A Tribute to
Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman


Some memories of Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman

One day while I was sitting in Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman's offices in Daily Jang in Karachi, there was as usual some protest procession outside the building and loud sloganeering could be heard. Mir Sahib kept trying quietly to hear the slogans for a while. Then, quite suddenly he turned to me and said: "Farhad Mian, do you know how all this began?" He then paused and in a rather emotional tone continued: "After the creation of Pakistan, when I arrived in Karachi from Delhi, I had nothing in my pocket. After wondering what to do for a few days I went to see my father-in-law in Wazirabad. I came back to Karachi with a loan of 5,000 rupees from him." At this point he fell silent again. "What you see today," he finally resumed, "is all because of those 5,000 rupees."

Setting up Pakistan's largest newspaper empire from a mere 5,000 rupees is in itself a remarkable feat. But what Mir Sahib, in his famous modesty, decided not to mention, was the contribution of his own overwhelming hard work which spanned more or less half a century and which he did not let up on even until his last breath, save perhaps the last few weeks of his life. His workday regularly began around 11 O'clock in the morning and continued till 11 or 12 at night, and often beyond that. During that time he spent his entire day reading letters (hundreds every day), meeting scores of people who came to see him, keeping an eye on circulation figures, setting the priorities of news headlines, conducting editorial meetings, looking after advertising revenues, answering congratulatory as well as threatening phone calls, and attending official and private gatherings. He was the ultimate combination of a dynamic owner and a complete editor.

I never worked in daily Jang or in any institution connected with it. But I have always considered Mir Sahib my teacher. And I was always in awe of his business acumen and his newspaper management skills. My contact with him was mostly through the All Pakistan Newspaper Society during which I had the chance to interact with him quite closely and understand him as well. It was because of his love and affection that I was honoured with the presidency of the APNS for two consecutive years, a singular honour for someone who has never himself owned a newspaper.

I can never forget that when Mir Sahib decided to bring out the weekly Akhbar-e-Jahan in the 1960s, he offered me the editorship of the paper through a message from the late Ibne Insha. I was at that point associated with Mashriq's Akhbar-e-Khawateen as its Chief Editor. Because of my commitment to Mashriq I declined the offer. Again when I left daily Hurriyet in 1976, I met Mir Sahib in Islamabad in the offices of Pir Ali Mohammad Rashidi. Mir Sahib took me out of the room and without any formalities told me, "I consider you my younger brother, you will only have to climb the Jang stairs, you can join Jang in any capacity you want." When Jang was about to be launched from Lahore, I was once again offered its editorship by Mir Sahib. But because of personal reason I could not benefit from any of these offers. I have mentioned these incidences only to point out that Mir Sahib never made my refusals a matter of ego for himself. And when the presidency of the APNS came up, he still supported me. There were some delicate issues that he had to tackle in doing so but it's a testament to the bigness of his heart that he kept merit his first priority under all circumstances.

In his Works Mao Tse Tung has written in one place that because a newspaper's message reaches far and wide unlike an individual's or a group's voice which remains restricted to a small circle of people, under adverse circumstances a newspaper is like a ship caught in a storm. The first and foremost responsibility is to protect the ship from being destroyed and being dashed against rocks. In Pakistan, where newspapers have remained pressurised by censors, press advices, advertising controls and numerous other constraints, Mir Sahib managed to successfully navigate the stormy waters for his publications and gave them financial stability and editorial credibility. He also spent a considerable amount of money on the most state-of-the-art technical facilities. It is a result of his untiring efforts that today Jang and the other institutions connected with it are respected as leaders in media.

Despite his considerable involvement, Mir Sahib was always ready to help others based on purely humanitarian considerations. I would like to recall here two examples where I had personally requested his help. A well-known trade union leader had brought a case to my notice wherein someone he knew had booked two shops in an under construction building. This man's entire payment - which came to some 10 lakh rupees - had been confiscated by the builder on the pretext that the man had not taken possession of the shops on time. The reality, however, was that the builder had sold the shops to some one else at a higher price. I convinced Mir Sahib that the builder was being unjust with the real owner of the shops. After this, not only however, was that the builder had sold the shops to some one else at a higher price. I convinced Mir Sahib that the builder was being unjust with the real owner of the shops. After this, not only did Mir Sahib remonstrate with the builder on the phone, but went with the buyer the very next day to the building's owner and got the man's entire investment returned to him.

