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KP caretaker CM Azam Khan dies at 89

Caretaker Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Muhammad Azam Khan. — X/@zarrar_11PK
  • Khan complained of diarrhoea when brought to hospital: doctor. 
  • Funeral prayer to be offered in Prang, Charsadda at 3:30pm today. 
  • Former ECP secretary says provincial cabinet dissolved.

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s caretaker Chief Minister Mohammad Azam Khan died on Saturday just a day after he was admitted to a hospital, Geo News reported. 

The 89-year-old Khan was taken to Peshawar’s Rehman Medical Institute (RMI) after he fell ill, said the hospital administration. He was kept in the hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU). 

The hospital administration said Khan was admitted at 10pm last night.

“Azam Khan complained of diarrhoea when brought to the hospital. He underwent a lot of tests and a CT Scan confirmed that he was suffering from a hernia,” said Dr Gulzar of RMI.

He added that the decision regarding his operation was to be taken today, however, he passed away after suffering from a heart attack at 9am.

His funeral prayer will be offered in Prang, Charsadda at 3:30pm today and will be laid to rest in his native town.

The former bureaucrat took oath as the interim chief minister on January 21 this year, following the dissolution of the KP Assembly in the same month.

He was nominated to lead the province by the opposition and his name was unanimously approved by the outgoing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government as well.

Azam Khan’s profile

Khan was a retired bureaucrat who served as minister for interior, capital administration and development in the interim cabinet of former caretaker prime minister Nasir-ul-Mulk in 2018.

He was a Barrister-at-Law from Lincoln’s Inn, London.

From October 2007 to April 2008, Azam Khan also served as a finance, planning and development minister in KP in the cabinet of CM Shamsul Mulk.

He also served in key posts in both the federal and provincial governments.

From September 1990 to July 1993, Khan also served as the chief secretary. He was also chairman of the Pakistan Tobacco Board.

KP cabinet dissolved

Former secretary of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Kanwar Dilshad said that the provincial cabinet has been dissolved after the death of the KP chief minister as per the law. 

He added that all the powers have been transferred to KP Governor Ghulam Ali till the appointment of a new chief minister. 

The former ECP secretary said that the matter would be decided by the leader of the opposition in the Senate and the Leader of the House. However, he added, if the decision is not made through mutual consultations, then the matter will land in the ECP’s court. He maintained that the matter has to be decided within a week.

“If the National Assembly or the provincial assemblies are dissolved, then the decision is made by the Senate,” said Dilshad.

Condolences pour in 

President Dr Arif Alvi also expressed condolences to the family of the deceased chief minister. He said that he found Khan a decent person during their meetings.

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar expressed deep sorrow over KP CM’s death, praying for the deceased and his family.

“He was an honest and a good person,” said the PM.

Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi expressed heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the family members of the late Azam Khan. 

Expressing sorrow over Azam Khan’s death, former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif said he belonged to a family whose members served the country with great devotion.

“He worked with great sincerity during the flood campaign,” recalled the former premier.

“Deeply saddened by the death of Azam Khan,” Mohsin Naqvi said and added that his services for the country and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will always be remembered. 

Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also expressed condolences over Khan’s death, saying that he had performed the most important administrative duties in a proper way. 

“Azam Khan’s service towards the people will always be remembered,” added Bilawal. 

Sindh Caretaker Chief Minister Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar also poured in condolences and prayed for the deceased. 

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