Majeed Nizami recounts events of his journalistic life -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Majeed Nizami recounts events of his journalistic life

LAHORE- The Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) held a function on completion of 40 years of services of veteran journalist Majeed Nizami as Editor, in an impressive ceremony at a local hotel on Sunday.

The members of CPNE, M A Zuberi, Arshad Zuberi, Mujib-ur-Rahman Shami, Jamil Athar, Zahid Malik and a large number of journalists, civil servants and people of all walks of life were present on the occasion.

Majeed Nizami, divulging his experiences of the years he spent as Editor said that period of 1962 when he came to the country conditions emanating from imposition of martial law were beyond inhalation at that time.

Quoting his meeting with the then president at Karachi, he said he severely objected to the remarks of Ayub Khan while addressing journalists calling them to look into their sleeves.

Quoting another incident at Dacca during that period, he on remarks of President Ayub Khan that bringing out a paper was a commercial venture, asked the president to ask his son who by then had become a successful businessman to enter the industry to find the real correct picture.

Highly appreciating Amir Muhammad Khan of Kalabagh, Governor of West Pakistan during Ayub era, as a noble personality, he stated that he found him as a thorough gentleman during his meetings with him.

Talking about his conversation with Altaf Gohar, Information Minister in Ayub Cabinet, about journalists’ involvement in politics, he said a journalist could not be a true journalist unless he was somehow linked with the concept. Politics and journalism are part and parcel of each other, he added.

Coming to the era of President Yahya Khan he said that a number of cases were filed against senior journalists including him and Altaf Hussein Qureshi and others.

Quoting an incident in which the President asked journalists to apologise as a pre-condition for taking back cases against them, he said there was no question of an apology as neither martial law was a law nor court under it was any court.

Disclosing his experience with Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, he said his period was interesting as he was both friend and a foe. “After being sacked as foreign minister, Bhutto came to me and I advised him that with age on his side if he showed resolution at the juncture opportunity would further dwell upon him,” he added.

With Bhutto in the chair, Hameed Nizami Day was observed in Young Man Christian Association (YMCA). He was sneaked out through a ladder from other side of venue into Nila Gumbad after the meeting, the veteran journalist said.

He said Dr Mubasshir Hassan, who was instrumental in failed economic policies as finance minister in Bhutto period, got an introductory letter from him and the politician entered the realms of his political association with the leader from then on.

About an incident in which Bhutto rang him to contact Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) founder Maulana Maudoodi, he said he met the religious leader in that context and conveyed his message. The Maulana, suggesting a number of conditions to be accepted prior to his meeting, delivered a letter for Bhutto. Going through this ZAB accepted the conditions in the letter by JI head and later the meeting took place between both leaders, he added.

Nizami, giving his comments on hanging of Bhutto, said that they were never curious or enticed on the subject. Only what they were interested in was that justice and fairness prevailed, he added.

Majid Nizami, replying to a question that who from among Bhutto and Yahya was responsible for the tragedy of East Pakistan, he replied that both were responsible.

Coming to the Zia era Majeed Nizami said that no substantive activity except that civil servants had started offering prayers without performing Wazo were noticeable in his period.

Coming to Benazir and Nawaz Sharif periods of politics, he said that the period of Benazir was a semi martial law while the tenure of Nawaz Sharif could not be less termed as complete martial law.

Coming to the referendum of President Pervez Musharraf, Nizami said that he chose a tougher path. “His presidency will remain even controversial after he is elected,” he stated.

Talking about the aftermath of referendum, he said the new Pakistan would be Pakistan of Musharraf and not of Quaid-e-Azam or Allama Iqbal.

Talking about Kashmir, Nizami said its solution had to come at all costs. With failure in doing so the country will become Somalia, he added.

Dilating further on events of his career, he stated that he had unequivocally conveyed to General Pervez Musharraf that he was on their side on the issue of Kargil. Even the visit of Vajpayee to Lahore was resented during Nawaz Sharif period as prime minister and President Zia’s offer to take him along to India was too rejected by him telling him that he was willing to go to India on tanks but not otherwise.

Giving his views on two-nation theory, he said it was the base of the country and his journalistic career was geared towards fulfillment of that goal, he concluded.
Source: Business Recorder
Date:4/8/2002