KARACHI: Distinguished scholar, documentary filmmaker, media person and novelist Obaidullah Baig died of cancer on Friday at 5.30am. He was 75.
He is survived by his wife, Salma Baig, who once hosted a show on PTV, and three daughters.
Born in India in 1936, Baig was in his early twenties when he wrote his first novel Aur Insaan Zinda Hai.
In the 1960s Baig produced and presented on Pakistan Television a series of documentaries titled Sailani Ke Saath. It was one of the most watched and critically acclaimed programmes on television at the time. He would visit far-off and culturally rich areas of the country and introduce them to TV viewers. Some of the most successful of the episodes were on the Khirthar Range and the Lahut Valley in Balochistan.
But it was the quiz show Kasauti on which Baig exhibited his extraordinary knowledge of history, literature, geography and environmental sciences that he is most remembered for.
Baig’s namaz-i-janaza held at Sultan Masjid in Defence after Friday prayers was attended by a large number of people and he was laid to rest in the Defence Graveyard. Among those who took part in the funeral procession were actor Rahat Kazmi, TV producers Zaheer Khan and Zafar Akbar, writer Anwar Maqsood, music composer Arshad Mahmood, media persons Farhad Zaidi and Ghazi Salahuddin, poet Naseer Turabi and scholar Quraish Pur. Moving scenes were witnessed as some of his close relatives and friends couldn’t control themselves and became teary-eyed.
Soyem will be held at Baig’s residence — 6 Qamar Court, 111 Clifton opposite Amir Khusrau Park — on Sunday after Zuhr prayers.