Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s caretaker Chief Minister, Mohammad Azam Khan, 89, passed away on Saturday, just one day after being admitted to a hospital in Peshawar.
Khan was rushed to Peshawar’s Rehman Medical Institute (RMI) due to a sudden illness and was immediately placed in the hospital’s intensive care unit. Dr. Gulzar of RMI revealed that Khan was suffering from a hernia, as confirmed by a CT scan, and was also experiencing symptoms of diarrhoea. Plans were underway to decide on an operation, but unfortunately, Khan suffered a heart attack and passed away at 9 am. His funeral prayer was scheduled in his native Prang, Charsadda, at 3:30 pm.
Khan, a retired bureaucrat, had a remarkable career, having served as the interior, capital administration, and development minister in the interim cabinet of former caretaker Prime Minister Nasir-ul-Mulk in 2018.
A Barrister-at-Law from Lincoln’s Inn, London, Khan had also served as a finance, planning, and development minister in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and held key positions in both federal and provincial governments. His tenure as chief secretary from September 1990 to July 1993 and as chairman of the Pakistan Tobacco Board were notable highlights of his career.
Dissolution of KP Cabinet and Next Steps
Following Khan’s death, the provincial cabinet has been dissolved as per the law, with all powers now transferred to KP Governor Ghulam Ali until a new chief minister is appointed. The process for choosing the next chief minister involves the leader of the opposition in the Senate and the Leader of the House, with the Election Commission of Pakistan playing a role if mutual consultations fail to yield a decision.
President Dr. Arif Alvi, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, and other prominent leaders like Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi and former Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed their deep sorrow and condolences. Leaders across the political spectrum, including Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Sindh Caretaker Chief Minister Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar, also shared their condolences, acknowledging Khan’s sincere services and dedication to the country.