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17. Amir Ali, Captain, Varas - page 55

Vali, the son of Rehmu Bhagat was a devoted person in Bhuj, Kutchh. He left Kutchh for Sind, and ultimately settled in Karachi. Soon after the retirement of Mukhi Alidina Asani (1793-1881) from the post of the Estate Agent in 1873, Imam Hasan Ali Shah appointed him the second Estate Agent for Karachi and Sind. The Imam also bestowed upon him the title of Varas. His descendant became known as the Valliani family in Karachi and Sind. Varas Vali rendered his services with devotion and died in 1878. The third Estate Agent after him was Varas Basaria, who died in 1918. Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah then appointed Varas Ibrahim, the son of Varas Vali as the fourth Estate Agent. Varas Ibrahim (d. 1924) retired in 1920 and he was followed by Wazir Rahim Basaria (d. 1927) as the next Estate Agent. The sixth Estate Agent was Varas Ghulam Hussain (1938), the son of Varas Ibrahim and he was followed by Karim (1881-1968), the son of Varas Ibrahim as the seventh Estate Agent for Karachi and Sind. In sum, the office of the Estate Agent remained in Asani, Valliani and Basaria families.
Not only Karim was the recipient of the title Wazir, but the Imam also granted him the unique title of Senior Wazir in 1954. He retired in 1954 due to his eye weakness. His son, Captain Amir Ali, the eighth Estate Agent, followed him. Senior Wazir Karim died on Wednesday, October 23, 1968 at the age of 87 years. Upon his death, the Imam sent following urgent message on October 25, 1968:-

URGENT PARIS 25th Oct., 1968

Time 15-15

Urgent

Wazir Amirali Currim,

Care Mumtaz,

Karachi.

I was deeply grieved to hear of the sad demise of your beloved father Senior Vazir Currim. I send my most affectionate special paternal maternal loving blessing for the soul of late Senior Vazir Currim and pray for the eternal soul of late Senior Vazir Currim and I pray that eternal peace rests upon his soul. Late Senior Currim's long devoted service to my Pakistan jamat, my grandfather, my family and myself will always be warmly remembered and he will be dearly missed by us all. I send my most affectionate loving blessings to Varsiani Fatmabai, Vazir Zulfikarally, yourself and all members of your family my most affectionate paternal maternal loving blessings for your courage and fortitude in your irreparable loss. Affectionately Agakhan. Co Urgent.

Varas Captain Amir Ali, the son of Senior Wazir Karim was born in September 4, 1910. He completed his Inter Arts in D.J. Sind College, Karachi in 1928-29. He proceeded on his first foreign trip in 1933 when the historic Indo-British Round Table Conference was held in London, where the Imam granted him an audience in Ritz Hotel. He brought the Imam's messages in India for Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah and Sir Abdullah Haroon (1872-1942), insisting upon them to keep up the pressure through the columns of the press for the separation of Sind from Bombay Presidency. These messages induced Captain Amir Ali to start an English weekly, called 'Sind Sentinel' with Dr. Ghulam Ali Allana (1906-1985) and himself as co-editor. It played a vital role for the cause till April 1, 1936 when the ultimate object of Sind separation was achieved. In summary, Sind became a separate province under the 1936 Provincial Autonomy Reforms. He also closed down the publication of his weekly paper in 1936.

His marriage took place in June, 1935 in a simple ceremony and laid the best example for the affluent class. The Imam was happy of his simple marriage and sent a telegraphic message to his father from Europe, which reads: 'Best blessings Karachi children your family entertainment marriage occasion. Delighted good news economic marriage ceremony.'

There was only one Supreme Council in Karachi till 1935. In 1936, the Imam visited Karachi and introduced young blood in the newly formed Ismailia Supreme Council for Sind. He was appointed member with Dr. Ghulam Ali Allana, Wazir Dr. Pir Muhammad Hoodbhoy and Varas Abbas Ali Muhammad, etc. His age at that time was 26 years and was the youngest among the members. He was also appointed the member of Educational Board in 1936 and Honorary Secretary of Janbai Maternity Home in Karachi.

In 1941, he joined the army at the instance of Prince Aly S. Khan, who felt that there were no Ismailis in the army and someone should initiate. So, he responded and was almost the first Ismaili to join the armed forces in the Infantry Division during the second world war in 1941 as a King's Emergency Commissioned Officer, and rose from 2nd Lieutenant to Temporary Major's rank. He was sent to Mahow for a training of 18 months. Due to the emergency, the course was crammed into six months. He was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in May, 1942. He was posted mainly in Assam up to the river Chindwin on Burma border, and was charged in the famous siege of Kohina and Manipur on the Burma front and became the recipient of three war service medals. When the war ended in 1945, he was given an option for release in July, 1946 and granted the rank of an Honorary Captain.

