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Altaf Husain (Urdu: الطاف حسین) was an eminent journalist of the South Asia. He was born on January 26, 1900 in Bangladesh. He received his early education in Calcutta and then attended Dhaka University where he graduated with an M.A. (English).

Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah appointed Altaf Husain the Editor of Dawn and in this capacity he played a critically important part in the Pakistan movement which lead to the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims of the South Asia.

In 1942, his services were lent to the Government of India as Press Advisor. He was the member of a three-man panel along with C.P. Johnson of The Statesman and S.A. Govindarajan of The Hindu.

In 1959, Altaf Husain was awarded the Hilal-e-Quaid-e-Azam by the Government of Pakistan. From 1965 to 1968, Altaf Husain served as the Minister for Industries and Natural Resources in the Federal Government of Pakistan.

Altaf Husain died on May 25, 1968 in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan.

Altaf Husain was not only the editor of Dawn in Delhi and a very close confidant of the founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah the president of all Pakistan Muslim League and the owner of Dawn he expressed through his powerful pen the hopes and dreams of all the Muslims of South Asia through inspiring and passionate editorials. Jinnah gave him total freedom to run Dawn and its editorial policy. At one time he told Altaf Husain, " I do not want you to spare any one who stands on our way to achieve Pakistan. Even me. If you feel that I am failing somewhere" Jinnah's trust in his editor was unshakable.

Following post independence Jinnah wanted to publish Dawn newspaper from Karachi in 1947. He had the idea to publish two editions of his newspaper. Both from Delhi and Karachi. He instructed Altaf Husain to proceed to Karachi in early August 1947 with some senior staffs from his Delhi office to set up Dawn newspaper in Karachi. Yusuf Haroon a young and energetic member of the Central Committee of Muslim League was given the task to provide facilities to the Dawn newspaper team led by Altaf Husain to publish Dawn newspaper by August fourteen 1947, the day Pakistan was born. Altaf Husain with his usual zeal successfully completed his task. First Pakistani edition of Dawn newspaper was published on the 15th. of August 1947. In the meantime Delhi Dawn newspaper office and its presses were burnt down by the Hindu extremist on the 12th. of August 1947. Altaf Husain's third floor flat in New Delhi located at Sujan Singh Park was also set on fire by the Sikhs destroying every thing including many collection of valuable Books. Altaf Husain landed in Karachi with his family with a hand full of suitcases on the 7th. of August 1947. His dedication and call to his duties never wavered. Dawn newspaper was a single voice of the Muslims of India. Through the power of his pen he battled against influential newspapers of Hindu India and came up triumphs! The street in Karachi where Dawn was first published is now known as Altaf Husain Road.

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