Journalist icon Arif Nizami passes away

By: News Desk      Published: 02:21 PM, 21 Jul, 2021
Journalist icon Arif Nizami passes away
File photo.

Veteran journalist and former caretaker federal minister for information and postal service, and first CEO of 24NewsHD TV channel Arif Nizami passed away on Wednesday in Lahore.

Babar Nizami, the nephew of Pakistan Today Editor and founder, and former Editor of Daily The Nation Arif Nizami confirmed the news. He said the veteran journalist was under treatment at a private hospital for the last three weeks after he had suffered a heart attack.

Following the attack, he was shifted to the ICU, but he could not recover from it and breathed his last Wednesday.

His funeral was held at Allah-o-Akbar Mosque in Defence. He was laid to rest at Miani Sahib Graveyard in Lahore.

Arif Nizami had served as a caretaker federal minister in former caretaker prime minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso's cabinet back in 2013. He was the son of Hameed Nizami, the founder of Nawa-i-Waqt Group of Newspapers. He was also elected as president of the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE.) 

Arif Nizami was almost 70 years old. He relinquished his duties as Editor of daily The Nation following his differences with his uncle, late Majid Nizami who was the managing editor and chief executive of the family-operated Nawa-i-Waqt Group of Newspapers. Arif Nizami was a partner and director of the Nawa-i-Waqt media group.

He parted ways with his uncle late Majid Nizami and founded his own newspaper with the name of Pakistan Today in 2010. 

In 2015, Arif Nizami joined 24News TV channel. He used to host a political talk show “Debate News Analysis”. He also conducted political talk shows on other news channels including Samaa and 92 News. 

On his demise, condolences and tributes started pouring in both from political and social spheres on social media and news channels. 

President Alvi 

President Arif Alvi expressed his condolences and grief over the passing away of Arif Nizami. He said that the late journalist’s invaluable services to the field of journalism would always be remembered. The president prayed for the forgiveness of his soul and also prayed that Almighty may grant peace and patience to the bereaved family. 

PM Imran Khan 

Prime Minister Imran Khan, reacting to the journalist's death, said: "Saddened to learn of the passing of veteran journalist, editor, and political commentator Arif Nizami."

Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa 

 Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa expressed his heart-felt condolences on the demise of Arif Nizami praying for the departed soul. 

The ISPR tweeted quoting the Army Chief on wednesday: General Qamar Javed Bajwa, COAS, expresses heartfelt condolences on the sad demise of senior journalist Arif Nizami. “May Allah bless his soul and give strength to the bereaved family to bear this irreparable loss, Ameen”, COAS.

Asif Ali Zardari Former President

Former President Asif Ali Zardari Wednesday expressed his deep heart condolence over the death of senior journalist Arif Nizami.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman said he was saddened to hear the passing of Arif Nizami.

Zardari prayed Almighty Allah for mercy on the deceased and give strength to the bereaved family of him.

Shehbaz Sharif 

PML-N President and Opposition leader in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif expressed his condolences on the sad demise of Arif Nizami saying with his death, an era of old school journalism has come to an end. 

He said in a tweet on Wednesday: “Deeply shocked to learn that Arif Nizami is no more and with him an era of old school journalism has come to an end. As a journalist, editor and anchor, he was second to none. May Allah rest his soul in peace!

Bilawal Bhutto

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also expressed profound condolences over the sad demise of Arif Nizami. He prayed for the departed soul. "My condolences and prayers go to his family," he added.

Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed said he was saddened to hear about Nizami's demise, adding that it was a "personal loss" for him.

"May Allah has mercy on the deceased," he added.

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said he had a long relationship with Arif Nizami. "His father and my grandfather struggled together for Pakistan."

"He was just like a family elder for me," he added.

Punjab Chief Sardari Usman Buzdar also expressed heartfelt condolences over sad demise of Arif Nizami. “His death has created such a vacuum in Pakistan which is very hard to fill,” he added.

Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab said Nizami was an icon in the field of journalism and had always preferred substance over sensationalism.

"May Allah Ta’ala bless his soul & give strength to the bereaved family," the spokesperson added.

Najam Sethi, Salim Bokhari, Naseem Zehra and Ahmad Walid 

Senior journalists who worked with Arif Nizami in 24NewsHD including Najam Sethi, Salim Bukhari, Naseem Zehra and Ahmad Walid expressed their heart-felt grievances and condolences.

The veteran journalists declared Mr Nizami a topnotch and ace journalist. They said that he always raised his voice against dictatorship. The news stories which he would break were always very important, huge and credible and they would never prove wrong. 

They were of the opinion that the demise of Arif Nizami was a gigantic loss to journalism. 

Sherry Rehman 

PPP Senator Sherry Rehman expressed her grievance on Nizami’s death saying that his passing away symbolizes the end of an era. She said that he was one of the finest journalists who struggled in Pakistan for all the things he believed in.

She tweeted: Devastated that old friend, colleague and pillar of Pakistani journalism, Arif Nizami has passed away. His passing symbolises the end of an era! He was from an old guard who sacrificed for principles and never shied from telling bald truths to power. Heart goes out to his family. 

She further wrote: Cannot believe he’s gone. Arif had been in ICU for over a week. One of the finest journalists who struggled in Pakistan for all the things he believed in. Always had time for the powerless and the voiceless. Nothing will be the same without him. May he rest in peace.

Maleeha Lodhi 

Former Pakistan Ambassador at the UN in New York and Ambassador to US and UK and veteran journalist Maleeha Lodhi expressed her sorrow on Nizami’s death. She said she was saddened to hear the tragic news of his passing away terming it Pakistan’s loss. 

In her tweet, Maleeha wrote: Really saddened to hear this tragic news. Arif was a dear friend, a distinguished journalist and a wonderful human being. His passing away is Pakistan’s loss. May he rest in peace. Ameen. Veteran journalist Arif Nizami passes away in Lahore.

CPNE 

The Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) also expressed its profound sorrow and grief on the sad demise of veteran journalist Arif Nizami who, it said, was one of Pakistan’s most prominent media personalities.