K.V. Prasad

Leaders carry messages from Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi

PESHAWAR: Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson K. Rehman Khan on Friday carried a message of condolence from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the family of Khan Wali Khan, the son of Frontier Gandhi Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, who died here on Thursday.

Mr. Rehman Khan, who came here as a special emissary of the Prime Minister, visited the ancestral home of the late Wali Khan at Charsadda and met members of the bereaved family, including his widow, and son Asfandyar Wali Khan.

Mr. Rehman Khan's delegation included senior Congress leaders Salman Khurshid, who carried a message from Congress president Sonia Gandhi to the family. The late Wali Khan was an office-bearer of the All-India Congress Committee in the late 1940s.

Thousands of mourners assembled at the Jinnah Park here for the final prayers before Wali Khan's body was taken to his ancestral home for burial.

Asfandyar Wali Khan said no words were strong enough to express the gratitude to Indians, who had come to share the grief of the family. He recalled the strong bonding between the people of India and people of the region, as also the fraternal ties between the Congress Party and the Awami National Party which he heads.

Mr. Asfandyar Wali Khan said the calibre of leadership exhibited by his party now found reflection in the manner in which both countries are moving ahead on the path of dialogue.

He said fifty years ago the leaders of our party were dubbed as traitors and anti-Pakistani for suggesting both countries should sit down and sort out differences through dialogue.

On his part, Mr. Rehman Khan said he had come with a personal message of the Prime Minister and the people of India joining the family in their hour of grief. Mr. Rehman Khan, who had arrived here on Friday afternoon by a special Indian Air Force flight for the funeral, returned to Delhi in the evening.