Eminent journalist Tahir Ikram dies at 59

Renowned Pakistani journalist Tahir Ikram passed away at the age of 59 at a hospital in Kuala Lumpur in the early hours of Sunday, his family confirmed later in the day. 

The former Thomson Reuters journalist and pioneering programme director of a private TV channel in Pakistan had suffered a massive heart attack over the weekend, but he couldn't recover from the medical complications that arose later on. 

Before his demise, Tahir was serving as the news editor for Asia at the ICIS in Singapore. 

Born in Rawalpindi on November 27, 1964 to then Pakistan Times' chief reporter Ikramul Haq and Ms A Rasheed, Ikram initially attended St Mary's Academy and later went to the Islamabad College for Boys.

Following the footsteps of his father, who had joined Dawn newspaper in 1948, Ikram embarked on his journalistic career from the PPI news agency as a budding reporter, after graduation from Gordon College in 1983.

Three years later, Ikram was part of the first ever Islamabad Bureau of the newly launched Lahore-based English language daily, The Nation and also served a brief stint as the capital correspondent of The Frontier Post.

By the turn of the century, however, his decade-long association with Thomson Reuters in Islamabad was proving a great learning experience. This offered a rare opportunity to blend his interest in economic reporting with administrative prowess as a senior correspondent, managing the team of fellow reporters in the Islamabad Bureau.

This led the way for his moving to Karachi to switch over to electronic media, first as director programs in CNBC Pakistan and then in a similar capacity at the launch of the private TV channel, as their founding programming director in 2007.

After a change at the senior management level led to confused editorial priorities in the following year, he left the channel and relocated to Singapore as the news editor at ICIS — a news agency with a specialised interest in the chemical industry.

Youngest of three siblings, Ikram is survived by wife Samra Tahir, two grown-up children.

A large circle of friends and former colleagues mourn the sudden demise of senior journalist. His body will be flown to Islamabad for his funeral, time for which to be announced later this week.  

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