This seems shocking. Pakistani writer/journalist Khalid Hasan died yesterday of cancer. His son wrote a memorial about his father here. All Things Pakistan has a fond remembrance of Hasan here.
Khalid's website with many of his columns is here, and his obituary/mini-biography of Benazir Bhutto is here. Some of my favorite columns:
Tarek Fatah's Lonely Crusade (Canada's pioneering secular Muslim)
Dorothy Parker - O What a Lady! (Loaded with Parker's quotes)
Ladies as Hooded Bandits (on "exhibitionist and deluded Muslim women" wearing hijab and niqab)
Hasan was one of the only journalists to strongly criticize the Egyptian reporter who threw his shoes at President Bush in Iraq in December:
"As a journalist, I have reservations about the Iraqi journalist’s action. A working journalist is permitted close physical proximity to presidents and prime ministers in order for him to perform his professional duties. He must not misuse that privilege or employ it to push his personal or political agenda. Therefore, regardless of what al-Zaidi or the rest of us think of President Bush and his policies, what the man did was wrong."
"He abused and betrayed the trust that had been placed in him. Journalists should use their pens and their cameras, not their shoes, to express themselves. Thanks to al-Zaidi, in future, all journalists on assignment will be subjected to far greater scrutiny and background checks than they face today. In other words, al-Zaidi performed a great disservice to the profession, violating its ethics. I have read thousands of words written on the incident by Pakistani journalists, but none has questioned the ethics of al-Zaidi’s action."
Hasan wrote often for the Pakistani Daily Times about Hafiz Saeed's many family members who came to Massachusetts. He especially followed the legal actions and eventual deportation of former Sharon, MA imam Muhammed Masood. Who will follow up on Masood and Abdul Hannan and Hamid now?
Hasan translated this childhood remembrance of Lahore written by Urdu novelist and short story writer A Hamid. Hasan was also quite famous for his translations.
As a friend of mine who knew Khalid Hasan wrote, "He was a very sweet man with a great sense of humor." May he rest in eternal peace.