Farewell to many-splen­dored in­nings of Haseeb Ah­san

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE -

IKhalid Butt T was my former PIA col­league and live PR man Ch. Bashir, who called me this, morn­ing from Karachi to break the tragic but not un­ex­pected news of the pass­ing away of Haseeb Ah­san. Haseeb has been crit­i­cally ill with mul­ti­ple health prob­lems ly­ing al­most in a coma for past few days in Agha Khan Hospi­tal. Although I had not met him for a long time since leav­ing Karachi, I was lucky to speak few words with him on phone about 3 days ago in his hospi­tal bed with the help of his at­ten­dant Abid, also a friend. Nat­u­rally it was a one way process as he could lis­ten not able to speak.

My friend­ship and close as­so­ci­a­tion with Haseeb went a long way back since he had joined PIA, ap­pointed by the then air­line chief Nur Khan. A cricket pro­tégé dis­cov­ered by Hafeez Kar­dar to in­duct him in Pak­istan team on their maiden 1958 tour of Westindies as an off-spin­ner and babe of the side along with an­other young­ster, Ijaz Butt, he never looked back in his re­mark­able ca­reer which apart from span­ning cricket (as a player, chief se­lec­tor, and an ad­min­is­tra­tor) also took him to dis­tin­guish him as a suc­cess­ful air­line ex­ec­u­tive in PIA in its golden years and sub­se­quently play­ing a key role in its in­ter­na­tional chain of overseas ho­tels. Sub­se­quently he was able to a eke out a new ca­reer with Amer­i­can Ex­press in their Travel Di­vi­sion to be­come its coun­try head and then emerge as a con­sum­nate diplo­mat to the lr­ish Con­sulate in Karachi. He had many achieve­ments to his credit in­clud­ing his ef­forts to set up a full-fledged sports de­part­ment in the air­line. He also en­joyed a wide in­flu­ence through­out his ca­reer as he had easy ac­cess to many top per­son­al­i­ties be­ing the son of a se­nior and distin­guished civil ser­vant, late M.A Muz­za­far founder of NIT and a se­nior rank­ing of­fi­cial of the Fi­nance Min­istry.

Although his cricket ca­reer was most un­for­tu­nately cut short by un­seem­ingly and shame­ful in­trigues of some of his team mates, Haseeb re­mained at peace with him­self and never let th­ese re­verses’ up­set him or let down his no­ble spir­its. For­ever he re­mained a man who helped count­less peo­ple and would al­ways he re­mem­bered for his qual­i­ties as a su­perb and match­less hu­man be­ing. May God bless you Haseeb, and grant so­lace to your fam­ily mem­bers and es­pe­cially to Hanif Muham­mad, with whom he was par­tic­u­larly close for many many years.

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