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Sheik Jaber, Emir of Kuwait, dies

16 January, 2006

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KUWAIT CITY, January 16(Online): Sheik Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah, the emir of Kuwait who survived an assassination attempt in the 1980s and a decade later escaped Iraqi troops invading his oil-rich Persian Gulf state, died Sunday, state television announced. The sheik, who had been ailing since suffering a brain hemorrhage five years ago, was 79.

Crown Prince Sheik Saad Al Abdullah Al Sabah, a distant cousin chosen by the emir as his heir apparent in 1978, takes over as ruler of the tiny oil-rich country - a key U.S. ally in the Middle East. He is in his mid-70s and has colon problems.

The government announced a 40-day period of mourning and said government offices would be closed for three days beginning Sunday.

There had been speculation among Kuwaitis that the crown prince might give up his position because of poor health, but Prime Minister Sheik Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah announced in November that would not happen.

The post of the emir automatically goes to the crown prince, according to the country’s 1964 succession law, but it was not clear what the ruling family would decide in the longer term.

Sheik Jaber was a close friend of the United States even before U.S. forces led the fight to liberate his country in 1991. Kuwait served as the major launching point for the U.S.-led invasion 12 years later when American troops drove to Baghdad and toppled Saddam Hussein.

He suffered a brain hemorrhage in 2001 and was treated in London. On the rare occasions since then when he appeared in public, he had difficulty delivering speeches.

Sheik Jaber, born in 1926 before Kuwait became rich exporting oil and educated by private tutors in his father’s palace, was considered a father figure to many Kuwaitis who generally were fond and respectful of the emir.

President General Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat have condoled with Kuwaiti government over the sad demise of Kuwaiti Amir Sheik Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah.

Pakistan’s ambassador in Kuwait conveyed President Pervez Musharraf’s and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz’s separate condolence messages to Kuwaiti authorities.

In their separate condolence messages, President and Prime Minister expressed deep grief over the death of Sheik Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah and prayed Almighty Allah to rest the departed soul in an eternal peace and grant patience to the members of the bereaved families to bear the loss with fortitude.

Meanwhile, Azad Kashmir President Sardar Muhammad Anwar Khan and Prime Minister Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan also condoled over the passing away of Sheik Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah.

In their condolence messages, AJK President and Prime Minister paid tributes to late Sheik Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah for his services for Islamic world.

They noted that Muslim Umma has been deprived of great leader after the death of Sheik Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah.

They also lauded deceased for favoring Kashmir cause and his efforts for Kashmir solution.

AJK government also announced to observe three-day mourn over the death of Sheik Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah.

Sheik Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah died on Sunday. He had been ailing since suffering brain hemorrhage five years ago. He was 79 years old.

Pakistan officially announced three day mourning over the sad demise of Amir-e-Kuwait Sheikh Jabber Al Ahmad Al Jabber Al Sabah and national flag will remain at half mast in this regard.

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has also flown for Kuwait to participate in the burial ceremony of the Kuwaiti Amir. Before leaving for Kuwait, Prime Minister in a statement paid rich tributes to the late leader of Kuwait and expressed his profound grief over the sad demise of the true friend of Pakistan.

"Pakistani nation is in great shock and in sorrow over the sad demise of the Amir", He mourned. He also prayed that Allah Almighty may rest his departed soul in eternal peace.

Shaukat Aziz lauded his services and said that the late leader had rendered great services for Pak-Kuwait cordial relation. He hoped that existing cordial relation would further be strengthened in the future.

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said Sheikh Jabber Al Ahmad al Sabah was the founder of modern Kuwait and not only people of Kuwait but entire Ummah has been deprived of a great leader.

President General Pervez Musharraf has also expressed his profound grief and sorrow over the sad demise of the Kuwaiti Amir.

End.

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