Hameed Nizami’s legacy has been distorted by those who have been working for material gains and are using ‘Nazriya Pakistan’ for their ulterior motives, Dr Mubashar Hassan said at a ceremony to observe Nawa-i-Waqt founder Hameed Nizami’s 51st death anniversary.
At the ceremony where he was the chief guest, Hassan severely criticized the present day editor of Nawa-i-waqt for moving away from the ideals of the founder and for joining hands with forces against whom Hameed struggled through his pen. He said those claiming to be his successors have been using his name as a “source of income” while they were suffering from inferiority complex.
Dr Mubashar Hassan, an old friend who met Hameed Nizami in 1938 for the first time, also recalled his memories with the great journalist of the sub-continent. He said Quaid himself used to write explanatory notes in response to his editorials. “Quaid once patted Hameed and told him that he would have a great future ahead,” he said. “He referred to Ayub Khan’s martial law as a dark night,” he said, adding that Hameed Nizami had fought tyrant regimes of those times and never became a sycophant however his successor totally put these ideals on the backburner. “Some generals with Yahya Khan actually coined the term Nazriya Pakistan which was later propagated by some sections for their material gains and the practice continues till the present day,” he added.
“Although no one wants military rule in the country, but the people’s welfare has been neglected and all rulers whether military or civilian are on a ‘looting’ spree,” he added.
Other speakers also highlighted a particular aspect of the towering personality and discussed its importance in the present context.
Aitzaz Ehsan said Hameed Nizami was against militancy and extremism and Ayub Khan’s martial law proved a major setback and shock for him after which he lived only for a few years. He said it was the start of deformation of the state since the army had no legal, moral or constitutional right to rule and it fabricated reason to rule which distorted the ‘welfare state’ concept to a ‘national security’ state in which the citizenry was not important but only a few ‘defendants’ of the state become important. The major chunk of the budget was spent on the army which built housing societies while the people remain underdeveloped. He also criticised the artificially created “nazria” coined by the army to strengthen its rule. “Today if you go out searching for a character like Hameed Nizami, your search will return in vain,” he added.
Former foreign minister Khushid Kasuri said Hameed Nizami was against extremism and the country was far from the ideals he stood for. “Minorities are leaving our country and their situation is shameful here. Internationally Pakistan is compared to the most backward countries of the world,” he said adding that the Quaid had envisaged US-Canada like relations between India and Pakistan but that had been distorted.
Renowned Journalist Mujeeb ur Rehman Shami said that Hameed Nizami’s views on politics and other affairs were part of record in the form of editorials he wrote from 1947 to 1962 which also give great insights into the Pakistan Movement and history. “One section or political party should not be criticised for the fall of Dhaka or for the current state of the country,” he said, adding “Army is important for any country and we are against the army rule but not against the institution.” In response to the criticism made on religious parties for their joining hands with the army, he said no one should be ashamed of taking part in the freedom struggle of any country saying the Afghans fought against foreign aggression, then the soviet Russia and now the US and NATO forces. “Self accountability is the key to improvement. Besides the country was led by western educated leaders and not mullahs,” he added.
Maulana Raghib Naeemi termed him a legendary character bearing ideal characteristics of a journalist, adding that people were using religion for their personal gains.
Editor Pakistan Today and Hameed Nizami’s son Arif Nizami said Zameendar newspaper was a big institution but was destroyed because Maulana Zafar Ali Khan’s successors forgot his legacy and the same had happened to Nawa-i-Waqt. “I caution those spreading false propaganda against me to stop such activities, lest I should start telling the people truth about them,” he said adding that he would want to say more things but it did not fit the occasion.
Sajjad Mir said towering personalities such as Hameed Nizami were not the possessions of their family or particular institutions, all and sundry could access them and seek guidance from them. He said the universities and institutions here should start research on the late Nizami’s writings which would be helpful in understanding of the Pakistan Movement.
Other participants included Irshad Arif along with other journalists and people from different walks of life.