Ex-News Editor of Dawn passes away
KARACHI: Akhtar Payami, a former News Editor of Daily Dawn, passed away in Karachi on Monday. He was 82.
He is survived by daughter Yasmin Bano and sons Prof Sikander Mehdi, Aziz Akhtar, Dr Arzoo Mehdi and Yawar Mehdi.
His burial will be held on Wednesday at Wadi-i-Hussain graveyard, on Super Highway, after arrival of his two sons from the United States. Dr Arzoo Mehdi and Yawar Mehdi who live in New York and Houston respectively.
Akhtar Payami was born at Rajgeer, in India’s Bihar state, as Syed Saeed Akhtar. He adopted “Payami” as a pen name for writing poetry and has to his credit a published volume of Urdu poems, “Aaina Khana”, besides numerous article on literature and social subjects.
A graduate in economics from Bihar’s Patna University, Mr Payami during his student period had earned identity as a progressive and revolutionary poet, he used to be on the forefront in every meeting and rallies organised to promote the progressive movement and highlight plight and exploitation of the downtrodden.
After partition he migrated along with his family to Dacca in former East Pakistan in 1950s and joined the profession of journalism by working for daily “ Morning News”.
In 1972 after the debacle of East Pakistan he was among those intellectuals who shifted to Karachi via Kathmandu.
In Karachi he joined his old organisation “Morning News” and was soon promoted as News Editor.
Later on he switched over to daily Dawn, Karachi as one of its assistant editors. For some time he also served as the city editor and after retirement of News Editor Fazal Imam, he was made its News Editor.
He continued to work till 2007 as a consultant (editorial) after retirement.
For the last couple of years he was living a retired life with the family of Prof Mehdi, his son, in Gulshan-i-Iqbal near Safari Park.
He fractured his leg after falling on the floor a few weeks ago. But Mr Payami was successfully operated upon and making steady recovery before he died on Monday afternoon.