Irfan Husain

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Irfan Husain
Born(1944-07-05)5 July 1944
Died16 December 2020(2020-12-16) (aged 76)
OccupationJournalist, newspaper columnist, Author of Books[2][3][4]

Irfan Husain (Urdu: عرفان حسین) (5 July 1944 – 16 December 2020) was a Pakistani newspaper columnist and civil servant.[2]

He wrote weekly columns for Dawn newspaper.[2] Husain wrote on a wide range of subjects for newspapers in Pakistan[6] and elsewhere since 1970. As a civil servant, he used to write under a number of pseudonyms, including Mazdak.[7][5]

Personal life[edit]

Early life[edit]

Born in Amritsar, Punjab, British India, in 1944, Husain migrated to the newly created state of Dominion of Pakistan with his parents in 1947. His father, Dr Akhtar Husain Raipuri, was a Sanskrit scholar, a literary critic, and a short-story writer who received his PhD from Sorbonne University. His mother, Hameeda, was a writer as well, beginning her literary career late in life, after her husband's death in 1992.[5]


After attending primary school in Karachi's St. Patrick's High School,[4] Husain spent three years studying at a high school in Paris. Returning to Pakistan, Husain finished his high school studies in Karachi, and went to Turkey on a scholarship to study chemical engineering at the Middle East Technical University. He left after a year. Returning to Karachi, he joined Karachi University where he completed a master's degree in economics in 1967.[5]


Immediately after graduating in 1967, Husain joined Pakistan's civil service where he remained for the next 30 years, working in a wide variety of jobs, ranging from being on Prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's speech-writing team in the mid-1970s to being posted as Information minister at Pakistan's embassy in Washington during Benazir Bhutto's first government in 1989–90.[5]

Husain took early retirement in 1997 to help set up and run the Textile Institute of Pakistan (TIP) as its first president.[5]

Throughout his working life, Husain continued writing, and remained associated with Dawn on a freelance basis since 1991.[5]

Husain revealed in August 2020 that he had been diagnosed with a rare type of cancer. "After nearly three years of this barrage, I must confess there are times I wish it would just end quietly without fuss. But then I look outside the window and see the flowers, trees and birds in our garden, and I am happy to be still alive," he wrote in the column.[8]

Husain died in Dorset, England on 16 December 2020.[9]


Fatal Faultlines: Pakistan, Islam and the West, publisher: Arc Manor, 2011. ISBN 978-1604504781.[3][4]

The above book is about the post-9/11 world and tries to answer the often asked question by Americans, "Why do they hate us?"[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dawn columnist Irfan Husain passes away in England". 16 December 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Pamela Constable (11 December 2016). "Pakistani birds caught up in international intrigue". The Washington Post (newspaper). Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Shaheryar Mirza (27 March 2012). "Pakistan, Islam and the West: Get mad, says Irfan Husain, but at the atrocities at home first". The Express Tribune (newspaper). Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Ghazi Salahuddin (June 2012). "Book Review: Fatal Faultlines: Pakistan, Islam and the West". NewsLine (magazine). Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Profile of journalist Irfan Husain on website Retrieved 25 April 2018
  6. ^ Husain, Irfan (15 August 2020). "Brothers at war". Dawn. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  7. ^ Profile of journalist Irfan Husain on website Retrieved 25 April 2018
  8. ^ Husain, Irfan (8 August 2020). "Cancer comes calling". Dawn. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  9. ^ "Dawn columnist Irfan Husain passes away in England". Dawn. 16 December 2020. Retrieved 16 December 2020.

External links[edit]