MISSION & VISION: SERVE HUMANITY IN REALITY (SHIR)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Blog: www.javedzaheernews.blogspot.ca
Facebook & Twitter: Javed Zaheer (Based in Toronto, Canada)
THE TWISTS & TURNS
OF MY LIFE:
WHAT I AM. WHAT I DID. WHAT I WANT TO DO.
FREE EXPRESSION AWARD WINNER
CANADIAN OF PAKISTANI ORIGIN
Visit www.javedzaheernews.blogspot.ca for my exclusive articles
JAVED ZAHEER---FOUNDER OF SHIR INTERNATIONAL NETWORK:
A MISSION WITH A VISION TO SERVE HUMANITY IN REALITY
THE TWISTS & TURNS OF MY LIFE:
WHAT I AM. WHAT I DID. WHAT I WANT TO DO.
BY JAVED ZAHEER, FREE EXPRESSION AWARD WINNER,
PROUD CANADIAN OF PAKISTANI ORIGIN/COMMUNITY
TORONTO: Guys, I am in love. Yes, I am deeply in love. All those who know me know this very well that since childhood I am madly in love with reading, writing and humanity. Books, pen and the humanity cause were and are all still my best friends and I enjoy every bit of this fine relationship. Writing is in my blood. In short, it is my life.
I am a very sensitive person but don’t get excited or provoked easily and try my best to remain normal, calm and composed and deal with even trickiest issues, difficult problems and toughest challenges sensibly and responsibly. I strongly believe in team work and spiritual help and guidance, which I kept getting throughout my life and which helped me held and serve others. This is how my life is.
In whatever state or situation or condition or position I am, the most important thing is that I am overall satisfied and truly happy and really feel the pain and needs of others and try to help and support them along with my team in the best possible ways.
I wish and pray to Allah (God) for this:. If only people and the world could understand the depth and meaning of the powerful divine message and change their lives to become like what Allah (God) has defined and described in Surah # 103 Al-Asr of the holy Quran.
I can dare say with full confidence and cent per cent guarantee and strong belief and trust in the King of the kings that the world could definitely become 100 per cent safer, peaceful and prosperous and most of the issues and problems solved if we change ourselves and lifestyles according to the Surah Al-Asr: “By the declining day, (1) Lo! man is a state of loss, (2) Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance. (3)”.
LESSONS OF LIFE: During the periods of both tests, trials, turbulence and efforts, struggle and success, near and dear ones, trusted friends and relatives and good human beings are the only ones who remain close and provide the best guidance, help and support. This is also what I learned and witnessed.
Temptations, hurdles and mistakes must never stop one from the work, mission, cause or vision---whether personal, community or professional---One must keep struggling and trying positively and constructively to fulfil his all duties and responsibilities practically and responsibly. We must learn to keep a balance of both worlds---Here and hereafter. Goodness is a great blessing and is the best tool which can help keep this balance.
The good lesson this love taught me is that conscience, good families, near and dear ones, friends, society, company, books, environment, cause, mission and vision always help protect the body, mind and soul from corruption. Once the mind becomes corrupt, the devil takes control. They act as a shield against the evil and lusty temptations. Lucky are ones who are blessed with all or anyone of them. They do face ups and downs and falter here and there but then realize and recover. Fortunately, I am one of the blessed and lucky ones.
WHY I THANK GOD? Before further writing anything about myself, contributions and achievements, first of all let me thank Allah (God) for His tremendous blessings and guidance. Why I remain thankful to Allah (God)? In short, because He was always there whenever I remembered and needed Him.
Without His help, support, guidance, protection and all tremendous blessings, despite my continuing carelessness, selfishness, foolishness, faults, mistakes and sins, I would not have miraculously escaped and survived on many occasions or achieved anything including success, satisfaction and contentment.
Despite my fiery style of free expression, I was always protected and never harmed.
Because it is in my nature to forgive and forget and instead of enemies make friends, I always tried to help others including and particularly all those who were against me and created hardships for me and my family but needed help. Also, I always tried not to hurt and harm anyone or take revenge despite best chances and opportunities. This was all because of the above protective shields---The best blessings of Allah (God).
He has given me the good nature and character to first truly love, respect, promote, support and not underestimate myself. I proudly consider myself as a normal but special human being. This is not selfishness but gives birth to all other forms of true love and beautiful relationships. That makes the world respect and love you, except those who are born with the nature to envy, burn, hate and harm others.
CREDIT: The credit for this write-up goes to Shahid Hashmi, Chairman, Canpak Chamber of Commerce, who, despite my strong resistance, reluctance and refusal due to various factors and reasons, encouraged and pushed me very hard to write it down so that others could know me and benefit from my work, contributions and achievements.
He thinks that I should get credit and recognition and respect from people as well and I very much respect his feelings and sentiments. Truly speaking I expect and am interested for this from Allah (God) and know and thank Him for all the blessings showered on me, my family and all the near and dear ones including friends and fans.
I also truly respect and acknowledge the sincere great encouragement, help and support of not only Shahid Hashmi but all others and sincerely thank them for contributing in their own ways in my overall efforts, struggles, successes, SHIR mission and of course my life.
THE BEGINNING: Even before I started schooling, I often used to go to the prestigious St. Xavier School in Calcutta, India, sit outside the classroom of my elder brother and watch the students study. I used to dream that one day I would be studying here as well.
The dream came true. The class teacher used to note this and seeing my interest one day called my father and asked him to get me admitted. That was the beginning of my education journey, which is deeply connected to my professional journey.
The keen interest and deep love for reading, writing and humanity made my journey of life very nice, beautiful, wonderful and easier. I joined the journalism profession in 1973 and then onwards never looked back. Now I am serving as a freelance journalist and honorary director of various leading, reputed and prestigious organizations. I never believed in yellow or envelope journalism. All my life my objective remained to learn, earn and serve honestly. I keep trying my best possible to be and remain like this.
This is a never ending journey of my life which will continue till my last breath because it is related to my sacred cause, mission and vision: Serve Humanity In Reality (SHIR). I don’t want to live with just wishing and dreaming about heaven and hell. The purpose of my life was always to remain normal, sensible and responsible possible and keep trying doing things which pleases my Lord and help me earn reward from Him. I call myself a sinner because I mostly fail to practically and responsibly obey and implement many of His commands and guidelines.
SHIR NETWORK: In order to make people understand what I am doing and what is my cause, mission and purpose of life, I have founded SHIR International Network, a platform to help, support and promote humanity.
SHIR (Serve Humanity In Reality) in reality is a divine message. Allah (God) through His messengers---right from Prophet Adam (PBUH) and till Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)---and original holy books---right from Scriptures, Torah, Bible and till Quran--- has always demanded and commanded us to do this. SHIR is one of the main purposes of life. The other is worship of only Allah (God).
I am extremely fortunate that although I am not obeying Him and not meeting His most expectations properly, Allah (God) made me choose this cause and name and helping me tremendously in this connection.
I need prayers, help and support of all so that Allah (God) keeps guiding, helping, supporting, promoting and protecting me, my SHIR team leaders and our families and showering His tremendous blessings so that we can live and work together and love, respect and serve all
in the real sense.
STRATEGY: I am writing this with the purpose of education, inspiration and motivation and for record. I want all my near and dear ones to feel proud, learn and benefit from my contributions, achievements, successes, failures and mistakes.
As far as my pen power and the art of writing are concerned, the flow of ideas, words, sentences and expressions are controlled as if being dictated. This indeed is a blessing. My soul, mind and my pen are being spiritually controlled to serve humanity. This is why I consider myself extremely fortunate.
My working strategy is to never disturb the peaceful and good ones and always keep encouraging, helping, supporting and promoting them and to never spare the evil and corrupt ones and always keep exposing and cornering them so that people are not cheated, hurt or harmed by them in any way.
In this process I faced tough challenges, great risks and dangers and narrowly escaped death many times. Still I never stopped writing and serving humanity. Instead I became more determined to face the challenges. Due to Allah’s blessings and protection, I was never harmed.
JOURNALISM: My journalism career started in 1974 from the `DAILY SUN’ newspaper, Karachi. I completed my apprenticeship from there. My close colleagues and friends included Rahimullah Yusufzai, the famous journalist, and Murtuza Khan.
The professional journalists of SUN were undoubtedly the cream and top-level journalists of Pakistan. The names were big and their contributions tremendous. The environment there was very friendly and professional. They played an important role in the positive and constructive journalism of Pakistan. Shamim Ahmed, veteran journalist and versatile reporter, was the editor. His editorials were very powerful.
Then I joined Fortnightly `Medical News’, Karachi, as a reporter. Rahimullah Yusufzai was working in `Medical News’ at that time and looking after the editorial side. One day he called me and told me that there was an opening in the advertisement side and asked me to apply for the position. He asked me not to show interest in editorial side.
He arranged a meeting with Ayaz Mahmood, publisher & editor of `Medical News’. During the interview, he asked me if I was interested in the editorial side. I was in a fix and confused. I told him that I came for a job in the advertisement side. He told me: “Forget about the advertisement job because I want you to join editorial side as a reporter.” I was badly in need of a job and had to say yes. Rahimullah Yusufzai became unhappy as to why I agreed. Our relations were strained.
Later Rahimullah Yusufzai was posted from Karachi to Islamabad and contributed from there. Within a few months, Ayaz Mahmood was greatly impressed and very happy with my work. He trusted me and gave me a free hand and full charge of the editorial side of both Karachi and Islamabad editions.
Ayaz Mahmood was the one who saw in me and recognized the journalism talent and fully encouraged me. I fully enjoyed working with him and the `Medical News’ team. Tahira Brohi, daughter of A.K. Brohi, the famous lawyer and law minister, and Kamran Khan, veteran journalist, also briefly remained members of my editorial team.
I have great regard for Ayaz Mahmood and can never forget his attention and contribution in making me a professional journalist.
MEDIA GURU: Late Abdul Qadir of the famous `Illustrated’ magazine, published from India, groomed me. When I wanted to apply for a position in the `Daily Dawn’, Karachi, he stopped me for a few years by saying: “Prepare yourself first”. He used to edit my stories with red pen. The whole page used to become red. Such was his training.
He liked me and was very friendly with me and used to say laughingly: “I can see your face turning red after seeing the changes with my red ink but one day you will understand and benefit from this.” He loved me so much that when he was sick and dying then he desired to see me before his death. He died few minutes after I met him. He taught me a lot including importance of expression. He used to keep my expressions but improve the stories. He was a very learned person and a veteran journalist.
PHARMA NEWS: I gained a lot of experience in `Medical News’ and later launched fortnightly `Pharma News’ with circulation of nearly 15,000. I was the managing editor. My other two partners were Quaiser A. Neeshat and Sher Muhammad Ansari. They were not professional journalists. Quaiser Neeshat was a pharmacist. He used to publish reputed two medical books---Red Book and Pharmaguide. Sher Muhammad Ansari looked after the administration and marketing side.
Through `Pharma News’, I used to select and publish about the serious and deadly side-effects and harms of medicines. We subscribed one of the world’s leading magazines on drugs and medicines for this purpose. The credit goes to my partner, Quaiser Neeshat, a pharmacist, for arranging the magazine for me for the noble cause. If we wanted we could have blackmailed both doctors and medical firms but we never did any such things. Allah (God) blessed us and we earned millions.
The newspaper earned the reputation of one of the best read and circulated media journal in the country. The focus remained on improving situations and conditions of medical institutions, patients and health policies. It acted as a watchdog.
MEDICALWEEK: My friend Nasir A. Shaikh, son of Niaz A. Shaikh, publisher and editor of fortnightly `Medicoment’, requested me to help him launch Pakistan’s first weekly medical newspaper `Medicalweek’. I agreed and became the executive editor.
Worth mentioning are Shabbir Ghori and Maqsood, who were both my editorial team members in `Medicalweek’. They were inexperienced and knew nothing. I made them my team members and trained them.
Because of our good relationship and my training, even today they remember, love and respect me. Shabbir is now well-established and running his own media business. Maqsood, who used to do three hard jobs to run his family, on my request, went to Lesotho, near South Africa, along with my youngest brother.
Now Maqsood is a big businessman, a billionaire and a distinguished VIP figure there. He has not only established himself but had helped establish over 25 relatives and their families there all of whom are doing their own business. I feel ashamed when he calls and always keep thanking me for helping him become what he is today.
I keep telling him that all the success was because of the blessings of Allah (God) and his own hard work and honesty. He keeps offering me help of any kind including monetary but I always thanked him for his love and respect and keep praying for him.
