GUJRAT: Veteran parliamentarian and PML-N MNA from Jhelum, Nawabzada Iqbal Mehdi, died on Monday in a hospital of New Delhi where he had been admitted for a liver transplant after remaining ill for more than a year.
The body of Mr Mehdi arrived in Lahore through Wagah on Tuesday afternoon from where the coffin was brought to his native village Darapur near Jhelum. The funeral will be held at Darapur at 11am on Wednesday (today). He was survived by two widows, two sons and as many daughters.
Born in 1952, Nawabzada Iqbal Mehdi studied at Aitchison College, Lahore.
He was elected as member of Jhelum district council in 1983 and won the Punjab Assembly seat in the 1985 non-party polls. He served as the provincial minister for forest, wildlife and fisheries in the Punjab cabinet of then chief minister Mian Nawaz Sharif.
He was elected as MNA for five times in 1988, 1990, 1993, 1997 and 2013. He could not contest in 2002 and 2008 due to the graduation bar. He had supported Raja Asad, the scion of Raja Muhammad Afzal, another stalwart of Jhelum politics, as each time Raja Asad made it to the National Assembly from the PML-N platform.
He and his family were committed to the Muslim League as his grandfather Nawabzada Talib Mehdi served as district president of the party for decades prior to the creation of Pakistan. Then his father Nawabzada Afzaal Mehdi was elected twice as member of the West Pakistan assembly in 1962 and 1964.
Iqbal Mehdi’s son Nawabzada Matloob Mehdi made it to the chairman slot of Darapur UC in November 2015. He is a potential candidate for the slot of Jhelum district council chairman.
Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2016