BRIGADIER (R) A. S. NASIR

Karachi

The report (February 8) about the death of eminent jurist Khalid Ishaque was wanting in information.

Mr Ishaque was considered by many as simply a religious scholar, but the fact is he possessed great qualities of both head and heart, such as understanding music, playing first class tennis and working for sectarian harmony in the country. He particularly focused on injustices being perpetrated by the West against people in Afghanistan and Iraq.

While Mr Ishaque was justifiably inflexible on the tenets of Islam, he showed flexibility on bank deposits so far as those were for better economic growth and offered fair subsistence without exploitation by the banks.

He had full command of Arabic and Sindhi literature. Both his thorough knowledge of Shahjo Rasalo and the ability to remember selected verses were phenomenal.

Mr Ishaque stood for the rights and honour of his profession and placed stress on the dignity of the judiciary. Once when he was asked why he had joined the legal profession, he said he had first opted for the civil service, but in 1948 when he was denied the top position in a civil service examination on ethnic basis, he had decided to join the legal profession.

His most valuable collection of more than 200,000 books is a national treasure which should be preserved for research scholars.

Letter to Dawn, Karachi, 13 Feb 2004