The services of legendary journalist Hameed Nizami were remembered in a special session held under the aegis of Hameed Nizami Memorial Society (HNMS) at Aiwan-e-Iqbal on Wednesday.
Federal Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed was the chief guest on the occasion while Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri presided over the session. Veteran journalists and Pakistan Today Editor Arif Nizami, Ataul Haq Qasmi, Sajjad Mir, Oria Maqbool Jan and Irshad Arif addressed the gathering among others.
While paying tribute to the services rendered by the late Nizami in establishing journalism as an institution in the newborn state of Pakistan, the speakers said that Nizami’s life was a minaret of light for the new writers and mediapersons.
Speaking on the occasion, Information Minister Rashid said that his family had been following Daily Nawai Waqt since 1960s. He said that 1962 was very important in Pakistan’s history when Hameed Nizami passed away and the country got 1962’s Constitution. “The 1962 Constitution is dead but Hameed Nizami’s legacy lives on,” he said.
He said that Nizami was the martyr of democracy who fought for the supremacy of law throughout his life. “He believed in a country that was Quaid’s democratic country. He earned a title of the first martyr of democracy in the Ayub era. Hameed Nizami was a true custodian of Quaid’s legacy who always believed that the loss of democracy was the loss of nation,” Rashid said, adding that the need of the hour was to rebuild Quaid’s country along Nizami’s vision.
Addressing the gathering, Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri said that the price Hameed Nizami paid during the dictatorship of Gen Ayub Khan was a tragic chapter of Pakistani history. He said it was time to reconsider media’s role in the present perspective.
Kasuri said that true journalists always suffered in the dictatorial regimes but were successful ultimately. He said that the media should play its role to root out terrorism and the political parties should ignore their differences. This will lead to the materialisation of the dream late Hameed Nizami had seen in the past, he added.
Speaking about his father, Arif Nizami recalled the historical background of Hameed Nizami’s life and journalism. He said his father was a patriot, anti-feudalist and a famous student leader of his time. He said the late Nizami was inspired by Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal and his life reflected their thoughts. He said Nizami’s journalistic struggle played a leading role in Pakistan Movement.
Enunciating late Nizami’s journalistic values, he said that his father never had anything published in his paper in self-praise. Speaking about the current journalist fraternity, he said that Mir Shakilur Rehman, publisher of Jang Group, was among the few editors who could take a stand on issues.
Moreover, Irshad Ahmad Arif said Nizami was the only journalist who founded modern journalism and used simple means of communication to convey his message.
Addressing the gathering, Oria Maqbool Jan, Sajjad Mir and others said that Hameed Nizami had a grip on editorial writing. He wrote editorial in a simple language on public, political and international issues and also suggested the solution of problems, they added. Hameed Nizami’s editorials played an important role in government’s policymaking, they held.
The speakers said Nizami presented a strong opposition against government’s incorrect policies after the partition. They said Nizami highlighted the problems of the people and urged the government to solve them.