PHARMAGRAPH: Mashkoor Ahmed Najam, Controller of Current Affairs, Pakistan Television Corporation, Karachi, Pakistan, approached and requested me to help his brother Mansoor Ahmed launch fortnightly `Pharmagraph’. I agreed to help him launch and run the newspaper. Riaz, Controller of Drugs in Karachi, acted as my source and assisted me greatly. ENGINEERING REVIEW: I also worked briefly in `Engineering Review’ as assistant editor. It was the country’s leading engineering magazine at that time. I remember one story about hazards of cement including cancer, which they did not like as it affected their advertisements and business. I considered it my moral and professional duty and responsibility to let the government and people know as to what was happening. I did my job and lost my job there but had no regrets whatsoever.
WEEKLY MAG: I used to write exclusive articles and conduct interviews for internationally renowned Jang Group’s weekly English magazine `MAG’. My exclusive stories used to be among the three best stories of this magazine. Wahab Siddiqui, husband of Fauzia Wahab, PPP leader, was the editor of MAG. He was a seasoned and well-known professional journalist.
I very briefly worked in `Daily News’ of Jang Group Publications. Here I worked with Kamran Khan, Wajid Shamsul Hassan and Tanvir Ahmed (Popularly known as Allama Tanvir).
JOURNEY TO DAWN: While working in weekly `Medicalwwek’, I was approached by the Personnel Department of `Daily Dawn’ for the Sub-Editor post. At the same time late Hakim Mohammad Saeed approached me.
I was very close to late Hakim Saeed, Governor of Sindh and founder of Hamdard Foundation and Hamdard University. He liked and loved me a lot and always assured me of support. He personally offered me directorship of Hamdard Foundation publications.
When I was being interviewed by the board of directors for selection, Hakim Saeed told them before the start of the interview that “I have already chosen and selected him and you people can complete the formality of appointment”. Such was his love and respect for me.
When I asked Hakim Saeed what I should do in view of the offers, he advised me: “Join Dawn, which is a right place for you. I wish you the best of luck and will continue to always support you.”
I then joined `Daily Dawn’ as a sub-editor.in 1986 and worked there for over 13 years. When I left Dawn in 1999, I was working as senior sub-editor/copy editor. It was a golden period. I mostly worked in the newsroom, business section (Economic & Business Review---EBR) and city desk. The editor was late Ahmed Ali Khan. The news editors during my period were Akhtar Payami, Muhammad Ali Siddiqui and Saleem Asmi. The shift in-charges included Abdul Ahad, Zakiullah Sharif, Abid Ali Syed and Matin Ahmed Khan.
I can never forget the dramatic rise of the son of a peon in Dawn who was also appointed as a peon after his passing away. He worked as a peon but continued his study and graduated and later on became a sub-editor in Dawn. He worked hard to achieve this success. He is a great source of inspiration for many.
MEDIA EXPERIENCE: My combined experience of working and editing in various publications is over 25 years till 1999 in Pakistan and overall over 42 years till 2016. I visited major cities and remotest areas of the country cover local, national and international conferences, to meet and interview common and important people and to highlight the issues and problems faced.
The exclusive interviews included mostly of VIPs and distinguished personalities, authorities and specialists including late Prof. Ghafoor Ahmed of Jamaat-e-Islami (Interview in Urdu which was candid and shocking for even his party), federal and provincial ministers and heads of national and international institutions.
LUCKY TYPEWRITER: In 1980, I bought a portable typewriter for my professional work. The brand was `Brother’ and priced Rs 1200. At that time for me Rs 1200 was too much because my salary was hardly Rs 1000. This typewriter was my great companion and helped me prepare news materials including stories, exclusive and editorials for all the newspapers I was working in and documents of all those people who needed help. It was very precious for me.
When the immigration process of one of my brothers’ family started and the lawyers kept demanding huge amount which they could not afford, they approached me for help in preparation of the documents. I helped them prepare the documents. The interesting thing is that I had no such experience but Allah (God) helped me. They and because of them many others who were sponsored are living happily abroad.
Once I was returning from Quetta, Balochistan, after attending an international conference. I was travelling in train. Those coming from Quetta or other parts of Balochistan know that the passengers are subjected to customs in order to check and stop smuggling.
I was typing my stories and interviews that related to the conference and personalities. Suddenly four or five policemen entered the compartment. They insultingly started misbehaving with the passengers and their families. I was watching them. One of them came to me and asked: “What are you doing?” I said: “Can’t you see?” When he tried to misbehave I told him that I was returning from a conference and would definitely report all that you people are doing with the passengers instead of doing your job properly.
They stopped checking and left the train when the next stop came. The passengers became extremely happy and thanked me for saving them from harassment and giving huge bribes. By the time I reached my destination, Karachi, the typewriter helped me prepare over 10 stories including coverage of the event and other institutions and exclusive interviews of the delegates.
Because I used to help people free of cost and with the intention of solving their problems, one family approached me to help them. The US Embassy had refused immigrant visa to one of the female member. I looked into the case and helped them prepare documents in a manner that she got the visa and went abroad happily to join her husband. Again the typewriter helped me prepare the documents. Although they were millionaires and wanted to reward me for the help, I refused the offer because it was not in my nature to charge for help and support.
This lucky typewriter, which tremendously helped me and many others and changed our lives, is still in my house in Pakistan. I can never forget the help it provided. I was and am in love with it. It was and is a priceless precious asset for me.
ACHIEVEMENTS: My major achievements are briefly as follows:
1. Founded SHIR International Network (Serve Humanity In Reality---SHIR) in 2015 to
promote my dream, cause, mission and vision.
2. Won Free Expression Award in 2006. The award was from National Ethnic Press
& Media Council of Canada (NEPMCC). It was presented by Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. I was made life Honorary Director of NEPMCC.
` 3. Declared by judges as one of the 75 Finalist Best Canadian Immigrants.
4. Won Desi Idol Recognition Award (Presented by North American Desi Idol).
5. Became Veteran Active Member (VAM) of Toronto Press Club. ecame Member of
The National Club and The Ontario Club, Canada.
6. Chairman, CANOPI and Director of Children Dignity Foundation (CDF---Canada &
Pakistan). Honorary Director of Canpak Chamber of Commerce, Canada.
7. Honorary Director Information, Pak Seniors Forum (PSF), Canada.
8. Served as President of English Literary Society of the school (Grade-10).
MEDIA JOURNEY:1. Joined Journalism Profession as an Apprentice in
1973 (English Daily `SUN’, Karachi, Pakistan
2. Served as Senior Sub-Editor of English Daily DAWN, Karachi, Pakistan.
3. Served as Assistant Editor/Chief Reporter of English Fortnightly `Medical News’,
4. Served as Managing Editor of English Fortnightly `Pharma News’, Karachi, Pakistan.
5. Served as Executive Editor of English Weekly `Medicalweek’, Karachi, Pakistan.
6. Served as Honorary Editor of English Fortnightly `Pharmagraph’, Karachi, Pakistan.
7. Served as Assistant Editor of English `Engineering Review’, Karachi, Pakistan.
8. Served as Honorary Editor of English Weekly `Pakistan Abroad’, Toronto, Canada.
9. Served as Chief Editor (Honorary) of English Weekly `The Ambassador’, Mississauga,
10. Served as Chief Editor (Honorary) of English Weekly `DAWN', Mississauga, Canada.
11. Blogger: Visit www.javedzaheernews.blogspot.com for latest exclusive articles.
BIG ACHIEVEMENTS: The journalism profession is very respectable and responsible if the job is properly performed. No doubt it makes journalists very powerful, bold and influential and connects them with both the worst and best people and environment. There is always a lot of glamour and adventure. In fact it is an addiction and provides one great taste of a wonderful life.
But on the other hand being a professional journalist is definitely never easy and safe as most people think. Journalists face great risks and even die in performance of their professional duties. It is said that because of the great amount of stress, tension and attention involved 24/7 because of the nature of duties and responsibilities and threats, dangers and pressures faced, the lives of journalists are 10 years less than the average persons.
I too faced threats and dangers and narrowly escaped death many times. Like I proudly say Allah (God) always protected and saved me, my family and all my near and dear ones. I had to remain very alert and extremely careful.
My most important duty and responsibility was to protect my mind, self and soul from being corrupted because of the various glamorous and glittering offers and opportunities made which would have made me a billionaire and very powerful within a short period but cunning and cruel as well at the same time. It was indeed a great blessing of Allah (God) that He saved me from all such nonsense and nuisance which could have definitely destroyed me, my life and family. Today I am living proudly with my head high and still powerful enough to help and support others and become their voice and strength.
I will give some examples of my work and dangers involved. I always enjoyed working as an investigative journalist. I had made good, trusted and reliable friends in almost every depart and fields.
SATTAR EDHI: Although Ansar Burney of Ansar Burney Welfare Trust (ABWT) is my cousin and we both respect each other but I was very close to the internationally renowned social worker Abdul Sattar Edhi. We used to meet and sit regularly and became good friends. He liked, respected and trusted me a lot. We used to discuss the burning issues and problems. He was a great news source for me. I used to highlight his tremendous work prominently. I wanted maximum people to benefit from this great personality. He was a great source of inspiration and motivation for me. I learbt a lot from him.
I saw Abdul Sattar Edhi as an angel on earth. Through Edhi, I helped many deserving people in achieving the purposes of life. That gave us happiness. Many are happily settled in Pakistan and abroad. I saw Abdul Sattar Edhi serving people in extremely challenging situations and conditions. Because of his tremendous contributions and achievements and good nature and character, Sattar Edhi truly deserves a noble prize.
GREAT SUCCESS: When the son-in-law of my friend late Javed Yusuf faced a problem with the Employment Insurance, a government agency, in Canada, I helped them and won the case against the state. It was a great victory for me.
Javed Yusuf was a banker and had remained a director in BCCI. Even he could not help his son-in-law and asked me to help by requesting the government to make instalment of the over $5000 amount due.
When I studied the case, I told him that he has to pay nothing and will win the case. He took it as a joke and again told me to write a letter for instalments. I asked the son-in-law to do as I say and requested the Employment Insurance authorities to appoint judges.
When the three judges were appointed and the meeting with them was held they questioned the son-in-law who could not convince them. When they were about to give decision against him I reuested to explain the case. They granted me permission. The pointed them the fault that is wrong date put by the doctor on the medical certificate as a result of which the confusion was created. They checked it and agreed and asked him to furnish another certificate with the correct date. He got the certificate from the doctor and presented it to the judges, The case was immediately dismissed. The judges told him: “You are lucky that this man is with you and helped you otherwise you would have lost the case. You should thank him.”
This victory was prominently published by the newspapers including Canada’s reputed weekly `Voice’ magazine. The problem was the result of some confusion and I helped remove that confusion before the three appointed judges. It was a great challenge and success for me. I thank Allah (God) for helping me help others.
In another case, a friend of mine came to my house. He was very disturbed. His wife and sister-in-law were charged for shoplifting and barred from Zellers and Hudson & Bay premises for many years. Police handcuffed and arrested them.
He asked me for help. I then went to his house and discussed the case with his wife and sister-in-law. The friend tried to interrupt but I sent him out of the room. After the discussion, I prepared a point-to-point report in which I defended them and said that the sister-in-law was totally innocent but was handcuffed and arrested.
Also the video too did not prove that they were stealing or shoplifting. Still the security guards misbehaved with them and the police handcuffed them. The letter prepared was sent to the president of Hudson & Bay.
After getting the letter, they withdrew the cases and restored the job of my friend’s wife, who was a manager of one of the stores there. My friend and his family became extremely happy and thanked me for the help.. .
DEADLY RAID: In the 1980s, my source, who was a personal assistant to a senior bureaucrat in the Sindh Health Department, tipped me about a million dollar corruption case. I followed up and investigated the matter. It was related to the EPI immunization program. On the surface everything seemed smooth and perfect but beneath there was massive corruption.
Vaccines and medicines for the EPI immunization program from the UNICEF, WHO and other national and international agencies instead of being distributed and used all over the province were dumped in ditches under the large trees. I discussed the matter with the then provincial health minister Syed Ahad Yusuf. He always listened to me and extended cooperation. We decided to raid the premises where the vaccines were dumped in the government compound.
The minister paid a surprise and inquired about the programm. He was briefed by all officers and staff that everything was OK. I too was there. Both of us remained in constant I contact and kept guiding and leading him to the place where the vaccines were dumped. When he reached the spot, he asked the staff to dig the place. The officers were surprised, shocked and stunned on being exposed. Upon digging, huge quantities of vaccines in hundreds of packed boxes were recovered. One of the assistant directors who was involved was so schoked that he died of heart attack.
As I used to visit the office regularly they came to know that I was behind all this. I started getting death threats. They could not get me but one day when my source was returning from the office they crushed him to death in a planned accident. That was a great loss for me because he was my very valuable source. He was a thorough gentleman and honest person. We became very good friends. There were many such reliable sources and good friends who risked their lives and jobs for me and for the common cause---Serve Humanity In Reality (SHIR).
