KARACHI – Dr. Arif-ur-Rehman Alvi was voted the President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan on September 5th 2018, and assumed office on September 9th. President Dr Arif Avi, a close ally of PM Imran Khan, was one of the founding members of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), the winning political party of General Elections Pakistan 2018. After Fatima Ali Jinnah, he is the first dentist to make a name in Pakistani politics, and the second ever dentist to become the president of a country.
Despite the dedicated interest in dentistry, his persona decidedly remained political. Pres. Alvi has had an extensive career in politics, which only recently reached its peak. Alvi started off in the field some five decades ago; as the President of student union at de’Montmorency College of Dentistry, an affiliate of University of Punjab in Lahore, he was an active member of the students’ wing of Jamaat-i-Islami. During the military regime of Gen Ayub Khan, Alvi, then a student, played a notable role by standing up for democracy in the country by taking part in various student rallies. An interesting fact about Alvi from those days is that he was shot during one of the demonstrations at The Mall, in Lahore; and to date he carries the bullet embedded in his right arm, as an insignia of pride on contributing to the struggle for democracy in Pakistan. He was the Jamaat-e-Islami candidate for Provincial Assembly in Karachi in 1979. However, the elections were not held. In his younger days, Alvi also engaged in playing sports, like squash, cricket, and hockey.
His fervour for politics was boundless, yet he remained loyal to his profession of dentistry. He chaired the 1st Pakistan International Dental Conference in the year 1981. In 1987, he again chaired the 3rd Pakistan International Dental Conference, which was inaugurated by PM Junejo. Dr Alvi served as the Editor in Chief for the Journal of Pakistan Dental Association from 1985 to 1988, and was elected as the President of Pakistan and Dental Association in 1997, where he served for over 4 years. Currently, he is the Dean of the Faculty of Orthodontics of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan.
Pres. Dr Arif Alvi is happily married to Samina Alvi. Together, they have four children, all of which are married, and settled with their families. Dr Alvi is deeply attached his grandchildren, tremendously enjoys their company. He considers them as one of the greatest joys and pleasures of his life. Dr Alvi is involved in the running of two major dental clinics, both of which are located in Karachi.