Funeral prayers for Naeem-ul-Haq are being offered at a mosque in Defence Housing Authority on Sunday.—White Star
Funeral prayers for Naeem-ul-Haq are being offered at a mosque in Defence Housing Authority on Sunday.—White Star

KARACHI: Founding member of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and special assistant to the prime minister on political affairs Naeem-ul-Haq, who passed away on Saturday at the age of 70 after a battle with cancer, was laid to rest here at Gizri graveyard on Sunday.

Earlier, his funeral was held at a mosque in Defence Housing Authority, which was attended by Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri, Special Assistant to the PM on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, federal Interior Minister retired Brig Ijaz Shah, Maritime Minister Ali Zaidi, Law Minister Farogh Naseem and Planning Minister Asad Umer and ­several other politicians, businessmen and officials.

Prominent among them included Karachi mayor Wasim Akhtar, PTI leaders MNA Aftab Siddiqui, Khurram Sher Zaman, Haleem Adil Sheikh, Dr Pervaiz Ghaffar, PTI MPA from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Faizullah, former minister Irfanullah Khan Marwat, business leaders Siraj Kassem Teli and Aqil Karim Dhedi and Sindh Inspector General of Police Dr Syed Kaleem Imam.

Mr Haq had been diagnosed with cancer a couple of years ago but his health had started deteriorating over the past few months. On Saturday, he was again shifted to a private hospital where he passed away during treatment. He left behind a son and a daughter to mourn his death.

Punjab, Sindh governors, federal ministers attend funeral at DHA; COAS expresses grief

Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Sunday expressed his grief over the demise of PM’s special assistant on political affairs and prayed for the deceased and his family, official news agency APP quoted the Inter-Services Public Relations statement. Gen Bajwa said: “May Allah bless the departed soul and give strength to the bereaved family, Aamin.”

During her chat with the media in Karachi, Firdous Ashiq Awan paid tribute to the PTI’s founding member. She said that Mr Haq was a soldier on the frontline who not only defended Imran Khan’s narrative at every forum but also worked tirelessly to turn Mr Khan’s vision into a reality.

She vowed that the party would not let his cause die and would keep his vision alive. She said he also played significant role in the construction of the Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital.

The NA deputy speaker told the media that Mr Haq had made endeavours for 23 years to create “Naya Pakistan” where people’s problems could be addressed. He recalled that when Mr Haq was Sindh president of the PTI, he had arranged a historic rally at the mausoleum of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in 2011. Mr Suri vowed to continue the mission of the party leader.

CM Buzdar said the late party leader was a pioneer of democratic norms and values whose services rendered for the promotion of democracy and democratic values could not be forgotten.

Meanwhile, the PTI announced suspension of all political activities for three days to mourn the demise of the ruling party’s founding member as a mark of respect.

According to a statement issued by the party’s central media department, PTI’s political activities would remain suspended for three days countrywide. The PTI’s central secretariat will be open for condolences and central leaders and activists will hold special prayers and fateha khwani for the party’s founding member.

Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2020