Pakistan Institute of Development Economics

Arif Nizami Memorial Webinar - The legacy must go on...!
Webinars Brief 71:2021
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Arif Nizami Memorial Webinar – The legacy must go on…!

Publication Year : 2021
Author: Moona Umar
Explore More : Webinars Brief
ARIF NIZAMI, Memorial Webinar. The legacy must go on…!


Nadeem ul Haq


Aamir Mateen

(Worked for Public News, Aap, 92, ARY, Nation, Dawn, News & BBC as Washington Correspondent)

Hameed Haroon

(CEO of the Dawn Media Group)

Jahangir Tareen

(Former Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan)

Muhammad Ziauddin

(Former Executive Editor)

Farhatullah Babar


Ishrat Hussain

(Advisor for Institutional Reforms and Austerity of Pakistan)

Saeed ul Zaman
 Speakers’ Opinion on I.A. Rahman
  • Arif Nizami was a multi-dimensional man and ace in every field he worked.
  • Arif Nizami was a wonderful guy. His analysis was extraordinary. He would give you an analysis that surprises you.
  • Arif Nizami touched the lives of many people; that’s why we call him a hero.
  • It is essential to remember what Arif Nizami contributed to journalism and Pakistan.
  • Arif Nizami was an iconic journalist who stood by independent and creative journalism.
  • He was more of a friend, comrade, and one of the best of his generations.
  • Arif Nizami gave everybody a right to express his commitment to professional journalism.

Nadeem ul Haque felt very proud to call him brother. As PIDE plays the role of a think tank of Pakistan, PIDE has made a point to celebrate personalities like him who contribute so much to Pakistan. Previously PIDE has celebrated I. A. Rehman, Asma Jahangir, and now Arif Nizami. PIDE organized this webinar to celebrate Arif Nizami’s life, to remember the person who set a high journalist standard. We have some of the best people here to celebrate his journey in life.

Aamir Mateen felt honored to know a man like Arif Sahab all of his professional life, but he also had the honor to work with the gem at The Nation for 12 years. He further added that he was not a typical editor owner; he studied journalism and then worked in this field with his family Nawa e Waqt then he started The Nation. He brought the revolution in the form of The Nation in the sense that there was no English newspaper in Lahore since partition apart from government’s Pakistan times and Dawn used to arrive next day. The Nation contributed to journalism in many ways, but Arif’s greatness never behaved like an owner; he always acted like a journalist. One of his most considerable credits was he broke the story of Benazir’s dismissal in 1990. He concluded by remembering the big names that came into this field because of Arif Nizami.

“Arif was one of the outstanding journalists/News commentators of his age. He was not a Uni-dimensional. His work in Urdu journalism prior to The Nation, his remarkable contribution in television and associations with bodies of press was tremendous.” Hameed Haroon. As a journalist, he had a great vision. His journalism was based on intimacy and personal contact with newspapers, which allowed him to work freely. Arif was unique in his respect; he was also a great news administrator and management person, and he proved he could extend it to digital media when he joined it later in his career. He demonstrated that he had a pioneer spirit as he started the newspaper from scratch. That gives Arif unique respect and standing in the field of journalism. Like Asma Jahangir, Arif was in some ways one of the last of these prominent pioneer personalities.

As Jahangir Tareen said, it was a great idea to organize this event in memory of Arif Nizami. We all dealt with him in different manners, in different ways. Then remembered him as a friend and recalled all the memories he shared with him. He didn’t appear to be a warm person, but he was an extremely warm person. He was a person with whom Tahreen shared his political feelings because he found him a more realistic person than him. He further added that he was such a strong man who lost his young son. It was such a traumatic time of his life while he was establishing The Nation. He continued his project with total energy and succeeded. He missed Arif with a heavy heart. He said, “Arif was a true professional. He really sometimes took big risks to stick with the truth and his legacy will live on”.

It is a significant loss to Muhammad Ziauddin. He was a great editor. He acknowledged Arif’s struggle when he started The Nation and introduced a progressive editorial policy in The Nation. As a person, he was a great company. Being a Lahore elite, his sources were fantastic, and he used them to come up with stories.

Farhatullah Babar thanked PIDE for adding him to a panel to celebrate a life of such a great personality. His acquaintance and friendship with Arif Nizami were at multiple levels. He was the founder of “The Nation ” under the banner of Nawa e Waqt, and it was his professional competency that he kept it different editorially. He said, “Ordinarily, the editor and proprietor can’t be the same person. It negatively impacts journalism, but he always spoke as a journalist to keep his editor’s side on top. He was the first person who left blank spaces in the newspaper to protest against censorship. He had a multi-dimensional personality”. He gathered a team of best people who worked for “The Nation,” which wasn’t easy at all. He gave everybody a right to express his commitment to professional journalism. He was a mechanist person both as a human being as well as a professional. He discussed multi-aspects rather than took decisions overnight. There was nothing he hadn’t done professionally, and he has never done anything without love and affection. His professionalism came from his profound association with the profession.

Ishrat Hussain said, “I am neither a journalist nor a friend of Arif Nizami but I am an admirer because the journalist community of Pakistan keeps him in a very high position.”  He wished that Pakistan had more journalist personalities like Arif. He was my mentor, and his interiority left a lasting impression on him. They worked together in BISP as an independent director. I never expected that he would approach things so expertly and analytically as a journalist. His comments left us speechless. As a great journalist of his time, few people know this work in BISP as a director. He wished that people learned so much from his life and made him a role model.

Tarique Segal remembered him as a very humble, kind, and witty person. Saeed ul Zaman was his childhood friend, and they grew up together. He said Arif always cared about his friends and tried to be there for everyone.

Yousuf Nizami thanked PIDE for organizing this event and said this is a considerable loss and left behind, which can’t be fulfilled. The best thing we can do for him is to continue his legacy, his work with the same commitment and professionalism.