MIRPUR (AJK)

Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan, the head of All Jammu & Kashmir Muslim Conference and former AJK president and prime minister, was laid to rest in his ancestral graveyard of Ghaziabad in Bagh district on Saturday.

The Mujahid-e-Awwal or the first warrior of the war for Kashmir’s liberation - had breathed his last in Islamabad on Friday at the age of 91. Thousands of people representing all walks of life from Azad Jammu & Kashmir and across the country offered funeral prayer at his native town in Bagh District.

Earlier, his body was taken from Islamabad to Ghaziabad after the first funeral prayer offered there by thousands of people. The AJK government had announced state holiday throughout AJK on Saturday as a mark of great respect to the leader of the Kashmir freedom struggle.

Besides, the AJK government also announced three-day mourning across AJK in acknowledgement of his life-time untiring services to the Kashmir cause under the fold of the All Jammu & Kashmir Muslim Conference. He was one of the pioneer leaders of the Kashmir freedom movement and the former president and prime minister of AJK.

The national flags of Pakistan and AJK will flutter at half-mast at all prominent official and private buildings during next three days to mourn the death of the Mujahid-e-Awwal Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan, an official communique said.

AJK President Sardar Yaqoob Khan and Prime Minister Abdul Majeed, PML-N AJK President and leader of opposition in AJK Legislature Raja Farooq Haider and Secretary General Sideeque Khawaja expressed condolence over the demise of Abdul Qayyum.

In separate messages of condolence to the bereaved family’s head and his son Sardar Attique Ahmed, they termed his death a great loss to the Kashmir freedom struggle and the people and the entire state of Jammu & Kashmir.

“The people of Jammu & Kashmir have been deprived of a great leader and the vacuum of his departure will never fill in,” the leaders said while expressing deep sense of shock and grief over his death. They prayed for rest of the departed soul in eternal peace and grant of courage to the bereaved family and the people of Jammu to bear the irreparable loss with courage.

Meanwhile, PPP Chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari expressed deep sense of shock and grief over the death of Abdul Qayyum who died after protracted illness on Friday. PPP-led AJK government said on Saturday that he had described the demise of Sardar Qayyum a great loss to the Kashmir Freedom struggle.