Srinagar, Apr 05 : The former chief ministers of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir State and other political leaders here in the Union Territory on Wednesday expressed grief over the demise of noted educationist and former vice chancellor of the University of Kashmir Prof. Riyaz Punjabi.
Punjabi breathed his last earlier today at his Delhi residence.
According to a statement issued to Kashmir Despatch, National Conference Party President, Member of Parliament from Srinagar Dr Farooq Abdullah and Vice President Omar Abdullah expressed profound grief over his demise.
Party President said that Riyaz was a true educationalist, an astute communicator, a brilliant orator and a seasoned author. “Riyaz Sahib believed in the intellectual integrity of universities which he held were the places for inculcating advanced learning and encouraging research to serve the people of the country and J&K in the best possible manner. His passing away has saddened me. He was an intellectual bridge between rationalism and spiritualism with unparalleled depth of insight, profundity of scholarship, and ease of illuminating exposition. On his demise, I pay my earnest tributes to him. I pray to Almighty to bestow highest echelons to him Jannat and much needed forbearance to the bereaved family to bear the inconsolable loss. I share the grief of the bereaved family and express my solidarity with them in their hour of grief,” he said.
In his message, the Party Vice President said that an illuminating light has gone out of our lives. “He dabbled in various roles starting from philosopher to administrator, but people remember him for his outstanding contribution to the field of academics. He did an outstanding job towards improving the standards of research, teaching and diversification of courses in his stint as the vice chancellor of Kashmir. He was and will continue to be a role model to many aspiring minds. He truly exemplified the adage” the end product of education is a creative and free mind. On his demise I pay my earnest tributes to him and pray for repose to his soul in the Jannat. I express my unison with the bereaved family, associates and scores of students. May they have the required strength to bear the loss,” he said.
Meanwhile, other NC leaders too prayed for peace to departed soul and courage to bereaved family.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti also expressed grief over his demise. She described Prof Punjabi as someone who unflinchingly strived to reform the higher education sector, laid focus on quality research and at the same time increased the administrative efficiency of institutions in whichever capacity he served.
“The ease with which Prof Punjabi would bridge the academic and political streams was seamless. He was always brimming with ideas, focusing on improving the quality and broad basing the scope of the education sector. His constant advocacy of skill based technical education as an elixir for the ever elusive question of providing employment to the educated youth was visionary,” Mehbooba said.
“His passing has deeply saddened the members of the higher research and education community and has left behind a void which is difficult to be filled. My thoughts and prayers are with Taranum Riyaz, his wife and his children. I wish them strength in this hour of grief and pray to almighty Allah to bestow his soul highest place in Jannat,” Mehbooba prayed.
Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) President Ghulam Ahmad Mir expressed deep sorrow and grief over the passing of Prof. Riyaz Punjabi, describing him as an illustrated son of the soil.
JKPCC President described former Vice Chancellor of Kashmir University Prof. Riyaz Punjabi as an erudite personality of J&K, whose contributions to the education sector were immense. “The passing away of Riyaz Punjab was a great loss to Jammu and Kashmir, Mir added and said the deceased was credited with reforming the Kashmir university “further” during his tenure as VC and will be remembered long for his vast knowledge and vision.
JKPCC President conveyed deepest condolences to family, friends and relatives of Riyaz Punjab and prayed for eternal peace to the departed soul.
CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami condoled the demise of Prof Riyaz Punjabi, saying that Late Prof Punjabi’s was a well-known academician. “His contribution to the development of Kashmir University will always be remembered.”
Tarigami expressed solidarity with the bereaved family.
Meanwhile, Apni Party senior leader and former minister Mohammad Dilawar Mir expressed deep shock and grief over his demise.
In a statement, Mir described the deceased as a good friend and a thorough gentleman who was a renowned academician besides an efficient and visionary administrator. “His contributions in the academic fields are immense and he will always be remembered especially for his unstinted efforts in regards with further the growth and development of Kashmir University,” he said.