LAHORE - Dr Mehdi Hasan, a renowned left-wing journalist and professor of mass communication, passed away in Lahore on Wednesday after protracted illness. He was 85.

He is survived by his wife Rakhshanda Hasan, sons and grandchildren and thousands of students whom he taught in different institutes during his teaching career spreading over 50 years. He was cousin of late Dr Mubashir Hassan, a former PPP leader who was a close aide of former prime minister ZA Bhutto. Dr Mehdi Hassan served as professor of journalism at Punjab University and later also taught journalism at various private sector universities. He was awarded the prestigious award Sitara-i-Imtiaz by the President of Pakistan in 2012 for his services in journalism.

Dr Hasan was a left-wing journalist, a media historian, who also served as dean of journalism and mass communication at the Beaconhouse National University. He was one of Pakistan’s communication experts, a media historian and a political analyst. He was a human rights activist who also served as the chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP). He authored books on history, journalism, mass communication and political parties. His book ‘The Political History of Pakistan’ is a widely used source of reference by journalists.

He was awarded the prestigious award Sitara-i-Imtiaz by the President of Pakistan in 2012

He was a PhD in Mass Communication. He did MA in journalism from Punjab University. Also, he was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Colorado where he conducted research on “Coverage of Third World Countries in the American Mass Media”.

He published research papers in the United States and Pakistan. Dr Mehdi Hasan also served as a sub-editor and reporter at the Pakistan Press International between 1961-67. He remained an elected office-bearer of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) five times during this period.

He contributed articles in major Pakistani newspapers. International media outlets like Voice of America, BBC News, Deutsche Welle would regularly seek his opinion on political developments in Pakistan.