Death of a Pro­fes­sional

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PTV was iden­ti­fied in its early days by some pro­fes­sional names. That of Burhanud­din Hasan was among them. What brought him to the fore was his ap­point­ment as Gen­eral Man­ager, Karachi Cen­tre.

Those were the hal­cyon days of PTV and it stood out in al­most all ar­eas. Be­ing Pak­istan’s only TV chan­nel in those days, any­one who had tal­ent to of­fer rushed to PTV. That is how PTV be­came so well-known for its pre­sen­ta­tions. As­lam Azhar was of course PTV’s driv­ing force but Burhanud­din Hasan was also rec­og­nized as a re­spectable pro­fes­sional. It was un­der his guid­ance that there was so much cre­ative ac­tiv­ity at Karachi Tele­vi­sion Cen­tre and it was able to pro­duce so many good pro­grammes.

Un­der Burhanud­din Hasan, the Karachi TV Cen­tre was al­most like a cul­tural meet­ing point and one ran into many men and women of tal­ent travers­ing its cor­ri­dors and sip­ping tea in the rooms of pro­duc­ers. In some ways, Burhanud­din Hasan would come across as a hard-nosed bu­reau­crat not given to small chit chat and not eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble but run­ning the di­verse af­fairs of the sta­tion with a nonon­sense at­ti­tude and an iron hand.

This is what en­abled Burhanud­din Hasan to be se­lected to join PTV’s Board of Di­rec­tors. When he re­tired, af­ter serv­ing the PTV Cor­po­ra­tion for 30 years, Geo TV ben­e­fited from his ser­vices and he be­came their con­sul­tant. Ac­tu­ally, be­fore Burhanud­din Hasan joined PTV, he had al­ready worked for Ra­dio Pak­istan and the Voice of Amer­ica. This ex­pe­ri­ence, com­bined with his im­mense com­pre­hen­sion of the broad­cast me­dia, en­abled him to in­ject a high de­gree of pro­fes­sion­al­ism into his work that was bereft of any show­man­ship and which brought out in him work an un­der­stand­ing of all the pos­i­tive as­pects of the tele­vi­sion medium.

It was such a pity that both ra­dio and tele­vi­sion were only staterun broad­cast me­dia un­til the be­gin­ning of the last decade and peo­ple like Burhanud­din Hasan could not bring their pro­fes­sion­al­ism into full play while they worked there.

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