The Afghan Famiy
Headed by Abdul Rafiq Afghan, the Afghan Family is different from most other newspaper publishers in Pakistan. It neither has a business background, as many newer media houses in the country do, nor is it a part of the old guard legacy media. Its origin lie in Islamist ideology and an opportune marriage.
Its founder, Abdul Rafiq Afghan, was born to Karachi-based middle class parents who had migrated to Pakistan from India in 1947. He started his professional career by working as a journalist with an Islamist Urdu weekly, Takbeer. A few years later, he married the only daughter of the weekly’s founder and editor Maulana Salahuddin.
After Maulana Salahuddin’s murder in 1994, Abdul Rafiq Afghan was expelled from the magazine. It was then that he first thought about bringing out his own newspaper – an idea that materialised a couple of years later in the shape of daily Ummat.
Since then, Abdul Rafiq Afghan has reconciled with his wife who, after the murder of her father, had left him to live with her mother. She also initially accused him of murdering her father to take over his business.
In 2003, Abdul Rafiq Afghan set up a company, Ummat Publications Private Limited, in order to corporatize the running of daily Ummat and its affiliated publications. He originally owned 90% shares in the company while his two brothers, Abdul Nasir Afghan and Abdul Rauf Afghan, each owned 5% of its shares. Later, Abdul Rafiq Afghan would also acquire the shares owned by Abdul Rauf Afghan.
Ummat Publications Private limited
Family & Friends
Affiliated Interests Family Members Friends
A director and shareholder of Ummat Publications Private Limited, he is also is a brother of the company’s founder and chief executive officer, Abdul Rafiq Afghan.
The wife of Abdul Rafiq Afghan, she is also the daughter of Maulana Salahuddin, a right-wing ideologue originally affiliated with Jamaat-e-Islami party and the founding editor of its official media organ, daily Jasarat.
The founder of Takbeer, a weekly Urdu magazine, he was murdered – allegedly by the members of a Karachi-based political party, Muttahida Qaumi Movement – in 1994 outside his office.
Since he had no son, senior members of the magazine’s editorial staff took it over. They also expelled Abdul Rafiq Afghan from its editorial board. Sadia Salahuddin remained estranged from her husband for a few years after his expulsion from Takbeer. She also once alleged that he had killed her father in order to take over his media house. Before their split could be final, General Hameed Gul, a close friend of Maulana Salahuddin and also a former head of the Inter-Services Intelligence, Pakistan’s topmost secret agency, intervened and reconciled the two.
It was after their reconciliation that Takbeer also came to be run by Abdul Rafiq Afghan though its masthead still carries the names of both Sadia Salahuddin’s father and mother as its founder and patron-in-chief respectively.
The family was sent information request on 15 January 2019 through a courier company as well as by email. It did not respond even after a reminder was couriered on 1st February 2019 and emailed on 4 February 2019. No verified online information is available about its ownership structure and its financial status.
The data obtained from SECP shows no record of the current or recent financial status of the media outlets it owns.