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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Ahsan Iqbal announced to confer Sitara-e-Imtiaz — the country’s third-highest civilian honour — to the late journalist M. Ziauddin for his contribution to the field of journalism while paying tribute to him on his first death anniversary on Tuesday.

The award will be received by his family on August 14, 2023. The announcement was made by the minister while paying tribute to the late journalist during a condolence reference, organised by the Ministry of Planning Commission. The event was attended by civil society activists, journalists and people from different walks of life.

Ziauddin passed away after a prolonged illness on November 29, 2021, at the age of 83 in Islamabad. During his illustrious career spanning over 60 years, Ziauddin had worked extensively for almost all major newspapers of the country including The Muslim, The News, Dawn and The Express Tribune.

“Ziauddin sahib was an institution and thorough professional and such journalists are born in decades and young journalists should follow his footsteps to progress professionally in their lives,” said the minister, while paying tributes to the late journalist.

Senior journalist Muhammad Ziauddin passes away in Islamabad

The minister said that there is a dire need to produce more journalists like late Ziauddin to continue his legacy. It is noted that this is the first time in the country’s history that a journalist was given a tribute by the government for his outstanding contributions to the field of journalism.

The participants appreciated the Ministry of Planning Commission for taking this initiative.

The minister also announced the establishment of a Development Communication Department in the name of late Ziauddin at the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) for young students and also launching courses for journalists on the name of late journalists in order to facilitate the young journalists.

Speaking on the occasion, the participants paid rich tribute to Ziauddin who spend his whole life for independent journalism, democracy and betterment of the media workers.

Journalist Hamid Mir while paying tribute to Ziauddin said that he was one of the journalists who stood against the country’s dictators and faced the worst time of Gen Zia and Gen Musharraf. “Till his death, Zia sahib tried to unite the journalist community which was divided by the various dictators and today his unfinished agenda to unite the journalist community must be completed for rule of law and for democracy in the country,” said Mir.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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