Hussain Naqi praised for bold journalism

HYDERABAD: Senior journalists described veteran newsman Hussain Naqi as the name of resistance and a rebel at a reception in his honour held at the local press club here on Monday.

Veteran journalist Abdul Aziz Malik said Hussain Naqi always fought for rights and the truth though he had to face a tough time. He supported Zulfikar Ali Bhutto during Ayub Khan’s martial law, but then Bhutto sent him to jail. He said the rulers expelled him from Sindh due to his bold stance and speaking the truth. Mr Naqi published newspaper Punjab Punch though it was quite difficult during Ayub’s martial law, he added.

“I remember when Z.A. Bhutto was attacked in Sanghar, I wrote a sentence in Punjab Punch. ‘If anything happens to Bhutto, the River Indus will flow with blood’. This is the motivation of Naqi. After this the paper was banned,” he said.

He said Naqi spoke for downtrodden masses, farmers, and oppressed people. “There is no journalism nowadays unfortunately.” There was no reading of books anymore; without devouring books, how anything could be written, he said, adding that Naqi perused books and wrote marvellously.

He said Faiz Ahmed Faiz was the editor of Pakistan Times and Mian Iftikharuddin Jagirdar could not dare see him without his permission through his secretary.

“Who could ask Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Ahmed Ali Khan, I.A. Rehman and other giants to interfere in editorials etc? I saw that journalism and today’s one,” he said.

Slamming the policies of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government, he said they were demolishing houses in the name of clearing encroachments without any planning for settlement of the affected people in winter season. He said journalists were so weak today that they could not get their incorrect electricity bills rectified. “How can they resolve the issues of others?” he asked.

Sharing unforgettable experiences of his life with journalists from the beginning of his professional life to date, Hussain Naqi mentioned dark periods of General Ayub, Z.A. Bhutto and dictator Ziaul Haq. He also focused on current scenario of the country. He said Faiz Ahmed Faiz was the first prisoner of the country in history when he was arrested in 1948 because of his writings. He called for unity of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalist (PFUJ) to get their demands met.

“When journalists are divided, it means that journalism has been marred. They will be used by others because of their divisions. I heard there are five PFUJs today,” he said.

Journalist Sohail Sangi said had to undergo difficulties to get the rights of the needy. He said he was a great thinker and had many fans.

Journalist Ali Hassan said Naqi always fought against heavyweights like Z.A. Bhutto, Zia, Ayub and others because of his bold and honest nature.