Pakistan’s former foreign minister Lieutenant General (r) Sahibzada Yaqub Khan passed away late Monday night at the age of 95.
Funeral prayers of the deceased were offered at Army graveyard in Rawalpindi on Tuesday. The funeral prayers were attended by Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, a large number of high-ranking civil and military officials and people from all walks of life.
President Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and other political leaders offered condolences over the sad demise of Sahibzada Yaqub Khan, a high-profile figure and high-ranking general who held the most senior and prestigious military and government assignments and represented Pakistan for three decades at international forums.
Khan was born in Rampur area of India’s UP state in December 1920. He studied at Col Brown Cambridge School in Dehradun and the Prince of Wales Indian Military College, Dehradun. He served as Pakistan’s ambassador to the US under the Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s government, and as foreign minister under the military government of General Ziaul Haq and later under the civilian governments of both Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif from 1982 to 1991. He then served as the caretaker foreign minister from 1996 to 1997.
Prior to that, he had an illustrious career in the military: first in the Indian Army (before 1947) and then in the Pakistan Army, retiring as a lieutenant-general. Khan received his commission in the army after attending the Rashtriya Indian Military College and served in World War II. During the 1965 war with India he commanded an armoured division as major-general.
Later, he was promoted to the post of Chief of General Staff of the Eastern Military High Command. In 1971 he was made commander of the Eastern Command. Later he was posted back to West Pakistan and all combatant corps against India in the 1971 war were placed under his command. Khan was also the founding chairman of the Aga Khan University board of trustees.