MULTAN - Pakistan Saraiki Party (PSP) Chief Barrister Taj Muhammad Khan Langah died of a heart attack here in wee hours of Sunday. He was 74 and is survived by a daughter, Dr Nukhba Langah.

The deceased who was recognised as a symbol of Saraiki nationalism suffered a heart attack on early Sunday morning and was rushed to Multan Institute of Cardiology. However, he could not survive. The body was taken to his ancestral town, Kahror Pakka, for burial where his namaz-e-janaza was offered at 6pm. The party flag was brought to half mast and a 10-day mourning was announced.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the PSP announced a ghaibana namaz-e-janaza (funeral prayer in absentia) will be held at the shrine of Hazrat Bahauddin Zakariya today (Monday) after Zuhr prayer. Taj Langah died on the foundation day of his party.

“He remained busy till late Saturday night supervising arrangements for the foundation day event which was to be held on April 7 (Sunday). He’ll be remembered by the Saraikis forever,” said a spokesman for PSP. The party suspended all activities, including the foundation day celebrations. Dozens of PSP workers assembled at the residence of Taj Langah after receiving information about his demise. Sentimental scenes were seen. Different Saraiki parties and leaders issued condolence statements.

The participants of a condolence meeting organised by Saraikistan National Council said the deceased fought the case of Saraiki province at international and national forums bravely. “The rulers who made promises for granting identity to the Saraiki nation, setting up Saraiki province and a separate bank are responsible for his death,” they alleged.

The meeting was attended among others by Zahoor Dhareja, Hayat Ullah Niazi, Maseeh Ullah Jampuri and others. The members of Saraikistan Youth Parliament paid glowing tributes to Taj Muhammad Khan Langah, declaring a 10-day mourning and construction of a shrine on his grave. SYP Chief Rana Faraz Noon said the deceased was a great leader who sacrificed his life for the cause of the Saraiki nation.