Mahbub Jamal Zahedi

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Mahbub Jamal Zahedi

محبوب جمال زاہدی
Portrait of Mahbub Jamal Zahedi
Portrait of Mahbub Jamal Zahedi
Born Mabub Jamal Rahman
(1929-06-21)21 June 1929
Dhaka, British India (now Bangladesh)
Died 7 December 2008(2008-12-07) (aged 79)
Karachi, Pakistan
Nationality Pakistani
Other names Bulu Bhaiya
Ethnicity Bengali
Alma mater University of Dhaka




United Arab Emirates

Notable work
  • Fifty Years of Pakistan Stamps
  • Gulf post: Story of the post in the Gulf
Spouse(s) Qamarunnisa Begum
  • Jamila Zahedi
  • Dilawar Zahedi
  • Selina Zahedi
Parent(s) Mizanur Rahman (father)

Mahbub Jamal Zahedi (21 June 1929 in Dhaka – 7 December 2008 in Karachi) was a veteran journalist[1][2] and philatelist from Pakistan. During a career of nearly fifty years he served as editor of the Khaleej Times, Dubai, UAE as well the news editor and senior assistant editor of Dawn, Karachi, Pakistan.[1][2]

Early and personal life[edit]

Mahbub Jamal Zahedi was born in Dhaka in 1929. He was the son of Mizanur Rahman, the census commissioner in former East Pakistan.[3] Zahedi studied English Literature at the University of Dhaka. He was married to Qamarunissa Begum, and had two daughters, Jamila and Selina, and a son, Dilawar. In 2003, Zahedi suffered a stroke that rendered him paralysed and bedridden.


Mahbub Jamal Zahedi had a journalistic career that spanned nearly five decades. He served in several newspapers in the then East Pakistan and West Pakistan in key positions, as well as going on assignments to Lagos, Nigeria; Sydney and Melbourne, Australia and Beijing, China. Due to his left-wing views, he was jailed on several occasions. He was also the founder and editor of the popular Bangladeshi periodical The Agatya, in then East Pakistan.[4]


Zahedi started his career in the early 1950s working for the Pakistan Observer.[1][2] By the early 1960s he held the position of assistant editor.[3]

He was also a Colombo Plan journalism scholar in Australia in 1955 and worked with the Sydney Morning Herald and the Melbourne Gazette.

On 7 October 1958, he was arrested late at night near Purana Paltan, Dhaka, his then place of residence, while returning home after finishing some routine desk work. The reason for the arrest was the publication of a controversial story reading that the Constitution of Pakistan of 1956 had been abrogated by Iskandar Mirza.


In 1960, Zahedi covered the UN General Assembly Session. After his stint with the Pakistan Observer, Zahedi moved to Lahore to work in the Pakistan Times, which was then edited by the renowned poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz. He also taught journalism at the University of Dhaka from 1960 to 1962 as a part-time lecturer.

After Pakistan Times was taken over by the National Press Trust, he served for a short period with the Civil and Military Gazette in 1963,[2] quickly moving to Dawn within the year at the invitation of its editor, Altaf Husain, where he was given the position of news editor.


In 1970, Zahedi was elected Secretary General of Pakistan Writers' Guild.[5] In the same year he also covered the UN enquiry into allegations of genocide in Nigeria.

He left Dawn in 1974 to move to Dubai to help launch the Khaleej Times, the first English newspaper in the Middle-East, where with Mahmoud Haroon he rose to become one of its establishing editors.[2] He held the position of Khaleej Times editor for over a decade.


In 1991, Zahedi rejoined Dawn, this time as assistant editor. He published both his books on philately in the mid-90s. He retired from journalism in 2001 following a stroke.


Zahedi is the author of two books, one on Pakistan's stamps and the other on the stamps of Gulf nations. He also published articles on the subject in some of the world's most prestigious related magazines, including Britain's Gibbons Stamp Monthly and America's Scott catalogue.


On 7 December 2008, Zahedi died in bed of natural causes, succumbing to a prolonged paralysis.

Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani expressed grief over his demise, and offered condolences to his family. He also eulogized Zahedi’s valuable contribution in the field of journalism within and outside of Pakistan, which he said would be long remembered.[6]


  • Zahedi, Mahbub Jamal (1997) Fifty Years of Pakistan Stamps, Sanaa Publications, Karachi, Pakistan.
  • Zahedi, Mahbub Jamal (1994) Gulf post: Story of the post in the Gulf, Sanaa Publications, Karachi, Pakistan


  1. ^ a b c Journalist Zahedi passes away Retrieved 8 July 2010
  2. ^ a b c d e MJ Zahedi no more The Daily Star 26 December 2008. Retrieved 8 July 2010
  3. ^ a b Dawn - Letters 13 December 2008 Retrieved 8 July 2010
  4. ^ Haque, Syed Badrul, Agattya, mosquitoes and more. in The Daily Star 6 October 2004 Retrieved on 8 July 2010.
  5. ^ Banglapedia Retrieved 8 July 2010
  6. ^ Prime Minister offers condolence over demise, Retrieved 9 September 2010.