Renowned journalist Arif Nizami passes away in Lahore, Masood Asha'ar and Khurram Baig also died

Renowned journalist and editor of   Pakistan Today   Arif Nizami passed away on Wednesday, his nephew Babar Nizami said. Arif Nizami had suf...


Renowned journalist and editor of Pakistan Today Arif Nizami passed away on Wednesday, his nephew Babar Nizami said.

Arif Nizami had suffered from a heart attack around three weeks ago and was admitted to a private hospital in Lahore, Babar added.

Nizami had served as the former caretaker minister for information and broadcasting in 2013 and had also worked for The Nation before starting his own newspaper Pakistan Today.

He was the son of Hameed Niazi, the founder of the Nawa-i-Waqt Group, and was also elected as the president of the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) more than once.Renowned journalist and editor of Pakistan Today Arif Nizami passed away on Wednesday, his nephew Babar Nizami said.

Arif Nizami had suffered from a heart attack around three weeks ago and was admitted to a private hospital in Lahore, Babar added.

Nizami had served as the former caretaker minister for information and broadcasting in 2013 and had also worked for The Nation before starting his own newspaper Pakistan Today.

He was the son of Hameed Niazi, the founder of the Nawa-i-Waqt Group, and was also elected as the president of the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) more than once.

'From the old guard'

Condolences and tributes poured in from both sides of the political spectrum on Nizami's passing with his name trending among the top 10 on Twitter as his former colleagues shared memories of working with him.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was "saddened" by Nizami's death, adding that his prayers went out to the journalist's family.

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif said that an era of "old school journalism" had come to an end. "As a journalist, editor and anchor, [Nizami] was second to none," he said.

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry too said he was saddened by the journalist's passing.

"I had a long relationship with him. His father Hameed Nizami and my grandfather Chaudhry Owais and uncle Chaudhry Altaf Hussain were colleagues in [PTI]. Because of this, my relationship with him was the same as a relationship with an elder of the family," he added.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed too recalled his long association, spanning five decades, with the Nizami family.

"Arif Nizami's death is not less than a personal loss for me," he said and prayed for the deceased journalist.

"Devastated that old friend, colleague and pillar of Pakistani journalism, Arif Nizami, has passed away," PPP Senator Sherry Rehman said.

Paying tribute to Nizami, she added: "His passing symbolises the end of an era! He was from an old guard who sacrificed for principles and never shied from telling bald truths to power."

Former Pakistani ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi said Nizami's passing away was a "loss for Pakistan".

"Really saddened to hear this tragic news. Arif was a dear friend, a distinguished journalist and a wonderful human being," she tweeted.

Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri also conveyed his condolences, saying Nizami's contribution to Pakistani journalism will be remembered.


MASOOD ASH'AR--Veteran journalist , short story writer and progressive intellectual Masood Ashar passed away in Lahore. He was 90.

The funeral prayers for the deceased will be held at the mosque of B Block DHA, phase I, at 10am on Tuesday (today).

He is survived by two sons and two daughters. His wife passed away last year.The real name of Masood Ashar was Masood Ahmed Khan. He was born on Feb 10, 1931, in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, in the united India. He got his early education from the Madrasa-i-Aliya of Rampur. He did his matriculation from Allahabad board around 1948 and did his graduation from Agra. He migrated to Pakistan after his graduation in 1951.

Right from his early days he was fond of journalism he worked with various newspapers such as EhsanZamindar and Aasaar till 1954 when he joined Urdu daily Imroz as senior sub-editor. Poet and short story writer Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi was the editor of Imroz then. In 1958, Ashar became the resident editor of Imroz, Multan. During Gen Zia’s dictatorial regime, firing was opened on the workers of the Colony Textile Mills and Masood Ashar printed its news. As a punishment, he was transferred from Multan to Lahore. In 1983, he was sacked from his job when he signed a demand for revival of democracy in the country.

In 1988, during the government of Benazir Bhutto, he was reinstated in his post and he retired from the newspaper when he was its editor. In 1992, he got associated with a publishing house called Mashal.

KHURRAM BAIG
Karachi-based senior journalist and media consultant Khurram Baig, 49, passed away on Thursday evening due to Covid-19.

With over two decades of print, TV and web experience under his belt, Baig — fondly called KB — was a multi-talented journalist known for his intelligence, wit and leadership qualities.

Starting his career at the Pakistan Press International (PPI)news agency, he went on to join the Frontier Post in 1994. A former Karachi city editor at The News, Baig also worked for TV channels including Dawn News and Express News. In the last few years, he went on to run a financial research website — Qineqt — as well as consultancies. Baig was also associated with K-Electric as a content strategist and media consultant for the past three years.

Known for his wit and intelligence, Baig was an avid sports and fitness enthusiast who never drifted from his strict exercise regimen no matter the workload or the tasks at hand.His untimely death came as a shock to many in the media community.

Journalist and TV anchor Zarrar Khuhro said, “He had the best kind of humour. I can’t believe he is gone.”

