By Dr. Sohail Ansari
A man sprung from poverty and in 1890’s was said to have owned half of Karachi. He built a house, the Dinshaw House in 1890, on Ingle Road. It once became the residence of Pakistan’s President, Iskandar Mirza. Decades later, Pakistan’s first press club, Karachi Press Club, was established in Karachi. The Club acquired that bungalow as its home, commencing its journey in 1958. The first election was held then, and yearly thereafter. It has since been democratic. It not only arose in the face of National Press Trust but also survived the tough times of censorship, raising its voice. Some equate it to the Hyde Park.In the 1970s during the military rule, a senior military official who walked into the club to have a cup of tea, was forced to leave.Half a century ago, around this time of the year, the house that is now over 130 years old, was buzzing with democratic activity. Results for its elections for the year were announced on 5th July 1971 and those elected faced the media on 7th July. Dawn group clearly dominated the scene. Anwar Husain of Dawn was elected President of the KPC, S.M. Fazal of Daily News, Vice-President, Mirza Ismail of Dawn, Secretary and Hasan Shahriar of Dawn was elected Joint Secretary.
Doctor Sb: Being a Karachiwala, I enjoyed your this article. Ingle Road is now MR Kiyani Road, stretching to the roundabout where it is divided into three roads, Deen Muhammad Wafai Road, Sarwar Shaheed Road and Court Road. I believe Dinshaw House is same that houses Karachi Press Club on Sarwar Shaheed Road. Best wishes