Dr Arif Alvi and First Lady Samina Alvi

Dr. Arif Alvi is a politician, dentist and a parliamentarian. He is a founding member of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and was the Secretary-General of the party from 2006 till 2013. Dr. Arif Alvi had previously contested the 1997 general elections as a provincial assembly candidate from DHA area in Karachi and then later again in the 2002 general elections as a National Assembly candidate. In 2013 he was elected as a Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan from Constituency NA-250 Karachi. More than 76,000 people who stood up for change voted for him. This was despite a serious law and order situation, blatant rigging and threats to people not to cast their votes.

Dr Arif Alvi is happily married with his wife Samina Alvi and they have four children, all married and settled with their families. Dr Alvi enjoys his grandchildren tremendously and considers them as one of greatest joys and pleasures of his life. He used to play squash, cricket, hockey etc in his younger days and now enjoys casual games as well as watching them.

He belongs to a well educated family. He received his early education in his home town in Karachi. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in Dentistry from the University of Punjab. He graduated with Master’s degree in Prosthodontics from University of Michigan. He also earned Master’s degree in Orthodontics from the University of Pacific. He served as a President of Asia Pacific Dental Federation. Dr Arif Alvi is One of the few original authors of the Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf party constitution. He Started out his political career serving as the President of the student union at the de’Montmonrency College of Dentistry in Lahore, Pakistan. In 1969, Dr. Alvi was active in the student

movement during General Ayub Khan era and fought for democracy in Pakistan. During one of the protests on the Mall Road in Lahore he was shot and wounded and still proudly carries a bullet embedded in his right arm as a mark of his struggle for democracy in Pakistan. He was the Jamaat-e-Islami candidate for Provincial Assembly in Karachi in 1979. However, elections were not held. Arif Alvi had discussions with Imran Khan before PTI was formed and became a founding member founding member in 1996.

He has been serving in the CEC since 1996 without a break. He was appointed the President of PTI Sindh Chapter in 1997. In 2001, he was promoted to Vice President of PTI. In 2006, Dr. Arif Alvi became the Secretary General of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf until 2013. Dr. Arif Alvi contested as a Sindh Provincial Assembly candidate from Defence / Clifton area in 1997 and later in 2002 as a National Assembly candidate from Baldia in Karachi. He won the NA-250 National Assembly seat in the general elections held in 2013 with a huge margin. His political career has seen several ups and downs, but he remained steadfast in his stance to make Pakistan a better country to live in.

In 1997 Dr. Arif Alvi was declared a Diplomat of the American Board of Orthodontics and was the primary author of the constitution of the Pakistan Dental Association and has been the elected President of the Pakistan Dental Association.

He was Chairman of the first Pakistan International Dental Conference in 1981. In 1987 he was Chairman of the Third Pakistan International Dental Conference which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Junejo and was the Patron of the Fifth Pakistan International Dental Conference inaugurated by the President of Pakistan. He is also Chairman of the 28th Asia Pacific Dental Congress.

He has Fellowships of the International College of Dentists, Fellow of The American College of Dentists and of The Pierre Fauchard Academy in recognition of his outstanding academic, clinical and professional achievements. Dean of the Faculty of Orthodontics of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan. In 2006 he was elected as the President of Asia Pacific Dental Federation.

In 2007 he was elected as a Councelor of the FDI World Dental Federation, the first time a Pakistani has been elected. More than a 100 countries voted him in twice for three year terms each.

Dr Arif Alvi is known to write occasionally on a blog titled Teeth Maestro and now writes on the NA-250 Blog. He has been recognised as one of the leading dentists in Karachi. 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.

Dr Alvi was made a Trustee of the trust established by Shirinbai Jinnah (Quaid-e- Azam’s siter) to which she gift all her worldly belongings including the Mohatta Palace in Karachi. He is the Managing Trustee of the said Trust.

He is a trustee of many other charitable organisation and is involved in many philanthropic movements. As a first lady Begum Samina Alvi follow the footstep her Husband and launched the elimination of breast cancer campaign under the auspices of Pink Ribbon in Islamabad. She urges the media to play an active role in creating awareness among masses about the disease.

Published in Melange Intl. Magazine October 2018.

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