LAHORE – The Nation Editor-in-Chief Majid Nizami has laid stress on stepping up effort to make Pakistan an Islamic welfare state, saying that country’s survival is out of question without doing so.

“An Islamic democratic and welfare state is the only solution to problems confronting the nation and we cannot survive without achieving this goal,” Nizami said at a lunch arranged in his honour at University of the Punjab by Vice Chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran.

He criticised the elements ridiculing the Ideology of Pakistan, saying that the doctrine never underwent any change. “Pakistan came into being following the Two-Nation Theory, which states that a nation worshiping idols and the other crushing these symbols of polytheism can’t live together,” Nizami said.

“Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali had clearly stated that Pakistan would be an Islamic state and our constitution had been framed 1400 years ago,” he said, adding, had Jinah survived for some more years, the country would surely have been an Islamic welfare state.

Nizami called for following in the footsteps of Jinnah to materialise this dream of the founding father of the country. He said Jinnah had said that Pakistan would be of the poor, not of the rich. “Though Zulfikar Ali Bhutto raised the slogan of bread, cloth and shelter, he did nothing practical,” Nizami said, adding that the country was not made for the Army, which is actually meant for protecting its borders.

About Balochistan issue, he said the killers of Nawab Akber Bugti must be brought to justice to win the hearts of the Baloch people. He appealed to political parties to jointly work to cope with challenges plaguing the country, and urged journalist to carry on doing responsible journalism. Nawa-i-Waqt Group Deputy Managing Director Rameeza Majid Nizami, Chief Operating Officer Azam Badar, The Nation Editor Salim Bokhari, CPNE President Jamil Atthar, Nazria Pakistan Trust Vice Chairman Prof Dr Rafique Ahmad, Secretary Shahid Rasheed, noted journalists Attaur Rehman and Dr Ajmal Niazi, Lahore Press Club President Arshad Ansari, former ISI DG Lt-Gen (r) Hameed Gul, Col (r) Amjad Hussain Syed, JI General Secretary Liaqat Baloch, political analyst Ch Akram, former NA deputy speaker Ch Jaffar Iqbal, JUI-N’s Maulana Abdul Qadir Loni, PTI’s Ashan Rasheed, PPP’s Naveed Ch, renowned lawyer Dr Khalid Ranjha, MNA Bushra Rehman, Prof Dr Shafiq Jallandhury, Prof Dr Mujahid Mansoori, PU Registrar Prof Dr Khan Rass Masood, Syndicate Member Prof Dr Shaukat Ali, Additional Registrar Prof Dr Aurangzeb Alamgir, PUASA General Secretary Javed Sami, MPA Khawja Imran Nazir, Government College University Vice Chancellor Dr Khaleequr Rehman, PML-N MNA Mian Marghoob Ahmad and MPA Mian Nauman attended the function.

The participants greeted Nizami on getting an honorary degree of PhD from University of the Punjab in recognition of his lifelong services in the field of journalism. The speakers also praised Nizami for standing firm for the cause.

Dr Kamran said Nizami was the custodian of Ideology of Pakistan and Nawa-i-Waqt always stand by the truth. Gen (r) Gul mentioned the steadfastness of Nizami and dubbed him as the pole star who had been guiding the masses. Chaudhry Akram requested Nizami to guide national leaders to street the country out of crisis. He also lauded NPT’s role in nation-building.

Bushra Rehman said she had learnt a lot form Nizami, who had been a teacher of many senior journalists of the country. Dr Ranjha recalled that in a case, a trial court had termed Nizami “Pakistan” and observed that defying him was equal to defying the state of Pakistan. Dr Niazi and Sofia Baidar called Nizami their mentor.

NPT Vice Chairman Dr Rafiq Ahmed lauded Dr Kamran for awarding honorary degree to Nizami. He said Nizami has been fighting for the cause of materialising the dream of Allama Muhammad Iqbal and Jinnah. NPT Secretary Rashid said Nizami never bowed to dictatorship, dubbing him as Mujahid-i-Pakistan.

PPP leader Naveed Chaudhry said Nizami always spoke truth. Attaur Rehman said no editor could match Nizami in the last 60 years, saying: “No editor has faced four military dictators as well as civilian dictators in Pakistan except Nizami.” Chaudhry Jaffer Iqbal said Nizami had been serving the nation. He stressed the need for carrying on the mission of Nizami to cope with challenges since the county needs the leadership.

Lahore Press Club President Arshad Ansari congratulated Majid Nizami on behalf of journalists and said that the services rendered by Nawai-i-Waqt group since the establishment of Pakistan were unmatchable. JI leader Liaqat Baloch said that Punjab University would be proud of awarding honorary degree to Majid Nizami and he deserved it. He said that Dr Kamran was son of a renowned journalist and his decision was really laudable.

Liaqat Baloch said that mere statements and announcements could not resolve the issues of Karachi and Balochistan. He said that Balochistan was being deprived of its rights since 65 years and there was lack of confidence. He said that a national Jirga headed by Majid Nizami was need of the hour to resolve Balochistan issue.

CPNE President Jamil Ather said that the journalist fraternity deserved applause on the award of honorary degree to Majid Nizami who fulfilled the duty of freedom of press in all respects. He also thanked Dr Mujahid Kamran on behalf of editors of the country. Later, Dr Kamran presented an album of the honorary PhD award ceremony to Majid Nizami.