NEW YORK - A condolence meeting held at the Pakistan House paid homage to Sahabzada Yaqub Khan, a former Foreign Minister, who passed away in Rawalpindi on Monday.

Pakistan's Ambassador to the United Nations, Dr Maleeha Lodhi, presided over the solemn meeting which was attended by officers and staff of the Pakistan Mission to the UN and the Consulate General of Pakistan.

Speaking at the meeting, Maleeha Lodhi paid rich tributes to Yaqub Khan.

"He was a man of great courage, a great commander, leader and also a great human being", she said, highlighting his outstanding services to Pakistan at critical periods in the country's history.

She said that as an Editor she learned a lot from Sahabzada Yaqub Khan on foreign policy issues.

He was a scholar who had extensive knowledge of Western philosophy as well as Islam, she added.

She lauded his services to Pakistan as Foreign Minister as well as a General and said that his contributions on both counts would be remembered for a long time. She called him a "visionary man" and a "tough negotiator" who shaped Pakistan's foreign policy for a long time.

A soldier-statesman, Yaqub Khan was the longest serving Foreign Minister who also worked for the United Nations and served the cause of international peace.

He held top posts during his military service and retired as Lieutenant General.

Yaqub Khan served as Foreign Minister thrice from 1982-1987, 1988-1991 and 1996-1997.

The meeting was rounded off with "Fateha" and "Dua" for the departed soul.

A condolence book has been opened at the Pakistan Mission.