Renowned academic and journalist Dr Mehdi Hasan passed away after protracted illness at his house in Lahore on Wednesday.
He was 85 and is survived by wife, Rakhshanda Hasan, and two sons.
His funeral prayers will be offered after Isha at Sukh Chain Housing Society, Multan Road.
Dr Hasan, a professor of mass communication at Punjab University, was awarded Sitara-i-Imtiaz for his services in journalism in 2012.
As a journalist, he served at the Pakistan Press International as a sub-editor and a reporter between 1961-67. He remained an elected office-bearer of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) during this period.
National and international mass media outlets, including Voice of America, BBC News and Deutsche Welle, regularly sought his opinion on political developments in Pakistan. He contributed articles to all major newspapers of Pakistan.
Dr Hasan was among the few media historians of Pakistan and made regular appearances as a commentator and panelist on television and radio programmes.
His teaching career spanned 50 years, during which he also served as the dean of journalism and mass communication at Beaconhouse National University.
The late academic authored several books on history, journalism, mass communication and politics. His book ‘The Political History of Pakistan’ is a widely used source of reference by journalists and producers.
He also served as Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) chairperson. In that capacity and as a member of the HRCP’s governing council, he has written multiple papers and often participated in seminars. His research papers have published in Pakistan and the US.
Dr Hasan received a PhD in mass communication from Punjab University after acquiring a masters degree in the same discipline from the varsity.
He also studied at the University of Colorado in the US on a Fullbright scholarship. During the course of his studies there, he undertook research on the “Coverage of Third World Countries in the American Mass Media”.
He was also a passionate photographer, but only practiced photography as a hobby. But his love for photography took him to the frontline of the war zone in Lahore in 1965.
Punjab University Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof Niaz Ahmad Akhtar expressed grief over Dr Hasan’s demise.
In his condolence message, the VC said Dr Hasan was “a powerful voice of human rights in Pakistan” and prayed for courage for his family to bear this irreparable loss.