KARACHI, Feb 2: Eminent writer and humorist par excellence Mohammad Khalid Akhtar, who died here on Saturday at 11am, was an engineer by profession. He retired in 1980 as a director, Wapda, Bahawalpur. He was staying with his son in Karachi and had been ailing for the past few months.

Born in 1920 at Rahimyar Khan, he came from a family of scholars. His grandfather, Maulvi Abdul Malik, was highly acclaimed for his writings in Persian and Arabic. His father, Maulvi Akhtar Ali, was employed with the state of Bahawalpur, which later merged with Punjab.

Khalid Akhtar had his early education at Sadiq Deen High School and later at Sadiq Egerton College. Popular humourist Shafiqur Rahman was his classmate and Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi was his senior at the college. A life-long friendly association between the three always remained intact.

He did his BSc from the Punjab College of Engineering in 1945, went over to England for higher education in 1946 and came back in 1948. He joined the PWD, Bahawalpur, in 1952 and was highly respected for being an efficient officer.

Khalid Akhtar’s first humorous essay was published in monthly Sheeraza, edited by Maulana Chiragh Hasan Hasrat, and his first travelogue in monthly Adab-i-Lateef in 1946. His first satirical novel, Bees Sau Gyarah, was first published in 1954 and again in recent times: it was highly acclaimed and awarded by the Adabiyat-i-Pakistan.

Chakiwara Mein Visal was also a satirical novel and was given the Adamji Adabi award. Abdul Baqi Kahanian, a collection of humorous essays, Makatib-i-Khizir, satirical letters, Khoya hua Ufaq, a collection of short stories, and the travelogues of Swat and Kaghan are some of his most admired books.

Khalid Akhtar leaves behind his wife, sons Mansoor Khalid and Haroon Khalid and daughter Sara Akhtar. His Namaz-i-Janaza will be offered on Sunday after Zuhar at Masjid-i-Rahmania on Tariq Road, and he will be buried in the adjacent graveyard at PECHS.

Soyem will be held on Monday between Asr and Maghreb in Masjid-i-Ibrahim at 10th Commercial Street, Phase 1V, DHA. For women: at 71/1, Commercial Avenue, Phase 1V, DHA.

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