OKARA, Sept 29: Former defence minister Rao Sikandar Iqbal died in hospital here on Wednesday after a prolonged illness. He was 68.
He served as federal minister three times.
After his primary education in Quetta, he joined the FC College in Lahore. He did his LLB from Punjab University’s Law College. In 1969, he joined the provincial revenue department as a tehsildar.
He resigned from service in 1975 and joined the PPP after meeting the late prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He was elected to the National Assembly in 1988 and served as food minister in the government of late Benazir Bhutto. He lost the election in 1990, but was elected again in 1993.
During Ms Bhutto’s second government, he worked as chairman of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Defence.
He worked as the Punjab PPP chief from 1997 to 2001 In 2002, he was elected to the National Assembly, but formed the PPP Patriots under the patronage of Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf.
Rao Sikandar was defence minister and senior minister in the cabinets headed by prime ministers Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Shaukat Aziz.
Rao Sikandar, who had been suffering from diabetes, was paralysed in 2007. Later, he suffered renal failure and needed dialysis.
He is survived by his wife, three sons and a daughter. His funeral prayers will be offered at 5pm on Thursday in the city municipal stadium and he will be buried in his native village.