‘We should all have the freedom to uphold the truth’
Karachi: Extolling the late journalist S R Ghauri for his fearless and objective and truthful writings, Sindh Information Minister Nisar Khuhro said on Wednesday that “we should all have the courage and the freedom to uphold the truth and we should be enabled to do so without let or hindrance”.
He was speaking as chief guest at the launch of the compilation of the late journalist’s columns, titled “Let the people judge”, compiled posthumously by Justice Prof Dr Ghaus Muhammad, dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Karachi.
Khuhro said that “we should never allow ourselves to part with democratic values” as democracy was what really comprised a nation in the real sense of the word. He lamented that Pakistan came into being in 1947 but the country had to wait all the way up until 1970 for the ushering in of democracy.
“People were treated as mere nonentities by the dictatorial rulers,” he said, adding, “Hence we had emancipatory figures like Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Habib Jalib, and others to acquaint us with the black era of our history.”
He regretted that the library culture did not exist in the country so that we had no way of preserving the writings of erudite and celebrated journalists like S R Ghauri.
“We have such a treasure house of literature but nowhere to hide it. We have to make history through records. Hence the indispensable importance of books,” he said. S R Ghauri had a very illustrious background, he said.
One of the late Ghauri’s nephews, Javed Ghauri, said Ghauri was unimpeachable and inaccessible and that none could influence his writing. He was a man of principles and would write nothing but the truth without fear or favour, he said.
A senior journalist at Dawn, Habib Khan Ghauri, said that Ghauri advised “us all to be honest to the profession”. He rated the late journalist as a highly polished and articulate gentleman. He said that it would be a real boon for the journalism/mass communications students at the university were his writings to be made part of the curriculum.
Justice Prof Dr Ghaus Muhammad narrated how Ghauri handed him all his columns in San Francisco where he had settled, for these to be published in book form. He said that Ghauri was a very humble person and said his books had been sent to organisations as prestigious as the Library of Congress in Washington DC, USA.
Zaib Azkaar Hussain, secretary of the Karachi Press Club Literary Committee, said it was an honour for the Karachi Press Club to launch a compendium of Ghauri’s writings. “Ghauri highlights the pitiable condition of democracy in the country. He talks of true democracy,” Azkar said.