KARACHI, Nov 24: Ardeshir Cowasjee, a Dawn columnist, philanthropist and shipping tycoon, died at a hospital here on Saturday afternoon. He was 86.

Mr Cowasjee, who was in frail health after suffering a femur fracture in August, was admitted to the National Medical Centre due to pneumonia some 10 days ago. He was in the intensive care unit when he breathed his last.

His daughter, Ava Cowasjee, was by his side, holding his hand.

Cowasjee’s son Rustom, who is in Washington, is expected in Karachi on Monday for the funeral.

As word of Mr Cowasjee’s death spread, friends and well-wishers gathered at the hospital and also at his residence.

Former attorney general Aziz Munshi said he had known Mr Cowasjee for over 30 years. “We fought many legal battles together.

He was a great seeker and speaker of truth. Truth was his only religion. His departure has left a great void,” he said.

Remembering Mr Cowasjee, former information minister and intellectual Javed Jabbar said: “He was a remarkable combination of someone committed to public interest and someone with a vivid distinct persona, which could not possibly be mistaken for anyone else’s persona. He was truly a great individual.” Sarosh prayers for Cowasjee will be held on Sunday and Monday at his residence, 10 Mary Road, Bath Island, Karachi, at 5.45pm. The funeral will be held at 11am on Tuesday at his residence.

Ava, Mr Cowasjee’s daughter, has said the funeral will be open to people of all religions.

Updated Nov 24, 2012 09:04pm

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