‘Glorious journalists’ movement’ remembered by author
KARACHI: A detailed account of what author and journalist Ahfazur Rahman sees as the ‘glorious journalists’ movement’ of 1977-1978 was recently published.
The book, titled ‘Azadi-e-Sahafat: Sub se Bari Jang’, is based on Rahman’s personal insights and experiences and reveals many aspects that were previously undisclosed. Rahman is also the magazine editor of Roznama Express.
It unveils the ‘draconian laws against the press’ during the military rule of General Ziaul Haq and the resistance offered against them in three stages by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and the All Pakistan Newspaper Employees Confederation (Apnec). During this resistance movement, hundreds of working journalists offered voluntary arrests and suffered in prisons. According to the book, however, the government had to bow down to the courageous journalists in the end.
The book is divided into sections: the first is based on the personal experiences and memoirs of the author while the second comprises articles, letters and poems on the movement.
It further includes the ‘prison diaries’ of prominent journalists such as Farhad Zaidi, Aslam Sheikh, Ali Ahmed Khan, Zafar Qureshi and Shabbar Azmi. Stories of the torture suffered by Masood Qamar, Mohammad Zahid, Ismail Udasi, Mohammad Irfan, Shabihul Hasan, Tahir Awan and Zia Awan also feature in the book.
AlFatah editor Wahab Siddiqui has written the preface of the book while Iqbal Khursheed assisted the author in writing the book. Written in Urdu, the book is spread over 590 pages and is available for Rs900.
Rahman himself is a senior journalist and has been the president of the PFUJ. During the 1977-1978 movement, he was the general secretary of the joint action committee of the PFUJ and Apnec, as well as the secretary-general of the Karachi Union of Journalists.