KARACHI: Hunaid Hussain Lakhani, chairman of Sindh Baitul Maal, seasoned social worker and educationist, passed away in Karachi on Thursday.

He was also the chairman and founding chancellor of the Iqra University.

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

The 49-year-old philanthropist had been engaged in flood relief activities in Thatta where he was said to have contracted dengue fever.

His personal secretary Waqar Lakho told Dawn that Lakhani had travelled to Thatta on Monday to participate in relief activities. Upon returning to the city, he developed fever and his condition started to deteriorate, Lakho said, adding that he was subsequently diagnosed with dengue fever.

Lakhani was admitted to a hospital in Clifton on Wednesday night after feeling trouble with breathing. He breathed his last on Thursday morning.

Lakho said the funeral prayers would be held on Friday as Lakhani’s son and daughter lived abroad.

Mr Lakhani had remained associated with the PTI in the recent past but he was not active in politics and focused more on promoting education, as being chairman of a private varsity, and social work, added the personal secretary.

After acquiring education in business administration from The American College, Los Angeles, in 1997, Hunaid Lakhani graduated from the Owner-President Management Program at Harvard Business School, USA, in 2006.

He had over 10 years of experience in the construction industry. His interest in education led him to establish Iqra University in 1998, which later became Pakistan’s largest private-sector institution of higher learning with campuses in the federal and all provincial capitals. He served as the chairman of Sindh Baitul Maal. The long list of his social welfare services included establishment of a trust which runs free medical camps, a Covid hospital, and blood camps for the poor in Karachi.

He was a member of the boards of Sweet Home Foundation, an orphanage and a joint project with Pakistan Baitul Maal, and Watan Foundation, which focuses on provision of drinking water, rural health and skill development in the less developed parts of the country.

The news of Lakhani’s demise shocked all segments of society.

Government representatives, politicians and rights activists all termed the death a great loss for the country.

President Arif Alvi expressed deep grief and prayed for the departed soul. “May his soul rest in peace & may his family/friends find the strength to bear this loss. We must remember through these incidents that life is uncertain & short,” Alvi tweeted.

PTI’s Shehryar Afridi also expressed grief and remembered Lakhani as someone who “worked extensively in various fields to uplift the lives of the masses”.

Hunaid Lakhani’s funeral prayers will be offered at Masjid-i-Saheem in DHA’s Khayaban-i-Rahat after Juma prayers (today) at 1:30pm.

Published in Dawn, September 9th, 2022

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