Indian Union Muslim League National President and former Union Minister E Ahamed,78, passed away early morning on Wednesday at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in New Delhi. He was the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs and Railways in two UPA ministries.  Amiable and humble, he made good friends with world leaders and his close relations with Arab leaders helped India and Indians a lot when in crisis. 


When the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia decided to implement Nitaqat system in 2013 to make it mandatory for private companies to provide 10% jobs for locals, it came as a shock to two million Indians working there. At least 3 lakh semi-skilled workers, most of them from Kerala, would have hit hard by the new law. It sent panic waves in the state, and the government was in the dark on how to deal with the possible fallout of expat from the Gulf country in droves. 

Ahamed with Prince Saud al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia

In the crisis, Kerala was pinning hopes on two Malayalees who were working hard to mitigate the impact and to convince the Saudi Arabian authorities to give some respite to the Indians who would be in trouble by the law. One was Vayalar Ravi, who was the Union Overseas Minister. The other one, of course, was E Ahamed, who was the Minister of State for External Affairs. The presence of  Ahamed in the high-level delegation to the Kingdom was a big hope for the expats because the go-getter and his friendship with Arab leaders were a surety. And the delegation made significant headway in mitigating the damage of an immediate implementation of Nitaqat law.  

Ahamed tirelessly tried to reduce the impact of Nitaqat on Indian expatriates and won many relaxations from Saudi Arabia. He met the Saudi Royals frequently for present India's case. In 2004, he successfully negotiated with Saudi Arabia to increase Indias Haj quota from 72,000 to 1,70,000. 

 E Ahamed:

  • Born on 29, 1938 in Kannur, Kerala.
  • Ahamed elected to Parliament 7 times. 
  • Elected to Kerala Assembly 5 times. 
  • Was the  Kerala Industries minister in 1982. 
  •  Books published: 
  • One Foreign Journey and Numerous Memories
  •  A Story of Renaissance of Indian Muslims 
  •  The Leaders I know  
  • India`s Voice at United Nations


 Dinner hosted by Ahamed for the Ambassadors of Gulf and Arab Countries in 2015. 

When three Indian drivers were abducted by Al Queda in Iraq in 2004, the government reposed faith in Ahamed. He used his network of friends to ensure the release of the hostages, winning praise from all quarters.  

Ahamed is also credited with the inclusion of India in crucial Arab summits. He also holds the record of representing the country in international summits as a minister. He represented India in the United Nations 10 times. In the UN, he led a scathing attack on Pakistan, exposing its diabolic intervention while in the Parliament, he presented the plight of the people of Kashmir.

His Gulf missions started in 1984 when he toured the Arab States and met top leaders there as the representative of Indira Gandhi.