DANGEROUS MILK: I used to expose corrupt and dangerous practices and people including illegal use of oxytocin injection to extract every drop of milk from the cows. The dangerous effect of the injection was that if improperly and grossly used it caused impotency.
The terrible and horrible harms to the babies and all those drinking such milk could be imagined. The country’s generations were being destroyed. The title of the story was `Be careful before you drink milk’. It was published in the prestigious English Weekly MAG of the Jang Group Publications.
NEARLY KILLED: Once I was visiting Dow Medical College, Karachi, to meet my sources and for interviewing some doctors and brilliant students. I was sitting on a bench and waiting for someone when a person came and sat next to me. He started talking to me nicely but suddenly he took out a gun and put it on my head. His eyes and face both became red. He was in full rage and crazy. He did not misbehave with me but was about to shoot me when some students came running, caught hold of him and saved me. My sources asked me to leave the place immediately as others were there to harm me. They were touts and gang members of those whom I kept exposing. They wanted to scare, harm and kill me.
In the 1980s, I was in Quetta, Balochistan, to attend an international conference. Some student leaders of Balochistan Students Federation (BSO) came to me and asked me to promote the objectives of BSO. I listened to them but did not commit anything. They then left saying that they would return again. They came to know that apart from the conference I contacted many other influential and important people and visited many other places to know the facts and situation. I had met some people and collected information and photos which they did not like.
As soon as they left, some other people came to me. They started asking many questions and whn convinced that I had nothing to do with BSO they told me that they belonged to the military intelligence agencies and that the BSO leaders were very dangerous and plan to harm me. They assured me protection. I immediately left the hotel and stayed somewhere else.
I continued my work and they protected me. When the BSO people started searching for me then they asked me to leave Quetta. They took me in their jeep to the airport, made sure that I was safely seated in the plane and only then they left. This is how I escaped from there.
TRUE LEADER: In Quetta, I met Governor of Balochistan Gen Rahimuddinand was greatly impressed and inspired by his personality, character, bravery and honesty. Even the most influential and dreaded Baloch leaders feared him. He was very nice and straight forward. One night I heard three blasts. The next day I met the governor’s secretary and he said that some Baloch leaders keep trying to kill the governor and other military and government officials. In the past, they had already attacked and seriously injured the previous governor Gen Lodhi. He asked me to remain fully alert and very careful.
One day I was sitting with the secretary. Some poor Baloch people were sitting on the floor. They had travelled from very far places and wanted to meet the governor. Some influential Baloch leaders too came and the secretary respectably led them to the governor’s room.
When Gen Rahimuddin came he saw the poor people sitting outside his room. He went inside the room and saw the VIP guests sitting inside. After few minutes he came out with the VIP guests. He was not in a good mood and badly scolded the secretary. He apologized to the poor people for not being treated properly. He told the secretary: “Make sure next time to give importance to the poor people who travel hundreds of miles to reach him. They deserve attention and importance.” He then took all of them to his room and the VIP guests kept waiting outside.
Had Gen Rahimuddin remained in Karachi as the Governor of Sindh today Karachi would have been completely different. When late Benazir Bhutto, prime minister of Pakistan, asked him to continue as Governor of Sindh he declined and said: “I don’t want to be a rubber stamp. I need powers to perform.” He then resigned.
During his brief period as Governor of Sindh, he brought dramatic changes in Karachi. He was a great source of inspiration for me. I visited tat least three or four times Quetta again to meet people and attend national and international conferences. The dangers and challenges were there but I continued facing them. I enjoyed every bit of my stay and work there. He was fearless and honest.
KILLER DRUGS: I had good terms with Zia-ul Islam Zuberi, a renowned columnist and journalist, who was public relations manager of multinational firm Sandoz. When we were losing the business of MSD, he helped us regain it. The MSD official was giving hard time to the editor and publisher on refusal to meet `his demand.’
When I published the story about the serious side effects and fatal hazards of one of the MSD drugs given to infants and children they came to senses and restored the business. As an employee and journalist, I did my job of pointing, highlighting and exposing the harms.
Most of the banned and extremely harmful drugs are easily cleared and duly approved by the federal and provincial ministries of health and drug controllers in Pakistan. The human beasts sitting the ministries and drug control department damn care about the patients and people. They literally treat them as experimental animals. Thousands are killed yearly due to the serious side-effects of the extremely harmful drugs but nobody cares.
TUSSLE WITH PMA: When I joined `Medical News’ in the 1980 the relations of the newspaper with Pakistan Medical Association, Karachi, were very bad and we could not go to the PMA office.
I went to the the office, met the PMA people, extended the hand of friendship and convinced them to work together in the best interest of the profession and the people. From that day onwards, we enjoyed very good relations. I was invited to all national and international medical conferences of PMA organized anywhere in Pakistan. That was an honour for me.
Similarly, I had very good relations with office-bearers and members of all medical associations of different specialities. I enjoyed working closely with them and covering their national and international events. I learnt a lot in this process.
LEGAL NOTICES: Once I wrote about Col. M.A. Almani, Principal of Liaquat Medical College, Hyderabad, and exposed him. Five leading specialists of professor level of the hospital who belonged to his lobby sent me legal notices. I faced them, their threats and the challenges. Later the matter was resolved peacefully and legal notices withdrawn unconditionally. I never apologized or issued any clarification and remained firm on my stand. This helped bring some changes in the LMCH.
POLICE FORCE: Over 90 per cent of the police force in Pakistan is corrupt. This is because criminals, mafia dons and touts have joined the police force. Police instead of serving and protecting the people are serving, promoting and protecting the criminals. They are responsible for corruption in the society, system and country.
Imagine the director of anti-corruption department corrupting, exploiting, harassing and harming innocent people including minor girls. He used to visit the house of one of my sources where they used to drink and have fun. One helpless woman came with two of her daughters aged between 12 and 15. They were cute girls and very innocent. As a favour, the director asked the helpless woman to present the girls to him. The girls cried and begged for mercy. He did not spare them and shattered their virginity.
The innocent girls were turned into public property and so much used and abused by the director and his partners that after only few months they started looking like full grown woman. This is very common. Because of the corrupt system and powerful and cruel people, I remained helpless and could not do anything. I only wished if I could help them. I saved only those I could and kept trying to save all those I could. Seeing all these was very painful for me.
BODY IN BAG: One of my friends who is still serving on a senior position in Radio Pakistan was sleeping in his house in the 1990s when a police party banged his door. The police arrested him and about a dozen others from near his house.
His seniors tried to get him released but could not do so as the police threatened them with dire consequences. The police told them that a body stuffed in a bag was found in front of his house and he has been arrested on murder charge. They kept him there for about a week.
I didn’t know about this incident. One of my friends informed me and asked me for help in getting him released. I contacted the Station House Officer (SHO) of the notoriously famed police station and spoke to him in this regard. First he tried to snub me and when I used strong words to convince him that my friend was a government officer, a respectable and responsible person and not a murderer he calmed down.
When I told him that only an idiot would murder anybody, put the body in a bag and place it in front of his house, he then agreed and asked me to come and take him away. When I reached the police station, he along with all the other arrested persons were respectably released. The SHO angrily told the police team: “Go and pick up others and make sure not to make such mistakes.”
Some of my relatives invested huge amount in an investment scheme, which proved fake and we lost the money. I tried to help them. When I reached the police centre, where the cheater was locked up, and asked for the SHO I was told that he was busy with a VIP.
There I met a policeman from my area. He led me to the place where the cheater was locked. There I saw a man giving the cheater a good massage and had brought best quality food from a posh restaurant for him. I was told that the person who was giving the massage himself was the SHO (Station House Officer). He was addressing the cheater as `SIR’.
When the cheater saw me, he said: “You don’t know me. I can get you fired from job or harm you.” I told him: “You too don’t know me. I am crazier than you, not afraid of losing my job and can piss and screw you as well. Don’t try to play game with me.”
When I gave him some important effective references, he then agreed. It was a billion dollar scam and thousands had lost their valuable savings including senior army officers. Only few lucky ones got the money back.
TRAGEDY WITH FRIEND: After we moved from Islamabad, our immediate neighbour too moved to Karachi. Their son was my good friend. He got employment in the Foreign Office, Islamabad. One day his mother and wife came to my house. They looked very disturbed
When I asked them as to what happened, they started crying and said: “Your friend has lost his mental balance. He could not adjust himself in the Foreign Office as some staff used to taunt and harass him. He never used to fight with anyone or complain against anyone.
As a result, one day he could not bear it and lost mental balance. He tore all his clothes, became naked and started misbehaving with others and running on the road. When his neighbour came to know about his condition, he informed us. So we have brought him here. Now he does not recognizes even his wife and children or any family member. He is under treatment of Prof. Zaki Hassan and we want you to help us in this regard.”
I met Prof Zaki Hassan and discussed his case. Prof. Zaki said: “Keep him in Karachi with the family. If he goes back to Islamabad then his case would become worse and hard to treat.” I told his parents who got him posted in AG Sindh Office in Karachi. Prof Zaki treated him and he was fully cured. He is happily settled in Karachi now with his family.
LITERARY SOCIETY: How I became the president of English literature society of my school? This is also an interesting story of my life. The school arranged an assembly for forming the society and electing office bearers. Students of all the classes were present in the hall. The interested students were getting ready for their turns to speak. I was sitting there when some of my friends jokingly lifted my hand for the president’s position. The panel of teachers noted down my name. I was confused and did not know what to do as I was not prepared at all.
When my name was noted down and I had no choice except to do something then I hurriedly prepared a speech. One of the contestants was not only a brilliant student but winner of many trophies in inter-school debate competitions, relative of the federal education secretary and on top of all a bully. He was a pride of the school and liked and respected by the teachers and headmaster.. He was 100 percent sure that he would become the president of the society and nobody can beat him.
As usual, he starting taunting the other contestants. He came to me and laughed at me for taking part. I also started enjoying the challenge and competition and teased him: “I am going to be the president.”
He delivered a very good speech. All the speakers spoke extempore but when my turn came I read my speech because I was not a good speaker. When I finished my speech there was pin drop silence and then all of a sudden the hall echoed with the sound of clapping and shouting in my favour.
When hands were raised to select the president, I could not believe that I was selected president of the society. The next task was of choosing my team---the office bearers. I started selection right students for the various post and gave them the task of finding, encouraging and promoting the best and deserving students.
All the literary meetings I held till I was in the school became very successful and meaningful because of the educative and informative nature. Many new genius were discovered and promoted. They all made the school proud. I became very popular and respected by all. My team extended the best possible cooperation. I monitored both the team and the activities The mutual understanding and team work was of the level. That spirit and success played a role in my successful life and career.
BIOGRAPHY: Born on 5th of March, 1952, in the Ranchore Lines locality (Aunt house) of Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. I was the second eldest among siblings---seven brothers and two sisters. Syed Zahir Akhtar, Khalid Zaheer, Tariq Zaheer Siddiqui, Haroon Zaheer, Farooq Zaheer (Late), Reshma Zaheer and Shagufta Zaheer. All are happily married and well settled.
My father, Zaheer Ahmed Siddiqui, was a CSS (Central Superior Service) government officer. When he was young, he briefly served as a trainee pilot in the Royal Air Force (RAF) in India. He was the eldest among siblings and his parents did not want him to remain far from them. They made him leave the RAF.
He also served as Assistant Director, Immigration & Passports, in Karachi, Pakistan. My mother, Anisa Khatoon, was a house wife. She was not educated but has a very good nature and character and is very simple, sensible, responsible, normal and composed. I am proud to have such a mother, a great woman.
My grandparents were: Wasi Ahmed Siddiqui and Azizunnisa (Father side) and Fariduddin and Ummatunnisa (Mother side). Wasi Ahmed Siddiqui was a deputy treasurer in the State Bank of India and Fariduddin was a Munshi in the court. Both belonged to Lucknow, UP.
GREAT IMPACT ON LIFE: As mentioned above, my one brother passed away in 1968 in Latifabad, Hyderabad, Sindh, Pakistan. He was only few months old when he died due to severe pneumonia. I tried my best to help save him but helplessly watched him die. Had there been good facilities, guidance, help, support and doctors he would have been saved. The cruel world showed its true face and taught me many lessons.
I miss him very much and can never forget the moments passed with him. I used to visit his grave almost daily and sit there for long. This continued for months and till my stay there.
This incident had a great impact on my life. I could not save my brother but while serving as a journalist and community leader, I always tried to become the voice and strength of people and help the poor and deserving patients. My focus always remained on them. My team included internationally recognized and reputed medical specialists of Pakistan including Professor Syed Inkisar Ali, Professor Abdul Latif Minhas (late) and many others. They understood me, my cause and extended great help in my reporting and coverages.
