KARACHI: Izharul Hasan Burney, a journalist with more than five decades of experience, died peacefully on Tuesday at his home after remaining in coma for about four months. He was 83.
He is survived by his wife, Mrs Khawar Burney, two sons and a daughter.
Known as I.H. Burney, he kept on working until he was physically fit to do so.
Mr Burney was born in Bulandshahr, a small town in Uttar Pradesh about 77km east of New Delhi, on June 24, 1931.
He passed matriculation examinations in his hometown and migrated to Karachi in 1947. He obtained higher education at the University of Karachi.
According to his family members, Mr Burney worked in various government and private organisations for brief periods, including Radio Pakistan, Karachi.
In May 1958, he joined Dawn; his association with the group was to last a lifetime.
He joined the daily as a staff reporter and was initially assigned the crime beat. But in time he was to work on almost all the beats.
Later on, he was given key positions on the desk, working for a fairly long period as the newspaper’s city editor.
He retired from Dawn in June 1991 but was hired as editor of the group’s evening newspaper, Star. He held the position for the next seven years.
In April 1998, he was hired as editorial consultant and remained associated with the group until he was wounded in an accident at home which proved to be fatal.
Mr Burney’s friends and peers described him as a caring gentleman, who was a hard taskmaster and committed professional.
He was a cricket and hockey buff and loved to play chess at the Karachi Press Club with a select group of friends.
He hated deserting and abandoning the people, and even the belongings, he liked. Long after the computer had invaded the newsroom, he had not removed the typewriter that sat on his office table for years. Similar was the case with the Volkswagen Beetle which he bought in 1967.
He was a founding member of the Karachi Press Club, which said in a statement that Mr Burney was among the journalists who fought long and hard for freedom of expression.
His funeral prayers will be offered at Masjid Alfalah, near Rangers Public School, Block A, North Nazimabad, at 9am on Wednesday (today).