ISLAMABAD, Sept 17: Former chief of the Chakma tribe in Bangladesh and lifetime federal minister Raja Tridiv Roy died of cardiac arrest at his residence here on Monday. He was 81.
Tridiv Roy sided with Pakistan in the 1971 war and even after the independence of Bangladesh, he decided to live in Pakistan. As a result, the government declared him lifetime federal minister.
When Bangladesh applied for the membership of United Nations, Pakistan sent a delegation headed by Tridiv Roy to the UN to fight its case. On the other hand, Sheikh Mujibur Rehman of Bangladesh also sent a delegation to the UN that was headed by the mother of Tridiv Roy.
Tridiv Roy also served as Pakistan’s ambassador to five countries, including Argentina, and as high commissioner to Sri Lanka.
In 2005, Sri Lanka conferred on him the Ranjana National Award for his services for the Buddhist community.
Among other books, Tridiv Roy published his memoirs entitled ‘The Departed Melody’. The book begins with the history and culture of the people of the Chittagong Hill Tracts and the Chakma Rajas.
He was also author of a ‘Collection of Short Stories’ which has been translated into Urdu by National Book Foundation. Besides, ‘South American Diary’ was also one of his famous books.
According to sources, the deceased had written to former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz that after his death his body should be sent to his native ‘Hill Tracts’, but implementation of the request does not seem to be feasible because ‘Hill Tracts’ is similar to the tribal areas of Pakistan and even security forces of Bangladesh cannot go there.
Tridiv Roy’s son Raja Debashish Roy is the current ruler of the Chakma community in Bangladesh.
President Asif Zardari, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Minister of State Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan and Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani expressed their condolences over the demise of Tridiv Roy.