The second instance was when the son of the advertising representative of a small newspaper had applied for a job with a government institution. But according to the father who related his woes to me, it was impossible to get a job there without paying three to four lakh rupees as bribery. I just mentioned this thing to Mir Sahib that this was a genuine case and that the young man should be helped. Mir Sahib immediately called up the head of the institution - in fact he kept calling for three consecutive days - only to say that the employment decision should be taken on merit. The result was that the young man got a job.

These instances are but a couple from the innumerable favours Mir Sahib did for needy people without any fanfare. I only realised the magnitude of his philanthropy after his death when I saw scores of poor men, widows and orphans shedding tears at his funeral. It was then I discovered that Mir Sahib used to support all of them on a regular basis.

Mir Khalil-ur-Rehman received a number of awards 
for his outstanding services 
in the  journalism.

  • 1978 -   Gold Mercury International Award, Mexico

  • 1983 -   Merchant Navy Officer Award

  • 1985 -   Writers Forum Award

  • 1985 -   Iqra Award

  • 1985 -   Baladi Award, the UAE

  • 1987 -   Nishan-e-Behbood

  • 1987 -   Pakistan Movement Award

  • 1987 -   Quaid-e-Azam National Award

  • 1988 -   Honorary degree of Ph D, Sri Lanka

  • 1989 -   Performance Award

  • 1989 -   Quli Qutub Shah Aalami Award 
                (given at International Urdu Conference), New Delhi.

  • 1990 -   Art International Award (Best editor-in-chief award), Dubai.

Mir Sahib also had a great sense of humour. When he was president of APNS, one of the meetings of our executive committee was held in Peshawar. There everybody made a plan to visit Torkham. We all boarded two coaster vans and with the Frontier Constabulary escorting us, headed out towards Torkham. This was the time of the Russian war in Afghanistan. Along the way I asked Mir Sahib what would happen if a Russian plane bombarded our convoy. Without missing a beat, Mir Sahib replied: "What else? Majeed Nizami will become the APNS president!" And with that Mir Sahib shared a hearty laugh with the other pressmen in the van.

Mir Sahib saw many ups and downs in his life, a life he had made himself, but even in the worst of circumstances he faced up to the challenges with equanimity and emerged successful. He is truly worthy of being called the Mir-e-Sahafat. If anything, Mir Sahib's life carried a very pertinent message for all Pakistanis. And that is if one sets oneself targets and struggles continuously for them with patience and dedication, one would never fail.

Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman's contribution to Sino-Pakistan relations

In the building up of edifice of Sino-Pakistan friendship in China, which has been the cornerstone of Pakistan's foreign policy since 1965, Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman's copious and factual reportage from the People's Republic of China, as a member of Pakistan's press delegation comprising a dozen eminent editors from East and West Pakistan, purveyed in Pakistan a better understanding of the aspirations and goals of the Chinese people under the leadership of Chairman Mao Tse Tung and Prime Minister Chou En Lai and their wish for closer relations with neighbouring Pakistan. At that time, the world was in the grip of the Cold War between the Soviet-led Communist Bloc of nations and the US-led anti-communist Bloc. Pakistan was then a member of pro-west military alliances such as the Central Treaty Organisation (CENTO) and the South East Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO). Their objective was to prevent the spread of communism in what the US considered were vulnerable part of the world, especially nations, which had won independence from European colonial rule in the recent past, such as Pakistan, India and Indonesia.

The nations, which joined SEATO and CENTO were expected by Washington not to encourage close contacts between their nationals and the communist-ruled States such as the People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union. The SEATO and CENTO had special committees for countering communist subversion in target areas.

