Rich tributes paid to Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman
LONDON: UK government ministers, parliamentarians, Ulema, journalists and community leaders have paid glowing tributes to the legendary journalist of the Sub-continent and the founder of Jang Group, Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman, on his 22nd death anniversary which was observed this week in the House of Commons Committee Room.
The speakers said digging out issues which were considered a taboo in the journalistic world was a big achievement of the Daily Jang and The News International, which had made these titles one of most read newspapers not only in Pakistan but also in Europe and America.
The programme was hosted by prominent Kashmiri leader Maulana Muhammad Yaqoob Chishti with the support of Yasmin Qureshi MP. Senior Foreign Office Minister Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Lord Tariq Ahmed, Lord Qurban Hussain, Anas Sarwar MP, Mushtaq Lashari, Baroness Zahida Manzoor, Barrister Rashid Aslam, Councillor Afzal Khan and several other prominent community leaders spoke on this occasion.
Foreign Office Minister Baroness Warsi said that she had been reading Jang newspaper since her childhood. She revealed that in her childhood she thought of the newspaper as a book of art.
As a politician later, Warsi said, Jang served as a bridge between her and the community. She praised the newspaper for highlighting issues and playing the role of a guide for the Pakistani community in the UK. She said that Jang Group could never have become a success story without the great vision provided by Mir Khalil-ur-Rehman, the founder of modern journalism in Pakistan. She said that Jang newspaper had helped her connect with her own communities in Britain and all over the world.
In his speech, High Commissioner Wajid Shamsul Hasan paid rich tributes to the Late Mir Khalil-ur-Rehman, saying the founder of the Jang Group was the pioneer of the modern Urdu and English journalism in Pakistan.
He regretted that at present there are certain forces in Pakistan who support the Taliban. He added that there was no political prisoner in the country. The High Commissioner said that democracy would take firm roots in Pakistan. Hasan, who worked with Mir Khalil-ur-Rehman, said that the Late Mir sb was a man of principles who kept the interests of deprived people at heart. He said that Mir sb invested in modern technology to promote journalism. He said that Mir saheb’s contribution to make Quaid’s dream come true should always be mentioned in letters of gold.
Government minister Lord Tariq Ahmed said even Quaid-e-Azam had paid tributes to the Late Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman for his services and asked him to bring out a newspaper from Pakistan.
He said Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman wanted his country to progress and added that “he devoted himself to this cause”. Lord Ahmad called on the government of Pakistan to work towards the vision of a peaceful, liberal and prosperous Pakistan set up by the likes of Quaid-e-Azam and Mir Khalil-ur-Rehman.
Yasmin Qureshi MP said she too had fond memories of reading the Jang newspaper during her days in Pakistan as “it was the first newspaper that had gone through her eyes”.
“Now that she has become a member of British Parliament she can see the paper in the whole world over, which is a big achievement.” She said that Jang and Geo had become the largest media house of Pakistan through sheer dedication of the people who work to promote journalism.
Lord Qurban Hussain of Luton, speaking in the programme, said he had been reading the Daily Jang for over 30 years. He said the Late Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman had played an important role in the Pakistan Movement. Lord Hussain said that Mir sb left behind everything in India and migrated to Pakistan and went on to set up the media group that was a leading light in the field of journalism. He said that Jang Group had worked tirelessly to promote democracy and to strengthen institutions in the country.
Sir Iqbal Sacranie said The Daily Jang had highlighted problems of Pakistanis and Muslims living not only in Britain but all over the world. He said in Britain it was Jang and Geo group that guided the community on key issues and had helped the community welfare organisations air their views. He said the British government had formed many laws keeping in view demands of British Muslims and Jang had played a pivotal role in that.
Anas Sarwar MP said that Mir Khalil-ur-Rehman had taken journalism in Pakistan to new heights and worked hard to promote fairness and justice in Pakistani society. He said that without Mir sb’s contribution Pakistan would not be where it is today.
Others who paid tributes to Mir Khalil-ur-Rehman included Toaha Qureshi MBE, Shahzada Hayat, Allama Qazi Abdul Chishti, Raja Faiz Sultan, Mujahid Omar, Sheikh Jameel, Akbar Daad Khan, UKPCCI President Abdul Majeed Shaheen, Doctor Javed Sheikh, Lord Mayor of Manchester Cllr Naeem-ul-Hasan, Tariq Dar, Ibrar Mir, Tariq Awan, and Akram Qaimkhani. The speakers said Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman was a unique personality who not only served Urdu but also gave a new vision to journalism. It was because of his hard work that today Jang Group was the most shining star on the sky of journalism. They said that Mir sb had followed the footsteps of the founder of Pakistan and helped strengthen Pakistan. They said that Mir sb refused to bow before the forces of tyranny and stood by the forces of progress. He said that today Jang and Geo were known as the best media employers in Pakistan and the credit for this went to Mir Khalil-ur-Rehman. They said that vacuum left by Mir sb can never be fulfilled and he would forever be missed by the media industry of Pakistan.
They said after his death not only journalism was hurt but the country also lost a great and veteran journalist. In the end, Allama Qazi Abdul Aziz Chisti led the prayers for the Late Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman.