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January 22, 2020

Veteran journalist narrates story of his half-a-century journalistic career


January 22, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Mark Twain once wrote that, “In the real world, nothing happens at the right place at the right time. It is the job of journalists and historians to correct that.”

Hanif Khalid, the name associated with leading National Urdu daily ‘Jang’ since almost 50 years from sub-editor to reporter to chief reporter and then to reach on top of his professional life of as a resident editor of same newspaper ‘Jang’ from where he started his carrier as sub-editor and is still working.

Authoring a book, ‘Nisf Saadi Ka Sahafti Safar—Hanif Khalid aur Jang Saath Saath’ is a tale of his reporting of the events of five decades and how he reported in his 50 years of journalism. Hanif Khalid has been decorated with Sitar-i-Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan for his services in the field of journalism.

The book launching ceremony of Hanif Khalid on his 50-years professional life of Journalism is going to be held tomorrow (January 23) and National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar will be chief guest along with Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan.

Hanif Khalid, once known as opening bowler from the journalists for opening of question-answer session with asking first question in the press conferences, started the book with quote that “whenever there is talent and achievement, there is negative criticism and jealously too when you are successful. Anything you do is viewed through tinted glass.”

In the book that comprises on more than 600 pages covered all the aspects either it be of his personal life or journalistic life with reproducing his reports of main event and the pictures.

Through his book, he also talks about his family—how they migrated from India to Pakistan and his struggle in days of student life.

The book also covers of his reports on Supreme Court proceedings of 1988 when the ex-prime minister Muhammad Khan Junejo and Ex-Speaker National Assembly Hamid Nasir Chatta challenged the decision of the removal of the PML government by General Ziaul Haq, ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif case in the Supreme Court on removal of his government in 1993 and other leading events of the country in the five decades. During these cases he set a new trend of court reporting by covering each arguments from the lawyers and even also the observations of the honorable judges of the Supreme Court.

The book also contains the columns which appeared in ‘Jang’ on the different issues either on political, national and internal situation or economic issues.

On the flip of the book, Chairman Jang Group of Newspapers Mir Javed-ur-Rahman repeated the words of the founder of Jang Group of Newspapers Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman about Hanif Khalid that, “Hanif Khalid is a best journalist of Long Hand” because he have a skills to write each and every words of speech and proceedings of the press conference wither in English or Urdu.

Every government of the day either it be a dictatorship or democratic tries to control the Jang Group for writing the truth, and in the book Hanif Khalid narrated the incident when in the decade of 80’s then information minister Raja Zafarul Haq, who is known as an opening batsman of Zia regime, had come up with the proposal of banning the ‘Jang’ but his proposal had been overturned by cabinet ministers including Raja Sikndar Zaman and Ghulam Dastgir Khan.

Hanif Khalid being the Chief Reporter of ‘Jang’ remained in the list of every president and prime minister during their foreign trips and also visited the foreign countries being a journalist and shared these memories with pictures.

He has precisely written about the tale of democracy in the country in the chapter ‘What happens with the democracy’ in which he wrote about how he observes and reported the treatment with democracy in country in last five decades from elections of 1970 to 2018.

In his book, he divided his professional carrier with ‘Jang’ in four parts i.e. from 1969 to 1980, from 1981 to 1990, from 1990 to 2000 and from 2001 to 2018 in which he shared his experiences as a journalist of main events that make waves in the history of Pakistan.

He also narrated the events after the killing of General Ziaul Haq in a plane crash that includes his reports appeared in the ‘Jang’ on the last funeral prayers.

In the book he also wrote about the inside stories about the dissolution of the democratic governments during 90s, including of the second government of Nawaz Sharif.

In his book, he also reproduced the columns which he wrote about Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, interview of Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman as well as interview with different foreign dignitaries, including of ex-president of Turkey Abdullah Gul.