Veteran Baloch leader and former chief minister Sardar Attaullah Mengal passed away on Thursday after a protracted illness. He was 92.
The Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) confirmed the demise of its chairman.
Mengal breathed his last at a private hospital in Karachi, where he was under treatment. His funeral prayer and burial will take place on Friday in Wadh, a small town of Balochistan.
Born in 1929, Mengal spent his childhood in Balochistan’s Lasbela and later moved to Karachi. He was declared the chief (sardar) of Mengal tribe in 1954.
Mengal was introduced to politics by Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo, a founding member of the National Awami Party (NAP) – who also briefly served as the governor of Balochistan in 1972-73.
Mengal became the chief minister in May 1972 and remained in that position until his government was dismissed by then prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in February 1973.
Mengal chose to go into self-exile in London during General Zia-ul-Haq’s era. He returned to Pakistan in the 1990s and formed the BNP.
He also remained the head of the Pakistan Oppressed Nations Movement (Ponm).
In 1962, Mengal was elected to West Pakistan’s provincial assembly.
President Dr Arif Alvi in his condolence message expressed sympathy with the grieved family and prayed for the high ranks of the deceased.
Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal expressed sorrow over the demise of the veteran Baloch leader and offered condolences to the bereaved family.
PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said he was saddened to hear Mengal’s passing away.
PML-N Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal also expressed sadness and prayed for Mengal.