Ex-Chairman PARC Dr.Zafar Altaf passes away

ISLAMABAD: Dr Zafar Altaf, who passed away in Islamabad on Saturday, was one of the country’s foremost agricultural experts, having been appointed chairman of the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) three times.A senior bureaucrat who served under the late Benazir Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif, retired General Pervez Musharraf and former president Asif Ali Zardari, Dr Altaf was a prodigious figure who utilised his talents in various fields. He also worked as an economist while remaining in the civil service, rising to the position of federal secretary for Food and Agriculture.He was a prolific author, writing eleven books on agriculture, rural development, poverty, food insecurity and economic management. He also penned a memoir on his experiences working with Ms Bhutto, Mr Sharif and retired Gen Pervez Musharraf.

PARC Director General Sardar Ghulam Mustafa fondly recalled Dr Altaf’s days at the council, saying he had made tremendous contributions towards agricultural research in the country.He also had a central role with the National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC) and pioneered the Pakistan Agri-Tech Company as a subsidiary of NARC in order to generate additional resources for research.Dr Altaf’s wife had passed away a few years ago, and he is survived by his daughter.

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