Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman was the Founder and Editor of the Jang Group of Newspapers.. A self-made newspaper magnate he ranks among the most successful newspaper entrepreneurs in Asia.
Rahman was born in 1927 in a middle class family in Gujranwala where he received his schooling and college education. Having finished his basic education, he graduated in Accountancy from the Punjab University.
During the Second World War, his parents moved to New Delhi. It was here that he discovered his love for journalism. The newspaper world attracted him far more than the boring accountancy books. He had a passion for reading and writing and a fondness for newspapers and magazines. He sat glued to his radio set, listening to the latest war news.
In 1940, when he was still a student, he started a newspaper for Muslims in pre-partition Hindustan fighting in World War II in Delhi. He called it the Jang, or War. This was not an exaggerated name as some believed, but a statement against war, and so Rahman made it clear he was doing this for the soldiers and not to encourage the Second World War.
When Pakistan came into being on August 14, 1947, Rahman moved to Karachi, capital of the new Muslim State, and started publishing the Daily Jang from there which was funded by a loan of Rs5000 from Abdul Ghani Barq of Ferozsons Printers.
Pakistan's Governor General, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah was delighted due to this move and offered the government's help in running it. Rahman however, declined the offer saying freedom of the press was his motto and the goal for the Fourth pillar of State in Pakistan.
He galvanised the press in Pakistan and helped in founding the Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors (CPNE). He opposed tooth and nail any government measure or action which curbed the freedom of the press in Pakistan.
Rahman’s newspaper empire besides the Urdu language Jang also includes English daily The News and a number of other publications. He died in 1992.
The Nation, February 16, 2017
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