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Veteran journalist Zawar Hassan has died aged 96

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Veteran journalist Zawwar Hasan – whose career has ranged from sports reporter and editorial writer to travel magazine editor and public affairs manager – passed away on Saturday after a brief illness, four months short of his 97th birthday.

Born in January 1927 in Pratpgarh, India, Hasan did his LLB at the University of Allahabad and then moved to Pakistan.

He began his career as a sports journalist at the state-owned Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) in 1949 in Karachi. He later became the agency’s chief correspondent in Lahore, gaining subscriptions to newspapers such as the Civil and Military Gazette.

Hasan joined the Daily Dawn in 1960 as chief reporter and later worked at The Morning News in Karachi as a senior editorial writer, before moving briefly to The Sun.

His stints abroad included participation in the University of Missouri School of Journalism Project for Foreign Journalists in 1957 with reporters from Taiwan, Iran, and South Korea. His scholarship included stints at The Denver Post in Denver, Colorado; The Lawrence Daily Journal-World in Lawrence, Kansas; and The Mexico Ledger in Mexico, Missouri.

He also won Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University in 1966-67.

A keen sportsman, Hasan is perhaps the only Pakistani reporter to cover three Olympics: Melbourne 1956 and Rome 1960 for APP and Sydney 2000 for Dawn on a special assignment.

Hasan launched the groundbreaking travel magazine, Focus on Pakistan, for the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation. He later joined PIA’s public relations department, retiring as general manager of advertising.

In the mid-1990s, he moved to California, where his children settled.

He leaves behind his younger sister Zakia Sarwar, educator and co-founder of the Society of Pakistan English Language Teachers (SPELT) and brother ward commander (retd) Ali Hasan, as well as a large extended family in Pakistan, India and elsewhere. .