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Sayeed Hasan Khan leaves behind a rich legacy of words and friends

Sayeed Hasan Khan was a celebrated author, journalist, activist and commentator whose articles graced The Statesman for years.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Sayeed Hasan Khan: Author, journalist, activist and commentator Sayeed Hasan Khan, whose writings had graced The Statesman columns for many years passed away  in Karachi early Monday morning. He was 92.

A lifelong bachelor, “Nawab sahib” as he was known to his many friends and admirers around the world, was born in Bareilly into an aristocratic family. A fiery supporter of Mohammed Ali Jinnah in his youth, he migrated to Pakistan following partition and studied at the Government College, Lahore.

But somewhat disillusioned with the ideals of his youth, he moved to Europe in the early 1960s, and became in a real sense a citizen of the world, joining the international youth movement, and taking up various anti-imperialist causes. He lived in Europe, for the most part London, for five decades where he struck up close relationships with several politicians, especially of the Labour Party, and with former Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme. About a decade ago, he moved back to Karachi.

He retained immense fondness for the nation of his birth, and often visited India where he had friends in almost every walk of life, from politics to media. A first-rate raconteur blessed with a photographic memory, his retelling of the events surrounding Partition were gripping, as were his recollections of the left-liberal youth movements of Europe in the 1960s. In the early 1980s, he had served as a consultant to the celebrated Granada TV series, “End of Empire”.

Mr Khan authored several books, including No Clean Hands; Parables of Permanent War and an autobiographical work, Across the Seas: Incorrigible Drift, published in 2014. As noted by a reviewer of the autobiography, he “perfected the fine art of making friends and the more difficult one of keeping them for life.” An Indian edition of the autobiography is slated for release soon.