Veteran journalist Muhammad Ziauddin passes away at 83 in Islamabad after prolonged illness

Published November 29, 2021
A photo of veteran journalist Muhammad Ziauddin who passed away in Islamabad on Monday. — PTV Twitter
A photo of veteran journalist Muhammad Ziauddin who passed away in Islamabad on Monday. — PTV Twitter

Veteran journalist and former Dawn staffer Muhammad Ziauddin passed away on Monday in Islamabad after a period of prolonged illness. He was 83.

State broadcaster Pakistan Television confirmed the news while paying homage to the deceased for his "illustrious career" that spanned 60 years and included extensive contributions for various media outlets such as The News International, Dawn and The Express Tribune among others.

He was also Dawn's former resident editor in Islamabad.

Ziauddin earned a Masters degree in journalism from Karachi University in 1964. Later that same year, he made his entry in the profession as a cub reporter in Pakistan Press International.

He then joined Dawn, which formed his longest association, serving as a resident editor for Islamabad and Lahore. He was also the paper's correspondent in London from 2006 to 2009.

Among his other experience in the field, he served as the assistant secretary general for the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and as the president of the South Asia Free Media Association from 2002 to 2006.

One of the 'pioneers of economic journalism'

Condolences poured in from the country's journalism and media community, with various figures paying their tributes.

Journalist Mubashir Zaidi called Ziauddin an "icon of Pakistani journalism".

Another journalist Nasir Jamal said: "One of the finest and upstanding journalists and among the pioneers of economic journalism in Pakistan. Always very kind to his juniors like us."

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said he was one of the most "capable and fiercely independent journalist" he had encountered.

Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari too remembered him to be "a man of principles, polite in discussions and debates, never adopting an accusatory tone".

Senior journalist Hamid Mir remarked that Ziauddin was one of the few journalists whose practical experience spanned half a century. "We learnt a lot from him."

"[A] gentle, dignified man who was a professional through and through. May he rest in peace. Feels like we're losing all of our best," tweeted The News Op-ed Editor Zebunnisa Burki.

Meanwhile, political analyst Mazhar Abbas said Ziauddin was not only an "outstanding journalist" but also "an iconic figure and a guide for all the young journalists".

Digital rights activist and human rights lawyer Nighat Dad also paid tribute to Ziauddin, saying that he was an "intellectual giant" in the journalist community and a role model for many in the profession and beyond.

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