Prof Syed Inkisar Ali, child specialist, was a member of my board of medical advisers. He was assistant professor in Civil Hospital, Karachi. One day the brother of my brother’s driver came to my house with his infant child. The child was very sick and in bad condition. The father was very poor and could not afford his treatment. I took him to Civil Hospital and handed the child to Prof Syed Inkisar Ali, who gave the child best attention and treatment free of cost.
EDUCATION: As my father was a highly educated person, was serving in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was a seasoned diplomat therefore I got the chance of getting the best education, society and environment.
His first foreign posting was in Calcutta, India. I opened my eyes and mind here and got the chance of starting my basic education from India’s one of the finest and largest educational institution, St. Xavier High School, in Calcutta. Here I studied from nursery till Grade-1. That gave me a solid education base. As a result I skipped Grade 2 and jumped straight to Grade 3 and joined Globe English School in Karachi, Pakistan. Here I studied for one year only and left Pakistan for Malaysia.
My father was posted to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Again I skipped Grade-4 and got admission in Grade-5 in a reputed and recognized high school in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
After Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, my father was posted to Pakistan Trade Commission in Singapore. Here I got admission in Fraser High School in Grade-6 and passed the exam in very good numbers. I got first class and was one of the best students. The school asked my father to send me back from Pakistan to join again the school again for further studies.
We returned to Karachi, Pakistan, in 1967. Here I skipped Grade -7 and got admission in Grade-8 in Karachi Cambridge School. In 1968, I studied in Grade-9 in Latifabad High School No.7 in Latifabad, Hyderabad. My uncle, late Zamir Ahmed Siddiqui, was the Assistant Headmaster of the school. I studied here for one year.
In 1968, we moved to Islamabad, where my father was living and working. Here, I got admission in Grade-10 in Govt. High School No.6, Islamabad. The education standard was very good here and I passed the matriculation examination in good first division. Out of about 44 students in my class, 42 students got first division and only two got second division. That was a record. I still remember my class teacher, Mr Ashraf, who used to provide free tuition at his house for hours and was very strict with us. The good result was his hard work and attention he gave on us.
The Grade-10 examination was the toughest in my whole life. It was the peak of summer in June, 1969. I was suffering from severe cholera and could hardly stand on my feet due to weakness caused by fever, diarrhoea and vomiting. My elder brother used to take me on bicycle to the exam centre. He used to sit outside with glucose water.
It was so hot that I used wet towels to hold the handles. The invigilators were so strict that they did allow me to even drink the glucose water. I can never forget those days. I just don’t know how I prepared my studies and how I gave the exam and got first division. I also studied briefly in the Federal Government College, Islamabad.
We used to enjoy life a lot in Islamabad and had many friends. During the daytime we used to visit picnic places or play cricket. During the nighttime, we used to gather and have fun. Two Bengali girls and their brother were fed up with us. They were very good students and treated us as spoilt ones. Their father used to keep complaining to my father and get us scolded.
When the exam result was announced, the father of the girls came with the newspaper to my father and boastingly showed him that his daughters got second division in the exam. He then asked my father about my result.
I too was scared as I was not sure of getting good result. With fingers crossed, I gave my father the roll number to check. He started from the third division and then reached the second division. He looked at me as if asking: “Son, where is your number?” The Bengali and his daughters then laughed and tauntingly asked my father to check in the first division.
They all including my father got the greatest shock of their lives when they found my roll number in the first division. My father knew in what condition I gave my exam. He asked me: “How did you do this?” I told him: “We used to study quietly in the night and play all day”
In the end of 1969, we moved to Karachi again where I got admission in Grade-11 in Govt. College Nazimabad, Karachi, I was studying Science (Pre-Engineering). I had no interest in math and science because of my different mindset and could not adjust myself in science subjects whereas my father wanted me to become a doctor or engineer.
As a result, I started losing interest in studies and used to remain depressed and sick. My father got extremely worried. He thought that I did not want to study any further. He started thinking of doing something else for me. He planned to purchase a stationary shop for me so that I can run that business. The deal with his friend was almost finalized when my father died on June 9, 1973. When his friend came to know about his death he was so shocked that he too died within a month.
FATHER’S WISH: As regards my education, I immediately decided to fulfil the wish of my late father. I filled the registration and examination forms, as a private student, of Grades-12 (Humanities Group---All papers of Grades 11 & 12 combined) and passed the examination with good numbers. After that I did my Bachelors of Arts (Humanities Group) with average marks and Master of Arts (International Relations) with very good marks from the University of Karachi as a private student.
Because of family, job and lack of facilities and resources pressures, many times I decided to quit study but my brothers, particularly Khalid Zaheer, and friends---Murtuza Khan, Mumtaz Danish and Mohammad Hussain---always encouraged and supported me a lot in completing my education. They kept reminding and pushing me. I can never forget their help, support, encouragement and contributions.
The sisters of my friends, who were studying in the university, used to provide me the costly books and necessary notes for study and preparations from the university library. I used to go to the university library also for study there and bring home the books loaned. This is how I continued and completed my studies. I used to sit with my friend, Mohammad Hussain, till late night in the park and under the street lights to study.
My father liked and loved me very much. He remained worried about me because I was very weak and shy and never used to demand anything and mix up with friends or cousins like others. I had very few friends. Mostly I preferred to sit and chat with elders of my family and friends. I used to learn a lot and we enjoyed the company of each other.
Mostly I used to live in my own beautiful world. I enjoyed being alone for hours and thinking deeply about the world and people. I loved reading and writing and most of my time both at home and library was spent on reading books.
SPORTS: My brothers were but I was not a good sportsman. In Singapore, I took part in school sport activities and won prizes. I also played football, cricket, badminton, table tennis and playing cards. I enjoyed doing all these very much.
FAMILY TRAGEDY: My father died on June 9, 1973. On the night and hours before his death in the early morning of June 9 he woke me up and started giving me tips and advices as to how I should take care of the whole family and run home affairs. I cannot forget his words: “Son, I will not be with you all and leave you all in the morning forever. So listen carefully and remember what I am saying to you.”
Frankly speaking, at that time I was very sleepy and did not take him seriously. He realized this and many times kept reminding me to listen seriously. He trusted me so much and was sure that out of the siblings I would be the one to take care of my family.
I still wonder as to how he was definitely sure that he will be no more after some hours and specifically mentioned in the morning. How suddenly he started trusting me when he used to remain very much worried about me.
Being a father, he knew me very well. He knew that I was not bad and spoilt but highly sensitive. That I was confused and depressed and because of which I was off track. He knew and was confident that I could compose myself and make a comeback.
That’s why he chose me to lead the family after his departure and thanks Allah (God) I never let him down and always tried my best possible to help, support and serve not only my family, near and dear ones and friends but others as well including strangers.
One more interesting thing is that a week before his death Radio Pakistan used to play many times in a day a popular Pakistani movie song `Yeh Ghar Mera Gulshan Hai Gulshan Ka Khuda Hafiz’ (This house is my garden and may God protect it) and he used to listen that song very seriously. He never used to act like that. While listening, he seemed lost somewhere.
TURNING POINT: The 9th of June, 1973 (Between 2.00 a.m. and 8.00 a.m.), was a great turning point of my life. I suddenly and amazingly became fully matured, brave, bold and very strong. I still wonder as to how all this happened and from where did I get the strength.
I controlled my tears and emotion. My friends tried their best to make me cry but I told them not to do so because firstly I did not want to further disturb my already disturbed and shaken family and secondly I did not want to weaken myself in any way.
I saw my mother in extreme shock and badly shaken. I could see from her eyes that she was extremely worried, broken and wondering as to what will happen now. Seeing her bad condition and realising the challenges, I did not lose time in deciding to take control of the new situation. I lovingly hugged my mother, kissed her, took her into confidence and told her not to worry at all. After this and my assurance, I could see the bright glow and calm on her face.
Whenever she asked me as to how we are going to handle the new situation. I kept telling her: “It was all Allah’s wish and Allah will never leave us alone and will always help us”. As I had already mentioned in the beginning, this is exactly what happened. Allah greatly helped, supported, protected and guided us.
Then I looked towards my siblings and assured them that everything will be fine and we can face the new situation and tough challenges jointly. They too listened to me, trusted me, looked towards me and agreed to adjust to the new situation. That gave me great confidence, courage and strength to do something for all.
MOTHER: After Allah (God) was my mother, a widow, who always was with me, prayed for me and kept encouraging, guiding, helping and supporting me. Nobody can replace the attention, love and care of the mother. After my mother were my siblings, who too always loved, respected and supported me and each other. We all lived like friends.
After marriage, my wife, children and my in-laws proved very nice and gave me tremendous love, respect and support. In fact I had the privilege of being loved and respect by most of the relatives. May be because even those relatives who kept trying to let my family down and create hurdles I used to help and support them sincerely and honestly. I always used to visit all of them and inquire about their welfare and keep all closer and together.
Apart from the continuing or never ending tests and trials by Allah (God), though a human being I acted as a robot to fulfil most of my duties and responsibilities according to Allah’s (God) wishes. Although I am not a spiritual person at all yet spiritual guidance through conscience, indications and other modes keep helping me understand, implement and achieve many objectives in the best interest of humanity.
LIFE JOURNEY: My life journey, efforts and struggles were all never smooth or simple at all. They were never easy for me as the devil, his lusty evil temptations and distractions and his evil friends continue even today to bother, bug and misguide me a lot. They, including envious relatives, gave me and my family extremely hard time by creating hurdles and problems.
Because of all these, I honestly admit and confess that I took many wrong steps and decisions in my life and committed many mistakes and as a result not only me but others too suffered pain and losses.
Specially, between 1968 and till mid of 1973 I remained quite disturbed, confused, upset and very sad. The reasons were many. In 1968, one of my brothers Farooq, passed away. In 1969 my uncle, Zamir Ahmed, in Hyderabad, Sindh, and grandfather, Wasi Ahmed, passed away in Lucknow, India. .In 1970, my mother suffered a major heart attack. As a result, although my father was a good human being with a good nature, character and a kind heart, a thorough gentleman and a loving father, he used to remain very disturbed and jittery.
He was a very responsible, loving, caring and supportive person. He cared for not only us but his late father and one of his sister and her family in Lucknow, India, and mother, sisters and brothers in Hyderabad, Sindh, and helped them in all possible ways, particularly monetary.
I was very sensitive and seeing my father and mother disturbed affected me badly and upset me very much. I started losing interest in studies and life. Once I was very sad and depressed in 1972 because I was not able to help my family and was not coming up to their expectations. They loved me so much that they were never allowed me to do anything except study and take care of my health.
WRONG DECISION: One day I decided to go anywhere and try to prove that I can do something. I packed my clothes early in the morning and left my home for an unknown destination. I travelled hundreds of miles and reached the shrine of the famous Muslim saint Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan Sharif. Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, son of Habib(Ibrahim Mujaab), was born in Marwand to a dervish, Syed Ibrahim Kabiruddin. His ancestors had migrated from Baghdad and settled in Mashhad. He is believed to have arrived in Sehwan around 1251. There he established a meeting house (Khanqah), taught in the Fuqhai Islam Madarrsah and wrote his treatises Mizan-us-Surf, Kism-e-Doyum, Aqd and Zubdah. Lal Shahbaz lived a celibate life and died in the year 1279 at the age of 130.
Even today I fail to understand as to why I went to Sehwan Sharif. After only an hour, I started realizing that my decision could badly hurt my family and near and dear ones. I immediately decided to return home. When I reached home, my whole family and relatives were very much disturbed and madly searching for me. They thought I was lost or kidnapped. They searched the hospitals and houses of my friends and relatives. They were about to go to the police when they saw me come back safe and sound. I cannot explain the relief they got and the glow on their faces.
I have never told or discussed this turn of my life with anyone, not even my wife or children. This is the first time I am telling and writing about this. If I was a weak, bad and corrupt person I would not have come back. My intention was never to run away from home but to do and become something to help my family overcome the problems and hardships. I was sure that I could something but that was not the proper way I chose.
I hid it from everyone but could not hide it from my mother who one day very lovingly told me as to what I was going to do. I don’t know how she rightly guessed what was in my heart and mind and what I did. Had I left the house with bad intentions and made my family unhappy and sad, she and my father both would have definitely died of shock. Allah saved us all.
I learned a good lesson from my wrong or bad decision or mistake. I realized how important it was to remain with the family, near and dear ones and good friends. I realized how important and challenging it was to lead the family or anyone. I realized how precious was the close relationship and love of family and good friends and that we could live happily only with true love and respect. Only this way we can build a good society and social circle. Only this way we can present ourselves as a good example.
