KARACHI: Better known by his pen name ‘Yasir Rizvi’, Dr Waheed-ur-Rehman, the Karachi University teacher and journalist who was shot dead on Wednesday morning, was a popular teacher and a trusted friend.
A few know about his personal life and the reason why he chose this pen name to write for the Daily Ummat, as there are many of his acquaintances who came to know about his real name only when he is no more in this world. However, the one attribute that everyone relates to Dr Rehman was his great sense of humour.
“He was a thorough professional and a well-behaved person. The one thing I liked about him was that he would find some funny angle in ordinary events,” said Sajjad Abbasi, joint editor of the Daily Ummat where Dr Rehman worked for almost eight years before he joined Urdu University and later KU.
As a reporter, Dr Rehman was assigned to cover activities of political and religious parties and religious seminaries. “His reporting was not focused on a single party. It was during his tenure at our paper that he did his PhD. After leaving our newspaper, he started writing for Nai Baat,” he added.
Appointed assistant professor at the mass communication department of KU in 2013, Dr Rehman was later asked to also act as media adviser to the vice chancellor.
“He did his doctorate under the late Prof Shakeel Auj and Dr Tauseef Ahmed, presently teaching at the Urdu university. He had a very close association with the late professor and was helping Prof Auj’s family in the murder investigation,” said Dr Osama Shafeeq, his colleague and friend at the KU mass communication department.
“I met him at the Urdu university and both of us were hired at KU almost the same period. We used to have tea together on the campus on a daily basis. Today, when I called him for tea, there was no reply,” Dr Shafeeq said in a grief-stricken voice.
He said: “Being the only child and having suffered his father’s death while he was still in school, Dr Rehman had to work hard early in life to support his family and make a career.”
According to Dr Shafeeq, also an assistant professor, Dr Rehman never told him about any kind of threat. “He was always positive and stayed away from controversies,” he said.
Sharing his sentiments, Dr Shakeel Farooqui of Karachi University Teachers Society said Dr Rehman gained popularity on the campus within a short time and that explained why the university asked him to serve as a media adviser. “It was always a pleasure talking to him, as he was a man with strong arguments. It’s a great loss and tragedy,” Dr Farooqui said.
Dr Rehman has left a wife and two daughters.
Published in Dawn, April 30th, 2015