ISLAMABAD: Former president, as well as prime minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan has passed away, his family said.
Sikandar Hayat was reportedly hospitalized and was going under treatment for a heart ailment. He holds the distinction of being elected AJK president and also served as the prime minister twice.
Earlier this year, Sikandar Hayat, after more than a decade, had ended his association with the PML-N and rejoined the Muslim Conference (MC).
Sikandar Hayat Khan was among the pioneers of the PML-N in Kashmir.
Responding to his death, Prime Minister Imran wrote on Twitter: “Saddened to learn of the passing of Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan, former President of AJK as well as former PM of AJK.”
“His contribution to the Kashmir cause [and] service to the Kashmiri people were invaluable. My prayers [and] condolences go to his family,” he added.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry expressed grief, noting that Khan had raised his voice against Indian oppression in occupied Kashmir.
Sikandar Hayat Khan was a righteous and principled politician, the information minister added in a statement.
Acknowledging the efforts of the deceased for AJK, Speaker of National Assembly Asad Qaiser wrote on Twitter: “The services of Sikandar Hayat Khan will always be remembered. May Allah Almighty elevate the ranks of the deceased and grant patience to his family to bear this irreparable loss.”
Chairman Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir Shehryar Afridi also expressed grief, saying he was “shocked to hear the news of the death of senior politician Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan.”