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Veteran politician Mairaj Muhammad Khan passes away

The funeral prayer of Khan was offered at Sultan Masjid in Defence Housing Authority (DHA) after Friday prayers, attended by politicians and other dignitaries.

The 77-year-old veteran leftist Mairaj Muhammad Khan passed away in Karachi on early Friday morning. The senior leader was hospitalised for respiratory problems at a private hospital in Karachi where he breathed his last.

Mairaj Muhammad Khan was the brother of Minhaj Barna, who led Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and the trade union movement of the newspaper workers.

He was one of the key leaders who led the students movement against the martial law of General Ayub Khan. He was the leading figure of the left-leaning National Students Federation (NSF).

Mairaj Muhammad Khan was a close aide of former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and founding member of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). He remained the minister of labour and manpower in Bhutto-led government in 1970’s.

After separating ways with the PPP in 1970’s he first joined Mazdoor Kissan Party (MKP) and later found Qaumi Muhaaz-e-Azadi (National Liberation Front).

He had been an active participant in many of the important events in the political history of Pakistan that shaped the country in its formative years. He was also a key player in the movement for the restoration of democracy (MRD) against General Zia-ul-Haq.

He was also associated with Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) for five years in the party’s initial phase from December 1997 to April 2003 and left the party disappointed.

Mairaj Muhammad Khan was born on October 20, 1938 in Farrukhabad in British India. His family migrated to Pakistan after partition and settled in Quetta. After graduating from local high school in 1956, Khan moved to Karachi where he attended DJ Science College and later pursued his higher education at Karachi University in 1957. He graduated in philosophy and humanities in 1960, and an MA in philosophy in 1962.

In their condolence messages, President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed deep grief and sorrow over the sad demise of Meraj Muhammad Khan.

The President said Meraj Muhammad Khan was the ideological politician and he never compromised. The Prime Minister prayed for eternal peace for the departed soul and strength to the bereaved family to bear this irreparable loss.

Minister for Information Pervaiz Rashid has also expressed deep grief and sorrow over the demise of senior political Meraj Muhammad Khan.



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