Saturday November 26, 2022

Rich tributes paid to Rahimullah Yusufzai on first death anniversary

October 02, 2022

MARDAN: Speakers belonging to different walks of life on Saturday paid rich tributes to Pakistan’s leading journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai on his first death anniversary, saying such personalities were born in centuries.

The Katlang Press Club and Katlang Pakhto Adabi Jirga had jointly organised the event at the farmhouse of Katlang’s prominent political and social figure, Idrees Bacha Jee, younger brother of noted physician, Dr Nisar Mohammad Khan. Senior journalist and president Katlang Press Club Ayub Ayub moderated the event.

Mardan City Mayor Himayatullah Mayar chaired the condolence reference, where noted literary figure and known Pashto poet, Prof Abaseen Yousafzai, senior journalists, including Shamim Shahid, Hasan Khan, Arshad Yusufzai (elder son of late Rahimullah Yusufzai) as well as Idrees Bacha Jee, Shoaib Youfsafzai, Amjad Hussain Yousafzai, Zamin Nawab and other spoke about various aspects of the life of Rahimullah Yusufzai.

The speakers said that Allah Almighty had blessed Rahimullah Yusufzai with extraordinary respect, fame and popularity, but despite all these blessings and achievements, he was a polite and down-to-earth person. They said his absence was widely being felt in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and his native town, Katlang.

Rahimullah Yusufzai, they said, had a busy schedule, with so many commitments, but his doors were always open to the needy people.

Himayatullah Mayar said the best way to pay homage to Rahimullah Yusufzai was to follow the standards and principles that he had set in journalism.

“He was an authentic source of information on the region, particularly Afghanistan. He always remained impartial and never took sides,” he added.

Mayar said he had risked his life while covering the Afghan war in order to share firsthand information with his readers, viewers and listeners. He said that the reason Rahimullah Yusufzai was widely respected was his impartiality and objectivity.

Mayar said there were very few people like him who became quite prominent and extremely busy in his profession but he never forgot his underdeveloped native town and its residents.

It was Rahimullah Yusufzai who brought development projects to his native Katlang subdivision and undertook several projects to help the local community.

Prof Abaseen Yousafzai said he had worked with Rahimullah Yusufzai for quite some time on different projects, and found him a man of multi- dimensions.

“Today is the wedding ceremony of my two nephews but I had to skip that for personally appearing in the first death anniversary of our great Rahimullah Yusufzai sahib. I can only say that people like him are born in centuries,” Prof Abaseen opined.

He said since he had closely watched him and worked with. “Rahimullah Yusufzai alone handled work usually done by six people,” he said.

“He was a pious person and a trendsetter. He was honest and followed objectivity in his profession. He hadn’t restricted himself to journalism only, his social work and particularly for the downtrodden segments of the society was matchless,” said Abaseen Yousafzai.

Senior journalist Shamim Shahid remembered his good old days, journey and countless memories with late Rahimullah Yusufzai.

“I have found him to be a hardworking journalist and committed to his profession. Journalism was an extremely difficult job those days when there was neither a cellphone nor the internet but he would get the latest and authentic information from his sources,” Shamim Shahid recalled.

He said Rahimullah Yusufzai was a brave Pakhtun journalist and gave an identity to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through his matchless work.

According to Shamim Shahid, there were many occasions where Rahimullah Yusufzai could easily become a politician but he avoided it.

“I am personally witness to one such story when late Khan Abdul Wali Khan himself offered the ANP ticket to him to contest election from his native Katlang, which late Rahimullah Yusufzai had politely refused as he didn’t want to quit journalism,” he recalled. He said he belonged to a political family but it was Rahimullah Yusufzai, who made him a journalist.

A noted Pashto poet Akmal Lewaney, who belongs to Shamozai village of Katlang, paid tributes to the legendary journalist in his poetic verses.

He said his death had orphaned thousands of people and particularly the people of his native town. “The streets are deserted and the environment is still gloomy after the death of Rahimullah Yusufzai. He was a helper of the helpless people and easily approachable,” he said.

He said Rahimullah Yusufzai had inherited social work from his father Subedar Haji Adam Khan.

Senior journalist Hasan Khan said Rahimullah Yusufzai had mentored many journalists who were now associated with leading media organisations in and outside the country.

Hasan Khan said Rahimullah Yusufzai had brought development and prosperity to his native town Katlang and helped hundreds of people get jobs in different sectors.

Other poets including retired principal Sher Ghani Ghani, Rafiq Asi, Nawab Khan Nawab, Zaman Khan Aajiz and others recalled him in good words for his outstanding work.

They said Rahimullah Yusufzai didn’t belong to a particular tribe, race or town but was owned by the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as he was a strong voice of the province.