EDITORIAL: Pakistan’s one of the senior-most journalists M Ziauddin, who died at the age of 83, was a man of refreshing candour. He breathed his last after a brief illness. He was a regular columnist for this newspaper for the past many years. His write-ups used to appear on Wednesdays until two weeks ago when his condition deteriorated and he expressed his regret that he wouldn’t be meeting the upcoming deadline due to illness. In his journalistic career spanning nearly six decades ‘Zia bhai’ as he was affectionately called by his colleagues worked for several Pakistani newspapers from home and abroad. He started his career in journalism in Karachi and subsequently moved to Islamabad to head the Bureau Office of Dawn newspaper several decades ago. His office used to be crowded by people representing different walks of life — politicians, former and serving bureaucrats, writers, poets, trade unionists and others and ‘Zia bhai’ would be seen struggling to meet the newspaper’s deadlines while dealing with the visitors and, of course, his team members with a big grin on his face. Not only did he possess the ability to think quickly and effectively, he was also known for doing things difficult extremely well. That his demise constitutes a huge loss to journalism in Pakistan is a fact. ‘Zia bhai’ had an impressive command over both political and economic subjects, dealing with the tasks relating to these areas with all the dexterity of a seasoned journalist. He would be remembered for his quality of being honest and telling the truth. He would also be remembered as one of those professionals who helped different newspapers expand their outreach successfully. Perhaps legendary Urdu poet Jigar Muradabadi had said the following line for people like ‘Zia bhai’: maikada saaz hoon mai maikada bardosh nahi (I liven up the tavern, don’t ruin it).
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021