NEW YORK, May 25 (APP):Yusuf Buch, a former Pakistani cabinet minister and diplomat, passed away on Friday evening at his home in New York.He was 98.

Buch, who is best known as an eminent expert on the Kashmir dispute, was not keeping good health lately and had returned to his apartment from a hospital three days ago.

From 1972 to 77, he worked for former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as his special assistant. He then served as Pakistan’s ambassador to Switzerland.

Later, Buch joined the United Nations at a senior position and worked as a speech writer for former UN Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim until his retirement in 1991.

Buch came to the United States in 1953 as a winner of an International Essay Contest sponsored by the United Nations. Later, he ran a Free-Kashmir Centre in New York from 1957 to 1972.

He has written extensively on the issues of South Asia and Kashmir. He is known as the authority on the issues related to Kashmir.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, expressed her deep sadness over Buch’s death, saying that he participated in the resistance and his writings and pronouncements on Kashmir provided intellectual stimulus to the freedom movement.

“Few could match his knowledge of Kashmir. its history, culture and evolution of the freedom movement. I had often encouraged him to write his memoirs but he felt his age did not give him the strength to do so,” she added.

In a statement, prominent Kashmiri leader Ghulam Nabi Fai, said that Buch was a living encyclopedia on Kashmir. “He lived an illustrious life of courage and dedicated his life for the cause of Kashmir,” he said, adding that he was a “real freedom fighter and true legend.”