The Government of Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan had shown courage in according recognition to the People's Republic of China in 1951 despite pressure from the USA not to do so. India and Britain had also recognisd the communist led regime in Beijing, which was in full control of Maoist China and its defeated rival, the Chiang Kai Shek Koumintang group had sought refuge in Taiwan. Washington had accorded recognition to the Chiang Kai Shek rump as the Government of China and prevented the Beijing regime from getting China's permanent seat in the UN Security Council. In such a scenario on the world's political chessboard, Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman acted courageously in going to China and reporting fearlessly in the Jang group of newspapers what he saw and heard in the People's Republic of China unmindful of the reprisals which the powers-that-be were capable of inflicting on independent-minded journalists and newspapers determined to tell the truth about the good work of the communist regime in China. Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman made up his mind in favour of following an independent line in reporting from China in the Jang Group of Newspapers during our train journey from Canton to Beijing. We had a long session on board the train with the famous Urdu left-wing poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz who was noted leader of the Pakistan Press Delegation. Pro-Moscow Faiz wrote some powerful poems during that train journey. Our Chinese hosts had arranged our tour of Canton, which included a visit to a Muslim shrine and mosque. We had seen with our own eyes that flies had disappeared from Canton following the Communist take over of China. We talked to the Chinese City officials who told us how sanitation had been vastly improved with the help of the people and the hard work of the health officers in the wake of the communist victory in China. Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman had come to the conclusion that as honest journalists we should tell the truth to the people of Pakistan about what the Mao Tse Tung regime had accomplished in China. From then onwards, the line followed by the Pakistani journalists uncovering the China tour was to report truthfully in what we had seen and learnt after some investigations and reading reports in the western media in the years when Washington's ally Chiang Kai Shek ruled China. Checking figures posed some difficulty but such hard facts as the exit of flies from Canton and the massive presence of students in schools under the regime's educational advancement and literacy campaigns needed no cross checking. We had witnessed the change with our own eyes.

Mir Sahib opted for telling the truth in his reportage to Pakistan and literally burnt the midnight oil in writing his dispatches from China for his newspapers in Pakistan and visited the cable and wireless offices to ensure the quickest transmission of his well-written and detailed reportage from China to the Jang Group in Pakistan. He also transmitted photographs of his China tour. Sending photos in those days via cable and wireless was not an easy task but Mir Sahib showed immense imagination in selecting good photographs for Pakistan. He had his own camera and flashlight.

The Chinese camera shops were prompt in giving him the photos very quickly. Chinese information Ministry officials were also very helpful in providing press photos of the daily events of the tour to the Pakistani journalists. For example, they furnished to the visiting Pakistani journalists excellent photographs of their interview with Prime Minister Chou En Lai in Beijing within an hour of the meeting. Mir Sahib was always very keen to inject his best photographs into his dispatches because they lent more evidence to what he wrote in his reportage. Mir Sahib was bold in putting questions to the Chinese leaders.

He showed respect for the good norms of journalism in eliciting information from the officials concerned. During our of visit to the historic city of Urumchi, capital of the Muslim-majority Sinkiang region, bordering with Pakistan, Mir Saheb talked to the Imam of the Mosque through a Chinese entrepreneur and got considerable information about the way of life of the Chinese Muslims under the Mao regime. We were more than convinced that they enjoyed religious freedom under the new regime.

The Governor of Sinkiang, Saifuddin Azizi, experienced his interest in visiting Pakistan, and in developing closer contacts with the Pakistani people. Mir Saheb gave full display in his write-up to the wish of the Sinkiang leader for an air service between Sinkiang and Pakistan. Six years later it became a reality when PIA began its China service. On our return to Pakistan, Mir Saheb raised the matter in a meeting with the Pakistani high-ups. On Mir Saheb's suggestion we spent some hours in exchanging views with the editorial staff of the largely circulating Ta Kung Pao Daily in Beijing. We learnt about the printing machinery in use in China and their news transmission facilities.

As we were the guests of the All Journalists Association, Mir Saheb met their office bearers and exchanged views on a number of matters of mutual interest. While visiting factories and other industrial establishments in China, Mir Saheb made particular inquiries about the provisions and measures for the workers' welfare and their wage structures and pension schemes. Of special interest to him for inclusion in his reportage to Pakistan were the incentives given to Chinese workers in industrial establishments for higher productivity.

I recall that he made it a point to visit the Beijing University to see how their experts had turned bamboos into water pipes so that Peking's scheme for countrywide piped water supply could be speedily implemented. At that time, this was of special interest to East Pakistan where bamboos are plentiful in the Sunderbans.

