PESHAWAR, March 12: President Gen Pervez Musharraf accepted on Saturday the resignation of Lt-Gen (retired) Syed Iftikhar Hussain Shah and appointed the Deputy Chairman of the Senate, Commander Khalilur Rehman, as new NWFP governor.

While accepting Lt-Gen (retired) Iftikhar’s resignation, President Musharraf, however, advised him to continue as NWFP governor till the assumption of his office by his new successor, said an official announcement.

Mr Iftikhar is expected to be given a foreign posting, most likely in Turkey.

“The president has accepted the resignation submitted by Lt-Gen (retired) Syed Iftikhar Hussain Shah from the office of the NWFP Governor due to personal reasons,” the announcement said.

Mr Shah, who was appointed governor on Aug 16, 2000, held the office for about four years and seven months.

“The president expressed his deep appreciation of the services rendered by the outgoing NWFP governor for socio-economic uplift of the people, especially those in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata),” the announcement said.

The 71-year-old new appointee is the 25th governor of the NWFP and third from Peshawar to hold the exalted position after the late Arbab Sikandar Khan Khalil and the late Fida Mohammad Khan.

Born on May 5, 1934, in village Surezai near Peshawar, he received his basic education from Edwardes School here and did his FSc from Islamia College, Peshawar, before moving to Karachi where he joined the Pakistan Navy.

While in the navy, he later did his BSc and graduated from the Royal Naval College, Greenwich.

Mr Khalil later headed the Destroyer Division in the Pakistan Navy and rose to become the director of the Pakistan Navy Tactical College.

In 1976, Commander Khalil was selected to head the navy of Bahrain as its first commander-in-chief and served there for 12 long years. It is from there that Mr Khalil earned himself his nickname ‘commander’.

He has earned Hilal-i-Imtiaz (Military), Wisam-I-Bahrain and Congressional Medal from the Pakistan government, Bahrain and the Philippines, respectively.

Mr Khalil’s stint in politics began in 1988. Courtesy his friend and former chief minister Mir Afzal Khan, he surprised many to win the Senate election in 1991 — a position he held until 1997, despite being an independent candidate. He won the Senate elections again, initially as an independent but subsequently joining the Pakistan Muslim League-Q and was sworn in as the deputy chairman of the Senate on March 12, 2003.

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