KARACHI - Renowned columnist Ardeshir Cowasjee has passed away after prolonged ailment; may his soul rest in peace!
The veteran writer was suffering from chest illness and had been admitted in a Karachi hospital’s intensive care unit for the past 12 days. He died at the age of 86 on Saturday.
Known for his sarcastic yet insightful style of writing, Cowasjee was born into a well-known Parsi family of Karachi in 1926. The young Cowasjee attended the Bai Virbaiji Soparivala Parsi High School and graduated from DJ Science College.
Later, he joined his father’s business, the Cowasjee Group, and married Nancy Dinshaw in 1953. Former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto appointed him managing director of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) in 1973.
Cowasjee’s journey to world of journalism started with writing of letters to the editor of a leading English newspaper, eventually he came to be known as one of the most seasoned columnists of the country.
His well-researched and hard-hitting columns graced the Dawn newspaper for more two decades (from 1988 to 2011) wherein he fearlessly exposed corruption, nepotism and incompetence in different local, provincial and national governments.
Besides being a columnist and a businessman, Cowasjee was a known social activist and philanthropist. He gained recognition for his efforts for sustainable development in Karachi metropolitan. The education lover old man also financed many scholarships for students wishing to pursue higher education.
The news of the death of such a fatherly figure as Cowasjee was received in journalism circles with great grief. The social media sites were soon rife with condolence messages and his fans, fellows and students were sharing the memorable moments they passed with the legend.
“Sad to hear that one of Pakistan’s finest and most conscientious columnists, Ardeshir Cowasjee, has passed away. May his soul rest in peace,” said columnist Nadeem F Paracha in a tweet sent out Saturday.
“Within a month, Karachi has lost two towering greats – (Iqbal) Groovy Haider and Cowasjee,” tweeted journalist Omar Warraich. Cowasjee is survived by two children, Ava (daughter) and Rustom (son).