We are saddened to report the passing of Khalid Hasan, one of the most senior South Asian journalists in the U.S. and a long-time SAJA member. Please see comments from others (and add your own) and excerpts from his own e-mail messages below (and his 6,000-word obit of Benazir Bhutto).
Read his site, KhalidHasan.net.
Asif Alam, president of the Association of Pakistani Professionals, sent us the following this morning:
Updated at: 1150 PST, Friday, February 06, 2009
WASHINGTON: Famous writer and journalist Khalid Hasan has passed away in US, sources said.Khalid Hasan was the author of 35 books and served on different diplomatic positions. He was the press secretary of former Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Hasan’s funeral prayer
will be held in Virginia tomorrow (Saturday).
Asked for a quote, Alam added: "He was a born journalist who was candid, balanced and fair - he will be missed!"
Here are some of the comments that have come into SAJA. Please add your own below. You are welcome to quote from anything here.
From Sabahat Ashraf, who blogs at iFaqeer.com:
like "WikiPakistan". A great loss, indeed, especially at a time like this, when we need people who are rooted in Pakistan itself and can engage with the rest of the world just as comfortably.
Beena Sarwar, another well-known Pakistani journalist, wrote:
Khalid Hasan never suffered fools, gladly or otherwise. He was particularly allergic to the self-promoting variety, and lost no chance to take such specimens down a peg or two in his own inimitable way. An immensely humanistic, progressive and secular vision, a great love of literature, poetry, art, sport (particularly cricket) and music, a deep knowledge and understanding of history, principled stands and an acerbic sense of humour -- all these traits informed his political analyses and shone through in his columns, books and conversations throughout a long, productive career.
Also see the lovely remembrance in Pakistaniat by Adil Najam -
On a personal note, I want to add that Khalid was an active SAJA member and always sending in useful/fun/interesting comments to all the SAJA mailings. Some examples here give you a sense of the man (he's always call me "Siri"... I always called him "Hasan saab").
Just some of the messages Khalid Hasan sent to SAJA HQ over the years...
In response to a request from an American journalist in Pakistan, looking for experts in a particular topic:
Is the [X] correspondent in Pakistan or on the moon? For God's sake he is in Islamabad, Pakistan's capital. Perhaps he needs to get out of his five-star hotel room and for a change talk to a few locals and his curiosity will be more than satisfied.
Daily Times, Washington
Quick with his compliments:
It was very good of you to circulate a message about the lack of attention paid to the Pakistan earthquake by US media. I am glad 60 Minutes is doing a story on it. It was very thoughtful of you to bring this to the attention of SAJA.
Quick in his critiques - in response to some criticism of SAJA by a blogger:
Quick with a correction. Here's one sent on Aug. 31, 2006:
Congratulations, but your email informing its recipients of the time of the [X] broadcast of the segment relating to your great work in Pakistan has the wrong date. You mention it as Aug. 3. I take it you mean September 3, 2006. A correction may remove the confusion, if any or wherever it may exists.
Always responsive to our requests:
A man who loved his country:
In response to a posting he didn't agree with:
As Beena Sarwar said above, not someone to suffer fools gladly:
SAJA NOTE: Here is that 6,000-word piece, which he allowed SAJA to reproduce.
Here's the story he filed about the death of a fellow journalist:
Pioneering Indian publisher dies
By Khalid Hasan
WASHINGTON: Gopal Raju, the founder of India Abroad and the Indo-Asian News Service, died on Thursday in New York after a short illness. He was 80.
Raju was also the publisher of the weekly newspapers News India-Times, Desi Talk, and the Gujarat Times. “Raju paved the way for every Indian journalist working in the US today,” according to Sreenath Sreenivasan, the dean of students at the Columbia Journalism School. In the 1970s, he founded the Indian American Foundation, which raised millions of dollars for education, health, development, and disaster relief projects in India. In 1993, he founded the Indian American Centre for Political Action, which placed Indian-American interns on Capitol Hill.
Please add your comments below.