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Friday, December 26, 2008
Metropolitan

MJ Zahedi no more

Veteran journalist Mahbub Jamal Zahedi, former editor of Khaleej Times, Dubai, and news editor and senior assistant editor of the Dawn, Pakistan, passed away in Karachi on December 7, 2008 after a prolonged illness, according to family sources. He was 79.

Born in Dhaka in 1929, Zahedi studied English literature at Dhaka University. He also taught journalism in the university from 1960-62 as a part time lecturer. He entered the world of journalism in the early 50's working for the then Pakistan Observer.

During a journalistic career that spanned nearly five decades, Zahedi served in several newspapers in the then East Pakistan and West Pakistan in key positions, besides going on assignments in Lagos, Sydney, Melbourne and Beijing.

He was a Colombo Plan journalism scholar in Australia in 1955 and worked with the Sydney Morning Herald and the Melbourne Gazette for some time. He also covered UN General Assembly Session in 1960, UN enquiry into allegations of genocide in Nigeria in 1970 and the Islamic summit in Morocco in 1981.

Zahedi went to West Pakistan in 1963 and served with the Civil and Military Gazette, before Altaf Husain, editor of the Dawn, invited him to join the paper, where he became news editor in 1963.

Zahedi remained in Dawn till 1974 and later left for Dubai, where he worked with the late Mahmoud A Haroon to launch Khaleej Times, one of the Middle East's most prestigious English newspapers. Eventually he became its editor, a position he held for a decade.

Zahedi returned to Dawn, Karachi, in 1991 and retired in 2001 following a stroke.

He was an avid stamp collector, his interest in philately resulting in two books, 'Gulf Post: Story of the post in the Gulf' and 'Fifty Years of Pakistan Stamps', besides articles on the subject in some of the world's most prestigious magazines. They included Britain's Gibbons Stamp monthly and America's Scott's Stamps.

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