SRINAGAR: Senior Congress leader and former minister Mohammad Sharief Niaz died after a brief illness on Monday in Jammu. He was 75.
According to family sources, Niaz breathed his last in Jammu and his last rites will be performed at his native village.
Born on April 24, 1944, in village Changa of Bhalessa in Doda district, Niaz was first time elected as MLA in 1987.
Niaz was nominated District President of the Congress Committee, Doda, in 1979. He unsuccessfully contested the 1983 Assembly elections on a Congress ticket from Inderwal constituency but was finally elected in 1987.
He was the Law Minister of the J&K State in 1989.
From 1992 to 1996, he remained a member of USERS consultative committee in the Northern Railway and was elected to the assembly in 2002.
He was inducted as Minister for Power in Mufti-led Congress-PDP coalition. In 2007, Niaz was elected as a Member of Legislative Council (MLC) for Doda.
Meanwhile, Apni Party president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari expressed deep shock and grief over the demise of senior Congress leader and former minister Mohammad Sharief Niaz who breathed his last today after a brief spell of illness.
In his condolence message issued here, Bukhari described the deceased as a thorough gentleman who had carved a place for himself among the people, his party and the J&K legislature. “I am deeply saddened at the passing away of Niaz Saheb. As a senior, cultured and humane leader, he was a valued politician who enriched State legislature during his stint in the power,” the Apni Party president remarked.
He said the deceased leader always held the interest of people close to his heart. “At this time of grief, my thoughts and prayers are with his family and supporters. I pray for the eternal peace to the departed soul and the forbearance for his family to face this difficult time,” Bukhari added.
Other Party leaders who also condoled the demise of Mohammad Sharief Niaz included: Senior Vice President Ghulam Hassan Mir, Vice Presidents Aijaz Ahmad Khan, Choudhary Zulfikar Ali, Zaffar Iqbal Manhas, Usman Majid, General Secretaries Rafi Ahmad Mir, Vijay Bakaya, Vikram Malhotra, Party’s Chief Coordinator Abdul Majeed Padder, Provincial President Kashmir Province Mohammad Ashraf Mir, Provincial President Jammu Manjit Singh, Party Spokesman Javid Hassan Baig, Provincial Vice President Kashmir Jagmohan Singh Raina, Provincial Vice President Jammu Syed Asgar Ali, state secretary Muntazir Mohi-ud-Din, Provincial President Women Wing Namrta Sharma, party district president Srinagar Noor Mohammed Sheikh, district president Anantnag Abdul Rahim Rather, district president Baramulla Shoaib Nabi Lone, Party District President Kupwara Raja Manzoor, District President Pulwama Ghulam Mohammad Mir, state secretary Muntazir Mohi-ud-Din, the three Provincial Secretaries of the Party Javed Ahmad Mirchal, Abdul Rashid Haroon and Nazir Ahmad Wani (Dailgami).
Party’s senior leader and Ex-Minister Mohammed Dilawar Mir, Ex-Minister Ghulam Mohammed Bhawan, Ex-MLA Choudhary Qamar Hussain, Ex-MLA Yawar Dilawar Mir, Ex-MLA Haji Mumtaz Ahmed Khan, Ex-MLA Kamal Arora, Ex-MLA Faqir Nath, Ex-MLA Prem Lal and Syed Farooq Andrabi have also condoled the demise and expressed solidarity with the bereaved family.