Beyond Metros, India, Kerala, Politics

E Ahamed, the skilled diplomat who played pivotal role in India’s relation with Middle East

E Ahamed, Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) president and former Union minister who died at RML hospital in Delhi early Wednesday was a political stalwart and a skilled diplomat who played pivotal role in India’s diplomatic relation with middle-eastern countries.

Ahamed, member of the Kerala Legislative Assembly for 18 years and Lok Sabha MP for 25 years, was born in a political family in Kerala’s Kannur.

Ahaamed started his political career as an activist in Muslim Students Federation (MSF), student wing of his party. He was the first general secretary of MSF.

Ahamed, an ardent football fan, worked as a sports journalist in Chandrika during his college days. Ahmed later served as the board director of Chandrika, the mouthpiece of his party.

He represented Malappuram constituency in Lok Sabha. He was elected to the Kerala Legislative Assembly in 1967, 1977, 1980, 1982 and 1987. From 1982 to 1987, he served as Cabinet Minister for Industries, Government of Kerala.

He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1991, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2009. During 2004 -2009, he served as the Minister of State for External Affairs. From April 2009 to January 2011, he was Minister of State for Railways. He assumed charge again as Minister of State of External Affairs on 24 January 2011. Ahamed also held the additional charge of the Ministry of Human Resource Development from July 2011 to October 2012.

He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1991, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2009. During 2004 -2009, he served as the Minister of State for External Affairs. From April 2009 to January 2011, he was Minister of State for Railways. He assumed charge again as Minister of State of External Affairs on 24 January 2011. Ahamed also held the additional charge of the Ministry of Human Resource Development from July 2011 to October 2012.

Ahamed played a pivotal role in maintaining diplomatic ties with middle-eastern countries. He facilitated the annual pilgrimage, Hajj, from India. Ahamed had the distinction of being among the few world leaders to be invited to the ritualistic washing of the Ka’ba in Mecca during the Hajj pilgrimage.

Ahamed represented India in the United Nations 10 times between 1991 and 2014.  He has authored three books in English and Malayalam.

Ahamed is survived by daughter Dr Fousia Shershad and sons Ahamed Raeez and Nazeer Ahamed.

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