Award winning photojournalist Azhar Hussain Jafri passed away

LAHORE: Award winning photojournalist Azhar Hussain Jafri passed away here on Thursday due to a cardiac arrest. He was 63.

He had been hospitalised for over two months because of the complications he developed as a result of his open-heart surgery. On Thursday his condition deteriorated at home and he breathed his last on way to a nearby hospital.

The recipient of the President’s Pride of Performance Award which was conferred on him two years ago, the celebrated lensman had shot to prominence for his daring pictures of the democratic struggle against the harshest Martial Law of Gen Ziaul Haq imposed in 1977 under challenging conditions.

It was he who took the picture of the late Begum Nusrat Bhutto when a policeman hit her head with a baton during a protest she led at the Qadhafi Stadium soon after the removal of her husband’s government. The picture capturing her blood-smeared face was published on the front page by many world newspapers.

The Zia regime had imprisoned, flogged and rendered journalists jobless who were ideologically against the military rule imposed after overthrowing the PPP government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Mr Jafri stood undeterred, giving voice to the struggle with his lens.

He worked for Dawn as staff photographer till his retirement. Presently he was working for White Star which wires pictures to Dawn.

He has left behind his wife, a son and two daughters.

His funeral prayers will be held at 2:30pm on Friday (today) in front of the Jamia Masjid at the Lahore Press Club Housing Society (Sahafi Colony) where he was living these days.

His work made him a source of pictures from Lahore, the then political hub of Pakistan, for various foreign news agencies. He would never fail them and Dawn.