Skardu: Renowned nationalist leader Syed Haider Shah Rizvi passed away yesterday in Skardu after prolonged ailment. He had been under treatment in Karachi for several months. He was recently shifted to Skardu after his condition deteriorated. The 45-year-old leader of the Balawaristan National Front (BNF) was laid to rest in Skardu. His funeral prayer was attended by thousands of people from all walks of life.
Haider Shah Rizvi was a flamboyant speaker and an ardent advocate of the political and economic rights of the Gilgit-Baltistan region. He had started his political career as a leader of the Baltistan Students Federation (BSF) in the late 80s. He was imprisoned several times and tortured for defying government orders, breaking laws and unfailingly raising his voice for the rights of Gilgit-Baltistan’s people.
Last year he was beaten up among others by the police in Skardu, when he was leading a symbolic funeral procession of the Shigar and Kharmang districts, which had not been formed despite numerous announcements and promises.
He remained imprisoned in Chilas, Skardu and Gilgit on several occasions. At least 51 cases had been registered against him during his life time, including a case of treason.
The nationalist leader’s condition had deteriorated due to various diseases. He had been shifted to Karachi for treatment a couple of months, but he could not recover from his ailments.