Veteran politician Meraj Muhammad Khan passes away

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Veteran politician and founding member of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Mairaj Muhammad Khan passed away in Karachi early Friday. He was 77.

He was suffering from a respiratory problem. Meraj Muhammad Khan’s funeral prayers will be offered today (Friday) after Jumma prayers in Sultan Masjid in DHA, Karachi.

Meraj Muhammad Khan was born on 20 October 1938 in Farrukhabad, India. His family migrated to Pakistan after partition and settled in Quetta. After graduating from local high school in 1956, Khan moved to Karachi where he attended DJ Science College and later pursued his higher education at Karachi University in 1957. He earned a BA in philosophy and humanities in 1960, and an MA in philosophy in 1962.

A close associate of former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Mairaj had been an active participant in many of the important events that shaped our country in its formative years.

Through the PPP, he went into mainstream politics and successfully contested in the 1970 general elections on a PPP platform from the Karachi constituency.

In December 1971, Khan was appointed Minister for Manpower and directed the Ministry of Labour (MoL) in Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto s government.

In 1973, Mairaj fell out with the Bhutto government when Bhutto started to compromise on his so-called Socialist agenda. In 1998, he joined Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), but resigned from the party in 2003, citing differences with Imran Khan. He then joined the Mazdoor Kisan Party, which later merged with the Communist Party of Pakistan to form the Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party.

He had been through it all; Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan, the dismemberment of Pakistan, the Bhutto years, General Zia and his dictatorship and the return to democracy in 2008. The former federal minister was even associated with Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf for five years (Dec 1997 to 2003 April) and left when his patience was completely exhausted.

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