As we observe today the 50th death anniversary of a committed disciple of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Muhammad Iqbal and staunch advocate of the Two Nation Theory, Mr Hameed Nizami, there is need to recall the outstanding services he rendered to the nation. Mr Hameed Nizami, a journalist par excellence, of the kind that stood like a rock against attempts at subversion of the principle of ‘freedom of expression’, lived a short span of 47 years, yet it was a life of full commitment to the cause of Pakistan. He founded Nawa-i-Waqt on the advice of the Quaid as a fortnightly on the day Pakistan Resolution was passed, March 23, 1940, converted it into a weekly in 1942 and then, again on the advice of the Quaid, into a daily in 1944. The paper proved to be the flag bearer of the cause of the Muslims in the subcontinent, as so rightly espoused by the Quaid-i-Azam, rebutting the propaganda against it of the biased Hindu press. The Nawa-i-Waqt of today, other publications and TV channel Waqt of the group, continue, under Mr Majid Nizami, an equally indefatigable exponent of the ideals of the Quaid-i-Azam and Allama Iqbal, to resonate with the tone set by its founder. The other publications of the group are: English daily The Nation, Urdu weeklies Nida-i-Millat and Family, and Urdu monthly Phool,

Much before he brought out the Nawa-i-Waqt, Mr Hameed Nizami had founded the Punjab Muslim Students Federation and begun taking active part in the struggle for Pakistan. Side by side, he kept up with his studies and after graduating from Islamia College, Lahore, enrolled himself at the F. C., Lahore, from where he did his Masters in English Literature.

Mr Hameed Nizami willingly endured hardships inflicted on him by the detractors of the mission of the Quaid, yet he continued to propagate, in his daily writings, the logic and the purpose underlying the creation of a separate state for the Muslims of the subcontinent – Pakistan. Not only that, he did not hesitate to criticise them in the severest terms possible. Pakistan, as conceived by the father of the nation, stood for democracy with the obvious objective of the welfare of the people. Mr Hameed Nizami took strong exception to the political manoeuvrings sullying the name fair name of democracy, which began soon after the Quaid’s death. Later, when General Ayb Khan, taking advantage of the situation, grabbed power and imposed Martial Law in the country, Mr Hameed Nizami opposed his Bonapartist act without any reservations whatsoever. That was despite Ayub Khan’s repressive measures that compelled the printer of the Nawa-i-Waqt to decline to print the paper at his press.

In the circumstances of today when one hears unwise, thoughtless people voicing theories that go against what constitutes the bedrock of the country’s existence, there is need to delve into the thoughts of Mr Hameed Nizami and what prompted him to unreservedly follow Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.