The Passing of a Lion of Letters

 

Washington , DC : Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Executive Director, Kashmiri American Council/Kashmir Center, solemnly expressed his deepest condolences at the passing away of the courageous, principled and legendary Pakistani journalist of Kashmiri ethnicity Khalid Hassan.

Khalid Hassan made countless imperative appeals to the international community, ‘particularly in Dakar in 1991 and Casablanca in 1994 to bravely come forward and listen to the cries of the people of Kashmir.  This unwavering and confident voice for the downtrodden people of Kashmir will be sorely missed,’ observed Dr. Fai. 
Khalid Hassan was born in Srinagar and graduated from Murray College in Sialkot , Pakistan.  His writings bore a distinctive air of the tragic, undoubtedly a consequence of the oppression he witnessed in Kashmir and catapulted him to channel that pain in a constructive manner.  His illustrious career included being a Press Secretary for the Late Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, and writing witty, insightful and inspiring columns for both the Daily Times and The Friday Times in Pakistan.  Moreover, his columns also appeared regularly in Kashmiri newspapers in Indian Occupied Kashmir.
More specifically, after Khalid Hassan’s visit to his ancestral homeland in Kashmir in 2004, he became ever more prolific in highlighting the sufferings of the people of Kashmir.  ‘Particularly,’ spoke Dr. Fai, ‘he resented the inhumane manner in which the Indian army hideously planted itself as a protruding weed, in the garden of the Kashmir Valley, on every corner and street.  This atrocious affront to Kashmiri dignity was deeply felt by this lion of letters.’ 
On February 7, this literary magician was laid to rest, following Islamic funeral services at the Darul Huda Islamic Center, Virginia.  A cross section of Americans, including people of Pakistani and Kashmiri origin from both sides of the Ceasefire Line were in attendance, to show their respect to the departed.  While his voice is now silenced, his words will reverberate for future generations to come.

 

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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