ISLAMABAD: Renowned broadcaster Surraya Shahab died in Islamabad early Friday morning.

Ms Shahab was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for the last few years. On Friday morning, she complained of stomach ache. Her son was taking her to a private hospital but she died on the way.

Ms Shahab was laid to rest in a local graveyard later in the afternoon. Her funeral was attended by a large number of people. She leaves behind two sons and a daughter and lot of friends and admirers to mourn her death.

Surraya Shahab was one of the pioneer newscasters of the country.

She had done her masters in journalism and political science and was doing her doctorate in political science but had to put it on hold after being diagnosed with cancer.

She started her broadcasting career in the early 60s with Radio Pakistan. Later she went to Iran and joined Radio Iran Zahidan where she hosted a programme which became an instant success.

People would wait for the programme which opened with the line, Awaaz ki dunya key dosto yeh Radio Iran Zahidan hey.

In 1973, she returned to Pakistan and joined Radio Pakistan and PTV as a newsreader. Later, she joined BBC Urdu Service in the mid 1980s and shifted to London. She also worked for Voice of Germany in the late 90s.

Mohammad Khalid, son of Surraya Shahab, told Dawn that she was working on a book on poetry and other subjects but could not complete it due to her ailment.

He said she was a cancer patient and after operation, suffered from critical health issues, including Alzheimer’s.

He said she had the finest taste in poetry and Urdu literature, adding that his mother’s condition suddenly deteriorated after suffering stomach ache and breathed her last in his arms.

Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2019