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National

December 12, 2017

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Malik Naeem, accused of toppling Benazir’s govt in 1988, dies

ISLAMABAD: Almost three decades ago, in 1988, Mian Nawaz Sharif’s close aide Malik Naeem Khan, who was also an MNA, was accused of hatching a conspiracy to topple the government of Benazir Bhutto, along with Brigadier Imtiaz Ahmed, Major Amir and Haji Gul Sher Khan. A case for treason was also filed against them in the special court of Rawalpindi.

This conspiracy was called the Operation Midnight Jackal in which Brigadier Imtiaz Ahmed, Major Amir and Haji Gul Sher Khan, by allegedly collaborating with the Pakistan Army, made a plan to overthrow Benazir’s government. However, these charges were never proved before the court.

The main person who was a part of this case left Pakistan for India and then moved to Bangkok from India. Malik Naeem Khan, who was quite tall and charismatic, remained sick for a long time and was on ventilator for almost 24 years. After all these years of pain, he passed away yesterday.

Mian Nawaz Sharif, in his first government, had five favourites, who were really famous for being close to the former prime minister. Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Malik Naeem Khan, Siddiqui Kanjo, Abdul Sattar Laleka and Rai Ahmed Nawaz were among Nawaz’s five favourites. There was a group of 25-30 favourite MNAs. All decisions against Benazir were made by them.

Malik Naeem Khan, who started his career with non-party elections in 1985, made great name in his area’s traditional politics. Malik Naeem had gone through a lot of hardships. He was a brave politician. His beautiful memories will always remain with us.

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