Syed Kumail Hyder Shah is the fourth generation of his family in politics. He is the president of the Local Council Association of Sindh, and is also running an NGO to change and ameliorate the lives of underprivileged people. Syed Kumail Hyder Shah’s grandfather, Syed Ghulam Shabbir Shah, was a member of the Provincial Assembly of Sindh from 1971 to 1976. His father, Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, is currently the provincial Senior Minister for Sindh.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Who is Syed Kumail Hyder?
Syed Kumail Hyder: You can describe me as a very focused person. I love my family and have a great circle of friends but at the same time I’m very introverted and love my own company.
I put my faith in Allah in everything I do, be it work or my personal life. Alhumdullilah He has never let me down.
You come from a leading political family of Pakistan. Does that bring added pressure?
SKH: Family does bring pressure and responsibilities, with definitely some perks and privileges. I always pray to Allah to make me capable of bringing even more honour and respect to my family’s name.
What was your first success story?
SKH: My first success was when I founded my own non-governmental organisation and started working for the underprivileged sector of our society. That has definitely made an impact in my life and has given me immense peace as well.
How do you juggle your political work and philanthropy?
SKH: There is not much to juggle as politics is basically social work if you do it genuinely and with a sincere heart. It’s about reaching people, trying to make their lives better and playing a positive and constructive role in society.
Can you tell us more about your NGO?
SKH: I’m heading two NGOs:
* LCA Sindh (Local Council Association).
* WO (Well-being Operative Organization).
I started my NGO career from WO organization, which I always support for healthcare, educational purposes and youth activities.
LCA is a body which comprises a chairman, mayors, councillors, and all local elected members. It has also been a key milestone for my WO organization, while at the same time I became the elected president of LCA with WO being a major support.
Both are under my supervision and are very close to my heart.
WO is my baby project, and I have been nurturing it for years. LCA plays a vital role in Sindh, and here I would like to add that the Punjab government is facing a setback in this time of crisis and the Corona pandemic because they dissolved this body.
I am the proud president of LCA and WO, and we are in good shape in this hour of crisis because of our hard work and good policies.
What does a typical day look like for you?
SKH: As I’m regular in my prayers I usually sleep after offering fajr namaz. When I wake up, normally I have to meet with people who have arrived to discuss their issues and problems. I always have lunch with the constituents and notables of the area. In the evenings, I go out to meet people and sometimes there are functions to attend also. I like to relax after dinner so for that I go to Jahan e Kumail (my farmhouse) in Sukkur. It is a beautiful place, just like its name. I unwind by listening to music and spending time with my friends.
What are your plans for the future?
SKH: It’s my dream that one day I should be able to make a state-of-the-art school in my hometown of Rohri, Sukkur. I want to provide quality education to those who cannot afford it.
Secondly, I want to move forward with my political career.
Your motto in life ?
SKH: To make my father proud.
All time favourite philanthropist?
SKH: Abdul Sattar Edhi.
Last book you read?
SKH: I’m not a book person but I can tell you the last season I watched on Netflix: Roman Empire.
SKH: Zegna, Zilli.
Ideal vacation ?
SKH: London and Scotland.
SKH: Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
INTERVIEW: MEHR KASSIM
PHOTOGRAPHER: COURTESY OF SYED KUMAIL HYDER SHAH