PM Imran Khan is ‘devastated’ on the death of his old friend and advisor Naeemul Haq

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan says that he is “devastated” on the death of his old friend and political adviser Naeem-ul-Haq.

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Naeemul-ul-Haq passed away in Karachi losing his long battle with cancer. He was 70.

The funeral prayers of Naeemul Haque offered here on Sunday in Ayesha Masjid (Mosque) in the metropolis’ DHA locality.

Naeem who was Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Political Affairs, was one of the 10 founding members of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) — a political party founded by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

He had also served as President PTI in Sindh province and also as Central Information Secretary of the party.

The deceased was suffering with blood cancer for a long time, and during his chemotherapy he limited his political activities but remained active on Twitter.

Prime Minister Imran took to twitter to express his grief on his friend’s death. “Am devastated by one of my oldest friend Naeem’s passing. He was one of the 10 founding mbrs (memebrs) of PTI & by far the most loyal. In 23 yrs of PTI’s trials & tribulations, he stood by me. He was always there for support whenever we were at our lowest ebb,” Imran tweeted.

In another tweet, Imran says: “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.”

President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi who is also one of the oldest members of the PTI, also tweeted to express his profound grief over the demise of Naeem-ul-Haq. The President prayed for peace of the departed soul and condoled with the bereaved family members besides praying.

Naeem-ul-Haque contributed a lot as a senior politician to bring a positive change in the country in accordance with the ideology of PTI and vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Senior politicians and people across sections of the society have expressed deep sorrow and grief on the demise of Naeem-ul-Haque

Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry also paid tribute to the late PTI leader. “Naeem ul Haque fought like a lion against cancer. He was a kind friend, elder and a colleague,” he added.

Sindh Governor Imran Ismail expressed heartfelt sorrow over the death of Naeem ul Haque and said he was a brave companion of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Naeem-ul-Haq was one of the 10-founding members of the PTI. He was special assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan on political affairs and always stood by him.

A banker and businessman Naeem-ul-Haw was instrumental in promoting positive change in Pakistan as part of the party’s ideology.

Born on July 11, 1949 in Karachi, Naeem-ul-Haq completed his M.A. in English Literature from University of Karachi (1970) and then pursued LLB from Sindh Muslim Law College Karachi (1971). He practised law before joining the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP). As a young banker, he was part of the team that established the NBP branch at UN Plaza in New York City, after which he moved to London in 1980 as a merchant banker for Oriental Credit Limited.

Naeem-ul-Haq had thirty-five years’ of cumulative experience in banking, finance, corporate sector and law in Pakistan, London and New York.

During his professional stint in London in early 1980s, he became close friends with Imran Khan, who used to play county cricket at that time. Imran would frequently visit Naeem and his wife, Nazli Jamil. Naeem and Imran Khan became especially close friends when the latter developed a debilitating stress fracture in 1983, and Naeem gave his exercise bike for Imran’s recuperation.

In 1984, he joined Air Marshal (retired) 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. In the post-Zia ul Haq era, he contested the 1988 elections from Tehreek Istiqlal ticket in Orangi. Even though he lost the election, he continued his interest in politics and kept a breast of economic related matters.

In 1996, he became one of the founding members of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) along with his close friend Imran Khan. 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 and President of Sindh.

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 with Imran Khan in organising the party at the grass roots 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 on the party’s communication strategy.

In January 2018 eight months before the general elections, Naeem was diagnosed with blood cancer. Like a true party loyalist, he soldiered on, working long hours before the elections while undergoing treatment.

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