Obituary: Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali

(By Abdullah Zahid)

Former Prime Minister of Pakistan and former President of Pakistan Hockey Federation and Pakistan’s Chief-de-Mission for 1984 Olympics, Mir Zafar Ullah Khan Jamali has passed away at the age of 76 after being critically ill for many days after he contracted Covid-19, The Pakistan Daily reported.

The former prime minister will be laid to rest at his ancestral village, Rojhan Jamali. His body will be brought to his village via an aircraft. Senator Sana Jamali, the ex-premier’s niece, confirmed the demise of former Prime minister.

Born on January 1, 1944, Mir Zafarullah Jamali served as the country’s premier from November 23, 2002 till June 26, 2004 during then president Pervez Musharraf’s tenure. The ex-premier was the first person from Balochistan to be elected prime minister of the country. He served three time, although briefly, as the acting chief minister of Balochistan from November 1996 to February 1997. In 2004, he took the reigns of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) as its chairman. Later he resigned after facing months-long criticism from veteran hockey players and national game lovers from around the country. He remained a member of the Pakistan National Assembly from 2013 until 2018. In June 2018, he resigned from the Pakistan Muslim League and joined the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

The senior politician had been under treatment at the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) in Rawalpindi for respiratory complications, where doctors put him on a ventilator. Earlier, President Arif Alvi issued a statement on Twitter condoling the death of former Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali but deleted it shortly after.

President Arif Alvi said that he had deleted his tweet based on false information. He apologised to Jamali’s family after initially erroneously tweeting that he has died. The President said that he had talked to Omar Jamali who told him that Mir Zafrullah Jamali was on a ventilator. May Allah grants Mir Zafrullah Jamali immediate recovery, he added.

Condolence messages began pouring in immediately after the news of his demise. Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was saddened to hear of Jamali’s passing. “My condolences and prayers go to his family,” he added.

Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa expressed his heartfelt condolences on the sad demise, according to a statement by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). “May Allah bless his soul and give strength to the bereaved family to bear this irreparable loss. Ameen,” the statement quoted the army chief as saying. PTI leader Jahangir Khan Tareen expressed his condolences saying: “Saddened to hear about the demise of former PM, Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali. May Allah give him the highest ranks in heaven & may He give the bereaved family patience to bear the loss. Ameen. ”

Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood also took to the microblogging website, paying tribute to Mir Jamali as “a true gentleman full of honour and wit”. Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal also expressed his condolences, saying a prayer for the departed soul.

Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry said the death of the former prime minister is the loss of another leaf from the tree of principled politics.

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