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Hashim Raza passes away

October 01, 2003

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KARACHI, Sept 30: Syed Hashim Raza, Karachi’s first administrator and a distinguished civil servant, died here on Tuesday due to kidney failure after a protracted illness, family sources said. He was 92.

Funeral prayers will be offered at Defence Imambargah after Zohar and he will be buried in the adjacent Phase IV graveyard.

He leaves behind his wife, Mrs Salma Raza, two sons (Mr Ali Raza, the president of National Bank, and Mr Salim Raza, who is associated with Citibank, London), two daughters (Nasreen Fatima and Tanveer Fatima) and grandchildren.

Syed Hashim Raza had a remarkable grasp of history and spoke both English and Urdu with equal facility. He was also a poet and showed interest in the Urdu literature, especially after his retirement in 1966.

Mr Raza was a frequent contributor to Dawn and whenever this newspaper asked him to write for special occasions, he always obliged.

Born in Unao, India, on Feb 16, 1910, Mr Raza was the son of Justice Syed Mohammad Raza who had an illustrious career as a civil servant.

Mr Raza had the opportunity of being close to Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. At the time of the Quaid’s death, he was administrator of Karachi. He also served as Governor of the former East Pakistan and also presided over an ILO session in 1965.

He was awarded Sitara-i-Quaid-i-Azam and Sitara-i-Pakistan for his meritorious services.

Mr Raza did his MA in political science in 1932 from Lucknow. Later, he proceeded to Oxford for further studies where he also served as president of Oxford Muslim Society.

He joined the Indian Civil Service in 1934 and was posted at Ahmadnagar. Between 1934 and 1939 he served as Assistant Collector and Magistrate. In 1939 he sought posting in Sindh where until 1943 he served as deputy secretary and provincial press adviser. Between 1943 and 1946 he served as deputy commissioner and collector in districts Larkana and Tharparkar. He also served as secretary to Governor of Sindh between 1946 and 1947. He also served as deputy commissioner Karachi between 1947-48.

From July 1948 to April 1951, Mr Raza acted as administrator of Karachi which at that time was the federal capital. Later he served as education and health secretary, Sindh.

Other positions that he held were: Sindh’s development commissioner and chief secretary, Election Commissioner, Settlement Commissioner Sindh, and Commissioner Bahawalpur.

Mr Raza, who was younger brother of poet Syed Aley Raza, served on Urdu Development Board, Quaid-i-Azam Academy, and Seerat Committee. He was the author of a book titled “Hamari Manzilain”.