Elahi was born in 1945 and educated at Lahore’s very famous Forman Christian College University and Watford College of Technology in London.
Chaudhry Manzur Elahi, father of Chaudhry Parvez Elahi is the elder brother of late Chaudhry Zahur Elahi raised in Gujrat, Chaudry Manzur Elahi left his hometown in 1939 to pursue further studies. He received his degree in textile engineering from Amritsar in 1940.
Upon his return from amritsar, Chaudry Manzur Elahi teamed up with his brother to develop their textile business. In 1947-48, he Established two textile units under the names of Gujrat Silk Mills and Pakistan Textile Mills. In 1950, the business was expanded to Lahore where they established Parvez Textile Mills, specializing in weaving, finishing and dyeing. In 1951-52, Chaudhry Manzur Elahi went to Japan to import textile machinery for his Gujrat and Lahore units. Armed with his textile education and superior business ethics, Chaudry Manzur Elahi’s textile units continued to flourish under his leadership. The family continued to dedicate their energies to their business and set up Modern Flour Mills in Lahore and Rawalpindi.
In 1956, Chaudry Zahur Elahi decided to enter politics, however, Chaudhry Manzur Elahi remained committed to the business. Chaudhry Zahur Elahi was elected Chairman of the Gujrat District Board in 1958, and thereafter devoted his efforts solely for the welfare and uplift of the people of his area. The same year, Chaudhry Zahur Elahi was also elected Director of the National Bank of Pakistan. He was elected continuously as Director for the next twelve years.
In 1958, General Ayub Khan came to power through martial law. He enforced the Elected Bodies Disqualification Order (EBDO) for the disqualification of politicians for the next five years. The politicians were given two options: either to retire voluntarily or to face the consequences of the Government’s action. Chaudhry Zahur Elahi was the only politician, in the entire West Pakistan province, who challenged the EBDO. Despite being cleared by the EBDO Tribunal for all charges, Chaudry Zahur Elahi was sentenced to six months imprisonment. He was elected Member of National Assembly in 1962 and consequently became Secretary General of the Pakistan Muslim League’s Parliamentary Party of United Pakistan. Around this time the family purchased Pakistan Times.
Chaudhry Zahur Elahi continued to gain popularity in the political scene and was elected to the National Assembly in 1970. He was among the few members of the Pakistan Muslim League to get elected. East Pakistan was seceded in 1971 following emergence of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in politics. On his coming to power, Z.A. Bhutto nationalized a number of industries including flour mills. Chaudhry Zahur Elahi was among the nine opposition parliamentary leaders who were thrown out of the Parliament House by the Bhutto regime. During the Bhutto regime, Chaudry Zahur Elahi was accused of a number of incidents such as the alleged buffalo theft case and the Iraqi arms for Balochistan case. He was involved in several alleged cases, one of which was delivering an anti-government speech in Pearl Continental, Karachi. A special tribunal sentenced him to imprisonment for five years. He remained imprisoned in different jails but s erved mostly in the Karachi jail.
Chaudhry Zahur Elahi was released from jail and he launched his election campaign from Gujrat and Constituency No.3 of Lahore against Bhutto. However, these elections were postponed. The Zia regime decided to return these industries to their original owners. The Chaudhry family took charge of their flourmills.
At this juncture, the Chaudhry family decided that Chaudhry Shujat Hussain and Chaudhry Parvez Elahi (sons of the two brothers) should take charge of the family business as well as to enter politics. In 1982, Chaudhry Parvez Elahi was elected Chairman of District Council Gujrat and remained Chairman for several years. In the 1985 non-party based elections, Chaudhry Shujat Hussain and Chaudhry Parvez Elahi were elected to the National Assembly and Punjab Assembly respectively.
As well as their political careers, both cousin brothers remained heavily involved in their business as well. In 1987, the family diversified into the sugar industry. They set up two sugar mills, at Mian Channu (Khanewal) and at Phalia (Mandi Bahauddin). The family also expanded their textile business by entering spinning and cotton yarn in 1990-91 and consequently set up two separate units in Gujrat and Mandi Bahauddin.
In 1988 Benazir Bhutto came to power. The Chaudries defaulted on loans, alleging harassment from the Bhutto regime, The family sought relief from the courts and continued their business on borrowing from the private sector. In 1997 when he interim Government announced that no one would be allowed to contest in the elections without clearing their loans, the family faced serious financial problems. They managed to sell their sugar and cotton yarn in advance for coming two years at lower rates to repay their loans.
From 1993-97, several alleged cases were registered against Chaudhry Shujat Hussain and Chaudhry Parvez Elahi. They were detained in Adiyla Jail Rawalpindi for several months. In the 1997 election, the two cousins were elected to the National Assembly and Punjab Assembly with majority votes and held important ministries. Chaudry Shujaat Hussain was the Interior Minister while Chaudhry Parvez Elahi was elected Speaker of the Punjab Assembly with overwhelming majority.
He studied at Forman Christian College University completed graduation in 1967, and obtained a diploma in Industrial Management from the University of Oxford.