A former colleague of Baig at Dawn News English and later at the Express Tribune, Khuhro said: “He had deep interest in business and sports. At Dawn News, he was the sports editor, at Express he was the business editor. Very much into sports, probably the wittiest, most good-humoured person I have ever known.”

Recalling Baig as "a gem of a guy", Khuhro said the "last conversation we had was about how expensive pampers are. He had a baby a few months back."

Express Tribute Editor Naveed Hussain said he was "shocked and heartbroken" by Baig's sudden passing.

"His death reminds me of how fragile life and how cruel death can be. He was a gem of a person with a heart of gold. He had this beautiful way of earning respect: by giving it to others. As a journalist, he was a thorough professional; and as a person, a thorough gentleman," he added.

Former Tribune editor and CEJ-IBA Director Kamal Siddiqi recalled Baig as "a popular member of the Tribune team".

"He contributed greatly to the paper's growth in its infancy and when things settled he went on to be the business editor — a position he served with distinction. We will miss Khurram the journalist as well as Khurram the loving human being that he was."

Journalist Bilal Farooqi recalled Baig as "a brilliant person lost to this horrid disease", referring to Covid-19.

“We lost one of the finest journalists, best human and always a smiling friend. We were together since launching of Financial Post in 1994. Since then we remained friends despite working for different papers. He was an excellent writer but never shared his problems. I know he had to face hard times with no jobs but never found him worried, no complaints. [He was] a clean and true journalist, no corruption. What a fine journalist he was,” said journalist Shahid Iqbal in a message.

Another former colleague of Baig at Qineqt, a financial data platform, journalist Raza Ali Sayeed, said, “Khurram was a dear colleague with years of experience as a news reporter, editor, and anchor. He was an extremely versatile individual who covered several areas as a journalist including national, international, business, [and] sports news, with a commanding expertise and knowledge in all of these areas. His skill as an editor and journalist was second to none, having worked with most of the major news outlets including Dawn TV and Express Tribune.”

An astute editor, Baig had been successful in training aspiring journalists, many with no journalism degrees, to follow the rules of accuracy and objectivity in their writings and work.

“He had natural leadership qualities with a confidence in abilities and inspiring others. He was always helpful and supportive of aspiring journalists and editors who sought his guidance and skill,” Sayeed added.

Similar sentiments were echoed by sports journalist and anchor Altamash Jiwa. “He was a master of all trades and always willing to offer a helping hand no matter what the task or circumstance. When an anchor was not available for some reason, KB was just a call away as he would jump into a suit and tie right away and take over the anchoring role with ease as he was well-versed in all subjects,” Jiwa recalled.

“He loved playing sports and during work hours always encouraged us to take a table tennis break. He became so good himself while playing in between work that he started taking part in local table tennis championships at the Islamia Club and Karachi Press Club.”

A sentiment echoed again and again by many young journalists was Baig’s ability to set them on the right path, save their backs, and never shy away from giving the credit when anyone of them excelled.

“He was my first-ever boss. I was young and just out of university. [He] took my first-ever interview and hired me. I remember when I left for another job, I gave him a little card as a farewell gift. [He] wished me all the best. Never held me back,” wrote Maria Shamim, a former TV producer.

Sports reporter Emmad Hameed also mourned Baig's death, saying he was "The first Dawn News English sports head, news anchor and a man full of life — a mentor, a friend, a guide."

The deepening crisis in Pakistani media over the last few years meant journalists sought other avenues to sustain their households. Baig, with a career spanning almost three decades, eventually put his skill set to use as a consultant.

"Wise beyond measure, Khurram’s wit, skill and brilliance were admired by all he came in contact with. During his consultancy [at KE] he worked closely with my team and me. We are all deeply saddened to lose him so soon and send deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family,” said Sadia Dada, KE Chief Marketing & Communications Officer.

Bilal Memon, another former colleague of Baig at the Express Tribune, termed the late journalist as "the sort of person who was always available to have a word with — knowledgable and insightful on sports and business".

"He always treated lesser-experienced colleagues with respect and love — a rare thing for an editor, and even rarer in a newsroom," Memon recalled. "His eyes would always light up in conversations about the gym, and he made the hard work on his fitness very well-known."

Bloomberg journalist Faseeh Mangi said he was "quite devastated and shocked to hear" about Baig's passing, whom he described as a friend and former boss.

"We spoke about everything from gaming, football to stories and laughed our way through the work day. Such a nice, easy-going and jolly guy. You will be missed!" he tweeted.

Khurram Baig is survived by his wife and two young sons as well as his mother, sister and brother.


COMMENTS

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South Punjab News : Renowned journalist Arif Nizami passes away in Lahore, Masood Asha'ar and Khurram Baig also died
Renowned journalist Arif Nizami passes away in Lahore, Masood Asha'ar and Khurram Baig also died
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South Punjab News
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https://www.southpunjabnews.com/2021/07/renowned-journalist-arif-nizami-passes.html
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