ISLAMABAD, Sept 1 Federal Minister for Local Government and Rural Development Senator Abdul Razzaq Thaheem passed away on Wednesday night after a protracted illness.

He had been admitted to Al-Shifa International Hospital several days ago, sources said.

President Asif Ali Zardari expressed grief and shock over the minister's death. He paid glowing tribute to Mr Thaheem and hoped that the bereaved family would bear the loss with fortitude.

Senate Chairman Farooq H. Naek, Deputy Chairman of Senate Jan Mohammad Jamali and leader of the house in Senate Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari also expressed sorrow over Mr Thaheem's death.—APP

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