PAKISTAN: I love Pakistan very much and the people that I know there are all mostly very good but I wished that my parents had migrated direct from India to Canada, US or Europe. This is because of the horrible corruption and terrible cruelties I witnessed in Pakistan. The system, society and most of the people all have been corrupted. Everything is upside down.
While people are living in great pain and dying, others damn care and are enjoying. Those who can do and want to do good things are harassed, harmed and killed. This is the reality of Pakistan now. My motherland is bleeding and dying slowly and nobody cares---not even the people in uniforms. While people are facing hell-like situation and condition, they are all enjoying the best food, perks and luxuries of life.
The smiles, attitudes, promises and assurances are all mostly fake and cosmetic. I have now permanently settled in Canada and getting the best love, respect, care and facilities but at the same time I feel the pain that Pakistan and the innocent Pakistanis are in and keep praying for Pakistan and people and hope someday a leader will emerge to put the people and the country on the right track and direction.
NEIGHBOUR: I can never forget my very good and respected neighbour Mr Saeed, who was Superintendent in AGPR, Karachi, and his family. He was a new neighbour and we did not know each other but he helped me greatly in preparation of pension and other documents for my mother. I can never repay his favours, help and support and the love and respect of his family. His sons and daughters and their families are in Canada and US. His wife passed away recently in Lahore, Pakistan. They are all very nice people and trusted friends. It is hard to find such good people and friends these days.
I have great regard for late prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. In 1973, when the Foreign Office people were not cooperating with us in preparation of the pension and other documents, Mr Saeed advised me to contact Z.A. Bhutto and said that he was helping people.
I sent the case to Z.A. Bhutto and within weeks he replied and with strict instructions asked the Foreign Office to help. Within few months her pension case was finalized. Interestingly, at that time Karachi was under the hold of Jamaat-e-Islami and Z.A. Bhutto belonged to the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), the rival party. We used to vote for Jamaat.
STRANGE EXPERIENCES: Many strange things happened in my life since my birth in March, 1952. I will pen them down as far and as much I can recollect. Briefly, I can only say that I am very fortunate that my grandparents and parents were very nice and of very good nature and character. They were all very loving, caring, helpful and supportive. They loved me so much that I can hardly express in words. My siblings too love and support each other and others as well. We all live like good friends.
In 1968, in Islamabad, Pakistan, we visited many picnic spots like Saidpur, Shakarparian, Zero Point and Rawal Dam. One day I along with my two brothers decided to visit a nearby village called Nurpur Shahan, where there was a shrine of a recognized famous saint. We decided to take a short cut and went through the hilly areas and agriculture land. We were going there for the first time and did not know the route and place.
On the way, we saw a villager going with his donkey laden with apricots. We asked him for help and started following him. He was taking us somewhere else. When we were passing through a village, we asked someone as to where Nurpur was and we were told that this village is Nurpur and the shrine was nearby. When we told him about the man with donkey he said: “Boys you all were very lucky because he was a kidnapper and was luring you towards the wrong way.” Those days Islamabad was being developed as a capital and many persons particularly boys were kidnapped and used for forced labour.
Again in 1968, my father loved pigeons and one of them was of very good breed and used to fly very high. One day the pigeon did not return which made my father worried and very sad. Three days passed but the pigeon did not return. We were discussing about the pigeon and I was listening. I too liked and loved the bird.
Suddenly, I stood up and decided to search behind the large aluminium trunk. When I was pushing the trunk aside, my father said: Why are you moving the trunk.” I had no answer but when I had moved the trunk a bit I saw the pigeon stuck there. I pulled it out and presented it to my father. He became very happy and patted me.
GRAVEYARD: When my father-in-law, who also my uncle, passed away I used to visit his grave at the Paposhnagar Graveyard in Karachi, Pakistan. The cemetery was very big and congested. One day I tried my best but could not find the location of the grave and kept searching for an hour.
After failing to find the grave, I decided to leave for home. I was about to turn back when suddenly I found myself standing near his grave. That place I visited many times but I could not see the grave. I kept wondering how I reached right in front of the grave. It all happened in a blink of an eye.
ACCIDENTS: God saved me narrowly and miraculously otherwise I would have died on the spot in some accidents.
In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in the 1960s: While I was trying to learn to ride bicycle on a small road in front of my house, I could not put the brakes and banged into the rear of a speeding Jaguar car on the main road, whose speed was nearly or over 100.
Had I come in front of the car then the fate could be imagined. My bicycle was badly damaged but I escaped unhurt and did not have even a scratch. I just stood up and kept wondering as to what and how it all happened.
In1968 in Islamabad: I was studying at home. At about 11:30 p.m. my friend cane on a Vespa motorbike and we went to the main market `Aabpara’ for a cup of tea. When we were near the market on the main Murree Road, a speeding car driven by a drunkard driver hit us from behind. We were thrown from the motorbike. Near the road was a deep water drain. Luckily, the motorbike did not fall in the drain. I suffered injuries. We went straight to the hospital and after dressing and treatment came back home. I posed as if nothing had happened and started studying.
After few minutes there was a knock on the front door. My father opened the door and was surprised to see the father of my friend standing there who told my father about the accident and came to inquire about me. My father was shocked on knowing this. He thanked God that for saving my life.
In 1998 in Karachi: I was about to cross one of the busiest roads Shahrah-e-Faisal and wanted to put my foot down from the footpath on the road when I felt the whizzing sound of a speeding car, which passed in front of me. I was stunned. Had I put my foot down I would have been crushed to death instantly.
Between 2000 and 2004, I escaped unhurt in three more accidents. In one accident on the highway, a Chinese driver banged on the side of the back door. I was sitting there and would have been hurt seriously. I did feel the great impact and jerk but escaped unhurt.
Bus-truck accident: In the 1990, I went to Islamabad by plane. When my visit ended, instead of returning by air I decided to travel by bus. I loved such trips and sight-seeing full of adventure. The trip route was: Islamabad-Lahore-Multan-Sadiqabad-Rohri-Sukkur-Nawabshah-Hyderabad and finally Karachi.
I was travelling on a bus from Multan to Rohri when suddenly a truck came in front from a side road. The bus driver left the steering and the bus banged into the truck with full speed. I was sitting behind the driver’s seat and seeing the accident happen. The truck driver was thrown out of the truck due to the great impact. Many bus passengers sitting on the roof of the bus too were thrown on the road. At that time, I did not know what to do and just remain seated. Many passengers sitting in the bus were badly injured. Fortunately, I escaped unhurt and without a scratch.
Between 2000 and 2004: I escaped unhurt in three more accidents in Toronto, Canada. In one accident on the highway, a Chinese driver banged on the side of the back door. I was sitting there and would have been hurt seriously. I did feel the great impact and jerk but escaped unhurt.
Another miraculous escape: We were returning from Niagara Fall, Canada. It was late night and my eldest daughter was driving the car on the highway. Suddenly she control of the car, which started swirling. Luckily she did not panic and controlled the car.
Nearly drowned: In the 1990s, I was swimming in a pool in Karachi, where there were hundreds others swimming. Suddenly I realized that I was drowning in deep water. I could feel going down but was unable to move or help myself or call for help. Then I felt someone getting hold of one of my hands and pulling me out. I did not call for any help but how that person realized that I was drowning and needed help only God knows.
Thrown: I was travelling on a motorbike with my cousin in the 1990s. We were going to the seaside. The destination was Hawkes Bay beach in Karachi. When we reached near the beach, a stone came under the front wheel and as a result we literally flew many yards. There were solid hard rocks all around. Thanks God that I did not fell on any pointed rocks. We were miraculously saved.
FEAR & FAILURES: I have learnt to never fear failures because they are friends and teach us a painful but great lesson and give us the pause and strength to come back and move ahead. They give us the opportunity to analyze our faults and shortcomings and plan strategies in a better way. Failures do cause depression and disappointment but if understood properly then they act as energizers and a launching pad towards success.
I used to fear dark places and could not live alone in the house but then a time came when I faced alone other beings or Jinn in my houses in Toronto, Canada, and instead of me getting scared they dared not come near me and when I chased them then they vanished. This is because I keep reciting verses from the holy Quran and always seek Allah’s (God) help and protection.
In 1966 in Singapore: The bungalow we were living in was haunted. We could see the doors opening and closing and knobs of the doors turning. My father was not scared by all these but my mother felt many things and saw something. She became very sick and neared death. She could not even recognize us.
My father then sent her along with my two brothers and a sister back to Karachi, Pakistan, where she got both medical and spiritual treatment and was fully cured. I had to stay back along with my elder brother because of our exam. We stayed in that house for about two years.
Beastly thing: When I joined the journalism profession in 1973, I had to and succeeded in overcoming fear. My duties, timings and nature of professional work were as such that I had no choice but to change myself and become strong and fearless.
On one cold winter night of December, 1974, I was returning with my friend from office at late night (Between 2:00 and 3:00 am). We used to walk home The distance was about eight kilometres from McLeod Road to Nazimabad No.1.
When we reached Nazimabad and and were about to leave for our homes when my Bengali friend Murtuza Khan something of beastly shape come out of the big storm water drain. He was shocked and scared and immediately left the place. I too saw the horrible thing, which looked a gorilla.
I stood there thinking what to do as the beastly thing was standing on my way to the house. I gathered courage, started reciting Quranic verses and moved forward to take another route. By that time the beastly thing jumped from the boundary wall and vanished into the bushes in the lawn of the bungalow, where there used to be two important clinics---Khan Pathological Laboratory and Arshad X-Ray Clinic..
I came to know later that the bungalow was haunted and a dentist was murdered mysteriously in his office upstairs. Many religious scholars and priests visited the bungalow to get the beastly thing out. After that one of my relatives moved there and living happily till now. The storm water drain was also covered by the government.
In Toronto, Canada: From April, 1999, till end of March, 2004, we lived in the building No. 44, near the library, in the Thorncliffe Park Drive locality. In both the apartments on the second and sixth floors, we were not alone and there were other beings. I saw them in various forms and tried to reach and catch them but each time they vanished. I could see shadows on the wall and turning of the door knob and hear knock on the door during late night in the apartment on the second floor. Whenever I opened the door, I found no one there. I did not want to scare my family members and those coming to my house. So except my wife I did not tell anyone.
Once I was resting on my bed in the apartment on the sixth floor when the thing came in front of me in the shape of my wife. I knew she was not my wife because she looked much taller and those clothes which my wife used to wear more than ten years back. Also, my wife had just returned from office and was busy in the kitchen as she was very hungry. She was wearing different clothes.
My wife used to change clothes first and then go to the kitchen for food but that day she did not even come to the room to change clothes. When I stood up to meet the thing she swiftly moved to the next room and vanished.
HOUSE OCCUPIED: I had two houses or apartments in Karachi. They were located in Gulshan-e-Iqbal area. I rented one house located near Hassan Square to a government officer. He looked gentle and behaved nicely. He used to come to my house to pay the rent regularly. I used to visit the house and the tenants treated me nicely. The officer was posted to interior of Sindh and his cousin and friends were living there.
When my immigration to Canada process was finalized, I decided to sell the house. My friend showed interested and I sold the house to him at cheaper rate. After a week he came back and told me that he has changed his mind because his father was not interested. I gave him the money back.
When I went to the house to give notice to the tenants to vacate it, they misbehaved with me and threatened me with dire consequences. The cousin of the tenant said: “Forget the house. It is our now. We have occupied it. The tenant is an army officer and engaged in the operation in the city. If you don’t understand then we will teach you a good lesson.”
Hearing them shout, the neighbour came out. He looked very scared. He called me inside and started crying. When I asked details, he said: “These people have made our lives miserable. Every second day they bring the military truck and pick up boys, who face them, from our homes. They are stealing electricity from my house and not paying the bills for over twelve years. They have threatened us not to say anything.”
Later many other residents of the complex approached me and told similar stories of bullying and harassment. I returned quietly assuming that I had lost my house. I contacted some of my influential friends who assured me not to worry at all and just go home and sleep peacefully.
Hardly a week passed when the officer came to my house and requested me to accompany him to the house as he wanted to hand over the house and its keys to me. He looked very worried and scared and said: “I have got the house vacated from my cousin and friends. Please don’t put any more pressure. We did not want to leave the house but now I apologize for what happened.”
I took possession of the house and then sold it at very good price. The interesting thing is that the extra amount I earned equalled to the arrears of the bills which they had not paid for twelve years. Residents were filled with joy and thanked me for removing them from the place.
My friend who took the money back came to me again to buy the house. This time I refused and told him I was getting good profit now and had already sold it. He then told me why he refused and took back the money.
FAMILY: I have a nice, loving and caring family and relatives in North America. They all number about 25 and live in Chicago and New York, US, and Toronto, Canada. They are all well settled and very happy.
