Media community loses a sincere friend
By Shahina Maqbool
ISLAMABAD: Prominent journalist, former edition in charge of the Rawalpindi-Islamabad edition of The News, and a much-valued friend of the media community, Mohammad Najeeb, died of sudden cardiac arrest here on Thursday afternoon.
Najeeb, 41, was rushed to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), where he allegedly expired for want of emergency treatment. According to one of his colleagues, “The initial report prepared by the attending physician mentions him as having arrived with low blood pressure and low pulse; subsequently, however, doctors declared him as having been brought dead to the hospital at 12:15 pm.”
Available at the Intermedia website, a brief profile of Najeeb states that he had started his journalistic career as a sub-editor with ‘The News International’ in 1991 and was the news editor when he left the publication in 1997. He was a popular figure in the newsroom. His ready wit, encyclopedic knowledge, grace of expression and gentle demeanor endeared him to many. The last byline that this correspondent shared with Najeeb was for an article announcing the death of Syed Nadeem Hussain, another colleague at The News, who died on June 6, 2007. Nadeem, who died a month before his 43rd birthday, was one of his closest friends.
Najeeb remained the editor of News Network International (NNI), Pakistan’s first private news agency, for four years till 2000. He had since been writing on Indo-Pak issues, politics and peace for Indo-Asian News Service. He also worked on development issues and remained associated with TheNetwork for Consumer Protection for 18 months in 2002-2004.
In 2005, Najeeb joined the Intermedia, a media development organisation, as its founding executive director. His ambition was to strengthen journalists’ faith in their craft. “If the purpose of journalism is to provide citizen-consumers with the information they need to govern themselves, then the obligation of journalists is to look for information that citizens need, not what advertisers want,” he states in his profile.
Only on Wednesday night, Najeeb had returned from Quetta via Karachi, where he had been conducting consultations. He was accompanied to the trip by Muddassir Rizwi, a close friend and former journalist who worked with him at The News. “We were relatively free yesterday in Quetta. At night, Najeeb and I went to the market on Jinnah Road where, for hours, he kept searching for remote-controlled ‘bay blades’ for his two younger sons, and eventually found them. He also bought some books for his eldest son from the bookshop at the Serena,” he said.
“On Thursday, Najeeb went to office as usual, and then visited his landlord’s house where, during conversation, he suddenly fell unconscious after a brief spell of shivering. They immediately rushed him to hospital, where he was pronounced dead,” said Najeeb’s eldest brother-in-law Mohammad Irshad, former deputy controller, Radio Pakistan.
The PIMS spokesman, Dr. Waseem Khawaja, told The News that the preliminary report shows that he was brought dead to the hospital. “He said that the executive director of PIMS had, nonetheless, constituted an inquiry committee headed by Dr. Arshad, Director Emergency, to ascertain the facts.
Najeeb is survived by his wife and three sons Saad (12), Hassan (10) and Sheheryar (5). He was the youngest of three brothers and three sisters and had lost both his parents. Najeeb’s funeral prayers will be offered today (Friday) at a mosque close to his sister’s house (House No. 60-C, Street No. 3, Sector 1, Khayaban-e-Sir Syed, Rawalpindi) at 9 am.
Source: The news