Veteran politician Sardar Rafiq Khan passes away

Demise widely condoled; thousands attend Nimaz-e-Jinaza at Harni Mendhar
Veteran politician Sardar Rafiq Khan passes away

Veteran politician and three time member of Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly, Sardar Rafiq Khan passed away after a brief illness on Wednesday morning, family said. He was 85.

A resident of Mendhar's Harni village, Khan won assembly elections from Mendhar constituency in 1977, 1984 and 2008 elections. He also served as cabinet minister twice in the erstwhile state heading Industries and Commerce department.

Earlier, Khan remained as an independent politician after which he joined National Conference, then switched over to Janta Dal and later joined Peoples Democratic Party.

Before contesting elections in 1977, he had served as forester in Jammu and Kashmir forest department. He served as a minister twice in his political carrier after his LLB degree from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).

Aged 85, Sardar Rafiq Khan was ill for some time and breathed his last on Wednesday morning. In the late afternoon, his Nimaz e Janaza was offered in native village Harni with thousands of people taking part in it and offering condolences.  Politicians from every walk of life condoled the demise of veteran politicians.

Meanwhile the demise of former minister of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir State, Sardar Rafiq Hussain Khan was widely condoled by leaders of different political, social and religious organizations. A PDP spokesman said, "The party was grieved to hear the news about the demise of former Minister Senior PDP leader Sardar Rafiq Hussain Khan. Khan Sahab was a renowned political personality across Pir Panchal. His death is a great loss for the people of Mendhar and the party. Allah marhoom ko Jannat naseeb farmaye. (May Allah bless the deceased with Paradise)."

Apni Party (AP) President Syed Muhammed Altaf Bukhari has expressed shock over the demise of a senior political leader from Pirpanjal Khan. In a condolence message, Bukhari prayed for the peace of the departed soul and courage to the bereaved family members to bear this irreparable loss.

"Khan was the tallest leader in the Pirpanjal region who worked tirelessly without any bias for the people," he said while expressing sympathy with the bereaved family members.

AP Vice President Zaffar Iqbal Manhas also expressed grief and shock over the demise of Khan. In a condolence message issued here, Manhas described the deceased as a thorough gentleman, an astute politician and down to earth personality who always raised his voice for the underprivileged sections of the society.

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