PESHAWAR: Senior journalist Iqbal Riaz breathed his last after a prolonged illness on Saturday morning.
The octogenarian, who had vast experience in print journalism, wrote his last column for Urdu daily Mashriq three days ago.
Hailing from Peshawar, Riaz was an active participant of the Pakistan Movement and amongst the youngest members of the All India Muslim Students Federation. Soon after independence, he pursued journalism professionally and worked for newspapers like Anjam, Tameer, Nawa-i-Waqt and Mashriq for over 65 years.
Riaz had a close association with senior politicians and statesmen of the Partition period and interviewed many stalwarts including Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Wali Khan, Abdul Qayyum Khan and Fida Muhammad Khan.
Riaz was also a part of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists’ (PFUJ) resistance against Ziaul Haq’s martial law.
He spent several weeks in prison on charges of supporting the Pakistan National Alliance against Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
A large number of journalists and union representatives attended the funeral on Saturday evening. It is pertinent to mention that no notable government, opposition representative or lawmaker turned up at the funeral.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 23rd, 2014.