The Chinese scheme to expand medical facilities in the shortest possible time through the barefoot doctors were of considerable interest to Mir Saheb and he wrote about it

Pakistan remembers the icon of journalism with veneration
Mir Sahib's spryest way of journalism

On the morning of January 11, 1966, Pakistan's largest Urdu language newspaper Jang was the only newspaper which published eyewitness accounts and graphic details of the death of Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in Tashkent.

Shastri died just before midnight, a few hours after signing the historic Tashkent Declaration along with former president Mohammad Ayub Khan on January 10 at the end of a series of talks between the two arch rivals, who fought a fierce war in September 1965 on disputed occupied Kashmir.

Thanks to the founder of the newspaper, Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman Sahib, for giving second-to-second vivid picture of the scene surrounding the calamity-struck Indian camp, eyewitness account of the macabre sight and Pakistan delegation's heart-felt grief and condolences.

It was the former Editor-in-Chief's spryest way of journalism and extreme care for the readers that converted Jang into an institution to promote journalism, literacy, education, business, industry, sports, arts, culture, history, friendship and international relations.

In the early hours (because of time difference between Tashkent and Karachi) of January 11, 1966, Mir Sahib rang up the Jang office from Tashkent and finding no one rang up his wife at home to dictate a story on Shastri's death.

After hearing the telephone, she leapt from her bed, called driver and jumped into a car and asked the driver to take her to the homes of some senior sub-editors who had gone home after finalising the pages for print.

The sub-editors rushed straight towards the Press, which, after a final trial, had just started the printing of the historic Tashkent Declaration, but without the big news - the death of Shastri.

"Stop, Stop," vociferously shouted the sub-editors at stunned machine men repeatedly blinking eyes on seeing the senior sub-editors at the odd hours in the Daily Jang, the largest circulated Urdu language newspaper in Pakistan.

Within seconds, they darted towards the staircase and clambered on at an astonishing speed and went straight to the deserted news room, from where most of the staff members after completing the day's job, had gone home and a remainder exhausted few, with closed eyes relaxed on chairs, without caring for the big news coming on teleprinters of news agencies.

They went to the teleprinter of the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) ceaselessly ticking, printing and churning out the news of Shastri's death fed by Reuters, Associated Press, United Press International, Tass, AFP and PTI and other top news organisations of the world.

"We have reached our office," Mr Afzal Siddiqi, who was still gasping, told the APP's night shift incharge, Mohammad Ibrahim Khan, who frantically telephoned the Jang office to inform about the death of the Indian prime minister in Tashkent and a possibility of including the top news story of the day in the newspaper.

And in Pakistan, Mir Sahib dictated the eyewitness account from Tashkent and his impeccable efforts were conspicuous in the newspaper, which published Shastri's latest news from Tashkent and flooded the newspaper market first, while others were still strolling to bring out newspapers.

Without wasting a single second at the most crucial hour, the sub-editors on the instructions of Mir Sahib motivated each and every member of the staff, called in others who had gone home to bring out the newspaper, which left other newspapers miles behind.

Even under immense pressure, the calm and composed Mir Sahib worked and produced the best results. His high-clicking sixth sense worked at a fantastic speed.

"And don't forget to inform the hawkers," Mir Sahib told the staff and within minutes a number of staff, sufficient to produce the newspaper, reached the office and produced a newspaper that regaled its readers with almost all the news surrounding Shastri's death, the Declaration, Indo-Pakistan relations and reactions from important leaders of the world. Most of the other newspapers missed these important stories.

The two leading English-language newspapers of the day including Morning News, which had printed thousands of copies without the news of Shastri's death, withdrew most of the copes and reprinted a new edition.

And within no time, the Daily Jang was out of the press and thousands of hawkers scrambled to get the copy of the widely-read newspaper and with lightning speed, spread out in every nook and corner of the sprawling city of Karachi, vociferously shouting about the death and some other highlights.

It was the hawkers' day, who made huge money by selling a record number of newspaper copies in Karachi, nearby cities and in the far-flung areas as well.

