Monday Sep 20 2021

In memory of Brigadier Nadeem Iqbal

Brigadier Nadeem Iqbal (late). Photo: file
Brigadier Nadeem Iqbal (late). Photo: file

LONDON: One of the Pakistan military’s brightest rising stars Brigadier Nadeem Iqbal tragically passed away at the age of 44 after a courageous fight against COVID-19.

The untimely death of Brigadier Iqbal has left his friends, family, and colleagues in utter shock and in a state of inexplicable bereavement over a loss that no one had imagined.

Brigadier Iqbal was posted in General Headquarters (GHQ) as Director Staff Duties, looking after the army’s foreign relations.

File photo of Brigadier Nadeem Iqbal during COAS Gen Qamar Javed Bajwas visit.
File photo of Brigadier Nadeem Iqbal during COAS Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa's visit.

He contracted COVID-19 in the middle of August 2021 and his health deteriorated within a week. The virus attack was so severe that it immediately disabled his liver and lungs.

He was admitted at the Combined Military Hospital Rawalpindi where, under the instructions of Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, he received the best possible treatment.

A team of dedicated doctors had supervised Iqbal’s treatment. He felt better and spoke to friends and family members almost 96 hours before his demise and doctors were optimistic that he will make it through.

The son of the former additional secretary Azad Kashmir Sabir Niaz,  Iqbal was born in Rawalakot, Azad Kashmir. He served at the Pakistan High Commission in London from 2016 to 2019 as the defence attache.

He returned to Pakistan and was promoted to the rank of brigadier in 2020.

In a tweet, Pakistan High Commission London said: “We are deeply saddened at the untimely demise of Brig. Nadeem Iqbal Khan, former Defence Attaché ‪@PakistaninUK. He was a thorough professional & a wonderful human being. Our thoughts & prayers are with the bereaved family. May Allah Almighty rest his soul in eternal peace. Ameen!”

Zahid Hafeez Chaudhary, High Commissioner-designate of Pakistan to the Commonwealth of Australia, who worked with the deceased in London, tweeted: “Deeply saddened to hear of the passing away of Brig  Iqbal Khan - a wonderful colleague, a great friend, a thorough professional and a soldier to the core. Will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family & friends. May Allah SWT rest his soul in eternal peace.”

Messages of condolences and grief poured in through WhatsApp groups and social media in the UK. The shocking news of Iqbal’s tragic passing away took everyone by shock but also for the reason that he meant so much to many people through the personal relations he developed with a vast array of people during his service in London.

The British Pakistani community members recalled their meetings with Iqbal at Pakistan High Commission’s community events where they met him and were appreciative of his humbleness, love, and eagerness to help others.

During his posting in London, Iqbal’s role included interacting with defence think tanks, defence policymakers, and defence academicians.

He wrote policy papers explaining Pakistan’s defence position on various regional and international issues.

During Army Chief General Bajwa’s visit to the UK, Iqbal accompanied him to all the high-level meetings and he used to be the focal coordinator for such meetings between Pakistan and the UK.

Former DG ISPR General Asif Ghafoor and Iqbal travelled together to various meetings outside of London where General Ghafoor addressed Pakistani students and held meetings with officials.

Iqbal is survived by his wife and three young children Amna, Sheheryar and Momina.