Veteran journalist Idrees Bakhtiar passes away in Karachi
Veteran journalist Idrees Bakhtiar who had remained associated with the Herald and other renowned media outlets in a career spanning decades passed away in Karachi on Wednesday. He was 75.
He was admitted to the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) a few days earlier in connection with a heart problem and died at the facility today.
Bakhtiar was awarded the Pride of Performance Award (Tamgha-i-Husn-i-Karkardagi) by the Government of Pakistan two years ago.
Apart from Herald, where he served as the chief reporter, he also worked for The Star, BBC and Geotelevision network. He also wrote a column for Jangnewspaper.
His family migrated from Ajmer in India’s Rajasthan state and settled in Pakistan’s Hyderabad. He started his journalistic career with daily Indus TimesHyderabad and then moved to Karachi in the 1970s where he worked in various media organisations.
Condolences and tributes poured in from the journalism community and politicians on the demise of the veteran journalist.
“Spent over 2 decades with him at The Star, Herald & BBC. He was a friend, colleague and mentor. Above all he was one of the most honest journalists & a great human being,” tweeted Dawn editor Zaffar Abbas.
Shahzeb Jillani, a former BBC correspondent, recalled Bakhtiar as being “the most authoritative and respected voice of [BBC Urdu] from Karachi” for many years.
The office-bearers and executive committee of the Karachi Union of Journalists also expressed their condolences over his death.
“He was an upright man and one of the iconic personalities among the right-wing school of thought. As a journalist, he witnessed and covered many a historic events that shaped up this country,” the body said in a statement.
According to information released by the Karachi Press Club, of which Bakhtiar was a senior member, the journalist’s funeral prayers will be offered at Masjid-e-Faheem, Wasim Bagh in Gulshan-e-Iqbal neighbourhood after Zuhr prayers at 1:30pm on Thursday. He will be laid to rest in the Yasinabad graveyard.