Ghulam Ali Allana traced his descent from a certain Haji, and whose son, Vali was a small merchant in Lahari Bandar, Sind. When the port of Lahari Bandar dried up, Vali came in Jerruk, where he lived with his son Saleh. The son of Saleh was Aloo, whose business expanded as far as Bhuj, Kutchh. Natho, the son of Aloo lived for some time in Bhuj, Kutchh and then settled down in Mulla Katiar, Sind. Nathos son was Khalfan, who migrated towards Karachi with his wife, called Lakhanni. Khalfan was the care-taker (jamatbhai) in the Kharadhar Jamatkhana. He had four sons, Allana, Pesan, Ghulam Hussain and Mohammad; and four daughters, Fatima, Khatija, Zainab and Mianbai. Allana joined a Jewish firm in Karachi to repair the watches. In 1882, Allana started his own small shop of repairing and selling the watches, and ultimately he was destined to become a leading dealer of watches. Allana was a thrice-married man. He had two sons, Hussain and Fijey from his first wife. He had no child from his second wife. His third wife was Sharafi, the daughter of Mukhi Hashu, and the mother of Dr. Ghulam Ali Allana.
Dr. Ghulam Ali Allana was born in Karachi on August 22, 1906. He took his education in Sind Madressah, which he left while studying Standard II English in 1920 at St. Patricks High School. After matriculation, he enrolled at the D.J. Science College, in Sind. Later on, he was studied at Ferguson College, in Poona. He came from a well-known business family of Karachi, and himself was the director of Alsons Industries Ltd., Madorina Watch Co. Ltd. and Allana Watch Co. Ltd. He had also taken an active interest in trade leadership before the partition of India.
He was closely associated with Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah during the decisive and final phase of the establishment of Pakistan. Even after the appearance of Pakistan on the map of the world, he continued to work for his party and became the Finance Secretary of All Pakistan Muslim League. He was also appointed as the Chairman of the Press Commission of Pakistan in 1948. In 1949, he founded the Islamic Chambers of Commerce & Industry and was its President for five years, the longest term held by any individual. He was also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Pakistan Iron and Steel Syndicate Ltd., the Director of Jubilee Insurance Co. Ltd.
He represented Pakistan at scores of International Conferences. He was elected to the Governing Body of the International Labour Organization for three consecutive terms of three years each from 1948 to 1957, representing the employers of the world. He notably represented in San Francisco in 1948, in Geneva in 1950 and 1951 and Sri Lanka in 1950. In May, 1948, he was elected unanimously the Mayor of Karachi city. In recognition of his meritorious services to free trade in the free world, he was unanimously elected in 1956 the President of the International Organization of Employers, with its headquarters in Brussels. He represented Pakistan at the United Nations and the Economic and Social Committee of the United Nations. He was a member of the Karachi Municipal Corporation for over twenty years, and as Mayor of Karachi, he represented Pakistan at the World Mayors Conference in Geneva.
He was conferred the customary Golden Keys to the cities of San Francisco and Philadelphia, the Freedom of the City of Paris, and Keys to Buffalo, Patterson, Prague, Geneva and Rome, which was the highest honour a city paid to a distinguished visitor. He was also the leader of Pakistans non-official Goodwill Trade Mission to 11 countries, the member of Karachi Hajj Port Committee and the member of Karachi Road Transport Authority (1956-1958). In addition he was a member of the Pakistan Legislative Assembly, General Secretary of Sind Provincial Muslim League and President of Karachi Muslim League.
Dr. Ghulam Ali Allana made a tour of Europe in 1950 as the head of a non-official trade mission. He had a meeting with the Imam in Paris in May, 1950. He had also a chance to see the Imam before leaving Europe at Lausanne in the bungalow, known as Chateau Dorigne on July 17, 1950. Wazir Karim Ibrahim (1881-1968), Wazir Ghulam Hussain Khalfan (1887-1967), etc. were with him. He told the Imam that he intended to leave London on July 22, 1950 and would stay in Syria for a week. The Imam told him that he should visit Salamia, Khawabi and other places in Syria, and gave him two written messages, one for the Syrian jamat in French and another for the jamat of Pakistan, Iraq and Persian Gulf. He came with his colleagues in Damascus on July 23 and was well received by Amir Mirza, Amir Abdullah Tamir, the member of Syrian parliament and Amir Mustapha. They left Damascus on July 25 and reached Salamia by car, and conveyed the message of the Imam. They also visited Masiyaf, Tali Dara, Khawabi, Kafat, Mzarah, Malki, Bet Khasrun, Jooa al-Shail, Akar Zacti, Kharbatel, Faras, Beo Dibeh, etc. Finally, they arrived in Tripoli from Khawabi and then went on to Beirut and Khaldun, and reached Damascus and returned to Karachi.
