Jenab Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was born on 12 January 1936 in Bijbehara town of Anantnag district. Having graduated from S.P. College in Srinagar, he went on to obtain a degree in law, and a post-graduate degree in Arab History from Aligarh Muslim University. He started a law practice in Anantnag / Islamabad. In the late 1950s, he joined the Democratic National Conference (DNC) led by G.M. Sadiq. He was appointed district convener of the new organisation, the first formal post he held.
Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was elected to the Assembly from Bijbehara in 1962, and retained the seat in 1967. As a result, he was appointed a Deputy Minister by G.M. Sadiq. In 1972, he became a Cabinet Minster and also Congress party’s leader in the Legislative Council. In 1975 he was made the leader of the Congress Legislature Party and president of Pradesh Congress.
In 1986, he was appointed as the Union Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. He quit as tourism minister in 1987, left the Congress and co-founded Jan Morcha with V.P. Singh. In 1989, he won the Lok Sabha election from Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh as a Janata Dal candidate and became the Union Home Minister in Prime Minister V.P. Singh’s cabinet.
He served twice as the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir; for three years from November 2002 till November 2005 and then again from March 2015 until his death in January 2016. He founded the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Democratic Party, in July 1999 to “persuade the Government of India to initiate an unconditional dialogue with Kashmiris for resolution of the Kashmir problem.”
He passed away on 7 January 2016 at AIIMS, Delhi due to illness.