Peshawar - A former member of the National Assembly and scion of Chitral’s royal family Shahzada Mohiuddin passed away on Wednesday.

Mohiuddin had been elected multiple times to represent Pakistan’s northern most district of Chitral. Mohiuddin was born on August 5, 1938 to Shahzada Amir-ud-Din, son of Sir Shuja-ul-Mulk, the Mehtar of Chitral, who ruled the Princely State from 1895 to 1936.

Born in an era where his family ruled over the Princely State, Shahzada Mohiuddin saw first-hand the erosion of that power. Even as a young boy, he would often contemplate over the reasons for the decline and fading influence of his family and how to salvage it for the greater good. By 1969, after years of regression at the local level, and wider political developments, the State of Chitral was dissolved and merged into Pakistan.

Such was the charisma, character and talent of the man that he managed to forge alliances and win over sufficient supporters to get himself elected as the District Council Chairman of Chitral in 1983. Instead of resting upon the spoils of his victory, Shahzada Mohiuddin oriented himself as a dedicated public servant, endeavouring to resolve the problems of his constituents. By that time, it was clear that he was a man, not just willing to fight for his individual rights but the rights of the Chitrali community as a whole.

Shahzada Mohiuddin was elected MNA from Chitral in 1985. He was tipped by Gen Zia-ul-Haq to serve as Minister of Defence but owing to his public confrontation of the President at Shandur in 1986, over unfavourable recruitment process in the Chitral Scouts, he was bypassed, although appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Communications nevertheless. Shahzada Mohiuddin represented Pakistan at the United Nations General Assembly in 1986. Liberal in his outlook and progressive in his approach, Shahzada Mohiuddin always sheltered the Ismailia community from the onslaught of religious zealotry of the right. In return, they were to prove his loyal political benefactors for years to come.

In 1987, Shahzada Mohiuddin was re-elected Chairman of the District Council Chitral. In 1988, Begum Nusrat Bhutto contested elections from Chitral and defeated him, but he did not lose heart.

Leading up to the 1990 general elections, Mohiuddin was appointed Minister for Excise and Taxation in the interim provincial government of the then NWFP. In the said general elections, he was once again elected MNA.

He was later given the portfolio of Minister of State for Tourism in Nawaz Sharif’s cabinet. In his capacity as Minister for Tourism, Mohiuddin initiated the process of building PTDC hotels throughout the Northern Areas of Pakistan including Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral. He also attended the Internationale Tourismus-Börse in Berlin in 1992 as a representative of Pakistan.

Shahzada Mohiuddin was once again elected MNA in the general elections of 2008 and invested as Chairman National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan, both positions he held until 2013.

Meanwhile, he suffered from a stroke in 2010, which began to adversely affect his health. Hence he resolved not to run for office again. In 2013 his two sons Shahzada Iftikhar Uddin and Shahzada Khalid Parvez contested for the MNA and MPA seats, respectively, with the former winning with a heavy majority and latter narrowly missing victory. Recently Shahzada Khalid Parvez won the Tehsil Nazim seat Drosh in the 2022 local bodies elections. Mohiuddin was a regal statesman from an era long bye gone. He is survived by three sons and two daughters. He was the father-in-law of Shahzada Masood-ul-Mulk, the CEO of the Sarhad Rural Support Programme and Shahzada Zia-ul-Mulk of Drosh and the nephew of (late) Senator Shahzada Burhan-ud-Din, a veteran of the Indian National Army under Subhas Chandra Bose.