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EditorialDeath of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), in particular, and the Arab world and the remaining parts of the world, in general, will remember Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the great successor of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, as a visionary leader who exploited the wealth of oil and coastal line of the UAE region to turn the Gulf region into one of the wealthiest regions of the world. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who was also the president of the UAE, and the ruler of Abu Dhabi, died at the age of 73 on Friday. The deceased leader helped Pakistan on several critical occasions, and for this reason, the government of Pakistan announced a three-day state of mourning.

Leading politicians and state functionaries, including President Dr Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, former prime minister Imran Khan, and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, have expressed deep sorrow over the death of the UAE ruler with the Gulf leadership in their messages. When Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan became the ruler of Abu Dhabi in 1966, Sheikh Khalifa was appointed the king’s representative in the eastern regions.

Sheikh Khalifa was only 18 at the time. Three years later, he was made chairman of the country’s defence department. Since the establishment of the United Arab Emirates in 1971, he held a number of positions, including the post of the prime minister of Abu Dhabi, most notably in the Ministry of Defense and Finance. In 1973, he was appointed deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates. In 1976, the country’s army commander was appointed head of Abu Dhabi’s Supreme Council, a position he held until his death. During this time he reorganized both the federal government and Abu Dhabi, but he was known for his keen interest in public affairs. When the recession hit the Gulf region in the mid-200s, the Khalifa showered billions of dollars on Dubai, helping the state to fight the financial crisis within a year. The Dubai ruler thanked the Khalifa by naming the world’s tallest building behind him. The UAE has stood by Pakistan and its people in every testing hour. The Pakistani nation shares in the grief of the UAE government and people and prays to God Almighty to elevate the status of the deceased.

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