Cambridge, UK. He is a final year student of medicine.
Choudhry Iftikhar, (s/o Choudhry Taj) of Changa Maira
A social worker and close friend of former PM Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, Choudhry Iftikhar is settled in London. He is known to have hosted former PM Jamali in London several times. In 2004, he invited PM Jamali to his home in Changa Maira. Although not a politician, Choudhry Iftikhar managed to use his personal friendship with the PM to make Changa Maira the only rural place in tehsil Gujar Khan to have mainline gas supply.
Malik Muhammad Fiaz of Morrah Sandhu
Malik Fiaz is the senior vice president of PML(Q) Gujar Khan. He has been playing a leading part in local community affairs for some time.
Ch. Altaf Hussain (son of Ch. Amir Zaman) of Dhok Baba Faiz Buksh
Former deputy Nazim of Samot Union Council, Ch. Altaf is the owner of Amir Zaman Textile and Woollen Mill located in Dhok Baba Faiz Buksh. This mill which he set up over ten years ago, employes nearly a hundred people. Ch. Altaf has a degree in textile engineering from the UK and has lived in Canada and the USA.
Brigadier Shafiq of Changa Bangial
Brigadier Shafiq has recently retired from military service. If you can tell us more about the current activities of this distinguished personality of our area, please email us.
Dr Irfan Dad of Dhera Kanyal and Glasgow, Scotland
From a prominent family of Dhera Kanyal, Dr Irfan has a highly successful dental practice in Glasgow. He is the brother in law of the first Muslim Member of Parliament in Britain, Mohammad Sarwar MP.
Brigadier Mazhar-ul-Haq of Morrah Heerahn (U.C. Changa Bangial)
Brigadier Mazhar is now settled in Rawalpindi.
Ch. Ibrar Ahmed & brothers (sons of Ch. Fazal Marhoom) Dhera Kanyal
Choudhry Ibrar is a successful businessman with a supermarket and several ‘take -aways’ in London. He is believed to have made major investments in agricultural land in Pakistan. Ch. Ibrar is a highly respected personality in the Bewal region who is known for his love of Islam and simplicity in everyday life.
Ch. Tassaduq Hussain (s/o Haji Mohammad Ramzan Marhoom) of Changa Bangial and Luton, England
Choudhry Tassadduq is a successful businessman and property developer in England. Owning many shops, houses and flats, he is a major player on the property scene in Bedfordshire. His family has set up a free dispensary in Changa Bangial for the benefit of the local people.
Shabana Zeib of Slough, UK
Shabana is a former elected councillor in the Slough Borough Council. She is perhaps the youngest woman of our area to hold elected office and takes an active interest in the affairs of the local community.
Ch. Sabbar Iqbal of Lye Cross and Dhera Kanyal
Ch. Sabbar owns two successful restaurants in the West Midlands, UK, including the famous 'Pepper & Spice' Restaurant in Lye Cross.
Javed Iqbal of Batley, UK,
Javed Iqbal and sons own several successful businesses in Yorkshire, including Shezan Fast Food Restaurant in Batley and Bizpoke Carpets of Dewsbury. Bizpoke Carpets are in a very specialised market; they manufacture beautiful carpets of all designs specially to order.
The Pothohar region has produced many great people who are, sadly, no longer with us. Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajioun (To Allah we belong and to Him is our return). For the benefit of our younger generation, Gujarkhan2day has decided to include the greatest of these people in our list.
Raja Ghulam Ameer Bhatti
(Marhoom) of Sandal
Mirza Yaqoob Butt (Marhoom) of Morrah Hafyal.
Mirza Yaqoob Butt was a senior and respected political figure in the area. He was a leading activist of the PPP and known to be a close confidant of former PM Benazir Bhutto. He died unexpectedly several years ago. (May Allah bless his soul)
Haji Ashiq Hussain (Marhoom) of Dheri.
A successful businessman, Haji Ashiq took part in local elections in Bewal several times. With a jovial and ever cheerful character, he was one of the most recognisable faces of Bewal. Following a tragic accident in London, Haji Ashiq passed away several years ago. (May Allah bless his soul)
Subedar Ashraf Kiyani of Morrah Hafyal
Following his retirement as a JCO, Subedar Ashraf was active in the local politics of Bewal for over a decade. He was elected councillor to the Bewal Union Council several times and belonged to PML (N).
Brigadier Akram (Marhoom) of Maira Shams
Following a distinguished career in the Army, Brigadier Akram took up politics upon retirement. He successfully contested elections under the banner of PPP and served as an MPA for the area in the early 80’s. Brigadier Akram is widely accredited for the building of the first “pakki” road from Gujar Khan to Bewal via his home village, Morrah Nagial / Maira Shams. (May Allah bless his soul)
Ch. Muhammad Khalid (Marhoom) of 'Kalian Sialian' (near Smot)
Choudhry Khalid was a renowned politician who served several terms as the MPA (PPP) for tehsil Kahuta (and what is now tehsil Kallar Syedan). He is remembered fondly by the people of the area for the development work he carried out in his area. Kalian Sialian is a very remote hilly area. Ch. Khalid is credited with taking electricity and roads to even the most isolated homes perched on the hills.
Raja Sajawal (Marhoom) of Narrali
Raja Sajawal is a local hero and legend who was feared by the ‘Thanedars’ (police chiefs) in tehsil Gujar Khan and beyond. A Robin Hood figure who, it is said, often robbed the rich to give to the poor. He lived in ‘Dhok Sajawal’, in Narrali, Union Council Changa Bangial. (May Allah bless his soul)
There are many stories about the life and times of this extraordinary person. Here is one you may hear if you speak to an elder of the Bewal area:
The Tale of a Great Legend
Raja Sajawal was an ordinary young man living his life in the Narrali area until some powerful local individuals began to give him a tough time. So tormented was he by their oppression that he decided to take up arms and become and outlaw. As a result he became known throughout the Pothwar region as "Sajawal Daku". He took up arms and began to redress what he perceived to be the injustices in the area. It is said that he often robbed the rich to give to the poor. His power and influence grew (in the 1960's?) and no other 'Daku' was allowed to operate on his patch between the town of Gujar Khan and the river at Dhan Galli.
What sets Raja Sajawal apart from any other 'Daku' the region has ever known is that, he not only had a desire to side with the down-trodden but also his personal bravery and daring raids. It is said that when he went to rob people, he often told them that he has coming for them! Many attempts by Punjab Police to curtail his power and influence ended in failure. Once a brave Police Chief at Gujar Khan Police Station sent a message to Raja Sajawal that his days were up and that he was going to be arrested and thrown in jail. Raja Sajawal immediately sent a message back to the 'Thanedar' to tell him that he was coming to the police station. Raja Sajawal took a party of well armed 'Dakus' to Gujar Khan and attacked the police station. Following a long gun fight, the police personnel who had not been killed or injured abandoned the police station and fled for their lives. Raja Sajawal hit the headlines in all the newspapers for his unprecedented and daring attack. This was the event that really turned Raja Sajawal into a hero and a legend in the Pothwar region.
Some considerable time later, something happened in Raja
Sajawal's personal life which turned the direction of his life for ever.
There are different narrations about what exactly happened but it was
something that caused a major change in Raja Sajawal's personality and
thinking. He laid down his arms and renounced his past. He began to pray
and made every effort to live like a pious Muslim. He expressed a desire
to help the local people and entered mainstream politics. Perhaps his
crowning achievement was his success in local elections and appointment
as the 'chairman' of Changa Bangial Union Council.
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