Peo­ple we should be proud of

The Pak Banker - - 4EDITORIAL - Dr A Q Khan

Apop­u­lar say­ing tells us that a na­tion that does not hon­our its in­tel­lec­tu­als will suf­fer dis­grace. Hon­our­ing does not mean plac­ing them on a pedestal or load­ing them with money. It means that, as a na­tion, we re­mem­ber them with love and re­spect and/or name some in­sti­tu­tion af­ter them. School books should con­tain their life sketches and de­scribe the con­tri­bu­tions they made to the na­tion.

We should not re­strict our­selves to Quaid-e-Azam, Al­lama Iqbal, Sir Ab­dul­lah Ha­roon, Qazi Muham­mad Isa, Raja Sahib of Mah­mood­abad, Sar­dar Ab­dul Rab Nishtar, Nawab Ismael Khan, Z A Bhutto, Be­nazir Bhutto, Agha Has­san Abidi, Mir Khalilur Rah­man, Ma­jeed Nizami, etc. There are many oth­ers - Sadiqain, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Ah­mad Faraz, Sar­dar Yasin Malik, Sir­a­jud­din Aziz, Je­hangir Khan, Ab­dul Sat­tar Edhi, Maulana Muham­mad Bashir Faruqui, Mir Shak­ilur Rah­man, Mu­jibur Rah­man Shami, Hafiz Kar­dar, Hanif Muham­mad, Fazal Mah­mud, Muham­mad Hus­sain, Khan Muham­mad, Im­tiaz Ahmed, Ab­dul Qadir, Javed Mian­dad, Wasim Akram, Mis­balul Haq, Shoaib Akhtar, etc. They too should be re­mem­bered with the re­spect and dig­nity they de­serve.

To­day I would like to in­tro­duce two more such peo­ple, gi­ants in the fields of jour­nal­ism and writ­ing. They have both served the na­tion with dis­tinc­tion. Both are dear friends of mine - Dr Saf­dar Mah­mood and Altaf Has­san Qureshi.

Dr Saf­dar Mah­mood has had a highly suc­cess­ful ca­reer based on an ex­cel­lent ed­u­ca­tional back­ground. He re­tired as a top bu­reau­crat - fed­eral sec­re­tary - and has, since then, writ­ten ex­cel­lent books and reg­u­lar col­umns in Jang. He has also been a pro­fes­sor - a highly re­spected one at that. My own father was a teacher in Bhopal and the love and re­spect he en­joyed was ex­em­plary. I used to go to the mar­ket with him and saw how shop­keep­ers got up to greet him. I can never for­get that and it in­stilled in me the de­sire to be­come a teacher. I had hoped to be­come a pro­fes­sor af­ter my doc­tor­ate and in­dus­trial ex­pe­ri­ence.

I had ac­tu­ally been of­fered a pro­fes­sor­ship at the Middle East Tech­ni­cal Univer­sity of Ankara, but des­tiny had its own plans. On May 18, 1974 the In­di­ans tested their nu­clear weapon and, hav­ing the nec­es­sary knowl­edge, back­ground and ex­pe­ri­ence, I de­cided to ac­cept Bhutto's re­quest and re­turn to Pak­istan. There was no bar­gain­ing and no lux­u­ries - a salary of Rs3,000 per month (of which I re­ceived the first only af­ter six months), no car, no driver, no fur­nished house, no ameni­ties paid. My chance of be­com­ing a teacher had been lost, but I was able to com­pen­sate by ac­tively par­tic­i­pat­ing in many ed­u­ca­tional ac­tiv­i­ties, in which I am still oc­cu­pied to­day.

Dr Saf­dar Mah­mood is a pro­lific writer with a vast knowl­edge of pol­i­tics and Pak­istan's his­tory. All his books are re­li­able and used as ref­er­ence ma­te­rial. Some of those that were writ­ten in English, have been trans­lated and used by for­eign schol­ars in their re­search on Pak­istan. Some of his well-known works in Urdu are: 'Con­sti­tu­tion of Pak­istan', 'The Rule of the Mus­lim League Govern­ment (1947-1954)', ' Why Did Pak­istan Dis­mem­ber?', ' Pak­istan's His­tory and Pol­i­tics', 'Dard-e-Agahi', 'Sada Ba­har', 'Roshni', 'Pak­istan Meri Muhab­bat', 'Amanat', 'Taqsim-e-HindAf­sama aur Haqiqat', 'Iqbal', 'Jin­nah aur Pak­istan'. Some of his English ti­tles are: 'Pak­istan Political Roots & De­vel­op­ment (1947-1999)', 'Pak­istan Di­vided', 'Pak­istan Rule of Mus­lim League and In­cep­tion of Democ­racy', 'Stud­ies in Con­sti­tu­tion of Pak­istan', 'In­ter­na­tional Affairs', ' Founders of Pak­istan', etc. All th­ese books are trea­sures to read and re­flect his knowl­edge. They all de­serve to be kept in the li­braries of all col­leges and univer­si­ties with the rel­e­vant de­part­ments.

Now more about Altaf Has­san Qureshi. He has been the soul be­hind 'Urdu Di­gest' for al­most 55 years. He is one of the pil­lars of jour­nal­ism in Pak­istan, as too are the late Mir Khalilur Rah­man, Mir Shak­ilur Rah­man, the late Ma­jeed Nizami, late Salahud­din, Mu­jibur Rah­man Shami, Nasim Na­gri, etc. They have all done great ser­vice to jour­nal­ism and to the na­tion. Our rulers have al­ways been wary of their com­ments and views. Var­i­ous at­tempts have been made to buy, bully or black­mail them, but to no avail.

Altaf Has­san Qureshi has de­scribed al­most all of his pro­fes­sional ca­reer in his ex­cel­lent book, 'Mu­laqaten Kia Kia - Liv­ing In­ter­views of Im­por­tant Per­son­al­i­ties'. In this book he de­tails in­ter­views with 23 world-fa­mous per­son­al­i­ties, rulers, politi­cians, le­gal ex­perts, religious schol­ars, etc. There are in­ter­views with the fa­mous Turk­ish PM/pres­i­dent, Su­laiman Demi­ral, with King Faisal of Saudi Ara­bia and with Shaikh Mu­jibur Rah­man. When one reads th­ese in­ter­views, one can­not help but be re­minded of the tech­niques of In­spec­tor Colombo, who looks very sim­ple but still man­ages to make hard-core crim­i­nals un­wit­tingly dis­close their crimes.

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