Tarek Fatah, a renowned Pakistani journalist and writer, has passed away at the age of 73 after a prolonged illness with cancer, according to his daughter Natasha Fatah who confirmed his passing. On Friday, rumors of his demise began circulating, prompting an outpouring of tributes and condolences on social media, with Tarek Fatah quickly trending on Twitter. Although there were initial denials from individuals associated with him, his daughter’s announcement has now confirmed his death.
Tarek Fatah’s daughter tweeted on her father’s death, ‘Lion of Punjab. Son of Hindustan. Lover of Canada. Speaker of truth. Fighter for justice. Voice of the down-trodden, underdogs, and the oppressed. @TarekFatah has passed the baton on… his revolution will continue with all who knew and loved him. Will you join us?’
Tarek Fatah, born on November 20, 1949, in Karachi, Pakistan, migrated to Canada in 1987 and gained recognition for his journalistic work, receiving numerous accolades for his reporting. Despite his Pakistani heritage, Fatah was vocal in calling out the country’s shortcomings, challenging the army and fundamentalist forces, which earned him a substantial social media following. He commenced his career in journalism in 1970 as a reporter for the Karachi Sun but was accused of treason by the Zia-ul-Haq regime in 1977, effectively barring him from practicing journalism. Fatah was also well-versed in Arabic and spent some time residing in Saudi Arabia. His articles were published in several leading magazines and newspapers worldwide, including in Canada.
Sharing the link of the last show with Tarek Fatah, Canada-based journalist Tahir Gora wrote, ‘It is with a heavy heart that I share the sad news that our friend, writer and activist Tarek Fatah passed away this morning. om Shanti. Rest in Peace. His last show with me’ Along with this, The Jaipur Dialogue also paid tribute to him and shared his last show with him. Pakistani journalist Arzoo Kazmi has also paid tribute to him.
Tarek Fatah was seen as a controversial figure who gained a following in India and was popular among India’s right-wing groups due to his criticisms of Pakistan and Islam, which align with their political ideologies. Fatah’s views have been criticized by many who view his statements as inflammatory and divisive. It is important to acknowledge that while Fatah may have a following among certain groups, his views are not universally accepted or agreed upon.