Bharath, Ramadhar mourn Karim

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Former minister Fazal Karim –

FORMER People’s Partnership (PP) government ministers Vasant Bharath and Prakash Ramadhar on January 22 joined their former political colleagues in mourning the death of former Chaguanas East MP Fazal Karim.

Karim died on January 22.

In a statement, Bharath said, “His passing leaves a void, not easily filled, in the political landscape, as he had been an invaluable asset, as general secretary of the UNC and a most competent and accomplished minister of government in the PP between 2010 and 2015.”

Karim was science and tertiary education minister during that time.

Bharath said Karim “was one of a few that left government with his head held high, principles intact, not being tarred with the brush of arrogance and corruption. “

He added that while Karim’s work as an MP was exemplary, “He was unceremoniously and unfairly removed by the powers that be (in the UNC).”

Bharath said this was something that Karim never forgot or forgave.

“Throughout his illustrious career, he exemplified the true spirit of public service, recognising and tirelessly championing the issue of education as well as technical vocational skills and qualifications for those who may not have been academically inclined.”

Bharath said Karim had the respect of both PNM and UNC parliamentarians for his ability to bridge divides and find common ground.

Before the start of a news conference at his office on Lord Street, Ramadhar expressed his sadness at Karim’s death.

He said Karim was a true patriot. Ramadhar added that Karim will be particularly remembered for his efforts to improve tertiary education.