The APP's night shift incharge (Mohammad Ibrahim Khan) had also informed other newspapers, but Jang, because of Mir Sahib's dynamism and superb sense of news, clearly beat others.

Mir Sahib worked as a catalyst and motivated the people to work harder and harder for long hours. Journalists always enjoyed working under Mir Sahib, who considered the readers' interest above his own interest.

He always embraced the work as a challenge and injected the same spirit into others working under him for one cause - the newspaper must present something unique and extraordinary as early as possible for its valued readers.

His great contributions towards journalism, literacy, politics, economy, social life, sports, culture and international relations and the development of the printing press industry as whole would be remembered for a long time.

He was always on the lookout for innovation. Under his supervision and guidance, Jang's sister publication, Daily News was the first English newspaper of Pakistan to be printed on the offset process. Till October 1963, when Daily News came out all the English papers were printed on letter press systems.

To print an English newspaper on offset process at the time was a big challenge since the mono photo composing machines in use for the offset system were comparatively slow and expensive because of the film used in the process.

Moreover, it was a two-stage process, first ammonia copies had to be taken out for proof reading and then after corrections the galleys on film which involved printing process in the dark room.

To cut it short and make the process economical, the Daily Jang, which is known in the newspaper industry for innovation, developed a process whereby prints of the matter were taken out on gelatin pasting on the copy direct, eliminating two steps of taking ammonia prints and then taking out copies on expensive film.

Thanks to the news process and offset printing, the Daily News was the brightest paper in the market for many years till the computerised composing and page making revolutionised the whole process.

Mir Sahib always kept a vigilant eye on employees and each and every item of the office and tried to cut down unnecessary expenses. But, at the same time he, as a philanthropist, gave huge cash to sick hawkers, workers, employees and sick people.

Because of his deep attachment with the newspaper, Mir Sahib just ignored hundred of invitations to visit foreign countries. He did not want to keep himself away from his dearest and closest friend Jang newspaper. He always thought and fought for the supremacy of Jang.

"Mir Sahib always enjoyed working for long hours," says the APP's night shift incharge Mohammad Ibrahim Khan, who was on duty on the night of January 10, 1966, and who got appreciation letters from Moshin Ali, Editor of the Morning News, Hamed Jalal, the then Administrator of the APP, Hasan Akhtar Gardezi, the then Incharge of the Central News Desk of the APP and others for telephoning high ups in the newspaper industry and forcing them to reprint the delayed editions of their newspapers with the news of Shastri's death, minus eyewitness account.

Born on July 19, 1921, Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman, the icon of journalism, commenced his career as a journalist in 1941.

His hard work, dedication, patriotism and above all national interest steered and elevated Jang to its present position.

Mir Sahib built the Jang institution in Pakistan from scratch as he lost almost everything in New Delhi after fanatic anti-Muslim Hindus rioters burned his press in 1947.

Speed with accuracy was the hallmark of the father of journalism in Pakistan, Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman, who died on January 25, 1992, after successful launch of The News International from Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and London, a year earlier.

Mir Sahib as I remember him

Some people are different - no doubt. But some are similar. I can't say much about common people but it is unmistakably true of people who are known as great. You find them simple at heart, true, industrious, straightforward, modest, fair and considerate. Traits of greatness are mostly common. Proverbially they think alike in reality, they also act in a similar manner. Sometimes very strikingly so. We normally cannot differentiate bad from worse. Not easy. But distinguishing good from bad or great from commonplace is comparatively easy. Simple. It takes little wisdom to tell a skyscraper from single storeyed buildings. About great men it is even easier. They not only stand shoulders high than others, they are also bright and clear. Like objects of pure crystal. You can feel the warmth of their hearts and purity of their souls at their faces. Open books. Anybody can read them. Only if he knows how to read. Doors are only closed where there is something to be hidden from others.

