A top elected pro-India leader of Kashmir, who tried to win over insurgent groups in the troubled region, has died in a New Delhi hospital of pneumonia. He was 79.

Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, who took over as the top elected official of the region in March last year, was hospitalized two weeks ago in the Indian capital.

He died Thursday said his party leader and Kashmir state Education Minister Nayeem Akhter.

Sayeed is survived by his wife, three daughters and a son.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Sayeed "provided a healing touch to Kashmir through his leadership."

India and Pakistan have fought two wars over control of Kashmir, divided between them since 1947.

Mufti advocated a dialogue with Pakistan to settle the dispute.