Muzaffarabad: Former President and Prime Minister of Pakistan-administered Kashmir (PaK) and leader of the rebellion against Dogra regime forces Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan passed away in Islamabad on Friday at the age of 91.
Sardar Abdul Qayyum was also known as “Mujahid-e-Awwal” or “the first holy warrior,” and was believed to have fired the first bullet in the 1947 war against the autocratic Dogra regime.
He breathed his last in the wee hours of Friday morning in an Islamabad hospital where he had been undergoing treatment for several months.
His funeral prayers were held at Parade Ground, Shakarparian in Islamabad at 4pm, and several federal and provincial ministers, politicians, serving and retired military officers and bureaucrats, as well as thousands of people from every walk of life, were in attendance. He was laid to rest in his ancestral village graveyard in Ghaziabad near Dheerkot in District Bagh.
Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan started the armed struggle against Dogra regime forces from Neela Butt in 1947, was a popular leader after the founding of the PaK government on October 24, 1947 and was also the founder of Muslim Conference, PaK.
He had played an active role in the toppling of Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s government in 1977 and remained a key ally of the Pakistan National Alliance. Former President of Pakistan General Zia-u-Haq and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif termed him their mentor given his statesmanship. Sardar Qayyum also played a key role in opposing Indian rule in J&K and even organised and held marches towards the LoC in the early fifties. All along, he remained a popular figure among the masses.
President and Prime Minister PaK, AJK , ministers, members of the legislative assembly, the United Jehad Council, political and religious leaders have expressed deep sorrow over the demise of the veteran and seasoned Kashmiri leader.