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Veteran reporter Sabihuddin Ghausi Passes Away

March 26, 2009

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Sabihuddin Ghausi - Dawn image.

KARACHI Sabihuddin Ghausi, a veteran journalist and Assistant Editor of DailyDawn, died in sleep here early on Thursday morning. He was 65.

He was laid to rest after Zuhr prayers at the graveyard near the milk plant on Sir Shah Suleman Road. Soyem will be held on Saturday after Asr prayers at the Ghafooria Mosque (Pakola Wali Masjid) in Garden East.

He has left behind a widow, two older brothers and an older sister.

Mr Ghausi was admitted to hospital on Feb 8 after suffering a brain haemorrhage. He was discharged after two weeks.

Sabihuddin Ghausi hailed from Ahmedabad, in the Indian state of Gujarat. His father was a sessions judge in the Junagarh High Court and before the annexation of the princely state by New Delhi, he served as revenue commissioner in Manavadar. After the Indian occupation, the family migrated to Pakistan.

Mr Ghausi was a thorough professional and committed himself to fighting for freedom of the press from the outset. A yearning for social change also informed all his writings.

He earned his bachelor's degree from Islamia College, Karachi. After earning a masters degree from the University of Karachi, he joined the Habib Bank as an officer, but found the job unfulfilling. So he resigned and opted for a career in journalism, joining Daily Sun, Karachi, in 1970.

The tutelage of Shamim Ahmad, the founding editor of the newspaper, enabled him to master the nuts and bolts of the trade in no time.

After the closure of the Sun, he joined the Pakistan Press International (PPI), a news agency. Here another acclaimed journalist Javed Bokhari helped him reach new heights.

Before switching over to daily Dawn, Karachi, in 1988 he also worked for daily Muslim, Islamabad, (now defunct), daily Business Recorder and Morning News, Karachi.

The guidance of Ahmad Ali Khan, the editor of Dawn, and S.G.M. Badruddin was enough to bring out the best in Mr Ghausi.

Dedication to work did not, however, keep him away from the wider world.

A hunger for contributing to journalists' welfare, as well as to alleviating the misery of the masses, saw him working with seasoned campaigners like Asrar Ahmad, Minhaj Barna and Nisar Usmani.

He also suffered joblessness and imprisonment during Gen Ziaul Haq's martial law, but never compromised on principles.

He was elected President of Karachi Union of Journalists twice and President of Karachi Press Club four times.

Economics and politics were Mr Ghausi's forte. Television channels used to prize his piercing analyses on current affairs.

 

While at Dawn, he worked hard to uncover the truth behind agricultural profiteering, and measures to promote provincial rights. Ghausi made a career out of asking difficult questions and covering the stories affecting the poor, such as the recent wheat crisis, as well as concrete measures to improve their well-being, such as affordable farm insurance.


CONDOLENCES The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, government representatives led by Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and others have condoled the death of Mr Ghausi.

The PFUJ said that Mr Ghausi was not only an outstanding journalist but also a committed trade unionist who dedicated his life for the welfare of the journalist community. “With his death PFUJ has lost a committed trade union leader and thorough professional,” the PFUJ said in a statement.

Condolence messages were sent by the prime minister, the Senate chairman and deputy chairman, National Assembly Speaker and deputy speaker, former federal minister Sherry Rehman, Sindh Information Minister Shazia Marri, PPP's information secretary Fauzia Wahab and federal minister Shahbaz Bhatti.