Dharamshala — The spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama expressed profound grief on the demise of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, a politician who served twice as the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama wrote to Ms Mehbooba Mufti on January 7, to express his sadness on hearing the news that her father, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had passed away in New Delhi, said a statement by His Holiness the Dalai Lama's office.
"Not only have we lost a serving Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir, but also a man with more than fifty years' dedicated political experience," His Holiness said.
"I pray for him and offer my condolences to you, your mother and other members of your family," the Nobel Peace Prize laureate said in his condolence message.
Mufti, 79, was in hospital since December 24 last year, passed away in New Delhi on Thursday morning of multiple organ failure, after a prolonged illness, and was buried with state honours in his home town of Bijbehara.
Mufti became a cabinet minister in 1972 and in 1975 leader of state congress legislative party. Mohammad Sayeed had been a member of the Indian National Congress party until 1987. He joined Rajiv Gandhi government in 1986 as Minister of Tourism in 1986.
In 1987, he quit the Congress party to join V. P. Singh's Jan Morcha, which led to his becoming the first Muslim Minister for Home Affairs in the Union Cabinet of India for one year from 1989 to 1990.
He founded the Jammu and Kashmir People's Democratic Party (PDP), in July 1999 to "persuade the Government of India to initiate an unconditional dialogue with Kashmiris for resolution of the Kashmir problem.
Following a coalition agreement (2015–2016) between the BJP and the PDP, Sayeed undertook a second tenure as Chief Minister of the state.