LONDON: The veteran journalist, columnist, intellectual and senor diplomat Wajid Shamsul Hasan passed away on Tuesday. He was not well for the last two years and was under treatment in Royal Infirmary Hospital, London for the last six weeks.
He was 80 years old and in January next year, his 81st birthday was to be celebrated but he did not survive and left on Tuesday his all dear-one and friends. His only son Zulfiqar Wajid Hasan told ‘The Nation’ that his Namaz-e-Janaza (funeral prayer) will be held after Friday prayer at Islamic Cultural Centre (Regent Mosque) on Friday (Ist October) at 12.30pm. He will be laid to rest at Trent Park Cemetery in Cockfoster (near Heathrow Airport).
Wajid Shamsul Hasan who was well known in his circle as ‘Wajid Bhai’ had been associated with the profession of journalism for over 50 years. He was a regular columnist of ‘The Nation’, London and his columns were hidden truth and eye-opener. He was the former Editor of Daily News and Weekly Mag in Karachi.
He was also a close aide of former prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and later advisor to Prime Minister Mohatarma Benazir Bhutto and had served as Pakistan’s high commissioner to the UK twice during the PPP’s tenure in 2008.
In a tweet, PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari condoled Hasan’s demise, saying an “immense source of strength and guidance for me left us today”.
“Journalist, diplomat, democrat, family friend, good bye uncle Wajid,” Bilawal wrote. “Nothing will be the same without you.”
Bilawal also shared his text conversation with Hasan last year, in which the former diplomat had reported being unwell.
PPP Central Information Secretary Shazia Atta Marri expressed grief and sorrow over Hassan’s death, saying his journalistic, diplomatic and national services would always be remembered.
Hasan had stepped down as Pakistan’s high commissioner to the UK in April 2014 after serving in the office for six years.
He was at the time the longest-serving Pakistani envoy to the UK. This was his second stint there, having worked as the high commissioner from 1994 to 1996.
Hasan was the author of ‘Bhutto Khandaan Meri Yaadon Mein: Wajid Shamsul Hasan Ki Nisf Sadi Par Muheet Yaadein‘.
Translating to ‘The Bhutto Family in My Memories: Wajid Shamsul Hasan’s Memoirs of Half a Century‘, this is an insider account of events centred on the Bhutto family, as narrated by someone who spent a lifetime associated with them. Additionally, the former diplomat in his book recounts memories of his own life and career trajectory, from starting out as a junior journalist to his appointment as the chairman of the National Press Trust.
Senator Sherry Rehman posted a condolence message for the veteran politician, acknowledging him for his “lifetime of devotion to democracy, human rights and free press.
“Shocked, saddened to hear that PPP stalwart Wajid Shamsul Hasan passed away. He spent a lifetime of devotion to democracy, human rights, free press and the PPP. What a loss. Heartfelt condolences to his family and the broader civil society community he was deeply involved with”, she said.
Condolence messages are continuously pouring and the people are expressing their deep grief. Lord Zameer Choudary, Lord Qurban Hussain, Barrister Sibghatullah Kadri QC, Ikram Khan, M. Sarwar, Zahoor Niazi, Mehboob Choudhry, Syed Qamar Raza, former Lord Nazir Ahmed, Cllr. Tariq Dar and other countless mourners pray for his departed soul and highest place in paradise.