Nizami vows to continue serving national interests
By: Sajid Zia
LAHORE — The 70th birth anniversary of Nawa-i-Waqt was marked here with the cutting of a 70-pound cake by Editor Nawa-i-Waqt Majid Nizami while a large number of workers and others were in attendance at the function held at the office building Tuesday.
Speaking on the occasion, Majid Nizami prayed that Nawa-i-Waqt continues to serve the nation upholding the policies in the best national interests and for strengthening the democracy even after his lifetime. He said Nawa-i-Waqt Group is committed to help transform Pakistan into a welfare Islamic state wherein democratic values are cherished. According to him, though he has undergone three open-heart surgeries, he is regularly looking after the affairs of the Group and would continue to do so as long he lives. He said the policy of Nawa-i-Waqt is its identity and hallmark.
Majid Nizami felicitated the workers and enlightened them about the hardships and problems Nawa-i-Waqt faced during the tenures of dictatorship, as well as the civil governments. He said Pakistan Day (23 March) is the day when the first issue of Nawa-i-Waqt saw the sunlight. He said Pakistan had come into being the day Pakistan resolution was passed, and it became possible only because of the vision of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Muhammad Iqbal. Tracing the history how Nawa-i-Waqt thrived, Nizami narrated his own experiences as its worker doing the job from carrying the copy to the press to taking the Paper to the post office.
He said this Paper was turned into a daily newspaper on the direction of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah given to Hameed Nizami, then founder of Muslim Students Federation. He said under the guidance of Hameed Nizami, he also penned ‘Sare Rahe’ column for the Paper for four years. Later when he did his Masters, he went to England where he served as correspondent Nawa-i-Waqt besides prosecuting his studies. He said after completing his two-year course in International Affairs, he took admission to Bar-at-Law discipline. During the course of time, he said, he received a phone call from Pakistan telling him about the serious illness of Hameed Nizami. Consequently, he rushed back home where he found his elder brother unconscious. He said on finding him around, Hameed Nizami looked at him, and appreciating his return he passed away the same evening.
He recalled the pressure that Nawa-i-Waqt sustained during the martial law government of Ayub Khan. Spotlighting the ‘decencyÂ’ of Nawab of Kalabagh, Nizami recalled his words as he told to him that if Ayub Khan asked him to close down Nawa-i-Waqt, he (Governor) would not waste a moment in doing so. But the Nawab asked him to be resolute if he (Majid) was a bold man. According to Nizami, when he asked Nawab of Kalabagh whether it was an advice or threat, he replied he had told him what he had to do and now it was upon him to take his own course. Majid Nizami said: I accept your advice and that now I will show you how a bold person acts; and with the grace of God, I will not bow down.
Nizami said his confrontation on principles continued with the military rulers namely Yahya Khan, Ziaul Haq and Pervez Musharraf as he never toed their lines. He said as he had studied the law, he knew what could be done within the ambit of law and so he did.
Narrating the account of editors’ meeting convened by Ayub Khan he said, on that occasion, Ayub Khan told the editors to be ashamed, requiring them to search their soul. At this stage, he said, he boldly told Ayub Khan that he (Majid Nizami) felt proud when he searched his soul. Upon this, Ayub Khan observed that said, his remarks were not directed to him. Nizami then asked Ayub Khan to call the person by name whom he wanted to undertake the exercise of searching his soul. He said Ziaul Haq once invited him to visit India with him but he told him that he was ready for this if Zia would be going on a tank.
At this, Zia said, this exercise needed courage. At this stage, Nizami told him: “Better me to accompany you to visit India when you happen to have such a courage.” He said in the same way he continued jihad during the regime of Ziaul Haq.
He said Nawa-i-Waqt is pursuing a policy, which would transform Pakistan into an Islamic welfare state, and the paper would continue to stick to that policy even when he is no more.
He said Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was a supporter of socialism. He said he told Bhutto that by promoting socialism, he was making Pakistan shift its direction from Makkah to Moscow. He said after Tashkent Accord, Ayub relieved Bhutto from his office. As Bhutto was very depressed at that time, he, along with Mr Sulehry, asked Bhutto to return to politics, and that Nawa-i-Waqt would give him coverage. He said on the 70th anniversary of Nawa-i-Waqt, son-in-law of Bhutto, Asif Ali Zardari has sent him message, asking him to decide as to who is the oppressor ruler (jabar sultan) of the time.
Majid Nizami said anyway he (Zardari) was his marde hurr (iron man) an appellation he gave to Zardari for serving a long term in jail although a number of people had objected to it but he stood by his word. He said Nawaz Sharif also did not like this title to Zardari and he told him so at a meeting in Jeddah. According to him, he told Nawaz Sharif that had he not been enjoying luxuries of Saroor Palace and been in jail, he would have been his first marde hurr. He said Zardari accepted jail but did not bargain, and later on Zardari phoned me from New York saying: Nizami sahib I have got a new life because of you. And it was such a pleasure to me a person would get on receiving an official title, he added.
Source: The Nation