KARACHI, Nov 6: Mahmoud A. Haroon, a veteran politician and chairman of the Dawn Media Group, died in Karachi on Thursday after protracted illness. He was 88. He is survived by daughter Ambar Haroon-Saigol.
Mahmoud Haroon actively participated in the Pakistan movement and had the honour of becoming the ADC to Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah at the age of 17. He served as Mayor of Karachi, twice as governor of Sindh, a minister in the West Pakistan cabinet and federal minister of agriculture, minister of interior and minister of defence.
His funeral prayers will be held at 10am on Friday at his residence, Haroon Villa, 12G, Block 9, Clifton. He will be laid to rest in the Gizri graveyard, Defence Housing Society.
The death of Mahmoud Haroon has been widely mourned. President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani have expressed sorrow and grief over his death.
President Zardari issued a condolence statement.
The prime minister called on Ms Ambar Haroon-Saigol and offered condolences. Senate Chairman Muhammadmian Soomro, National Assembly Speaker Fehmida Mirza, leader of the House in the Senate and Inter-Provincial Coordination Minister Mian Raza Rabbani, Information Minister Sherry Rehman, PML-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif, Sindh Governor Ishratul Ibad, Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, PML-Q president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and the party’s central leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi also offered condolences and described Mahmoud Haroon’s death as a great loss to the country and the nation. They eulogised the services rendered by the late parliamentarian and said he was a great worker of the Pakistan movement.
Condolences were also offered by Sindh ministers Shazia Marri, Pir Mazharul Huq, Agha Siraj Durrani, Syed Murad Ali Shah, Jam Mehtab Hussain Daher, Makhdoom Jamiluzzaman and Ayaz Soomro.
National Workers Party senior-vice president Yusuf Masti Khan and Leader of Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Jam Madad Ali also expressed grief and offered condolences to the bereaved family.
The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and the All Pakistan Newspapers Employees Confederation said in a statement that with the death of Mr Haroon the country had lost a veteran of the Pakistan movement and an honest politician.
They said that as chairman of the Dawn Media Group, Mr Haroon was a good employer and looked after his employees well. All Pakistan Newspapers Society’s secretary-general Mohammad Aslam Kazi said in a statement Mr Haroon had been APNS president and member of the executive committee for several terms and his services to the newspaper industry would always be remembered.
PML-N leader Raja Zafarul Haq, who was a colleague of Mr Haroon in the federal cabinet during the 1980s, said the late politician was a thorough gentleman and a true Pakistani.
He said Mr Haroon had played a pivotal role in strengthening Pakistan’s relations with Muslim countries. Former finance minister Sartaj Aziz said he had been saddened by the death of Mr Haroon who was a “friend of friends”. Also a cabinet colleague of Mr Haroon in the 1980s, Mr Aziz said he had greatly benefited from his advices and suggestions.
Jamaat-i-Islami secretary-general Syed Munawwar Hassan said Mr Haroon’s family had rendered great services during the Pakistan movement. Chaudhry Rehmat Elahi, another colleague of the late politician in the federal cabinet, said Mr Haroon was a good partner with a humble disposition and rich experience to handle difficult situations.