KARACHI, Jan 23: Noted writer and columnist Mirza Hasan Askari, 80, died here on Friday after a brief illness. He was laid to rest at the Gizri graveyard on Friday afternoon.

M.H. Askari was born in Delhi in 1924. After schooling in Delhi, he did his graduation from Lucknow University in 1944 and joined the Indian army's public relations section.

Released from the army at the end of the war, he joined The Statesman, Delhi, and worked there for a year before joining Dawn, Delhi, as a senior reporter. Migrating to Pakistan, M.H. Askari worked with Radio Pakistan's news department for several years, but later went back to Inter-Services Public Relations.

In 1972, M.H. Askari was posted as press counsellor at the Pakistan embassy in Paris and later was minister for press at the high commission in New Delhi. When he settled in Karachi in 1980, he renewed his association with Dawn as a columnist and then as assistant editor, specializing in South Asian affairs. Even after he left Dawn, he continued to write a weekly column for the paper.

Close to the literary circles of his time, M.H. Askari had kept company with eminent writers and was himself a writer of short stories. He was a founder member of the Pakistan Writers Guild.

He is survived by his wife and three children. Soyem will be held between Asr and Maghrib on Monday - for women at 57/II, 13th Street, off Khayaban-i-Baadban, Phase V, DHA, and for men at Sultan Masjid, DHA.

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