Journalists pay tribute to I.H. Burney
KARACHI: Journalists gathered at the Karachi Press Club on Thursday to pay tribute to their senior colleague Izharul Hasan Burney, popularly referred to as I.H. Burney, for his great contribution to the profession during his stint that spanned more than half a century.
The late Burney, a founding member of the club, won respect for his relentless work to get regularly exclusive headlines for his paper, Dawn, for which he worked for 56 years until this year when he suffered a fatal fall at home that sent him into a coma and did not allow him to recover.
Speakers called him an upright individual who was known for speaking simple in words of one syllable. For, he was a journalist by profession, they said, he always desired to be known for what he did, yet he remained a relentless campaigner for the cause of the right of the freedom of expression.
They said the late Burney belonged to the rare breed of journalists who knew the difference between news and views and who taught many beginners how to use simple but correct English.
The speakers expressed displeasure to see very few people in the Ibrahim Jalees Hall of the press club where the proceedings were under way. They said it was because people from this profession were losing their sensitivities that demanded care and respect for the peers, particularly for those who devoted their lives for the profession and the cause of the rights of their fellow colleagues.
“We are getting too insensitive in many ways, although our profession demands from us to be massively sensitive and responsive for everything and everyone around us,” said Idrees Bakhtiar, who earlier worked for The Star, an evening newspaper that the late Burney edited for almost a decade, and president of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (Dastoor).
He was of the opinion that a dead journalist was not news for media owners because according to him they were more interested in film stars, politicians and other celebrities.
Abdul Hameed Chhapra, a leader of the journalist community, said the late Burney was a loving and caring man. He called him a man of figures, whose reports never failed him because of his reliance on facts and authentic figures.
Photojournalist Zafar Ahmed said Burney Sahib was among the few journalists from Pakistan who launched Khaleej Times in Dubai.
Journalist Hayaz Aziz Naqvi said he worked in Hurriyat newspaper, housed in the same building along with Dawn, where he used to meet Burney Sahib. “He was a great journalist and a good human being. He was the one who never shied away from teaching his juniors,” he said.
KPC president Imtiaz Khan Faran also spoke while secretary Amir Latif moderated the programme.