Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan — former president and two-time prime minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir — passed away on Saturday, his family confirmed 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 Dawn.
Khan was among the pioneers of the PML-N in Kashmir, the publication reported.
Expressing grief, Prime Minister Imran Khan said: "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.
Responding to his death, 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."
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."
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