LAHORE: Senior Journalists and leading intellectuals from across the country paid rich tributes to the late Zafar Iqbal Mirza for his contributions to journalism and free speech at a reference held at the South Asia Free Media Association (SAFMA).
Imtiaz Alam, secretary-general of SAFMA, said Mirza was a great journalist who valued professionalism and defied restrictions imposed by successive governments and dictators.
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) Secretary-General I A Rehman recalled Mirza’s contribution to print journalism and free press in Pakistan. He called upon the younger generation to follow Mirza’s example as a role model for maintaining high professional journalistic standards.
Lamenting the current state of suppressed freedom of expression, Dr Akmal Hussain observed that a civilised society cannot be created without freedom of speech and the flourishing of new ideas. He lauded Mirza for his civilised defiance and steadfastness against tyranny.
Senior journalist Husain Naqi recalled the late journalist’s services for Pakistan Times, Dawn, Viewpoint, Punjab Punch and Sajan. He said that Mirza was a flawless editor and columnist, who trained and helped successive generation of journalists.
Mirza’s former colleague and friend, Masoodullah Khan spoke about Mirza’s versatility and recalled how he would always help friends and the needy.
Saleema Hashmi expressed her admiration for Mirza’s humanism, virtuousness, and friendliness and as a lover of art.
“Zafar Iqbal Mirza represented the old tradition of honest journalism and was not only a distinguished journalist but also a very decent human being,” Hashmi said
“In his death, we have lost an iconic personality of media, who set high standards that are now lacking in mainstream journalism,” she said.