ISLAMABAD - Journalists, academics, intellectuals, literary figures, politicians and representatives of various organisations recalled their memorable days spent with The Nation Editor-in-Chief Majid Nizami, at a literary reference.

Preston University and Daira Islamabad, a literary forum, held the reference in honor of late Majid Nizami at the Preston University Tuesday. The speakers paid glowing tribute to him saying he was an icon of journalism and his contribution towards promotion of positive journalism in the country has no parallel.

Recalling his meetings with Nizami, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Irfan Siddiqui, said his grandeur as a journalist was matchless for whom journalism was a mission.

'He never minced a word calling a spade a spade in front of dictators and never compromised even when the advertisements of Nawa-i-Waqt were banned. He never asked me to tone down my columns when I was writing against Pak-US war against Afghanistan after 9/11. No other paper would publish my writings the way this paper published despite pressures from General (r) Musharraf,' Siddiqui added. 

There seemed no commitment, ideology and sacrifice in this profession and now journalism had become a business house for numerous channels and papers but it was mission, a commitment for Nizami and he left for us a way of life to follow, he added.   

His demise raises questions that who is a great man and what are the standards of greatness, pondered Engr Khurram Dastagir Khan, Federal Minister for Commerce. 'It is sacrifices for ones cause and ideology that make someone great and it's the toughest standard to be judged,' he added.

Sharing some memories of Nizami, Chairman Daira Islamabad Dr Ghazanfar Mehdi said he was a name of an institution, wisdom and a movement. He was a scholar and journalist par excellence who faced all the pressures in times of dictatorship and made journalism grow in Pakistan remarked Dr Abdul Basit, Chancellor Preston University.

Eminent Businessmen Zafar Bakhtawari said Nizami guarded the ideological boundaries of the country and always remained steadfast in favour of democratic forces.

'He also lucidly and boldly supported the Kashmir cause and raised voice at all national and international forums for giving the people of Kashmir the right of self-determination and profoundly condemned Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir,' he added.

Nawa-i-Waqt Islamabad Resident Editor Javed Siddique viewed that 'a lot has been said about Nizami but there are still many untold things that are yet to be stated'.  Eminent among those who were conspicuous by their presence and shed light on the life and contributions of Nizami on the occasion were Senior journalist CR Shamsi, Member of National Assembly Dr Asma Mamdot, Former Professor of Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) Dr Riaz Ahmad, Chairperson International Human Rights Association, UK, Barrister Arbab Mehdi Rizvi, President Columnist Club of Pakistan Nayyar Sarhadi and Chairperson of a literary forum-Aaina Malik Fida-ur-Rehman. 

All the speakers also eulogised Nizami for his selfless contribution towards uplifting the lives of the downtrodden and deprived segments of the Pakistani society. The speakers stated that people like Majid Nizami are born in centuries, and the vacuum that has been created by the sad demise of veteran journalist and social worker will perhaps never ever be filled. 

Jamat-i-Islami Spokesperson Shahid Shamsi, Syed Karamat Gardezi from USA, teaching faculty and students also attended the gathering. 

They unanimously demanded of the provincial and federal governments to name after him two roads in Lahore and Islamabad and announce a Nizami chair at QAU and Punjab University.  The reference concluded with prayers for eternal peace of the departed soul.