Former president, as well as prime minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan has passed away, his family said on Saturday.
Khan was reportedly hospitalised and under treatment for a heart ailment. He holds the distinction of being appointed AJK's president and also serving as the prime minister twice.
Earlier this year, Khan, after more than a decade, had ended his association with the PML-N and rejoined the Muslim Conference (MC), according to sources.
Khan was among the pioneers of the PML-N in Kashmir, the publication reported.
Responding to his death, Prime Minister Imran wrote on Twitter: "Saddened to learn of the passing of Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan, former President of AJK as well as former PM of AJK."
"His contribution to the Kashmir cause [and] service to the Kashmiri people were invaluable. My prayers [and] condolences go to his family," he added.
Saddened to learn of the passing of Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan, former President of AJK as well as former PM of AJK. His contribution to the Kashmir cause & service to the Kashmiri people were invaluable. My prayers & condolences go to his family.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) October 9, 2021
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry expressed grief, noting that Khan had raised his voice against Indian oppression in occupied Kashmir.
Khan was a righteous and principled politician, the information minister added in a statement.
Acknowledging the efforts of the deceased for AJK, Speaker of National Assembly Asad Qaiser wrote on Twitter: "The services of Sikandar Hayat Khan will always be remembered. May Allah Almighty elevate the ranks of the deceased and grant patience to his family to bear this irreparable loss."
سابق وزیر اعظم و صدر آزاد کشمیر سردار سکندر حیات خان کی وفات پر دکھ اور افسوس ہوا۔ سکندر حیات خان کی خدمات کو ہمیشہ یاد رکھا جائے گا۔اللہ تعالیٰ مرحوم کے درجات بلند فرماۓ اور سوگوار خاندان کو اس ناقابل تلافی نقصان کو برداشت کرنے کے لیے صبر وجمیل عطاء فرماۓ۔ pic.twitter.com/AZgvQnCwOi— Asad Qaiser (@AsadQaiserPTI) October 9, 2021
Chairman Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir Shehryar Afridi also expressed grief, saying he was "shocked to hear the news of the death of senior politician Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan."
اناللہ واناالیہ راجعون— Shehryar Afridi (@ShehryarAfridi1) October 9, 2021
ایک عہد تھا جوتمام ہوا-
سابق صدر و وزیراعظم آزاد جموں وکشمیر بزرگ سیاستدان سردارسکندر حیات خان صاحب کے انتقال کی خبر سن کر صدمہ ہوا، سردار سکندرحیات کی تحریک آزادی اور آزاد کشمیر کی عوام کیلئےخدمات کو ہمیشہ یاد رکھا جائے گا.
اللہ پاک مرحوم کی مغفرت فرمائے pic.twitter.com/TYRsnnIb5c