PESHAWAR: After suffering from a prolonged illness, former federal minister and Awami National Party (ANP) leader Arbab Muhammad Zahir breathed his last on Monday.
He entered the provincial assembly for the first time after he was elected through the 1985 non-party elections. From then on, he contested the 1988 general elections on the ticket of the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad. However, he lost the elections. He joined the ANP little before the 1990 general elections and was elected to the National Assembly.
He retained the seat on an ANP ticket in the 1993 and 1997 general polls, but was unable to win against Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal’s Sabir Hussain Awan in the 2002 general elections. However, he returned to politics after the 2008 general polls.
When Pakistan Peoples Party was in the government from 2008-2013, Arbab Zahir was made the minister of state for narcotics. He served in the position for some time after which he was made the minister for defence.
However, his health kept him from contesting the 2013 general polls.
Arbab Zahir was laid to rest in his ancestral graveyard in Landi Arbab, Peshawar.
A press statement was issued in which ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan expressed grief at the sad demise of Arbab Zahir, calling it a great loss for the party. Arbab Zahir is survived by his wife and a daughter.
The ANP leader was born in the house of Pakistan Muslim League leader Arbab Noor Mohammad Khan on October 21, 1945.
Arbab Zahir qualified as a bachelor of law from Khyber Law College, University of Peshawar. Later, he did his masters in law from the United States.
After completing his education, he assisted his father, the late Noor Mohammad, in politics. He was elected to Peshawar district council in 1983 local government elections and became the vice chairman of the council.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2016.