LAHORE - A great educationist and economist, Professor Manzoor Mirza who hailed from Bhimber, Azad Jammu and Kashmir passed away at the age of 85. He belonged to the Mughal race whose members of the ruling class in Delhi were haunted, persecuted and executed indiscriminately after the abortive war of freedom from the British rule in India failure in 1857.

After his matriculation from Bhimber High School, Manzoor Mirza graduated with honours in English Literature from the missionary Murray College, Sialkot. He did his masters in Economics from the Punjab University in 1952 and started his career as a lecturer. He augmented his professional career not only by excelling as a subject specialist in Economics but also by showing his inbuilt traits of a good administrator. The professor earned fame for his honesty, righteousness, impeccable and upright character because of which the Punjab Education Department appointed him as principal of the newly chartered colleges or those upgraded to the degree level with heavy budgets at his disposal that he spent judiciously. He was the founding principal of Government College for Boys Phalia and Bhochal Kalan.

He also worked as director colleges, Multan Division, and additional secretary, education, Punjab. On account of his illustrious professional background, he was sent on deputation to Uganda’s University in Kampala as associate professor of Economics.

He represented Pakistan in a Saarc conference on education and literacy held in India in 1989. He also remained in the panel of Punjab Civil Services Academy and NIPA (National Institute of Public Administration) as a guest speaker.

The deceased would be remembered as an author as he wielded his pen to writing, all in English, several textbooks of all depths and levels, especially his book on development economics for post-graduate students. He wielded a stupendous command on English language both in writing and speaking. He wrote regularly and copiously leading articles over the years for English dailies. He remained in the penal of daily “The Nation” as a regular columnist for more than a decade. Besides, he also made contributions to “Pakistan Times” and “The Frontier Post”.

He wrote at length articles on socio-economic, political and educational problems that Pakistan has been facing. Besides being an economist, he also commented on public consumption annual budgets of both the provincial and federal governments and on five-year plans. He wrote extensively on education, literacy rate budgetary allocation for education sector in Pakistan, improving skill levels of teachers and administrative and managerial problems of education department of the Punjab.

Professor Manzoor Mirza discontinued his contribution as a columnist with daily “The Nation” in year 2001 after the induction of one of his sons, Rizwan Manzoor, in Police Service of Pakistan. He authored his monumental collection of essays and books on paragraph writing for guidance of candidates aspiring to appear in the competitive examinations both at federal and provincial levels. Response to his books by their end consumers was overwhelming as his books helped in bridging the gap that existed for the young candidates of competitive examinations at federal and provincial levels. His books on essay and paragraph writing became an invaluable, precious and instrumental source for aspirant candidates for seeking an insight and in-depth knowledge about many topics.

Keeping in view the stupendous demand of his books, Professor Manzoor Mirza kept revising and launching new editions of his books so that his students could keep on getting guidance in English language viz a viz essay and paragraph writing.

By reading his books, many serious candidates for competitive examinations started coming to the professor directly for seeking guidance in English language. Professor Manzoor Mirza with the passage of time became known as a very professional mentor of English Language.

The writer is senior lecturer (retired), Huddersfield University, United Kingdom, and son-in-law of Prof Manzoor Hussain Mirza