My family in Canada includes my wife, four children, three of them happily married, two son-in-law and five grandchildren. There are two brothers and a cousin and their families.
In the United States, I have my mother, two brothers, one sister and their families. They too are well settled and living happily there.
I enjoy very beautiful relationship with my wife, who was my cousin, and her family. Since marriage till now we had arguments on issues and matters but she never left me in anger to her parent house even once.
Not even once I considered her parent and in-laws as separate from my family. My father-in-law was my late uncle and we lived like friends and shared all the problems and plans. We were very close to each other and respected each other. My mother-in-law was a very nice and great lady. Her love and care was like the love and care of my mother.
After her death I don’t feel like going to Pakistan because there is none now to give the attention, love and care she truly gave. I miss her and will keep her missing very much. All of my wife’s brothers and sisters respect me a lot and never argued or misbehaved with me even when I used to scold them. We all used to live together and happily in the same locality.
GOOD SIBLINGS: I have six brothers and two sisters. Our eldest brother was a captain in the Pakistan Army. He is of a very good nature and character and a very kind, helpful, supportive, loving and caring person because of which he is very popular, liked, loved and respected in the family and by all those who know him or helped by him.
But he had a weakness as well and that was borrowing habit which created great problems and hardships for him and all of us. The money he borrowed from the people was mostly used to pay off debts or for good purposes.
His heart and nature are such that he can never stop helping others when he sees them in problem. This borrowing habit always landed him in trouble. Thanks God, now that habit has changed. In reality he is the leader and backbone of our family and relatives. He keeps helping all even today. Because of his help, many relatives are in North America, well settled and living happily here.
His contribution is tremendous in this connection. For years now he is looking after our 80-year old ailing mother and taking great care of her, who underwent quadruple bypass surgery in December, 2015.
Similarly and fortunately, all my sibling arte mostly like that. They keep helping each other and others. After the passing away of my father, they all helped tremendously in looking after the house and family. Without their help and support, I would not have reached Canada. My children should know and understand this and learn a lesson. They must understand how important it is to live and work together and love, respect, help and support each other.
SERVING SENIORS: When we were small, it was our duty to serve elders and take very good care of them. Fortunately, in my house and family, I was very close to elders and seniors. It was my duty to massage the body of my father, put oil on his scalp, polish his shoes, help him to get prepared for office by arranging everything properly.
I used to massage the scalp and body of my uncles as well including my father-in-law even after marriage. My mother’s father loved and liked me too much. He lived in the same neighbourhood with my eldest aunt. Without me he would not take his medicine, go to the doctor or meet friends and relatives.
I used to shave and give him massage regularly. He was not convinced with others doing this and used to wait for hours for me to take care of him. I was a college student when he passed away and till then I served him regularly. I loved doing all these.
UNCLE NIZAM: Nizamuddin was my mother’s cousin. He was rich and well established in cotton business in Mian Chunnu, Punjab, Pakistan. He was very nice and people loved and respected him very much.
Then a time came when he suffered great loss in business as a result of family tussle. The loss and the shock made him a schizophrenia patient. People used to laugh at him, tease and taunt him and treat him very badly.
He went to the houses of most relatives for food and shelter but they all refused to even entertain him. One day he came to my house and requested my mother for shelter. My mother looked towards me and I saw a yes in her eyes. I immediately allowed him to stay and asked all the family members to give him the same love, care and respect. He stayed with us for over twenty years and we tried our best to take good care of him. We tried to get him treated but he always resisted strongly and was not prepared to accept that he was sick at all.
He used to become violent. One day he took hold of my infant daughter and wanted to throw her off the balcony. Luckily, one of my cousins saw and stopped him and snatched my daughter. Understanding his worsening mental condition, we never said anything to him.
He was an educated and knowledgeable person. One day I got a call from PIA asking for General Nizamuddin. The call was from the office of PIA Chairman Air Marshal (Retd) Daudpota.
I immediately senses something was wrong. When I asked the secretary about details, she said: “The PIA chairman could not remember who Gen. Nizamuddin was and is interested in meeting him in the park where the general wants to meet him. So please tell him to meet at the time and place given by him.”
I then told the secretary: “Thanks I picked up the phone. Nizamuddin is a schizophrenic and not an army general. Please cancel the appointment to save all of us from great embarrassment.”
She was shocked and said: “He spoke so well in English and with such confidence that nobody could even think that he was mentally sick. Thanks for saving me. It would have been very bad for me and the chairman if he had reached the place to meet him.”
.. NEARLY KIDNAPPED: One day I was returning from office when my tenant stopped me at the front door and told me: “Your son Junaid was luckily saved from being kidnapped. The kidnapper was taking him on a bicycle and had far away from the house when I saw, recognized your son and stopped the person.
The kidnapper threw my son and sped away on the bicycle.” Junaid was hardly five years old at that time. It would have been a great loss.
JOURNEY TO CANADA: I was well settled and happy in Karachi, Pakistan, and enjoying the best possible life and facilities but extremely worried as well due to the worsening law & order situation in Karachi, seeing no future for my children and sensing extreme dangers for my family. I thought a thousand times and decided not to be selfish and only think about myself. Whatever I was about to decide and do was in the best interest of myself, my family and all my near and dear ones. I had to open the door for peace, stability, progress and prosperity for all. The decision I took proved very right and timely.
Very painfully, I finally decided to say good-bye to my wonderful motherland Pakistan. The country was good, beautiful and greatly blessed but a victim of massive corruption at all levels including people, society and system. The human beasts started dominating, ruling, corrupting and destroying the people and country.
The process had already started in the 1940s when the founder of Pakistan Mohammad Ali Jinnah was allegedly murdered and then slowly the founding leaders including prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan and Jinnah’s sister Fatima Jinnah were murdered one by one.
Then the planned and systematic murders of good leaders and people continued but none of the murderers arrested. Instead, they were protected and promoted. These rotten eggs, dark angels, devils, criminals and terrorists are the ones who are dominating, ruling and ruining Pakistan now. They never accepted Pakistan and always remained loyal to the Colonialists and the enemies of Pakistan and all good Pakistanis. .
LIFE IN CANADA: In April, 1999, I migrated to Canada with my family. Soon after my arrival in Toronto, Canada, I became the Veteran Member of Toronto Press Club and member of the prestigious Ontario Club. I started my writing work here again but as a freelancer. It was not easy as most of my own community members including near and dear ones kept discouraging me.
Many started even avoiding me fearing that my bold writing and free expression would land them in trouble. Most of them just kept and keep crying and complaining about problems and issues but in reality they always tried and keep trying to use and abuse others. They try to act smart but emerge losers.
I ignored them and kept my focus on writing. My articles were prominently published by local and national newspapers and magazines and posted by important blogs and websites. I took full advantage of the computer and Internet facilities and successfully promoted my work, cause, mission and vision through this extremely important medium. It became a very powerful platform for me to help the people and become their voice and strength in the true sense.
I kept telling people to actively and effectively focus on using this powerful medium.
Also, I kept telling the community newspapers’ editors and publishers to focus on making their publications bilingual---English and Urdu--- so achieve good impact, impression and results. Unfortunately, they fail to understand the importance.
I also became member of National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada (NEPMCC). In 2006, NEPMCC awarded me “Free Expression Award”. The award was given by the representative of Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. I was also made life Honorary Director of the NEPMCC. Thomas Saras, CEO of NEPMCC respected, encouraged, supported and promoted me greatly. He plays a great role in my successes and the cause, mission and vision to serve humanity in reality. He has posted most of my articles on his NEPMCC website (See editorials & archives).
When Aamir Khawaja, a community member, approached me, I helped him in his website project `Meraraabta.com’. It was a very successful prestigious project. It served and promoted the community through coverages and interviews of dignitaries. Later, I separated from him. I did not agree with his planning and policies, which led to the closure of the website.
In 2006, Shaukat Malik and Riaz Hussain approached and requested me to help them run their publication `Pakistan Abroad’. They were planning to close the newspaper as it was becoming very difficult and challenging for them.
The name Pakistan touched my patriotism and made me emotional. I agreed to help them. I became the honorary editor of Weekly `Pakistan Abroad’, published from Toronto, Canada. It became one of the most read, reputed and leading newspapers of the community. It became a powerful voice of the people and all communities.
The newspaper belonged to Pakistanis, Shaukat Malik and Riaz Hussain. Both Pakistan Abroad and Shaukat Malik earned NEPMCC awards. Such was the standard of the newspaper.
I also served as honorary editor of `Dawn Canada’ and `Ambassador’ newspapers published by Matanat Khan and Shaheen Khan of Sunshine Radio, Mississauga, Canada. I know both Matanat Khan and Shaheen Khan but Matanat Khan came to me for this purpose through Shahid Hashmi. He wanted to pay me just $75 per month. I felt insulted, looked towards Shahid Hashmi and politely refused the offer.
Still I agreed and told him that I will help free of cost and I helped him by contributing exclusive articles and writing editorials. Because focus of the couple was on Sunshine Radio therefore they could not run the paper for long.
. In fact, I never lost any opportunity of helping others in promoting the common cause. This all was part of my mission and vision since childhood: Serve Humanity In Reality (SHIR).
FRIENDS: In 2001, I met Shahid Hashmi, Chairman, Canpak Chamber of Commerce, and Hameeduddin Ahmed, editor and publisher of leading Urdu newspaper `AWAZ’, published from Toronto, Canada. Both became my family friends. The trio worked together to build bridges, serve humanity and promote good causes.
I saw Shahid Hashmi and his family including Seema Hashmi, Sohabe Hashmi, Savera Hashmi, Shakaib Hashmi, Sidra Hashmi and Saman Hashmi always in the forefront in organizing important events and functions in order to build bridges between people and communities and practically promote the concept---love, respect, help and support each other and live and work together.
He is straight forward and some of his candid views, opinions, comments and arguments prick and taste unpleasant. Because of this, people fail to properly understand him and his goodness. I understood him and his goodness. This was essential for adjustment and good friendship. I have found him a thorough gentleman with a good nature, character, kind heart, loving, caring, helpful and supportive. I have tried and tested him.
Mohammad Hameeduddin Ahmed, a journalist, is another very nice person and a thorough gentleman with good nature and character. We are a good team and had a very good time. The three of us with our families toured many touristic and interesting places in Canada and the United States including Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Cabot Trail and Prince Edward Island in Canada and Michigan, Ohio and Buffalo in the US. We used to travel hundreds of miles on Shahid Hashmi’s motorhome and big vans. It’s hard to get the wonderful trips. They are part of my golden memories now.
Then I met Syed Muhammad Iqbal in 2012. We became good friends. He formed the Pak Seniors Forum (PSF) in 2012 and I helped him as honorary director. Through this platform, we keep helping and promoting the common cause. He too is a very straight forward person and used to be a corporate lawyer back home. He is a very nice and knowledgeable gentleman. He is now another important member of our team.
Through Shahid Hashmi, Hameeduddin, Syed Mohammad Iqbal, late Javed Yusuf, late Saadat Ali Khan, late Nooruddin Mirza and many others, I made many friends including Hashim Hyder, Tahir Hussain, Masood Haq, Afzal Khan Nayyar, Mehdi Salahuddin, Noorain Fazli, Shaukat Malik, Riaz Husssain, Mazhar Shafiq, Jamal Anjum and Syed Sadruddin. The list is very long.
I very much miss some of my very good friends and family members who are now no more with us. The friends in Canada include late Javed Yusuf, Saadat Ali Khan and Mirza Nooruddin. In Pakistan, late Kamal Pasha of Daily Dawn. All those who know them know very well that it was not easy at all to make Javed Yusuf and Saadat Ali Khan friends but I was lucky that our friendship remained good and flourished.
LIMIT: I keep distances and limits with all including family and friends and all those trying to violate the limits or to use and abuse me are taken off my good list. My time, energy and efforts are all very precious and I cannot afford to waste them on nonsense and nuisance. There is lot to be done and I am very short of time now to do my important work---My cause (SHIR).
Nobody is perfect including me. All my friends---right from Shahid Hashmi, Hameeduddin Ahmed, Syed Muhammad Iqbal, Hashim Hyder, Masood Haq (Roohani), Tahir, Afzal Khan Nayyar and many others belong to respectable families and are responsible persons. We dream, desire and practically keep trying to help others and serve humanity in reality.
We get great spiritual and mental satisfaction by helping others, particularly the deserving ones. We understand and respect people and values. This most people don’t understand.
TERRIBLE LIES: In Canada, I worked at few places only. The first was in a factory and lasted for only one day. I had never worked in a factory and found it very hard and challenging. It was a plastic moulding company where chairs and other items were made. I could handle the sharp blades to scrap the pointed sides of the items produced.
