HATTIAN BALA, Sept 3: Thousands of people converged here on Sunday to pay their last respects to veteran Kashmiri politician Sahibzada Mohammad Ishaq Zaffar.
The mourners, among them AJK President Raja Zulqarnain Khan, Prime Minister Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan, PPP Secretary-General Jahangir Badar, PPAJK President Chaudhry Abdul Majeed, People’s Muslim League Convener Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry, Speaker Shah Ghulam Qadir, Jamaat-i-Islami AJK leader Abdul Rashid Turabi and several other prominent leaders praised the services of the late leader for the Kashmir freedom movement and progress of the AJK people.
Born on April 19, 1944, Mr Zaffar, who was leader of the opposition in the present assembly, died on Saturday evening in Rawalpindi after suffering a fatal heart attack.
Hundreds of people, shocked by the news, gathered in Kohala, AJK’s last town bordering with Pakistan, late on Saturday night to receive his body. Prime Minister Sardar Attique waited for half an hour along the main road in Muzaffarabad till the caravan of vehicles carrying Mr Zaffar’s body reached there. He condoled with Mr Zaffar’s son and ordered government officials concerned to help the family of the late leader in preparing for the funeral. Official sources said that around 20,000 people from almost all parts of AJK attended the funeral prayers held in a vast ground in front of the tehsil headquarters offices here.
“In his death, the Kashmir region has lost a veteran politician and our (legislative) assembly has lost a seasoned parliamentarian,” said AJK prime minister as he spoke to the mourners before the funeral prayers.
Recalling that the late leader had always practised and promoted politics of tolerance and humility, Sardar Attique also praised him for upholding his political ideology and thoughts in the most adverse situations.
“Politically, he was always our opponent, but he never said anything to belittle the respect of Mujahid-e-Awwal Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan. And let me say that he (Sardar Qayyum) also respected him a lot, more than many Muslim Conference leaders,” he said.
The prime minister announced that the government would provide Rs1 million to his family. The amount was in addition to Rs1 million that the assembly secretariat provides to deceased lawmakers.