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Sunday April 14, 2024

KUJ pays tribute to Ahmed Shah for speaking up for journalists’ rights

The caretaker information minister expressed his gratitude to the KUJ for organizing the event in his honour

By News Desk
February 23, 2024
Sindh Caretaker Minister for Information, Minority Affairs, and Social Protection, and President Arts Council Muhammad Ahmed Shah speaks during a reception at the Karachi Scouts Club on February 22, 2024. — Facebook/Mohammad Ahmed Shah
Sindh Caretaker Minister for Information, Minority Affairs, and Social Protection, and President Arts Council Muhammad Ahmed Shah speaks during a reception at the Karachi Scouts Club on February 22, 2024. — Facebook/Mohammad Ahmed Shah

The Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) organised a reception at the Karachi Scouts Club on Thursday in honour of Sindh Caretaker Minister for Information, Minority Affairs, and Social Protection, and President Arts Council Muhammad Ahmed Shah.

The event was attended by Ahmed Shah, President Karachi Press Club Saeed Sarbazi, President Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists GM Jamali, KUJ President Ijaz Ahmed, General Secretary Aajaz Jamali, and various other journalistic organisations.

The caretaker information minister expressed his gratitude to the KUJ for organizing the event in his honour. He stated, “My relationship with the journalistic fraternity spans my entire life. After taking the oath, my first visit was to the Karachi Press Club. I have facilitated the release of 396 held-up cheques of journalists over the past six months. The process is a lengthy one, but our government has established a system that doesn’t delay work.

“The Information Department has resolved issues without wasting time. We are in touch with journalists from across Sindh. Many people are sick and in distress. The issue of journalists’ plots was not in the hands of the provincial government. I hope that the elected government of the Pakistan Peoples Party will address journalists’ issues promptly.”

He also prayed for senior journalist Ajmal Khattak, who passed away recently. KPC President Saeed Sarbazi remarked that since the arrival of the incumbent government, Ahmed Shah had done a lot for the welfare and prosperity of journalists, brought the functioning of all institutions before the public, and always spoken up for journalists’ rights.

PFUJ President GM Jamali said, “Even when not in government, Muhammad Ahmed Shah maintained strong ties with journalists. After becoming a minister, he further strengthened relations with the journalistic fraternity. Most people change after assuming office, but Ahmed Shah didn’t. He remained in constant contact with journalists to resolve their issues. The journalistic fraternity sees Ahmed Shah with respect and love.”

Separately, the Arts Council Karachi organised a condolence reference in memory of members Ghulam Ali Wafa, Azizuddin Khaki, Ghulam Yaseen Qadri, Chand Puri, and Waseem Dhamea.

Minister for Information Ahmed Shah was the chief guest of the event. Among the speakers were Asjad Bukhari, Drama Committee Chairman Syed Shahzad Raza Naqvi, actor Zakir Mastana, Ilyas Nadeem, Taj Ali Ra’ana, Nazar Hussain, Shahida Khursheed, Sabeen Fatima, Mansoor Sahir, Younis Memon, Owais Adib Ansari, Waqas Babar, Farid, Ayan, Khurshid, poet Ashar (Canada), Shahid Mehmood, Sajjad Ali Khan, and Muhammad Ali Naqvi. Nauman Khan was the moderator of the event, while Shakeel Khan offered prayers for forgiveness.

The minister said, “When Ghulam Ali Wafa, Azizuddin Khaki, Ghulam Yasin Qadri, Chand Puri, and Wasim Dhamea left this world, it was a heavy blow to the Arts Council. In the pandemic, more than three hundred of our companions departed from this transitory world. We have also taken care of our members by providing ration, vaccines, and financial assistance. Journalist Saleem Siddiqui also left us; their value is not recognized in our society. We valued Moin Akhtar, Umar Sharif, and Chand Puri. The Arts Council is fulfilling its duty by giving rights to the rightful members. Work is also being done regarding the insurance and health cards of the members.”

Chairman Membership Committee Asjad Bukhari remarked, “It is very difficult to speak in a condolence meeting for those who work day and night. The Arts Council is always with its members.” Shahzad Raza Naqvi stated, “Everyone has their place in hearts, but Waseem Dhamea and Chand Puri were my artistic companions. Chand Puri was a great human being, and Waseem Dhamea made his mark through his work.”

Actor Zakir Mastana said, “The Arts Council is the only institution of art and culture that remembers people even after their death. Muhammad Ahmed Shah and his team are doing great work for the artists. I have worked with Waseem and Chand, and both were amazing individuals. Owais Adib Ansari commented that Azizuddin Khaki had magic in his voice of love. We can always remain alive through our actions and characters.”

Taj Ali Ra’ana stated that Ghulam Ali Wafa wrote songs in Urdu, Punjabi, Saraiki, and Rajasthani languages. The late legends Mehdi Hassan and Malika-e-Tarannum Noor Jehan also sang his songs. His four collections of poetry were well received.