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October 17, 2007

Arbab Jehangir dies of cardiac arrest


October 17, 2007

PESHAWAR: Veteran politician and former NWFP chief minister Arbab Mohammad Jehangir Khan Khalil died of cardiac arrest here on Tuesday. He was 71.

Family sources told The News that he complained of severe pain in his chest on late Monday night. He was rushed to the Rahman Medical Institute in Hayatabad where he breathed his last on Tuesday morning. They added that the deceased politician had cardiac problem and had gone through a bypass operation in the recent past.

The funeral prayers were offered at the spacious cricket ground of the Khyber Medical College where thousands turned up to pay tributes to him. Federal Interior Minister Aftab Ahmad Sherpao, ex-chief minister Akram Khan Durrani and a large number of former governors, chief ministers, cabinet members, serving and retired bureaucrats and people from different walks of life attended his funeral prayers.

Strict security arrangements were made around the ground. The main University Road remained blocked for a long time after thousands thronged the venue to offer the funeral prayers. The coffin was brought in an ambulance to the venue at around 4:30 pm.

NWFP Governor Ali Muhammad Jan Orakzai and caretaker Chief Minister Shamsul Mulk visited the residence of the former chief minister at Jehangir Abad to offer Fateha.

Arbab Jehangir was the 14th chief minister of the NWFP and served between April 7, 1985 and May 29, 1988. Besides, he remained federal minister for Petroleum Resources and Narcotics Control as well as senior minister in the Frontier cabinet during different tenures. He also remained the opposition leader in the Frontier Assembly from 1988 to 1990. Born in the home of Sher Ali Khan, Jehangir obtained a degree in Law from the University of Peshawar.

The deceased chief of Tappa Khalil is survived by two sons, Arbab Alamgir and Arbab Imad, and three daughters. The lone international cricket stadium of the province is named after the elder brother of the

deceased, Arbab Niaz Mohammad, who also served as federal minister for Sports.

Arbab Jehangir had the unique distinction of having remained undefeated in all general elections that he contested during his long political career. He was the favourite candidate of every political party to be fielded from NA-2, Peshawar because his candidacy meant a confirmed seat for that party.

Jehangir started his political career in 1969. For the first time, he contested for a National Assembly seat in 1977 and was elected MNA. He remained senior member of the Pakistan Muslim League, Awami National Party and Pakistan People's Party before quitting active politics ahead of the 2002 general elections. He fielded his son, Arbab Alamgir, in 2002 general elections who lost to the MMA candidate Maulana Rahmatullah.

The love of the Khalil tribe for Arbab Jehangir could be gauged from the fact that he remained the chief of the tribe till his death. Even after quitting active politics, Jehangir always fought for the rights of the people of his tribe as well as his constituency and that was why he always earned respect from the common man.

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