Veteran Dawn ex-staffer dies

Published June 3, 2020
Mr Sami Ahmad in black sherwani; Mr Altaf Husain sitting extreme left.—Picture provided by Mr Jaleel Hamid Zubairi
Mr Sami Ahmad in black sherwani; Mr Altaf Husain sitting extreme left.—Picture provided by Mr Jaleel Hamid Zubairi

KARACHI: Sami Ahmad, who was among the last few surviving journalists who served under Altaf Husain, chosen by the Quaid-i-Azam to be the editor of Dawn, Delhi, died here a day before Eid. He was 93.

Ahmad, who joined Dawn at Karachi in the 1950s, remained associated with the paper for a total of 27 years. He resigned his Dawn job to go to greener pastures but returned to it as Assistant Editor in 1975.

Considered a most competent desk hand, Ahmad had an encyclopaedic memory which came in handy to his colleagues who often pestered him with unceasing questions whenever they wanted to know the year and date of a given event in the Pakistan movement. Those were pre-Google days and finding details of a historic event meant going through the tiring job of leafing through Keesing’s Archives and relevant books. Ahmad’s knowledge about South Asian history and his computer memory helped them.

Ahmad was born in Patna, Bihar, in 1927 and came to Pakistan with his wife and daughter in the aftermath of partition and had to suffer economic difficulties initially. However, he later managed a recovery, joined journalism and worked tirelessly with efficiency and professional ethics to rise in the profession.

Over the decades he became a mentor to many of his colleagues and helped them improve their editing skills and knowledge of language.

When he finally retired in 2002, he was not technically entitled to a pension, but the late Ahmad Ali Khan, Dawn editor from 1973 to 2000, recommended to the management that he be paid a pension and observed that he was “one of the ablest journalists Dawn has ever had. He was a dedicated colleague who brought a high sense of responsibility to his work”.

He is survived by his wife, a daughter and two granddaughters.

Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2020

Opinion

Farewell Roosevelt Hotel
21 Jan 2021

Farewell Roosevelt Hotel

It is worth noting that massive plans have been upended and assets are now on the verge of being seized.
A horned dilemma
21 Jan 2021

A horned dilemma

Trump would rather ‘reign in Hell, than serve in Heav’n’.
Violence & Afghan peace talks
Updated 20 Jan 2021

Violence & Afghan peace talks

Many of those killed in recent weeks have actively been campaigning against rampant violence and rising human rights violations

Editorial

Updated 21 Jan 2021

Agosta kickbacks trial

A POLITICALLY significant trial opened in Paris yesterday. Former French prime minister Edouard Balladur is in the...
Updated 21 Jan 2021

Indian media scandal

Common sense, factual reporting and ethics are all chucked out the window in the maddening race for ratings, influence and power.
21 Jan 2021

Rising food prices

FOOD inflation continues to challenge the resolve of the government to control the prices of essential kitchen items...
Updated 20 Jan 2021

Broadsheet judgement

There are plenty of skeletons in the Broadsheet cupboard and they must be brought out into the open.
20 Jan 2021

Unequal justice

IT seems no one wants to testify against former SSP Malir, Rao Anwar. At least five prosecution witnesses, all ...
20 Jan 2021

Schools reopening

THE disruptive impact of Covid-19 on education will be felt for years to come. For countries like Pakistan, where...