The second job was at a call centre in Downtown Toronto. It lasted for hardly a fortnight. The third job was also at a call centre---Clegg Campus Marketing. The call centre jobs were terrible as it was based on massive lies. I was fed up of hearing lies to hook the innocent students, seniors and other people. I had never done this in my life. My jobs back home were all very neat and clean. I worked here from 1999 till December, 2002.
The employers kept changing and ultimately cheated the employees working there and till to-date nothing happened. Luckily I was saved and laid off earlier. Work-wise, those were the worst moments of my entire life. Still, I thanking Allah (God) because I was supporting my family through the jobs.
It was a terrible and most challenging period for me. I became sick and suffered from chronic diabetes and heart problem. My quadruple by-pass surgery in December, 2003, failed. Angioplasty was done in October, 2004, and two stents placed in two arteries. The other two arteries could not be touched because they were badly blocked again soon after the by-pass.
After 2004, my health deteriorated further and I had to be hospitalized several times. My kidneys were damaged and I became a kidney dialysis patient.The dialysis is done three times a week. I suffered a heart problems twice in the end of March. First it was irregular heart beat after few days a heart attack on March 31, 2015, The attack took place while I was in the hospital. Because of the dangers to kidney they could do nothing for my heart.
POETRY: I am not a poet but I also try to give meaningful messages to the people through Roman Urdu Poetry, which I have named as `Tooti Phooti Shairi.’ The purpose is to create proper awareness and understanding. May be someday the collections will appear in book form.
SRI LANKA: I visited Colombo, Sri Lanka, three times. It was in connection with my immigration to Canada. On the day of my interview in the morning, while I was having breakfast the table shook twice and there were sounds of big blasts. The two big blasts too place in the embassy area, which was closed and cordoned by the army.
My uncle asked me not to go out as the soldiers had shoot at sight orders. I finally decided to take the risk. The bus dropped me far away from the area. I started walking and was stopped by the soldiers. I showed them my passport and the interview letter. They then allowed me to proceed.
When I reached the Canadian Embassy, I was informed that many staff and officers could not reach the embassy. I was disappointed. I persuaded the staff to arrange my interview as I came from Pakistan and it was not easy for me to come again. They agreed and I was interviewed by the Director of Immigration Program. He asked me how I managed to reach the embassy and then told me to file story of the blast and how I reached the embassy. It was my test. I did and presented him. I then gave the interview which lasted about an hour.
When I got the immigration papers in Karachi, Pakistan, I found there was error in my wife’s name. I asked the consultant to inform the Canadian embassy and they said that Canada will allow entry and there is nothing to worry.
I was not convinced. I rushed to Colombo and explained to the staff the problem I said: “I will face great problems at Karachi airport and they will only allow me to go if I bribe them. They then took the papers and made the correction. It was a matter of only one alphabet.
Pakistanis were very much respected in Sri Lanka.Colombo is a beautiful city. Altogether I stayed there for about fifteen days. I lived with my uncle who was working there as a manager in a big factory owned by a Pakistani businessman. I visited hill resort Kandy as well. I enjoyed the very nice train journey to Kandy. I found the literacy rate very high. Even the poor and beggars were educated and could speak fluent English.
The government gives great importance to education of children. The women too are very hardworking and playing the role of bread-earners. In the factory where my uncle was manager, Over 95 per cent of the workers were young woman. The beaches of Colombo were thronged by tourists. There were huts, girls and lot of fun.
GIFT FROM SHRINE: There was a beautiful big mosque and shrine of a renowned Muslim saint near the Canadian Embassy in the centre of Colombo. The mosque is said to be about 200 years old and known as the Dewatagaha mosque. It is one of the more prominent mosques in Colombo - its lovely exterior is almost an iconic part of the architecture near Town Hall.
The mosque is also partly a shrine to a Saint from the 19th century - Shaikh Usman Waliyullah - and Muslims and non-Muslims alike visit to pay their respects. I used to visit the shrine and pass my waiting time there during all the visits to Colombo. During the last visit to Colombo, I got a gift from the shrine.
During my last visit to shrine, I went to the room where precious gifts from VIPs were kept on display. The caretaker of the shrine briefed me about them. I was impressed and interested in one of the sheets laid on the shrine and kept on display.
I asked the caretaker if I can buy one of the sheets to keep as a token of visit to the shrine and he refused saying they were for record and display only and not for sale. I left the place and sat outside in the compound watching people taking coconut oil from the huge cauldron.
After about half an hour, I saw the caretaker coming towards me. He said I was searching for you. He took me into the VIP gifts room and asked me to choose anyone of them. I said I cannot afford to purchase the very expensive gift. He said I have been ordered by the saint to give any gift you choose. I chose one and he gave me a proper receipt to keep. The whole big sheet was so soft that it could be folded and kept in the clasped hands.
STAY IN CALCUTTA: My parents, Zaheer Ahmed Siddiqui and Anisa Khatoon, migrated from Lucknow, UP, India, after partition of the Sub-Continent and creation of Pakistan in 1947.
My mother’s family had left India earlier and settled in Karachi, Pakistan. Most of my father’s family was still in Lucknow. My father joined the foreign Office in Pakistan. Karachi was capital of Pakistan at that time.
So the first place of posting my father chose was Calcutta, India. We stayed there for about five years. Those were one of the best periods of my life. Calcutta, a port city, was one of the biggest cities of India. It was overpopulated because of the flow of people from all over India, particularly Bihar.
Calcutta was at that time was very dirtybut beautiful and historical as well. There were many historical and touristic places including the famous Howrah Bridge, Victoria Memorial Museum, zoo Gol Talao (Historical park & pond), Calcutta Port, Dharamtalla Maidan (Massive ground), where millions of people could easily gather. It was the venue of large social, cultural, religious and political events.
My father liked and loved to visit these places. He loved nature and adventure. My father’s family, particularly grandfather Wasi Ahmed Siddiqui, who was deputy treasurer in the State Bank of India, used to visit us regularly. My mother’s close relatives were doing business in Calcutta. The largest Islamic book store, Taj Company, on Kolu Tola Street was owned by my mother’s uncle Qamrul. He used to live near the store and was a very nice person. He used to drive the heavy Triumph motorbike and give us a ride. We enjoyed very good relations and used to visit each other’s place every week and had a lot of fun and party.
My father was fond of movies. We all used to watch movies almost every week. As mentioned above, both my elder brother and me started our education from the famous and prestigious St. Xavier School in Calcutta.
My mother faced tough times twice. Once while she burnt her fingers badly in electric shock while trying to prepare tea. The fingers became black and she almost lost them. Fortunately, she got very good treatment and cure and was fully treated.
Then she suffered from a cyst in one of her breasts. It was the beginning of breast cancer. Again, due to the very good doctors, care and treatment she was fully cured.
At that time there used to be a lot of Hindu-Muslim riots. The street and main roads used to literally become red after being soaked with blood. The municipal workers used to scrap and clean the blood. That was terrible for us. During those time we used to remain at home. Sometimes we could not play in the building compound. Those who used to dislike and hate us used to call the police. Police used to harass us now and then on various pretexts.
Every year during winter and summer vacations of school, the whole family used to visit close relatives in Lucknow, Lakhimpur Kheri, Sitapur and Barabanki. One of the biggest jungles of India, which stretched upto Nepal, was hardly few miles away from my grandfather’s houses in Lakhimpur Kheri and Sitapur.
My mother’s cousins, Pyarey, Dularey and their predecessors, were all caretakers of the shrine of the famous saint Syed Waris Ali Shah (R.A.) in Deva Sharif, near Barabanki. We used to visit that place without fail to pay respect to the saint and meet our close relatives.
When my father’s period of posting ended in Calcutta, India, we returned but not alone because his family, except my two married aunts and my grandfather, accompanied us. Almost the whole compartment was filled with us. It was a very long journey, which we enjoyed fully. Train services and journeys are very good in India. So because of the good memories of the golden period passed in the wonderful country India, where most people are loving and caring, I can never forget those beautiful days of my life.
My youngest sister Shagufta married my Indian cousin Shoeb Ahmed Khan in Karachi and and since mid-1990s lives in Lakhimpur Kheri, UP, India. They have three children She is living happily with her family there.
CHOICE: Why I keep thanking Allah so much? I had one choice to make between Rahman (God) and Shaitan (Satan or devil). Rahman (God) shows light and leads to the right path and destination. Shaitan (Satan or devil) leads to the wrong path, darkness and ultimately destruction. On the one hand was Rahman, Lord of the worlds and The Creator, and on the other was Shaitan (Satan), the sworn enemy of mankind.
Although I am not a good or practicing Muslim, because I keep faltering and committing sins and mistakes, but through the holy book, Quran, I came to know that Rahman (God) promises to protect His believers, followers and lovers and says that those who like, love and follow Shaitan (Satan or devil) would be made the devil’s friend.
Thanks to Allah (God) that He blessed me with good soul, nature, character and near and dear ones that helped me choose Rahman (God), Who never let me down and always guided and protected me and helped me love, respect, help and support others. Whatever I suffered was due to my own ways and faults.
BEAUTY OF ALLAH: The beauty and majesty of My Lord, Allah, is that despite my all such terribly wrong steps and decisions, He was there to help, support, guide and protect me. He gave me such soul, mind and character combination which keeps me away from cheating, harming and hurting others.
Most people try to use and abuse me but what they don’t know and understand is that Allah (God) gave me the nature, character, strength and opportunities to help others in any way and get full satisfaction though such acts and deeds
Are these tremendous blessings small or worth ignoring? They can never be. I don’t know what will happen after my death or where I will land---Heaven or hell---but one thing I know and that is that Allah always compensates and blesses me and my near and dear ones with unimaginable great rewards.
The living proof, apart from the tests, trials and turbulences in lives, is the successful and peaceful lives of my whole family, siblings and their families and near and dear ones. We have no words to thank Him and that’s why He has taught us how to thank Him properly and keep seeking guidance from Him---Surah # 1 Al-Fatiha:
“1. In the name of God (Allah), the Gracious, the Merciful. 2. Praise be to God (Allah), Lord of the Worlds. 3. The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. 4. Master of the Day of Judgment.
5. It is You we worship, and upon You we call for help. 6. Guide us to the straight path. 7. The path of those You have blessed, not of those against whom there is anger, nor of those who are misguided.”
There is no doubt and if and but at all that Allah guides, shows light and forgives and Satan tricks, misguides and leads towards darkness and destruction. Whether I am perfect or not or become perfect or not but this much I have learnt and understood in my life through His guidance and this helps me greatly to move forward successfully, live peacefully and love, respect, help and support others---spiritually, mentally and physically.
AVOID ARGUMENTS: I always disliked people senselessly arguing, debating and criticizing each other and their faiths and religions. Through divine messages, I came to know that as a Muslim we have been taught to remain on the right path, honest and peaceful, show great patience and demonstrate great love and respect for humanity. Muslims should avoid unnecessary arguments about God because of the following words and commands of God:
In Surah # 1 Al-Fateha: “Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds (2) Most Gracious, Most Merciful (3) Master of the, Day of Judgment.”
In Surah # 109 Al-Kafiroon: “Say: O ye that reject Faith! (1) I worship not that which ye worship, (2) Nor will ye worship that which I worship. (3) And I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship, (4) Nor will ye worship that which I worship. (5) To you be your Way, and to me mine. (6).”
In Surah # 112 Al-Ikhlas: “Say: He is Allah the One and Only; (1) Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; (2) He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; (3) And there is none like unto Him. (4).”
In the light of the above, as Muslims and Believers, our job is to simply propagate and demonstrate with understanding, love, respect and good character and leave the rest on God only Who can give proper guidance. We have no power or authority to give such guidance.
In short, despite irresistible lusty temptations and lucrative offers including monetary to misguide, buy and corrupt me, throughout my life I always tried to serve humanity in reality and never harm or hurt anyone. I always admired beauty---whether woman, nature or adventure. I always respected, liked and loved the company of women. They became my good friends and news sources.
I am extremely fortunate and proud that Allah chose me, guides me and provides me the best opportunities, will power, strength, determination, body, mind, soul, near and dear ones and friends to live respectfully and responsibly and to always defend, support and promote the truth and right. This is the secret of my successful life, which is full of satisfaction and contentment.
CONCLUSION: This is end of the tale of twists and turns of my life till January, 2016. Despite my bad memory and illness, I did my best to write down all that I could recall. I must have committed and seek forgiveness for the mistakes and omissions of any form and kind committed in this write-up.
Although I have less time now because of three days a week dialysis still I am writing and working to help the people and serve humanity in reality through my platform---SHIR International Network---and help of friends and their respective organizations. I believe in team work and love and respect for all. May Allah (God) succeed me and my team in the mission, efforts, struggle and aim to serve humanity.
