Book on press freedom & newspaper editors -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Book on press freedom & newspaper editors

KARACHI – The book entitled “Press Freedom and the Role of Newspaper Editors in Pakistan”, written by veteran Editor Mahmudul Aziz, has now been printed, and will be released soon, said Mrs Sohela Aziz, the publisher of the book, in a statement in Karachi on November 30.

The Mahmudul Aziz’s book covers various aspects of the struggle for press freedom in Pakistan as also the role of the newspaper editors and specially that of the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) since its formation in 1957 to-date.

It recalls the various events in Pakistan that had a direct bearing on press freedom as also the working of the newspapers in Pakistan.

The book highlights the role of newspaper editors as watchdogs of the government performance and US opinion-moulders in the service of democracy and the rule of law in Pakistan. It also has a chapter highlighting the first All India Muslim Newspaper Editors Convention held in New Delhi on May 9, 1947, which was inaugurated by Shaheed-e-Millat Liaquat Ali Khan, and addressed by Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah at a reception hosted for the delegates to the historic convention the next day.

The proceedings of the convention of which Altaf Hussain, then-editor of Daily Dawn, then-Editor of Nawai Waqt Hamid Nizami, and veteran Editor Maulana Ismail Zabih were the convenors and main organisers have been included in the book.

It also carries details of several meetings of the Standing Committee of the CPNE since its establishment to-date wherein the demand for removal of various restrictions on the press were made, and the pledge of the CPNE to uphold press freedom and free-speech were reiterated.

The first Quaid-e-Azam Press Convention convened by the CPNE with Mahmudul Aziz as the convenor on May 8 to 10, 1983 in Karachi, and its impact then on the government of the day are also highlighted in the book.

The holding on January 10, 1990 of CPNE countrywide Protest Day against violence and threats to which newspapers were subjected, and various demands made at meetings held on the Day in different cities of Pakistan by the CPNE are included in the book.

It also highlights the role of the newspaper in nation-building, while calling upon the government to do away with the different laws that restrict press freedom and obstruct newspapers in serving democracy in Pakistan as envisaged by the founding fathers.

The book includes the details of Mahmudul Aziz’s journey in journalism as a correspondent and editor and mentions his ‘scoop’ reporting the naming of Pakistan as the Islamic Republic by the Muslim League assembly party in the First Constituent Assembly of Pakistan in 1953.

Mahmudul Aziz’s book has also notes on the veteran editors from the pioneering days of Muslim Journalism in British India to the present day in Pakistan.

They include among others late Maulana Zafar Ali Khan, late Hamid Nizami, late Altaf Husain, late Syed Abdul Hafiz, late Maulana Ismail Zabih, late Maulana Akram Khan, late B.M. Abbasi, Shaikh Abdul Majid Sindhi, late Faiz Ahmed Faiz, late Hafiz Jallundhri, late Z.A Suleri, late Altaf Gauhar, late Ziaul Islam Ansari, late Pir Ali Mohammad Rashdi, late Mir Abdul Aziz, late Ishtiaq Hussain Azhar and late Fahkre Matri while among the editors on the job in Pakistan included in the notes are M.A. Zuberi, Majid Nizami, Shakil-ur-Rahman, Arif Nizami, Syed Fasieh Iqbal, Ahmed Ali Khan, Qazi Asad Abid, Anwer Farooqui, Zahid Malik, Mujib-ur-Rahman Shami, Zia Shahid, S.M. Fazal, Mahmud Sham, Qutubuddin Aziz, Ghazi Abdul Rashid, Mahmud Ali, Javed Rehman, Mushahid Hussain Syed and many others. Among those included in these notes are also Hameed Haroon, Iqbal Manjal, Bashir Jhumra, late Justice Nizamuddin, late Ahmed E.H. Jaffer, late Mian Iftikharuddin, and Madar-e-Millat Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah for their contribution to the struggle for press freedom in Pakistan.

The book also vehemently controverts the prophets of doom and rejects the charge of Pakistan being a failed state. It highlights the faith of the community of editors in the glorious future of Pakistan and their ever-gratefulness to Allah Almighty for the emergence of Pakistan as an Islamic Ideological state based on the Two-Nation theory as propounded by the Poet of the East Allama Iqbal and the Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah.

The book stresses the adherence of the newspaper editors of Pakistan and the worthy pioneers of Muslim journalism, to the cause of Islamic solidarity and describes the threats posed in the path of this goal and lists measures to overcome the same.

It also has a pictorial montage of many newspaper editors and events in the history of Pakistan. It also has an appendix which gives the package of three laws promulgated on October 26, 2002 as part of the LFO relating to the publication of newspapers, books, and registration of Printing Presses Ordinance, the Press Council of Pakistan Ordinance and Access to Information Ordinance.

The Mahmudul Aziz’s book spreads over 344 pages with the text both bold and small types and the cover page carrying photographs of Founders of Pakistan and the pioneers of Muslim journalism.

Mrs Sohela Aziz has said that inquiries relating to the book can be made on Tel: Nos. 5682694 and 5683235, Fax: 92-21-5845473 and e-mail:
Source: Business Recorder