HH the Grandfather Emir Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad al-Thani died yesterday evening at the age of 84, the Emiri Diwan announced in a statement. “May Allah have mercy on his soul and make his residence paradise, and grant him the best reward for what he achieved for his homeland and nation,” the statement added. HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani declared three days of public mourning across the country, the official Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported.
The Emiri Diwan announced that the funeral prayers will be held on Monday after Asr prayer at Imam Mohammed bin Abdulwahab Mosque in Doha. The burial will be in Al-Rayyan Cemetery. The Emiri Diwan also announced that HH the emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and HH the Father emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani will receive condolences from mourners at Al-Wajbah Palace as follows: On Monday, 24th October 2016, after Maghrib prayer until Isha prayer.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, 25-26 October 2016, from 9:00 am to noon prayer, and after Asr prayer until Isha prayer. HH Sheikh Khalifa was the sixth Emir of Qatar and ruled from 1972 until 1995. He was born in Al Rayyan in 1932. Before assuming power, he worked as commander of the security forces and in-charge of civilian courts in the country. He became the deputy ruler of the country on October 24, 1960 and finance minister on November 5 that year.
The first Cabinet was formed in Qatar under the temporary political system on May 29, 1970, and he assumed the position of the prime minister in addition to being the finance minister, deputy ruler of the country and minister for oil. He announced the declaration of independence from British occupation on September 3, 1971. HH Sheikh Khalifa became the Emir on February 22, 1972.
He appointed a foreign minister for Qatar for the first time to express Qatar’s foreign policy and enhance communication and understanding with different countries. HH Sheikh Khalifa is credited in Qatar’s history with launching the foundations of a modern state and restructuring government bodies and departments, such as the ministries of defense, foreign affairs, municipality and information. He also exerted great efforts in developing services in the country and entered into agreements with major oil companies to benefit from the country’s resources.
During his reign, the Advisory Council was restructured on December 14, 1990, when 19 new members were appointed and 11 former members kept their positions. The State Audit Bureau was created to audit the performance of government bodies. Also during his reign, Qatar took part in the establishment of the Gulf Co-operation Council in 1981. His reign saw considerable increase in oil exports due to the agreements signed by the government with a number of foreign companies.
Sources: QGN, Gulf Time, Gulf Agencies.