Remembering an legendary Jamsheed Marker

IT is with utmost sadness that I learnt of the passing away of Jamsheed Marker in Karachi yesterday. He was truly one of the most remarkable personality who distinguished himself in both as a famous diplomat, a cricket commentator, a man of letters, businessman and later as a university professor at a US University.
Jamsheed Marker, belonged to one of most distinguished Parsi families of Pakistan, Dinshaws, Markers, Cowasjees, Minwalas & Oberois. I had first met him by chance over 70 years ago at Lahore Railways Station, when I came out of Khyber Mail coming from then Montgomery (now Sahiwal). Coming out simultaneously to be received by late Hafeez Kardar and Omar Kureishi with garlands whom I had known earlier. Marker remarked to them “Where is the band you had told me about”? As they came out of main platform to Marker’s utter amazement there was a pipe land outside arranged by late Zulfiqar Ahmad (Former Test Player) and a brother-in-law of Kardar present there to give a right royal welcome to Marker, who had come to join Omar for a cricket commentary in a Lahore match, being played against a foreign team.
As I had later shifted to Karachi, to stay there for over three decades, I met and became known to Marker through Omar Kureishi, and his elder brother Satoo Kureishi, with whom he also had close relations. Marker, who had also served in the Royal Navy during World War II, along with Satoo Kureishi, in Burma, often talked fondly about their days in Burma, where Japanese had fought a pitched battle against the Allies and nearly threatened to invade the Indian Sub-continent.
Both Omar and Marker became a famous pair of cricket commentators, who became household names in the country. However, their relations and friendship remained intact even afterwards. Marker selected by Z.A.Bhutto, to be sent to Ghana, as an Ambassador became perhaps the most versatile and famous ambassador of Pakistan to serve in ten countries including London, Paris Moscow, Tokyo, Washington, UN in New York, before settling in US for few years to take up a teaching job.
Marker, later returned to Karachi where he remained till his passing away. Marker, also remained friendly with his old friends and class fellows like Roedad Khan, Abu Kureishi, Setoo Kureishi, Lala Afzal and many others out of which perhaps only Roedad Khan, is still alive. He had two brothers Khursheed and Minoo, but Khursheed, a prominent Banker and Businessman had died many years ago. Intact the family had most of their business concerns and fortunes in Quetta (Balochistan) where the family had strong roots.
Having shifted back from Karachi, for 20 years, after spending three decades there, I remember Jamsheed Marker, whom I had the privilege of knowing and meeting during my stay in Karachi. He was truly an iconic figure whose services and efforts to promote Pakistan would always be remembered.

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