Hameed Nizami was an eminent journalist. He was the founder of the Urdu newspaper Nawa-i-Waqt, and played an important role in the Pakistan Movement.
He was born on October 3, 1915 at Sangla Hill, a small railway junction not far from Faisalabad. He received his early education here and did his Master's in English from the University of the Punjab, Lahore. He was a self-made man and his early life was a great struggle.
While still a student at Islamia College, Lahore, he founded, along with others, the Punjab Muslim Students Federation and became its first elected president. Due to his dynamic role as a student leader, he came close to the Quaid-i-Azam and remained an ardent follower of Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the Muslim League; first as a student leader and later as a journalist.
After attaining his degree, he chose journalism as his career and worked for a short time in the press branch of the Punjab Government. After receiving training under a scheme sponsored by the Punjab Government, he also worked for some time on the staff of National Congress, an Urdu daily started by Dr Satyapal, who represented the liberal wing of the Provincial Congress.
Thereafter, he became the manager of Lahore office of the Orient News Agency and used the resources there for the projection of the League point of view and for helping the cause of Pakistan.
The year 1940 was something of a landmark in the life of Nizami when he launched his fortnightly paper called Nawa-i-Waqt from Lahore on March 23, 1940.
He was elected President of the Punjab Muslim Student’s Federations for the second time in 1942. He was able to convert his fortnightly Nawa-i-Waqt into a weekly on December 15, 1942. In July 1944 it was converted into a daily paper.
The daily Nawa-i-Waqt came out on July 22, 1944 with a prayer and a message of the Quaid-i-Azam. Nizami made Nawa-i-Waqt with all its limitations a powerful newspaper for the cause of Muslim League and the Pakistan Movement.
He was a clear headed, methodical and devoted journalist. With these qualities he made himself a legend. He rendered a lofty service for the cause of Pakistan during the entire period of Pakistan Movement and, later, for the stability of Pakistan. He was a strong spokesman of democracy in the country.
The first Martial Law of 1958 greatly hurt him that proved fatal for his life and he departed in February 1962.
Pakistan Observer, October 31, 2016
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