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January 9, 2020

Veteran KU professor Shameem Akhtar passes away


January 9, 2020

Prof Shameem Akhtar, a former chairman of Karachi University’s Department of International Relations, who was a prominent writer and expert on international affairs, passed away at private a hospital on Wednesday after a battle with prostate cancer. He was 95.

According to his family, the veteran professor remained associated with the University of Karachi for his entire life and even after his retirement more than 30 years ago he continued teaching at the varsity.

Prof Akhtar was born in Allahabad in February 1931 and received his early education in India. However, after Partition in 1947, he shifted to Pakistan with his family.

In the early 1960s, Prof Akhtar acquired a master’s degree in international law from the United States, Texas. He joined the Department of International Relations, KU, as a senior lecturer in 1964. Prof Akhtar became full professor in 1986 and in the same year he assumed charge as chairman of the department.

Until his retirement in 1991, Prof Akhtar served the department as a senior lecturer, assistant professor, associate professor and professor. Soon after retirement, he joined the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan as director for a few months.

He taught many subjects, including European Diplomacy and the Middle East. Along with teaching, he had written many thought-provoking research articles, papers and analysis. Apart from serving as a senior faculty at the IR department, Prof Akhtar also served as director of Karachi University’s Area Study Centre for Europe from 1976 to 1979. He wrote around 20 research papers on various topics covering international relations.


Prof Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, vice chancellor, Ziauddin University, expressed his profound grief over the sad demise of veteran professor Prof Shameem Akhtar of Karachi University.

“We will always remember his huge contribution and hard work in the field of teaching and international relations as he has served the longest term in Karachi University as a teacher. This is indeed an irreplaceable loss. It was his great love and respect for education that even after getting retired more than three decades ago, he continued to teach in Karachi University,” he said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

Paying tribute to Prof Akhtar, Prof Siddiqui said the late professor was an immense source of inspiration for his family, colleagues and friends. “We hope that Allah Almighty gives strength to his family to bear this enormous loss. He will surely be remembered in our hearts.” He added: “On behalf of Ziauddin University we pray for the departed soul and hope that his soul rests in peace.”

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