He was also a member of Pakistans Delegation to the General Assembly of the United Nations in September, 1962, and was elected the Vice-Chairman of the 2nd Committee of the 17th session of the U.N. He also became Chairman of the UNCHR and led a UN working group to study the position of human rights in Chile (1975-1979). In 1979, he was elected as a Chairman of the United Nations Trust Fund to render financial and legal relief to political victims in Chile. In recognition of his outstanding services, he was presented the United Nations Peace Award in 1976. The Human Rights Organization of Pakistan also awarded him the Human Rights Medal in 1978. He attracted international recognition when he was elected Chairman of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. He was elected the Vice-Chairman of Economic and Financial Committee of the United Nations General Assembly. He was also elected as the Chairman of the Afro-Asian and Latin American Group of the Countries, which participated in Cairo Conference. During the session of the General Assembly, he was appointed as an Acting Leader of Pakistan Delegation. In view of his outstanding services, an important road in Kharadhar, Karachi has been named after him.
He married Jenubai in the year 1928, with whom he had two daughters and a son. She was elected as a member of the Sind Legislative Assembly in 1937 during the time of separation of Sind from Bombay Presidency. She continued to be a M.L.A. until 1952. She was the first Muslim lady in Indo-Pakistan to be appointed as a parliamentary Secretary in 1931, a post that she held upto 1951 in the Sind government.
Ghulam Ali Allana was recognized as a poet of merit in English, and his poems were published in Pakistan, England and United States. His work Presenting Pakistan Poetry published by Pakistan Writers Guild, containing the verses rendered into English poems from Urdu, Bengali, Sindhi, Gujrati, Punjabi, Pushto and Baluchi. It is the only book of its kind in literature being a pioneering venture in a new literary field. His poems have also been published in three anthologies of English verse, namely Commonwealth Poetry of Today, published by Beclose & Sons, Commonwealth Poems published by John Murray and Spring Anthology of 1967. The distinguished poems included respectively are the Specter is on the Move, I had Reached your Door Steps and Pilgrimage. In view of his literary genius, the international literary community honoured him with a number of awards and distinctions. He was a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, London, Vice-President of United Poets Laureate International and Poet Laureate of Pakistan. The President of Philippines awarded him a gold medal for poetry. He also received the Laureate Crown for poetry by Poets Laureate International, the Certificate of merit by Centro Studie, Scambi International, Rome and a medal for outstanding contribution to Literature and Culture by the same body.
The Secretary General Kurt Waldheim awarded the Peace Medal of the UN once again to Dr. Ghulam Ali Allana on November 25, 1977 for his distinguished services on a global basis in the humanitarian field. The International Leonardo da Vinci Academy of Rome conferred a Diploma of Honours on him on October 11, 1980.
Huzur Wazir Allanas contribution of community services was also innumerable. He was appointed a member of the Ismailia Supreme Council, Karachi in 1933. In 1954, he was elevated to the Presidentship of the Supreme Council, a post that he held until 1961. In 1961, the Imam appointed him as the Constitutional Advisor to the jamat.
In appreciation of his incredible services, Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah crowned him with the title of Huzur Varas in 1951.
It should be added that he played a vital role in obtaining the plot for the present Jamatkhana of Kharadhar, Karachi. In this context, a plaque was placed in the hall of the Jamatkhana by order of the Imam in February, 1970.
The creative poet in Dr. Allana remained active to the last moment. From his deathbed, he wrote on Thursday, March 7, 1985 the following verses:-
If you want to live, you must continue to eat;
Oh! when you enter the grave, the worms willi>
make a rich feast; of your lifeless body. Huzur Varas Dr. Ghulam Ali Allana passed away on Friday, March 8, 1985 in Karachi. In his message of March 20, 1985, the Imam recounted long and devoted services rendered by late Dr. Ghulam Ali Allana to the Imam, his grandfather and the Imams family members. The Imam said that, The Ismaili jamat and I will miss on an outstanding leader and Pakistan will mourn one of her most erudite sons. I pray that his soul may rest in eternal peace.
Ghulam Ali Allana made an outstanding contribution in the literary field. Some of the titles of his books are:- Presenting Pakistan Poetry, Some of My Yesterdays, Love Tales of the East, Incense and Echoes, Quaid-e-Azam Jinnah: The Story of a Nation, Pakistan Movement : Historical Documents, The Silent Voices of Intuition, Our Freedom Fighters, His Highness Aga Khan III, Pen Portraits of Painters, Thus Spake Man, Recollections on Respect, Reverence and Revolt, A Rosary of Islamic Reading, The Silent Hour, The World Within, The Pakistan Movement Struggle, Alberuni, Bazgasht, Dhanakaal, At the Gate of Love, The Hills of Heaven, Ke Parada ke Sad, Asanji Azadi ja Agwan, Shah Abdul Latif etc. He also compiled the translation of the Holy Ginans in 1985, published by the Tariqah Board for Pakistan.
Ghulam Ali Allana made an outstanding contribution in the literary field. Some of the titles of his books are:- etc. He also compiled the translation of the in 1985, published by the Tariqah Board for Pakistan.