Allah (God) has blessed me with good name, fame, respect and everything. Instead of self-projection, promotion and publicity, I prefer to focus on my work which is most important for me and through which not only humanity can benefit in the best possible way but I could get reward from Allah. I fully enjoy this thinking, my writing and humanity work.
I honestly thank from the depth of my heart all those who helped me or are helping me in my cause, mission and vision---SHIR. I like to work with all and preferably the like-minded people, who understand me and my objective.
MALAYSIA: After Calcutta, my father’s second posting place was Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We went there in the early 1960s and stayed there till the end of 1965. Kuala Lumpur is a beautiful city and a very good monsoon climate. We enjoyed every bit of life and stay there and made many friends.
Gen Sher Ali Khan was the ambassador of Pakistan in Malaysia. After his departure, Gen Hassan became the ambassador. Prince Hassan Abbasi, Prince of the State of Bahawalpur, was the First Secretary. He was friend of my father and used to visit our house many times in a month. He loved the food cooked by my mother.
Also, he used to take us out for lunch and dinner as both the prince and my father were food-lovers. The prince loved eating seafood, particularly lobsters. When we had returned to Pakistan from Singapore, we heard the sad news of his murder in Rome, Italy., where he was posted as ambassador. He was a verygood human being, nice person and a great personality.
Some of the VIP guests coming from Pakistan including the internationally renowned Qari Burhanuddin used to stay with us. Qari Burhanuddin, who held a world record in some segments of Qirat (Recitation of Quran), came twice to participate in the international Qirat conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which used to be held annually. He came several times and stayed with us for many weeks. He became our good and trusted family friend.
Once it was raining heavily in the night. It was a storm and we could hear the thunders. Suddenly we heard a loud bang and it looked as if our house has collapsed. We woke up and could not see anything in the dark. In the morning, we saw the huge tree which fell near our house. We narrowly escaped death. Had it fallen our house the whole bungalow and all of us
would have been crushed.
We toured many tourist places and cities in Malaysia and travelled hundreds of miles on our black Morris Minor car. Our house was a very big bungalow. We had a large front and backyard where there were coconut, pineapple and other Malaysian fruit trees.
My father loved keeping chickens very much. There were over fifty best quality and very expensive chickens. Every day we used to collect dozens of large size eggs. Chicks were hatched in dozens. We used to count the chicken and put them in their places in the evening.
Once I noticed that one chicken of a very special breed was missing for many days. My father thought some animal or snake might have eaten it. She used to be seen sometimes in the day only and vanish in the evening. One day I saw it in the daytime and kept a close watch.
When I saw the chicken going out of the bungalow I started following. It went into the bushes of a bungalow quite far from our house. I entered the bushes and found it sitting on many eggs. I came back home, brought a large box and put the chicken and all the eggs inside. Over a dozen beautiful chicks were hatched. This made my father very happy.
Both my father and us used to hold grand parties almost every week at home and had great fun. Every night all our friends used to come to our house to play and watch TV. My father never objected and allowed us to enjoy our lives fully but within the limit. He used to play with us and even go to the swimming pool. He was more like a a friend than a father.
My elder brother was the group leader and captain of our football team. He was a good hockey, football, cricket, badminton and table tennis player. We used to enjoy all the festivals including, New Year, Chinese New Year, Muslim festivals, Christmas.
We were very naughty as well. Sons and daughters of the owner of the bungalow too were our friends. Their grandparents and parents used to keep best fresh fruits for their gods at the worship place in their bungalow. In the late night we used to go there and eat the fruits. In the morning they used to shout a lot. We did this all in innocence and just for fun and not to insult or humiliate anyone.
My father arranged a religious teacher for us to teach the holy Quran. He was from Rampur, India.This teacher used to beat my brothers a lot. I remained very disturbed on seeing this. One day I could not control myself. I brought a ripe papaya and banged it on his head. My father gave me a good thrashing.
We decided to teach him a good lesson . He used to come on a bicycle and kick the main door to open it. We used to park the car in front of the main door. We polished the place with grease and waited for him to come. When he came riding in, his cycle slipped and he went flying and was injured. Again we got good thrashing.
My father started sensing that something was wrong and the children were not comfortable with the teacher. We used to complain against him to the father. One day my father asked him to buy a chicken for a party next day. He bought the chicken which was too old and in bad shape and charged too much for it. My father got angry and decided to get rid of him.
Luckily, the terrible and horrible teacher went on vacation to Rampur for months. He was replaced by Qari Habibur Reham from Swat, Pakistan. He was a very nice person and teacher. He used to speak soflly and never beat us. We all liked him very much. I was the first to learn and finish the holy quran and revised it six times under his supervision.
Serve Humanity in Reality –
Maulana Hasrat Mohani was a renowned journalist, poet, activist and an ardent advocate of truth. Before partition in India he was the owner/editor of an Urdu daily. Once criticizing the English Governor Maulana head-lined a news ‘Governor nay jhoot bola’, (roughly translated: Governor has told a lie). Maulana was summoned and admonished and advised by the Governor to be more careful in his writings stating that whatever he had said was true and correct. Next day, Maulana published a more conspicuous headline, Governor nay phir jhoot bola meaning in English Governor tells a lie again. That was the true spirit of journalism. Javed Zaheer belongs to the tribe of Maulana Hasrat Mohani. He is bold, honest and truthful. He is a professional you can trust.
Javed is more than a journalist. Usually senior or junior, journalists stick to the principle of five Ws, i.e. who, when, where, what and why. It is not my intention to demean the journalists and the noble work being done by them as professionals, but it is only that I have found Javed a bit different from the lot. Anyone else would have abandoned the ship long before, but not Javed. He has suffered heart attack, his eye sight is alarmingly weak (every month he is given injection in his eye); he is diabetic, he has a carotid artery; he has two failed kidneys and thrice a week goes for dialysis. Javed is bestowed with a very strong will power, determination and an acute sense of responsibility towards his family, friends, society and profession. Physically frail, mentally extremely sound and vigilant, the courageous man Javed Zaheer is going strong. He is regularly writing blogs, articles and contributing and helping the society with his pen work, time and money.
The book in your hand is the autobiography of Javed Zaheer. To write a review, reviewers usually go through about 35-40%of the manuscript or the material. I have written book review for Daily Dawn (English) for more than two years. I do not have the figures but at least more than a hundred book reviews by me have been published. This book is among those few that have been read by me from cover to cover – every word of it. The Twist & Turns of My Life: Javed Zaheer – Journalist – is an autobiography. In my opinion the work of a historian and autobiographer are almost the same. The writing belongs to the same genre. Historian and autobiographer both attempt to write what has happened? Like a historian the autobiographer has to have deep insights about whatever he is writing; he has to be honest while narrating event; has to be just and impartial and unemotional and has to pen down events, happenings, traits of persons like their habits, education, character, relationship and every other detail in an unbiased manner. An autobiographer cannot and should not color or make additions or deletions. Both as an autobiographer and a journalist Javed Zaheer, in my opinion, fulfils all those conditions.
The intellectual quality of his writing is clear and simple. While narrating the events he is unemotional but gives the reader a clear and vivid picture of what he wishes to say. His writing of event is not superficial. His diction is of his own – it is not a borrowed one – and reflects his in depth study of life, behavioral patterns, and so many ups and downs - events and the happening in his personal and private life, his family and his professional career as a journalist. He details and writes about the events as they happened and took place in his life in a simple style and does not try to color them. That quality also shows his originality and honesty.
Explaining his lifelong commitment, disciplined and courage with which he has upheld the banner of truth, equality, justice and fair play and the strategy of his writing, he writes:
‘As far as the pen power and the art of writing are concerned, the flow of ideas, words and sentences and expressions are controlled as if being dictated. This indeed is a blessing. My soul, mind and my pen are being spiritually controlled to serve humanity. That is why I consider myself fortunate.’
Somewhere in the book he says he had the choice of choosing ‘Rahman’ or ‘Shaitan’ (Devil). He chose ‘Rahman’ he says. This amply mirrors his personality, thought and beliefs. To drive his point home many times writing about events, Javed has taken the help of and quoted Surah from the holy Quran.
The book has been written in a simplistic manner. It is written in clear words but lacks wit and humor and as such it appears to be a little dry. Javed knows the art of writing, may be he wanted it to be like that. For every single item penned, he has given a heading like Strategy, Life Journey, Wrong Decision, Beauty of Allah, Education, Tragedy, Lucky Typewriter, Journalism, Canada, Dangerous Milk, etc. By giving such headings or captions Javed has probably tried to make every event, happening, relationships, problems he faced as a journalist, his troubles, efforts, successes, failures clear and conspicuous. However, sometimes the much needed details are absent and it appears that the writer is somewhat in a hurry. I hope that final check and writing and editing takes care of this shortcoming.
There is always a turning point in life when you have to decide and say yes or no. That turning point in Javed Zaheer’s life came upon the death of his father on June 09, 1973. That colossal loss changed everything in his life. On that day he decided to become an entirely different person and turned into a responsible head of the family. He studied and worked. His life has seen countless ups and downs. His professional life as a journalist has been full of threat of serious and dire consequences by the people and the organizations he investigated and exposed as an investigative reporter.
He has interviewed so many important persons. Such interviews, if published in the form of a book, would become a part of our history. The long and ardous journey of journalism has both been rewarding and challenging. He has been victimised, threatened, offered bribes, has faced legal notices. Once, for his honest and just writing, he says, he lost his job. But none of that has deterred him from the path of dedicated and honest writing, exposing people and organization doing research, and investigation.
Javed Zaheer has been a thoughtful autobiographer. He has written short notes about family, his lifelong companion his wife, his children, his friends, associates, colleagues, employers. He is thankful to his teachers and mentors. In his desire to cover everything, everybody and every friend both in Pakistan as well as Canada he has written very short notes that sometimes lack the flow of writing that usually characterises his articles and blogs. It would have been nicer if he had been more lucid and detailed in his writing. I say this only because I consider Javed Zaheer not only a journalist but a social activist, volunteer and a beacon of light for others. I would very much like to see his prose and poetry books in cold print.
From Pakistan to Canada it has been a very long journey. Despite his serious illness, Javed is not only writing – but writing with a glow. He is the founder of a non-profit organization named ‘Serve Humanity in Reality’. In short it is SHIR. SHIR does not take any monetary assistance from the Government. It is funded by Javed and his friends. The object is to serve people irrespective of caste, creed, color, religion, race or nationality. The group of people under SHIR spend their own money, time and energy to help the people who are in need of assistance.
Javed Zaheer has earned many awards and has been recognized both in Pakistan and Canada for his incessant, sincere and bold journalistic endeavours. He is a happy, conscientious and hardworking optimistic journalist. ‘The Twists and Turns of My Life – Javed Zaheer – Journalist - is a good read full of lessons generally for everyone and more specifically for young new entrants in the profession of journalism.
Jamal Ahmad Anjum
Knowing somebody is one thing and grasping him in and out is another. Merely little acquaintance or pleasant meetings over a cup of coffee with an individual doesn’t help in cultivating or establishing something about him. Unless you have felt in his views by sharing, caring and arguing with him on topics which in depth requires intellectual enquiry, even though
My association with my learned friend has only been for just seven years and during all this period I have never felt weary, dry of thoughts or lost compassion for his mission which he is continuing by his writings.
Javed Zaheer is a wholesome phenomena of humanistic ideals, moral teachings, lofty goals and targeted achievements.
Being a journalist at the core he has invested almost four decades of his brilliant career in the service of humanity.
He raised issues common to almost all societies and has proved to be a perfect whistle blower sending shock waves to the upper echlons of the nation by telling them in bold words to mend their ways, lest face the wrath of the people.
he started his journalistic journey from scratch by taking up the task of reporting in Daily Sun from karachi Pakistan,His selective and appropriate writings on burning issues took him to the highest rung of the ladder of progress.He never looked back and continued his tremendous initiative of creating genuine awareness in the masses.By dint of his ability and perseverance he won for himself a portfolio of senior news editor of the most prestigious and highly circulated paper in Pakistan.He contributed his articles in a number of papers and remained as Editor.His journalistic pursuit led him to try all geners of News papers including Medical Newspapers which he successfully edited.
To this day being a seasoned journalist he is writing on his blog and dispatching his articles on the Web.
He has potential followers and avid readers like me who are also members of his Think Tank S.H.I.R.
I regard him as humane,responsible and virtuos.My observation tells me that he is incapable of pitching something
which he dont whole heartedly believein.From the bottom of my heart I pray for his good health and happiness.
Syed Muhammad Iqbal
President, PSF (PAK SENIORS FORUM, Registered)
40 Wynford Drive
Toronto, ON M3C 1J5