On return to civilian life, he applied himself to agriculture in Sind around Tando Bagho. He worked under the guidance of his maternal uncle, Wazir Sabzali. Later, he went to his rice mill in Badin and supervised it for over two years.

His father was an honorary Estate Agent and his weakness of sight did not allow him to work. The Imam relieved him in 1954 with a special title of Senior Wazir and appointed his son Captain Amir Ali as the next Estate Agent. He was the 4th in succession from his great-grandfather, Varas Vali.

Prince Aly S. Khan also appointed him his honorary Estate Agent for Pakistan, including for Prince Sadruddin and Prince Amyn Muhammad. The Imam appointed him as his constituted Attorney for Pakistan. He was also the Liaison Officer of the Imam for the Ismailis of Iran, Iraq, Shaikhdoms of Persian and Arabian Gulfs, Afghanistan, Burma, Malaya and Sri Lanka.

He was appointed an Ex-Officio Member on the Ismailia Federal Council for Pakistan and all other Supreme and Local Councils, and also on the Economic Planning & Grants Council for Ismailis in Pakistan.

During the Coronation Ceremony of the King of Iran on October 26, 1967 at Golestan Palace, Tehran, the Imam summoned him in Iran. On those days, it perplexed Reza Shah Pahelvi, the King of Iran to see him to take away and place the shoes of the Imam. The King asked, 'Is he your servant?' The Imam said, 'No, he is one of my family members.'

He died on December 21, 1978 at Karachi. The Imam sent following message on December 22, 1978 through the Ismailia Federal Council for Pakistan:

I have learnt with the deepest sorrow of the passing away of one of my senior most jamati leaders in Pakistan, Wazir Amirali Currim. I send my most affectionate warmest special loving blessings for the soul of late Wazir Amirali Currim and I pray that his soul may rest in eternal peace.

The late Wazir Amirali Currim's long and devoted and able services since the time of my late grandfather will always be remembered by the jamat and by myself and he will be greatly missed by us all. His passing away is a profound loss to my jamat and to me personally for Wazir Amirali had set an example of dedication and hard work, for the jamat in Pakistan and elsewhere, and I had many occasions to know how deeply the late Wazir cared about the jamat's unity and spiritual and worldly happiness. Late Wazir Amirali Currim had succeeded his father as Estate Agent to the Imam, that is to one of the highest offices in the jamat and in doing so he was continuing an admirable tradition of service to the house of the Imam, that his father had begun before him.

Her Highness the Begum joins me in sending our heartfelt sympathies to the family of the late Wazir Amirali Currim and at this time of sorrow and bereavement they are all particularly in my heart, thoughts and prayers.

The Imam also sent another message to his wife, Varasiani Kulsum and family as follows:

I have learnt with great pain and sorrow of the sudden passing away of your husband Wazir Amirali Currim. I send you and sons Aziz and Salim and all the members of your family my most affectionate paternal maternal special blessings for service with best loving blessings for the soul of late Vazir Amirali. I pray that his soul may rest in eternal peace. The late Wazir's devoted services since the time of my late grandfather will always be remembered by my jamat of Pakistan and elsewhere and by myself and he will be greatly missed by us all.

Your late husband was one of the most trusted and loved spiritual children of the worldwide jamat and his worldly ceasing is a profound loss to the jamat and to me. He will always be present in my heart and thoughts and prayers.

Her Highness the Begum joins me in sending you and your family our heartfelt condolences in your painful bereavement.

I send you all my most affectionate special loving blessings for courage and strength to bear this tragic loss. You are all in my heart and prayers.

Prince Sadruddin also sent following telegraphic message to this effect:

For family late Wazir Captain Amirali Currim deeply distressed. Just heard tragic news-sudden demise. My dear friend Captain Amirali whose dedicated lifelong service to my family will never be forgotten. My late father equally appreciated his invaluable cooperation and present Hazar Imam and he can never be replaced. My wife and myself share your terrible loss and grief. We pray the Almighty that he may rest in peace. Please accept our most affectionate thoughts.

Prince Amyn Muhammad also sent following message:

Have learnt with great pain and sorrow passing away of Wazir Amirali Currim. Please accept my heartfelt condolence in your great loss. Vazir Amirali Currim's devoted services since the time of my late grandfather for the Imam and the community will always be remembered by us all.

I pray that his soul may rest in eternal peace. May Allah give you all strength and courage to bear this great loss.

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Amir Ali, Captain, Varas

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