Mir Sahib was, as I saw him, simple and clear. Not only that he had almost all the traits that great men commonly have, he was straightforward and fair, true of his work, industrious and considerate. Starting from merely nothingness and yet achieving such a marvelous success may not be impossible but not easy either. Out of millions only one or two reach such heights. If asked what made this possible for Mir Sahib I will say his being true to his cause. This is what made Mr Jinnah the Quaid-i-Azam and Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman - the founder of such a great organisation like the Jang Group. He openly told people that his work was his life. "You take away my work from me, I'll cease to be," he used to say. While in Karachi you will see him on his working table as early as a common worker could come. No lunch breaks normally. Even when forced by repeated calls from home, he would return to office as early as possible. Then sit at his table till at least 11 at night. And would leave for home only to remain awake and constantly in touch with the newsroom as long as the last copy would go to the press. He would go to bed only after having seen the paper of that day which was sent to him direct from the press. To keep such a routine for years and years is, by no means, an easy task. It is difficult and takes very strong sense of commitment and responsibility.

As they say all are equal in the eyes of law, all Mir Sahib's workers were equal before him. It was their work not designation, which made the difference. You were important to him if honest and dedicated. He would not be impressed with hollow words or high-flown styles. Like all other great men, he tried his best to give a personal touch to his office relationship with his subordinates.

Whenever you came across him he would say salam to you before you could do so. Remaining concerned about their welfare and participating in moments of their happiness and grief was very important to him. People have seen him canceling appointments with important persons to attend, for example, marriage ceremony of a staff member, irrespective of his designation in the office. On the opening of the offices after Eid, he never missed to say Eid Mubarak and embraced each & every member of his staff., for which he had to walk from room to room & floor to floor. Such were the good habits that made Mir Sahib so special to us, to every worker of his esteemed organisation.

You can say he had a very keen eye - a precious gift from God. He could immediately recognise true from false. He trusted in honesty and disliked pretenders. Putting veils and barriers between him and his subordinates was also not his way of doing things. He believed in direct personal contact. It provided him with first hand knowledge about the people around him and true picture of the atmosphere in the office.

Quality of work was his utmost priority. Here he did not make compromises. He could not be deceived by artificialties. Similarly, it was impossible to argue with him when you had really done some thing wrong. It offended him greatly. He would say, if you have made a mistake don't try to aggravate your position by trying to prove yourself right. Confess your mistake and try to correct it. Yes, working with him was demanding and working directly under him was even more so.

Petty business and engagements could not keep you away from your work. He used to advise us in office meetings, "if you want to work with me try to work as selflessly as I myself do; if not possible better change your place". So simple and straight.

As it is very rightly said, it is not easy for people (like me) to relate adequately the attributes of towering personalities (like Mir Sahib) and that too in a short write up. All what we can and do is a humble effort to pay tribute which may not be at par with the personality concerned. It is usually for our own satisfaction in a way. Mir Sahib was a man of such a high stature that we can say only a part of what should have been related.

I believe great men can only be remembered according to our limited capacity. They can never be exalted according to the actual parameters and dimensions of their greatness. We also remember them so that we don't lost sight of their footprints on the sands of time.

We remember them because we need their examples for our guidance and hope. Because...

"Sun & stars shine equally bright even if a single eye is not cast on them or a single word uttered to adore them."

Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman's nursery of budding writers

The founding father of Jang Group Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman used to tell his colleagues and other members of the creative staff that the prime responsibility of the print media is to educate and inform people about the happenings, inventions and innovations, and encourage the youngsters to contribute their thought-provoking articles for general benefit.

Veteran journalist, prominent writer and noted critic Shafi Aqeel joined Daily Jang, Karachi in May 1950, when the largest circulated Urdu newspaper was in its formative stage.

Shafi Aqeel a seeker of knowledge was given the yeoman responsibility of editing the children's page with the masthead of "Naunehal League".

