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Ex-minister Sher Afgan passes away

October 12, 2012

MIANWALI, Oct 11: Former federal minister for parliamentary affairs Dr Sher Afgan Khan Niazi passed away here on Thursday afternoon. He was 67.

Dr Niazi, who was suffering from liver cancer, went into coma when his health deteriorated two days ago.

He has left behind his wife, a son and two daughters.

The funeral prayer will be offered in the Govt High School ground on Friday morning.

Dr Niazi, whose father was a police constable, was born on Jan 1, 1946, in Mianwali. He had five brothers.

A brilliant student, he got an MBBS degree from Nishter Medical College in 1968 and joined govt service, but resigned in 1974 and started private practice in Mianwali.

After general elections of 1977, he started taking part in local politics. He was elected a member of the district council in 1979 and joined the Tehrik-i-Istaqlal. At that time local politics was dominated by the Nawab of Kalabagh and the Rokris.Following in the footsteps of Maulana Abdus Sattar Khan Niazi, he formed a local Awami Mahaz against political heavyweights in the district.Dr Niazi quit Tehrik-i-Istaqlal in 1985 to take part in non-party elections and along with Maqbool Ahmed Khan defeated Aamir Hayat Rokri and Nawab of Kalabagh.

In 1987, he was unseated by the Supreme Court on an election petition of Mr Rokri.

Then he joined Maulana Niazi and was elected to the National Assembly in 1988 on a JUP ticket, but shifted his loyalty to the PPP and became a federal minister in the Benazir Bhutto government.

In 1990, he contested on two seats, but was defeated by Maulana Niazi in NA-71 and by Gul Hameed Rokri in NA-72.

In 1993, he was elected an MNA as an independent candidate and joined the PPP. In 1997, he was defeated by Inamullah Niazi of the PML-N.

In 2002, Dr Niazi was elected on a PPPP ticket, but joined the Musharraf regime. In 2008, he contested on a PML-Q ticket, but was defeated by Humair Rokri. He made his mark as an accomplished parliamentarian well versed in constitutional niceties.

Dr Niazi, who lived a simple life, was an ‘awami’ politician and his place was open to everyone. He was shaken by the death of his son Bairam Khan in an accident a few years ago. A diabetic and heart patient, Dr Niazi was diagnosed with liver cancer a couple of months ago. He retired from politics in July and nominated his son Amjad Ali Khan to contest the next election.