Srinagar: Khawaja A Gaffar, a prominent Kashmiri based in Pakistan since Partition, passed away Monday.
Reports said Khawaja Gaffar, who was ailing for past few years, breathed his last at his residence in Satellite Town of Rawalpindi. He was 88.
A resident of downtown Srinagar’s Maharaj Gunj area, Gaffar, who was popularly known as Khawaja Sahab among the Kashmiri populace living in Pakistan, studied in SP College before he was banished from here.
During his student days, he was close to Muslim Conference and was an ardent supporter of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, whom he met in 1944, during the latter’s visit to Srinagar.
After migrating to Pakistan, Khawaja Sahab soon became a popular figure among the political circles for his acumen and wit. In September 1948, he was offered the position of Information Officer in Pakistan government and later as a lecturer along with other Kashmiri stalwarts like Mohammad Yousuf Saraf, Abdul Aziz Alai and Ghulam Ahmad. He briefly worked in the government before switching over to business.
Having an encyclopedic knowledge about Kashmir’s history and politics, Khawaja Sahab’s house in Rawalpindi was the first stop for any Kashmiri visiting Pakistan, as he was known for his hospitality and great love for Kashmir and Kashmiris. He visited Srinagar nearly a dozen times in the past three decades.
Meanwhile, many Kashmiris based in Pakistan and Pakistan-administered Kashmir have expressed deep sorrow and grief over the death of Khawaja Sahab and prayed for peace to his soul.