Haji Hashim Ahmed Kath
The Late Haji Hashim Kath is counted among few important personages of the community who always remained in the forefront of public service, religious affairs and social activities. The late held a distinguished and high position in the trade and industry of Pakistan. He was born in -------- India in 1919. His father Haji Ahmed run his business in a small shop. In those days homes in India were of unhaked bricks and roads were unmettalled and there was no facility of water and electric supply. The late Haji Hashim Kath passed his childhood in great straits under straitened circumstances that caused a flutter but he boldly endured the brunt of unfavorable circumstances. After the death of Haji Sahibs grandfather his father Haji Ahmed wrapped up his business in -------- and shifted to his village Marwasar. There was no educational institution those days in Marwasar, so Haji Sahib could not adorn himself with education. Despite of being uneducated he was fully conversant with eight languages, which reflected his mental ability.
Haji Hashim's father was a religious man and wished strongly that his son took control of his business in his hands so that he could spare more time for worship of God. When he asked his son the son replied humbly that I am too young to control the shop. But when his mother insisted to do so there remained no remedy or ruse. In 1923 when Haji Hashim was only of 4 years age his father betrothed him with Amna Bai who lived in Karachi together with her parents when 1932 when Haji Sahib reached the age of 13 years, still far from attaining maturity he was married in Karachi. One years after the marriage Haji Hashim requested his father to be allowed to start his business in Karachi. In 1934 with the permission of his father he left his ancestral village and settled in Karachi permanently. When he arrived Karachi he held only 1600 silver coins with which he started his our business. Haji Hashim rented a shop of a petty shopkeeper Hindu named Raisham with the help of his uncle Saleh Muhammad in Juna Market Khajoor Bazaar and started his business with the grace of God he gained net profit Rs.125,000 only in one year. After two years he spread out his business and began trade in Indian herbs and made rapid progress. In 1936 he sent for his parents from paternal village Marwarsar to Karachi.
When in 1947 Hindus began to migrate to India leaving their business a Hindu tobacco merchant sold up his whole business to Haji Sahib for Rs.6 Lacs and shifted to India. Haji Sahib gradually drew away his attention from indigenous medicine and grave supreme attention to tobacco business. In 1947 he established his first commercial enterprise with the name of Haji Hashim Haji Ahmed Brothers and established its branches in west and East Pakistan.
In 1954 Haji Hashim stepped in industry. Firstly he purchased Jhelum Textile Mills in Karachi but after sold up due to problems of workers. In 1956 established Golden Bengal Tobacco company and in 1964 Golden Match works factory in East Pakistan but due to war of 1971 and creation of Bangladesh he lost that all. Haji Sahib started Mogul Tobacco Company in Karachi but closed it in 1987. In 1967 established Mehran sugar Mills in Tando Allah Yar and in 1973 Molasses Company. In 1973 he purchased Valika Textile Mills, which was afterwards named as USMAN Textile Mills.
Over and above his another great preoccupation was service of humanity. In 1982 USMAN Memorial Hospital named after his deceased sons name and USMAN Institute of technology are living examples there of.
Haji Hashim always complied with the service of humanity to bear a hand is the marriage of poor girls helped poor ones to be able to earn daily bread gave substantial medical help to needy ones besides educational field not only in community but out of it as well. Over and above he took special interest in the construction of schools and mosques of which Masjid USMAN in Gulshan Iqbal is a shinning example.
Haji Sahib devoted his attention to public service and entrusted his business responsibilities to his illustrious sons Qasim Ebrahim and Muhammad Hussain.
After the demise of his brother Haji Dawood he did not remain in the pink health and was taken ill on 27th July 1997 he breathed his last and his soul left this mundan world to reach its external abode. May God bless his soul!
His death is a great blow not only for his family but also for whole Okhai Memon Community. Though he does not exist among us today, never the less his sweet memories and warm disposition and selfless national and social services are still preserved in the entire depth of our hearts and will ever remain resplendent and splendidly brilliant.