Dr Majid Nizami was a man of firm beliefs. He was guardian of ideological and geographical frontiers of Pakistan. My affiliation of 66 years with him was that of a close friend. He shared many things with me that he would not with any other person.

My affiliation with Dr Majid Nizami goes back to Government College. In 1950 I went to Law College and he went to Punjab University to do his Masters in political science and then he went to UK. My father Farrukh Hussain was the front man of Mamdot and my mother was also in Muslim League. I often took political news to him. In 1952 when I started working as an advocate I started visiting Gardenia restaurant on Mall Road every day in the evening. Hameed Nizami, MB Zaman, Sheikh Khursheed, Zulfiqar Mehmood, Mian Amin, Dr Mubashir Hasan and some other friends all used to gather there to have discussions. I started meeting them there regularly. After the death of Hameed Nizami his brother on his return from London also started visiting the place daily. He listened more to the political discussions but spoke less. All Hameed Nizami’s friends became his friend. When he was in London I was regularly in touch with him through correspondence. When he came back I became very close to him and this relationship continued till his death.

Majid Nizami was Editor of the only ideological Urdu newspaper of Pakistan that is Nawa-i-Waqt for 52 years – a feat that no other person in the world had done. He took charge of Nawa-i-Waqt when it was on the brink of collapse or closing down. Hameed Nizami, the elder brother of Majid Nizami, was his benefactor and he had sent him to England to study law. From there he continued to write for Nawa-i-Waqt a popular column ‘Maktoob-i-London’ and before going to England, since from inception of Nawa-i-Waqt he had been writing the most popular ‘Sar-a-Rahai’ – a satire on current political affairs.

Under the dictatorship of Ayub Khan and Kala Bagh in Punjab Hameed Nizami suffered heart attack. He asked his best friend Shorish Kashmiri to call Majid Nizami by phone and call him back. With just one semester left to complete his Bar at Law Majid rushed back by the first available flight. Hameed Nizami saw Majid and said Majid your coming back is a wise decision. Those were the last words Hameed Nizami uttered consciously.

Under the administration and policy of Majid Nizami Nawa-i-Waqt in about two years time started to become stable but due to some intrigue and policy interference he walked out empty handed with grace.

He purchased the declaration of Nida-i-Millat a dummy newspaper and a company Nida-i-Millat. For some years Nawa-i-Waqt was run by family of Hameed Nizami and the paper reached a stage when one day its publication stopped. Family of Hameed Nizami through Shorish Kashmiri conveyed message to Majid to come back and run it. His answer was either they run or I will run it. He was willing to help the name of his benefactor Hameed Nizami and was willing to take over the logo of Nawa-i-Waqt with its good will, if any, at a price of their asking. So the Nawa-i-Waqt publications through a resolution decided to sell the same to Nida-i-Millat (NIMCO) through a written agreement including good will though a company at loss and at the brink of collapse had no good will. From that stage onwards NIMCO, headed under his leadership and editorial wisdom has grown into a very effective and large media group which owns its own offices in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi and Multan publishing Nawa-i-Waqt, The Nation, Family, Phool and other magazines. With firm policy based strictly on the ideology of Pakistan the publications have a solid and effective opinion making readership throughout Pakistan.

Unwavering fundamentals of Majid Nizami’s convictions was Ideology of Pakistan and Two Nation Theory as propounded by Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal. He believed that any dent or weakness in these beliefs will be a threat to the integrity and solidarity of Pakistan. He firmly believed that Hindu leadership in India did not mentally accept Pakistan and continues to make conspiracies to hurt us economically. He firmly held that relations could be improved with India only if Kashmirs are given the right of self determination and a plebiscite is held in the Indian occupied Kashmir according to the UN resolutions. He supported the freedom struggle in Kashmir and said it would succeed one day.

Dr Majid Nizami was man with a lot of wisdom. He rationale approach in life made him a role model for others to follow. He always said that Kalabagh Dam is a matter of life and death for the economic survival of Pakistan. He held that Indian lobby opposed it and now it has been created into political issue to the detriment of whole of Pakistan. India has diverted the course of our rivers and built dams to starve us. In rainy season India opens the floodgates of its dams to increase flood destruction in Pakistan destroying crops, infrastructure and economy.

He was a man of great strength and stature. All his life he supported democracy and was against military dictatorships. His point of view was that if any General was fond of politics he should take off uniform and through democratic process come in power. He never wavered in his profession and stood pressure from all the dictators that ruled Pakistan. Advertisements of Nawa-i-Waqt Group were stopped many times but he did not bow to the whims of dictators. He would never stop any news whatever the pressure. He once told me that he may change the placement of news if some request came but would never downplay or stop that news.

Dr Majid Nizami was humble person but a man of principles. He led a simple life and yet he was the most well dressed person that I have met. He was a well read person and could talk on any topic. His political views were only about democracy and supporting it. He wanted to see a united Muslim League and made a lot of efforts in this regard. All the political leadership of Pakistan kept in touch with him. They all respected him and often came to him for advice on different matters. It was an honour that Allah Almighty had bestowed upon him that he did not have to go to the rulers and those in power. They all visited his office or residence to pay respect to him. –

Reported as told to Emanuel Sarfraz by Dr Majid Nizami’s close friend

Justice (Retd) Mian Aftab Farrukh