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October 13, 2013

‘History has an equally futuristic aspect to it’

October 13, 2013

History may be an account of the past, but it has an equally futuristic aspect. It presents us with lessons which we learn to ensure a future that is free of the blunders of the past. It is a great teacher about the future. Besides, it also gives us an insight into the minds and thought processes of those who shape history.
This was the consensus among speakers at the launch of Tareekh Bolti Hai (History Speaks), a compendium of noted journalist Nazir Leghari’s interviews with personages who shaped history. Leghari is the editor of the Urdu daily Jang, Karachi. The launch was held at the Karachi Press Club on Saturday evening.
Jamaat-e-Islami leader Muhammad Hussain Mehanti said history was the best teacher if we analysed it scientifically and in detail. Praising Leghari’s interviews, he said his interview with Benazir Bhutto in particular was profound, in that it showed how the mindset of politicians changed when they transited from the opposition to the government. He said these interviews also brought to the fore the contradictions in the South Asian region, like India’s chauvinism, and the dynastic hold over power in all the countries of the grouping which made democracy a self-defeating exercise and which stymied development of the region.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Haider Abbas Rizvi said, “Leghari has the knack of digging up issues that may have been lost in the mists of time, and juxtaposes them on contemporary conditions.” He termed the book a window into the future, and said that it gave indications as to what could happen after the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and International Security Assistance Force withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014.
Lauding Leghari’s intellectual acumen, Nawa-i-Waqt Editor Saeed Khawar said that what was special about the book was that it contained his interviews with representatives of various civilisations. He said that while he fully condemned the Taliban, he could not favour

Malala, and said all this hullabaloo about Malala was an attempt to rewrite history in an attempt to influence it in favour of a certain school of thought, which was tantamount to intellectual dishonesty.
BBC journalist Anwar Sen Roy credited Leghari with a sharp, retentive memory and a very analytical mind. Talking about the nature of Leghari’s interviews, he said that there was no such thing as total independence, but if one were astute and questioned his respondents in an adroit manner, he could always induce them to come out with the plain truth even without the respondents being aware of it, or compel them to do so.
Noted intellectual and former professor at the Moscow University, Dr Aliya Imam, said Leghari’s book was most timely, given today’s conditions where bloodshed and ethnic, racial and religious frenzy were ruling the roost. She termed Leghari a “beautiful person”.
In his highly intellectual discourse, renowned educationist Prof Anwar Ahmed Zai put Leghari on the same pedestal as Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar.
He said that while the book was an answer to many questions, all those answers crystallised into one question: how do we counter the problems of today? He said Leghari had elicited the answers to lots of questions from his respondents despite the latter’s reticence.
KPC President Imtiaz Faran praised Leghari’s endeavour and said the book had pivotal importance, in that it acquainted the reader with so many aspects of the politics of the region and the idiosyncrasies of the leaders that hitherto had not come into public view.
Leghari was so overcome by all the tributes and the flashbacks of his memories of his interviews and meetings with all his respondents that he spoke for a long time about them, which came as golden pieces of information to the guests.
Fazil Jamili, Editor, Jang website, compered the function. He also mentioned his highly amiable working relationship with Leghari.

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