Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) senior leader and former senator Usman Khan Kakar passed away in Karachi on Monday. Kakar had been undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Sindh’s provincial capital for the last three days. He was 60 years old.
PkMAP spokesperson Reza Mohammad Reza confirmed the death, saying Kakar had suffered a brain hemorrhage after receiving an injury at his home in Quetta.
He was first rushed to a local hospital where he was admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU). Later doctors referred him to a hospital in Karachi due to his precarious conditions.
He remained under treatment for four days but could not survive.
Kakar, who hailed from Muslim Bagh area of Qila Saifullah district of Balochistan, will be laid to rest tomorrow [Wednesday] in his native town. His body will be shifted to Qila Saifullah via road.
Kakar’s family has demanded his post mortem to probe into the causes of his death.
Usman Khan Kakar was the central secretary and provincial president of PkMAP, a party that he joined over 30 years back as a student leader. He was the second most popular leader of the party after Mahmood Khan Achakzai.
The PkMAP leader graduated from Quetta's Law College in 1987 and remained a member of the Senate from 2015 till March 2021. He had also contested the election for post of Senate deputy chairman as a candidate of the joint opposition.
As the news of his death broke, condolence statements began to roll in from leaders across the country including the provincial chief ministers, the PPP chairman and co-chairman – Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Asif Ali Zardari, JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman and PML-N leaders.
Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal expressed deep sorrow over Kakar's passing. "Kakar will always be remembered for his welfare activities and public service,” he said.
In a statement, Balochistan government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani said Usman Khan Kakar was a seasoned political activist and a leader. He prayed for the departed soul and for the bereaved family.
National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri also expressed deep grief and sorrow over the death of the former senator. In their condolence messages, they said Kakar was a patriotic political and a social leader.
They said the services he rendered for the people of Balochistan would always be remembered and the vacuum created by his death would never be fulfilled. In another condolence message, Minister for Interior Sheikh Rashid Ahmed also expressed grief over the sad demise of Kakar.
Leaders of the PPP also visited the hospital where Kakar breathed his last and condoled with his family. PML-N leader Raja Zafarul Haq telephoned his brother and expressed his deep sorrow over the demise.
In his message Asif Ali Zardari declared Kakar an advocate for the rights of the people of Balochistan. PPP’s Sherry Rehman said the PkMAP leader always struggled to ensure the supremacy of the Constitution and the parliament.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman said Kakar will be remembered as one of the top democrats of the country. “He lent his powerful voice to support the democratic powers in the parliament. His death has deprived the PDM – an anti-government political alliance – of a brave leader.”
(WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT IN KARACHI)