Veteran journalist Sultan Ahmad dies at 87
KARACHI: Sultan Ahmad, one of the country’s senior-most journalists, died here on Tuesday after a protracted illness, ending a journalistic career that spanned six decades. He was 87.
Sultan, who had been editor of three English dailies, was awarded the President’s Pride of Performance medal and was due to receive it at the ceremony at the President House in Islamabad on March 23. His health deteriorated after a pneumonia attack on Aug 14 last year. Even though he came out of it, his health continued to decline. He died early this morning at Ziauddin Hospital, Clifton. His wife had died in 2001, and he leaves behind three children.
A prolific writer, Sultan Ahmad wrote on economics and politics for a number of foreign and Pakistani newspapers, including Dawn. With a wide circle of friends and admirers, Mr Sultan was comfortable as much with politicians and businessmen as with diplomats and artists.
Born in Madras (now Chennai) in 1922, Sultan was educated at Trivandrum University, Madras, and came to Pakistan in 1947. He began his career as political correspondent of the now closed Times of Karachi and had the honour of covering the press conference addressed by Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Lord Mountbatten.
The first paper he edited was the Karachi evening daily, The Leader. It was here that his talents as a writer came to the fore. His column and editorials were characterised by strong criticism of the ruling military junta and support for the working classes.
He became the editor of Morning News, Karachi, in 1972 and remained there till 1977, when he was made to go by Ziaul Haq’s military government. He later became the Editor of The Sun, Karachi, which closed down in 1979.
One of his most popular columns in Dawn was The Rambler’s Diary, which focussed on the social side of the Pakistani elite, Karachi’s diplomatic community and the world of art.
For the last decade he had been concentrating on the economy, and wrote a column in Dawn’s weekly Economic and Business Review.
Funeral prayers for him were held at Sultan Masjid, Defence, and he was laid to rest at Mahmoodabad graveyard. Soyem will be held for both men and women on Thursday between Asr and Maghreb at D-42/Block 4, Kahkashan, Clifton, near Abdullah Shah Ghazi Mazar. (Phones 0345 223 0277; 0308 288 4362 and  3586 7364).