Khurshed Alam Khan passes away

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Minister for External Affairs Khurshed Alam Khan with Brazil's Minister of External Relations in this July 22, 1985 picture.
Minister for External Affairs Khurshed Alam Khan with Brazil’s Minister of External Relations in this July 22, 1985 picture.

New Delhi, July 20: Khurshed Alam Khan, a former Union Minister and father of External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, died on Saturday at the age of 95.

Khan, who had served as Minister of State under the late Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, was admitted to a private hospital here six days ago after he complained of chest pain.

Dr T.S. Kler, Executive Director of cardiac sciences department, Escorts Hospital, said that Khan was admitted with fever and chest infection.

“But he already had a major problem of Aortic Stenosis (AS), a disease of the heart valves. He (breathed his last) at around 3 a.m. on Saturday,” Dr. Kler said.

Khan, who was in a major way responsible for creation of the Jamia Milia Islamia as an independent university through a Parliamentary law, had served as Chancellor of the university.

Born in Pitaura village in Farrukhabad district of Uttar Pradesh, he had represented Farrukhabad in Lok Sabha between 1984 and 1989.

Son-in-law of the late President Zakir Hussain, Khan served as Member of Parliament for 15 years. He was in Rajya Sabha from 1974 to 1984.

He resigned from the Lok Sabha in July 1989 Governor of Goa. Then he shifted to Karnataka in 1991. As union minister, he had held portfolios of education, textiles, tourism, and transport besides external affairs.

As External Affairs minister he had travelled extensively abroad and had addressed the United Nations and the Security Council.

Condoling his death, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that India had lost a true son and servant of the nation.

The Prime Minister said Khan had served the nation with distinction throughout his life and in many capacities. His death was an “irreparable loss”.

“His leadership in India’s foreign policy, education system and legislative affairs contributed immensely to the country’s modern, liberal and democratic polity.

“His commitment to the nation was deeply rooted in the abiding values of our Constitution and the idea of an India envisioned by our founding fathers,” the Prime Minister added.

Dr. Singh said that Khan’s work as a Foreign Minister, Parliamentarian and educationist leaves a legacy which future generations must emulate and nurture.

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