OKARA (APP) Former defence minister and prominent politician Rao Sikandar Iqbal died after a protracted illness at CMH here on Wednesday. He was 82. He left behind three sons, one daughter and a widow. He was elected MNA in 1988, 1993 and 2002 general elections from PPPs platform. Rao Sikandar served as Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture in Benazir Bhuttos first government and Federal Minister for Sports and Culture in Benazir Bhuttos second government. He was elected MNA third time from PPP platform in 2002 general elections but later formed PPP Patriot Group and joined Musharraf government. He remained defence minister in the cabinet of Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, Ch Shujaat Hussain and Shaukat Aziz. He was ailing since long and was suffering from various diseases including diabetes kidney and high blood pressure. On Wednesday, he breathed his last due to cardiac arrest at CMH Okara. Meanwhile, President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani have expressed deep grief and sorrow over the death of Rao Sikandar Iqbal. The President said although late Rao Sikandar Iqbal parted ways with PPP, but he continued to demonstrate a measure of decency towards the party and its leadership. The Prime Minister expressed his heartfelt grief and sorrow over the death of Rao Sikandar Iqbal. He paid rich tribute to the political and social services of the deceased and declared his death a loss to the country.