LAHORE – Pakistan’s former Foreign Minister Sahabzada Yaqub Ali Khan passed away yesterday night at the age of 95.
Sahabzada Yaqub Khan was a high-profile figure and high-ranking general who held the most senior and prestigious military and government assignments in the Pakistan Government, and was also the primary the international face of Pakistan for three decades.
He first served as the Foreign minister in military government of President General Zia-ul-Haq from 1982 to 1991 until the dying days of Cold War, and then also served as the caretaker Foreign minister from 1996 to 1997.
In 1973, he entered in Foreign Service assuming the diplomatic post of Pakistan Ambassador to the United States, Soviet Union and France, which he held until 1979.
Upon his return, he was re-called for his military service by then-Chief of Army Staff General Zia-ul-Haq in 1980, re-assuming the foreign military in 1982.
Yaqub Ali Khan became an international figure when he played a central role in the UN-sanctioned negotiations to end the Soviet involvement in Afghanistan, and also took part to end the civil war in Nicaragua, as he was the point man of the United Nations.
Since 1990, Khan associated with the United Nations, served at the special representative of UN. for Western Sahara and was finally reappointed as Foreign Minister in 1996.
As a result of 1997 parliamentary elections, Yaqub Ali Khan took subsequent retirement from the Foreign Service and settled in USA.
While posted in USA, he also played a major role in the resolution of 1977 Hanafi Siege in Washington, DC.
Since 1982 he served as Foreign Minister under seven different governments.
Then from 1992 until 1997 Yaqub Khan was the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Western Sahara.
He was also is the founding chairman of the Aga Khan University Board of Trustees, which he chaired for almost two decades until his retirement in 2001.
He was a commissioner in the now retired Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict.
Neo Monitoring Desk