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Monday, June 18, 2001

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Mohammad Yunus dead


NEW DELHI, JUNE 17. Mohammad Yunus, a distinguished diplomat, former chairman of the Trade Fair Authority of India and a close friend of the Nehru family, died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences here today after protracted illness. He was 85.

Mr. Yunus, nephew of frontier Gandhi, Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, was admitted to the AIIMS last month, the AICC secretary, Mr. Tom Vadakkan said. A keen votary of non-alignment, he was associated with three NAM summits at Lusaka, Algiers and Colombo. He was also India's envoy to Indonesia, Iraq, Turkey and Algeria.

Born on June 26, 1916 at Abbottabad in Pakistan, he plunged into the freedom struggle when he was a student and came in contact with the country's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. Their friendship took firm roots and lasted more than three decades.

He was jailed during the Quit India movement and wrote a book Prisoner's Letter (Qaidi Ke Khat). After the partition, he opted to remain in India signifying his robust nationalism.

The President, Mr. K.R. Narayanan, the Congress president, Ms. Sonia Gandhi, her daughter, Ms. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, and several senior Congress leaders offered floral tributes to Mohammad Yunus. They visited the Lodhi Road residence of the departed leader and offered their tributes. Senior party leaders Mr. Manmohan Singh, Mr. Ahmed Patel, Mr. Moti Lal Vora, Mr. N D Tiwari, Mr. R K Dhavan, Mr. Shivraj Patil and the Delhi Chief Minister, Ms. Sheila Dixit, were among those who offered their tributes to the former diplomat.

- PTI

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