close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
February 16, 2020

Imran’s confidant, PTI leader Naeemul Haq passes away

Top Story

February 16, 2020

KARACHI: Naeemul Haq, a senior leader and founding member of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insa, passed away here on Saturday after protracted illness. He was 70.

Naeemul Haq also served the incumbent Prime Minister Imran Khan as his special assistant on political affairs. He breathed his last at Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi. He was under treatment at the Oncology Department of the AKUH for a form of blood cancer called Myeloma. Haq was diagnosed with cancer in January, 2018. He was brought to the AKUH, Karachi from Islamabad after health complications sometime back.

The deceased had several decade -long association with PM Imran Khan, was his confidant and together with the PM had founded the PTI in 1996.

In his tweet on the occasion, PM Imran Khan said he was devastated by the passing away of one of his old friends. “He was one of the 10 founding members of PTI and by far the most loyal. In 23 years of PTI’s trials and tribulations, he stood by me. He was always there for support whenever we were at our lowest ebb”. The PM further said: “In the last two years I saw him battle cancer with courage and optimism. Till the very end, he was involved in party affairs and attended cabinet meetings as long as he was able. His passing has left an irreplaceable void”. Sindh Governor Imran Ismail who broke the news to media about the death of the PTI's senior leader. While praying for the departed soul, the governor said that he had 28 year-long association with Haq. Dr Javed Khan, a leading physician at AKUH, praised the deceased PTI leader while saying that despite his close association with the incumbent prime minister he chose not to seek treatment abroad.

The funeral prayers o would be offered at Masjid Ayesha at Khyaban-e-Ittehad in DHA Karachi after Asr prayers on Sunday(today). He will be laid to rest at Gizri Graveyard of Phase 4 DHA.

Condolence messages also poured in from leaders of different political parties including those in Opposition and notables from different walks of life on passing away of Naeemul Haq. Born on July 11, 1949 in Karachi, Naeem completed his M.A. in English Literature from the University of Karachi in 1970 and then pursued LLB from Sindh Muslim Law College Karachi. He later had joined the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP). As a young banker, he was part of the team that established the NBP branch at the UN Plaza in New York City, after which he moved to London in 1980 as a merchant banker for Oriental Credit Limited. Naeem had 35 years of cumulative experience in banking, finance, corporate sector and law in Pakistan, London and New York. During his professional stint in London in the early 1980s, he became close friends with Imran Khan, who used to play county cricket at that time.

In 1984, he joined retired Air Marshal Asghar Khan’s Tehreek Istiqlal party in London and moved back to Karachi a couple of years later to set up his leasing company business and pursue political aspirations. Commentators describe him as an honest man, who cared for the common man, the future of PTI and a progressive Pakistan, where the underprivileged have an equal chance to prosper. In the post-Zia ul Haq era, he contested the 1988 elections from the Tehreek Istiqlal ticket in Orangi. Even though he lost the election, he continued his interest in politics and kept himself abreast of economic-related matters.

In 1996 he became one of the founding members of the PTI. As a trusted aide, he helped Imran Khan manage the party affairs and overcome the election setbacks of 1997 and 2001. After the death of his wife in 2008 from a bout of cancer, Naeem fully devoted his life to PTI, where he become the Central Information Secretary. He is credited with organizing the huge December 25, 2011 public rally in Karachi that helped establish PTI’s popularity as a national party.

In 2012, Naeem moved to Islamabad as Chief of Staff to the PTI Chairman and an integral part of the PTI Core Committee leading into the elections of both 2013 and 2018. He worked extremely hard and directly with Imran Khan in organizing the party at the grassroots working across the board with workers and part office bearers. He also intermittently served as the Information Secretary of the party during this period playing an important part in the party’s communication strategy.

As a member of the PTI's core committee, he remained accessible, approachable and was popular among the workers. When the 2018 victory finally came to PTI, he was appointed a Special Assistant on Political Affairs to the PM and was involved in a number of initiatives ranging from housing scheme, party operations, SDGs (sustainable development goals) to name a few.