Naushaba passes away at 83

Naushaba was the wife of I. H. Burney, founder and editor of Outlook (known for its free expression despite government persecution), who trained in journalism from Stanford University and went on to establish the Karachi Press Club. She was the mother of Shehryar Burney, ED Yellow and the eldest sister of Amina Saiyid, OBE, Managing Director of Oxford University Press, Pakistan and Syed Naved Husain, Group Director and CEO Beximco, says a press release.

She was a gold medalist from Kinnaird College Lahore, completed her Bachelors from Columbia University, MA English (University of Oregon) and MA Journalism (UC Berkeley). She was the first Pakistani woman to have formally trained and qualified as a journalist and helped establish Photothe Karachi University journalism department. In her long career she helped establish and wrote for the Woman’s World magazine, was active in social work in the area of family planning, women`s empowerment ,and socio-economic development of marginalized communities living in urban slums.

She promoted education by establishing a high-quality school in a low-income area where she also taught English so effectively that her students became fluent. She used her stature to expose her students to iconic personalities, including Zubeida Mustafa, Fatima Surraya Bajia, Haseena Moeen, Ghazi Salahuddin and Moeen Akhtar to name a few. She also persuaded Naseem Hameed, a gold-medalist in South Asian games to join her school as a sports teacher.

Previously she worked in PIA and was the editor of Dawn Magazine where she mentored countless aspiring young journalists, also promoted talent through publishing articles about writers and artists, and until the end of her life she enjoyed friendships with people of all ages.

Naushaba led a principled life on her own terms. In 1994 she took food rations to Lyari. When Mukhtaran Mai’s rapists were acquitted she protested on the streets. She remained a human rights activist till as long as her strength allowed.

She was independent, progressive, secular and opposed any form of sectarianism, bigotry and parochialism. She dreamt of a progressive, liberal Pakistan and a society based on meritocracy and justice. She courageously stood by her beliefs and principles.