KARACHI: Ashraf Liaquat Ali Khan, the elder son of slain prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan and former Sindh governor Begum Ra’ana Liaquat, died here on Monday after a protracted illness. He was 77.

“He (Ashraf) had been suffering from lung cancer. His condition deteriorated last week and he was admitted to a private hospital where he died today (Monday),” his younger brother Akbar Liaquat Ali Khan told Dawn.

He was born in Simla, India, on Oct 3, 1937. He was in a Delhi school in July 1947 when his parents moved to Karachi.

He attended Atchison College, Lahore, for a year before being admitted to the Grammar School, Karachi, where he got his higher school certificate. He later studied technology and arts in Rugby School in Warwickshire, England.

Mr Ashraf worked in the English Electric Company in Rugby and then joined KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in Rotterdam where he worked from 1959 to 1962.

He returned to Karachi and joined Mercantile Bank in 1962. He lived in Lahore from 1964 to 1972 and returned again to Karachi and set up his travel firm which he sold in 1979.

He remained affiliated with the Eastern Travels from 1980 to 2004 and retired.

However, during that period he made rather an unsuccessful effort to make a name for himself in mainstream politics.

He joined Tehreek-i-Istaqlal of retired air marshal Asghar Khan and contested for a National Assembly seat from Mirpurkhas but could not win.

His younger brother Akbar Liaquat had tried the same in the 1977 election with the aspiration to do something worthwhile for the people.

He got a ticket from the PPP for a Liaquatabad seat but was defeated by a Jamaat-i-Islami candidate.

The two brothers decided to quit politics after the defeats.

Ashraf Liaquat was president of the Sindh Club from 2006 to 2008 and kept a low-key presence until he was diagnosed with cancer.

He was 14 when his father, the Quaid-i-Millat, was assassinated.

Akbar Liaquat said his brother’s name had been chosen by the Quaid-i-Azam himself. “My father had chosen the name of Akbar, but Jinnah Sahib said he would like the baby to be named as Ashraf,” said Mr Akbar.

Late Mr Ashraf is survived by two sons, a daughter and a widow.

His funeral prayers were offered at Masjid-i-Shafqat in Phase-4, Defence Society. He was buried in a graveyard in the same area.

Published in Dawn, July 29th, 2014


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