It is heartening to note here that some of the greatest achievers in various walks of life in the country started their creative journey from "Naunehal League". Those luminaries include former Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Syed Sajjad Ali Shah, senior serving Judge of the apex court Rana Bhagwandas, celebrated playwright Haseena Moeen (writer of popular TV serials like Ankahi, Tanhaiyaan, Dhoop Kinare, Uncle Urfi etc), poets and writers including Ubaidullah Aleem, Mohsin Bhopali, Rashida Rizvi, Mustansar Hussain Tarar, Athar Shah Khan, Naseem Durrani, Afsar Azar, Naeem Arvi, Ali Zafar Jafri, Abdul Qayyum Shad, Ghazi Salahuddin, Anwar Shaoor, Qamar Ali Abbasi, prominent broadcaster Raza Ali Abdi (BBC Urdu Service "Journaili Sarak" fame) Khalida Shafi, Iffat Gul Aezaz, Naushaba Siddiqui (prominent educationist), Mohammad Umar Memon (now Dr Mohammad Umar Memon), Talat Wizarat, Saadia Siddiqui, Rashid Zafar, Nasreen Habib, Feroza Jaffer, Anwar Ahsan Siddiqui, Yunus Sharar, Ghulam Mohiuddin, Fazal Ilahi Bahar, Sami Anwar, Rizwan Siddiqui, Shaiqul Khairi, Sahar Roomani, Yunus Hamdam, Ajmal Aejaz, Ateequllah Shaikh, Ghufran Imtiazi, Qadeer Ghausi and others (because of paucity of space it is not possible to write their names here).

Replying to a question Shafi Aqeel said that Mir Sahib who was a successful businessman, used to keep himself abreast of every development in the paper and he used to encourage and extend his support to every constructive suggestion. In order to polish the creative abilities of the contributors of "Naunehal League" a platform "Bazm-e-Nau Aamoz Musannafeen" was established in which prominent fiction writer Afsar Azar served as President and celebrated storywriter Naseem Durrani as Secretary. While he (Shafi Aqeel) was made the advisor and guide.

The biggest breakthrough was made by motivating and commending the contributions of the members in "Naunehal League". The children's page was 'Jang' regular feature on every Sunday.

Since the printing industry had not made sufficient progress in the subcontinent in those days, the front and back page of Sunday edition was printed in colour in blocks printing in 1950s. Every week the pictures of the members of "Naunehal League" were published that generated tremendous interest among the youngsters to write good pieces in order to get them published in most popular section of the newspaper whose circulation was increasing every week.

Shafi Aqeel said that he used to take with him the regular members of "Naunehal League" in the meetings of "Anjuman-e-Tarraqi Urdu Library", which was at that time situated at Pakistan Chowk, very near to Mir Sahib's house. Celebrated literary personalities of Pakistan including Abul Asar Hafeez Jalundhry (creator of Qaumi Tarana), Zulfikar Ali Shah (ZA) Bukhari (former Director General of Radio Pakistan), popular Columnists Majeed Lahori and Shaukat Thanvi, famous poets Mahirul Quadri, Sirajuddin Zafar, Ibne Insha, Mahsar Badayuni, Adeeb Saharanpuri, Athar Nafees, Karrar Noori, Sehba Akhtar and Akhtar Ansari Akbarabadi used to attend these literary sessions to enlighten the above mentioned budding writers of "Naunehal League" of Jang.

Under the kind patronage of Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman, the children page became the widest read section of any newspaper in Pakistan, since the budding writers used to get feedback from their near and dear ones as well as friends and well-wishers.

Being incharge of the student section, Shafi Aqeel was well known as "Bhai Jan" of Naunehal League, a motivator, a guide and above all a friend.

Due to tremendous interest generated by Jang among children, it was not possible to cover the increasing activities of the students in "Naunehal League". Monthly "Bhai Jan" was launched in 1951, with Shafi Aqeel as its incharge and Mir Jamil-ur-Rahman, younger brother was its Chief. Prominent Art Director, B A Najmi (Jang's cartoonist) was also associated with new organ. The first edition of "Bhai Jan" was published in June that year.

The most respected writers of Pakistan including Abdul Majid Salik, Maulana Mahirul Quadri, Ishrat Rehmani, Intisar Hussain, Mahsar Badayuni and noted intellectual and joint editor Jang Syed Mohammad Taqi used to regularly contribute their articles and poems for Bhai Jan.

"Bhai Jan", became an instant success, as Shafi Aqeel revealed that in order to meet the demand two editions of the inaugural edition were published.

Apart from the readers, noted writers of the "Land of the Pure" had welcomed "Bhai Jan". However, "Bhai Jan's publication ceased after about twelve years, due to some technical difficulties.

The flowers (writers) - nurtured in Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman's nursery - are dominating in radio, television and print media nowadays.

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