PM Imran Khan condoles passing of Bahrain’s prime minister

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed his condolences over the passing of Bahrain’s long-time prime minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa

In a statement, the prime minister said he was a man of great vision, profound integrity and above all a close friend to the people of Pakistan. He also prayed that the departed soul may rest in eternal peace.

“Deepest condolences to the Khalifa family & brotherly people of Bahrain on the passing of HRH Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa. He was a man of great vision, profound integrity and above all a close friend to the people of Pakistan. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” said the prime minister.

Bahrain’s Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa died at the age of 84 after a brief illness. He was seeking treatment at a hospital in the United States when he passed away.

“The Royal Court mourns His Royal Highness … who passed away this morning at Mayo Clinic Hospital in the United States of America,” Bahrain’s state media said without elaborating.

Sheikh Khalifa was one of the world’s longest-serving prime ministers who held the post since Bahrain’s independence in 1971.

Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa named crown prince Salman al-Khalifa as the new prime minister. The king announced official mourning for a week during which flags will be flown at half-mast.

The burial ceremony will take place upon the repatriation of his body and the funeral will be limited to a specific number of relatives, it said.

Sheikh Khalifa was one of the world’s longest-serving prime ministers who led his island nation’s government for decades and survived the 2011 Arab Spring protests that demanded his removal over corruption allegations.

His stern response to the pro-democracy protests and criticism of similar unrest across the Arab world underlined what for many was the defining characteristic of his career, namely a stalwart defence of dynastic rule. The Al Khalifa family has ruled Bahrain since 1783.