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Friday June 14, 2024

Pakistani rulers, politicians who died abroad

By Sabir Shah
February 06, 2023

LAHORE: General (retd) Pervez Musharraf is among the many Pakistani rulers and political figures who breathed their last on foreign soil, research shows.

Here is the list of a few who randomly come to mind in this context: Pakistan’s former Prime Minister from 1956 to 1957, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy died on December 5, 1963 in a Beirut hotel, where he was living in exile. Rumours about the cause of his death continued to circulate for a long time, while the official statements attributed his demise to a cardiac arrest. He was 71.

On July 21, 2015, Dawn newspaper had written: “Recently, a newspaper-interview quoted his daughter, Begum Akhtar Suleman, as saying that Suhrawardy did not die of natural causes, but that the officialdom had him murdered.”

Pakistan’s former Governor General and Pakistan’s first President, Sahibzada Iskander Ali Mirza, had died of a heart attack on November 13, 1969, his 70th birthday, in London and President Yahya Khan denied him a burial in East Pakistan.

Iran’s monarch, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, had then sent his personal plane to London to bring President Mirza’s body to Tehran, where he was given a state funeral.

His wife, Begum Naheed Iskandar Mirza, had also died in London on January 23, 2019 just two weeks before her 100th birthday.

In June 2021, Humayun Mirza, the only surviving son of Iskander Mirza, had died in a Washington, DC, suburb at the age of 93. He was the second of six children of Iskander Mirza and his first wife Rifaat Begum.

Eminent religious cleric, Jamaat-e-e-Islami founder and politician, Syed Abul A’la Maududi, had died in New York on September 22, 1979 at the age of 75.

Pakistan’s 10th premier, Muhammad Khan Junejo, had breathed his last at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore (United States) on March 18, 1993. He was 61.

Former caretaker premier from August 6, 1990 to November 6, 1990, Ghulam Mustafa ‘Joseph’ Jatoi, had died on November 20, 2009 in London. He was 78.

Noted politician spiritual leader, Pir Sayyid Shah Mardan Shah-II, widely known as Pir of Pagaro VII, had died on January 10, 2012 in London, due to liver infection. He was 83.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s youngest son, Shahnawaz Bhutto, had left the world under mysterious circumstances on July 18, 1985. The body of 26-year-old Shahnawaz was found in Nice, France. The Bhutto family firmly believed he was murdered.

Moeen Qureshi, another former caretaker Pakistani premier from July to October 1993, had left for his heavenly abode at the age of 86 on November 22, 2016 in Washington, DC.

Premier/President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s widow, Begum Nusrat Bhutto, died in Dubai on October 23, 2011. She was 82.

She was an Iranian-Pakistani public figure of Kurdish origin, who served as the First Lady of Pakistan between 1971 until the 1977 coup.

Imran Farooq, MQM’s exiled politician, was murdered outside his home on September 16, 2012 in north London. Former three-time premier Nawaz Sharif’s wife, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, had succumbed to throat cancer in London on September 11, 2018 at the age of 68.

She had been the first lady of Pakistan for three non-consecutive terms; from 1990 to 1993, 1997 to 1999 and then from 2013 to 2017.

Nawaz’s father, Mian Muhammad Sharif, had died in Jeddah on October 19, 2004, his mother, Begum Shamim Akhtar, had passed away in London on November 22, 2020 due to age-related complications.