Allah blessed his soul in His infinite mercy and compassion, late Nasim Anwar Baig was a matchless person. He was an icon and limelight of Islamabad. As long as he lived his house was the haunt of great men and lesser mortals. They all adored him. His house was the rare one where one would find stalwarts like Dr Majid Nizami on visit. Eminent public figures Raja Zafarul Haq, Sahibzada Yaqoob Ali Khan, Sartaj Aziz, SM Zafar, Prof Khurshid Ahmed Lt Gen Hamed Gul and Chowdary Arshad, late Qudratullah Shahab, AK Brohi, Altaf Gohar, Qazi Hussain Ahmed and Lt Gen Jahan Dad Khan had sipped tea at his table.

Young politicians like Imran Khan and Ahsan Iqbal used to visit him to exchange views. Besides then budding as well as renowned figures in journalism like Haroon Rashid, Javed Chowdhary, Orya Maqbool, Dr Ajmal Niazi, Aslam Khan and Bag Raj and not to name Javed Siddique, Tariq Warsi and Kushnud Ali Khan. Nasim Anwar Beg was an intellectual, a thinker and an ideological activist for whom everything revolved around Pakistan. Like his peer Dr Majid Nizami, above all, he was a great patriot and a champion of Nazaria Pakistan. The duo had a lot in common, a role in Pakistan Movement, maintaining correct perspective of the new homeland and defending ideological frontiers against various anti lobbies active at home and abroad.

Like Dr Nizami, he was an ardent follower and disciple of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. There was no shortage of ministers, generals, judges of superior courts, educationists, ambassadors, religious leaders who would adorn his drawing room. Nasim Anwar had two photographs displayed in his drawing room. One him showing behind the bars in the days of freedom struggle and the other showing him in discussion with U Thant the then UN secretary general and Vijay Pandit Laxmi , contesting her remarks and winning the argument.

In fact he was a great student debater of his times which brought him to fame under the aegis of Muslim Students Federation. In professional life he joined Unesco Paris and rose to the rank of director admin a prestigious job working directly with the director general of that famous UN body. On basis of his qualities of courage, skill in advocacy and mastery of international affairs he was elected to Unesco staff union and became member of federation of staff unions of the UN organizations, an umbrellah organization for rights of the International civil servants. Watching UN system work closely, he was wary of neocolonialism forces and became a voice for countries of the south and oppressed people of the world. Burning issued of Kashmir, Palestine, and Afghanistan were close to his heart. 

Though living in Paris he kept himself abreast of Pakistan affairs. His house at 77 Avenue Suchet Paris was virtual an outpost of Pakistan. Pakistani delegates, diplomats, politician on visit always sought his counsel as he was endowed with a quality of exceptional insight and understanding of world affairs. After retirement he returned home and settled in Islamabad. Where, he had all the time to devote to the issues which threatened the nation and the region. A highly cultured polished and principled man who was an embodiment of human values he was exemplary husband who would not hesitate to extol his wife’s virtues all the time. At the same time he was so attached to his mother that he got a space reserved her feet in the graveyard for his own burial.

His stay in Paris strengthened his ideological moorings. As a staunch Muslim who professed boundless love for the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Many of his fans thought he was a saint although be never claimed to be one. They would bring their families and seek his blessings. Many a columnists wrote about a spiritual streak in him in their columns. Philanthropists like (late) Lt Gen Jahan Dad Khan who established Al-shifa Trust Eye Hospital was his peer. Nasim Anwar Baig’s name plate decorates the wall of the woman vocational centre in Jahan Dad Khan village in Attock.

Not a writer himself, he would implant ideas and guidance for authors to pick up. His conversation would contain original phrases and new metaphors this original quotable quotes which would be music to the ears.

Coming back to his mission it can be described as advocating an equitable of world order with equal rights for all nations big and small’s. Unflinching faith in destiny of a sovereign prosperous Pakistan following ideals of Quaid-e-Azam unequivocal support for freedom of subjugated people of the world like in Kashmir, Palestine and elsewhere in Islamic world.

Whenever fragile governments came under pressure and looked poised to take decision at cost of country’s interest and interest, he would come in action in a subtle way and lobbied to safeguard the same. A great optimist, when ever internal situation appeared grim, he would argue in favour of positive outcome Quaid-e- Azam’s Pakistan, he would say, is here to stay and prosper he would convince us. He has left us a legacy in shape of a crop of groomed people engaged in intellectual pursuits here and abroad who continue his mission.

The writer is former chairman of Pemra