A distinguished writer remembered
LAHORE: Zahid Akkasi was remembered as a distinguished and principled writer, journalist and filmmaker at a commemoration reference organised by the South Asia Free Media Association here on Monday.
Akkasi passed away in Lahore on January 12.
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) Secretary General IA Rehman, a close friend of the deceased, said he had first met the budding writer when they were both practically “vagabonds”. He said they had learnt a lot together roaming the streets of Lahore.
Both of them used to write about filmmaking. “There were few writers who wrote about the film world in a dignified way. Akkasi was very prominent among them,” he said. He said his friends faced some difficulties because of his leftist ideology, but never imposed it on others. He was also a man of integrity who never sought undue favour, he said.
Senior journalist Hussain Naqi said Akkasi was a source of inspiration for many. “He was very sincere and polite and was also exploited by the publishers he wrote articles and essays for,” he said. Publisher and writer Farrukh Sohail Goindi described Akkasi as “a people’s historian”. “Several established writers exploited him. Their books were actually written by Akkasi,” he said.
He complained that most Pakistani intellectuals lacked commitment and did little research. Akkasi was quit different, he said. “His level of commitment was excellent. When he took up some work he didn’t rest until he completed it,” he said.
Journalist Khalid Chaudhry praised Akkasi as a progressive writer who suffered in order to give relief to his friends.
Writer Shoaib Adil said Akkasi adopted a Marxist tone in his reviews of films and this distinguished his writing from that of others. He said he showed people how a film was relevant to a certain class of society.
Waqar Mustafa from the South Asia Free Media Association, writer Shahid Bukhari, and journalist Arif Waqar also read essays about the deceased.