are naturally similar in many ways. The difference lies
in their way of thinking and their behaviour while facing
the problems of life. This is where I find Mir saheb
taller than others - much taller.
I had come to Karachi only a few days ago from Iran
when someone advised be to contact Mir saheb for a job.
So one afternoon I visited his office and inquired about
him at the reception. Upon my request to meet him they
contacted him on the phone and directed me to the floor
where his office was situated. I went there and took
a seat as told. He was very busy that day, so I was
allowed in at about eight in the evening.
After the long wait, the moment I entered his office
he asked me what it was that I wanted. My answer was
brief and I straightforwardly told him that I needed
After viewing a brief resume of my past experience,
he called in the editor and told him to give me work
according to my capability. That's when I first got
a glimpse of his kind personality. This is because bosses
are normally reluctant in taking new comers with confidence
and more so while assigning them a responsible position
but he never hesitated in taking this novel step.
Another aspect of his personality that I'll always remember
was his appreciation of sincere effort. Everybody makes
mistakes - specially in the beginning - so did I. He
used to take serious notice of this and at times also
used quite harsh words while asking why it happened
but never mistook the explanation offered. He got upset
only when a person did not admit his fault or tried
to blame it on to others. He believed that if an employee
made a mistake and did not admit it then such a person
was prone to making more and bigger mistakes in future.
Mir saheb gave us full liberty to work but expected
responsible behaviours in return. He always told us
that a person who does not shoulder his responsibility
is not fit for a responsible job.
Mir saheb appreciated hard workers and was a good guide
but his employees had to be at the tip of their toes
to benefit from it. My nature of work required me to
go to his room many times a day. Therefore, I had the
opportunity of observing his way of tackling different
No doubt he looked strict at the first glance but in
reality he was a very soft, considerate and sympathetic
person who knew the art of winning hearts. We often
saw him traveling long distances just to attend social
ceremonies of his subordinates, quite late in the night.
Anybody who knew him, knew that work was his foremost
priority. That's why he was always reluctant to accompany
government dignitaries on their tours abroad. However,
whenever he had to go he was received with great honour,
as a torch bearer of the Pakistani press.
In spite of such high stature, at heart he was very
simple and God fearing person. Greeting his subordinates
before they could do so was his common practice. At
both the Eids he would go from room to the other to
wish his employees and workers and kept this lovely
tradition alive as long as he lived.
Although strict and well disciplined he seldom imposed
his opinion on others. Lesser interference in his employees'
work seemed to be his motto. I don't remember a single
occasion when he got something published without informing
and taking the concerned desk into confidence. His usual
directives read 'publish' if the story was appropriate
to be published. Further, at work both the juniors and
seniors were treated alike so much so that a senior's
opinion was superseded by a junior's if the latter's
point of view convinced him more.
As far as my relationship with him is concerned, it
appeared to me more human than professional. That gave
me a great feeling of closeness - an honour to be cherished
by me for the rest of my life. Despite my shortcomings
and faults, he is very close to my heart. He was my
boss, no doubt, but I took him as an elderly friend
- a very sincere friend. Occasionally, it makes me feel
a bit concerted too but there are things in our life
that we can't help. I always go to his grave, sometimes
with my office colleagues and sometimes alone. The truth
is that I feel much more comfortable when there is nobody
else except me. I pray for him from the core of my heart
and wish for him a high place in the heavens under the
shadow of the blessings of the Almighty. When I have
always felt that Mir saheb loved me like a father then
how can love him just like a subordinate? It is difficult
for one to scale down the dimensions and magnitude of
the true affection that Mir saheb showered on us throughout
When Mir saheb fell ill and was unable to come to office
- we were told to pray for his health. For two three
days I kept myself from going to his residence to see
him personally because that it could have disturbed
him. But I wasn't able to help it for long and one morning
I went to his residence. I asked the gate keeper to
go in and inform Mir saheb that I wished to see him.
Those 10-15 minutes that the man took in coming back
hanged heavy on me but finally I was allowed to go in
and wait for him in a room. I sat in the room with a
heavy heart and after a while I finally heard the sound
of his feet on the staircase which alarmed me. He was
coming down slowly leaning against the railing. I was
shocked and felt great sorrow for him. I immediately
apologised for the trouble but he said that it was alright.
Walking with difficulty he entered the room and fell
on the sofa in front of me. I trembled all over with
a deep sense of guilt. Mir saheb sensing my condition
said, "now as you have come, have a cup of tea
before leaving." So I had tea with him. However,
those were very hard moments for me. After that I asked
his permission to leave. He waived his hand while lying
on the sofa and asked me to pray for him. With a heart
filled with grief I bade him good bye and walked out.
People come and go but men like Mir saheb are cherished
and remembered for a long time to come, while their
examples keep guiding through the ages. May God rest
him in peace (Ameen).