Glowing Tributes Paid to the Late Mr Qutubuddin Aziz at Book-Relaunching Ceremony
By Sheher Bano
“Pakistan doesn’t need to look towards the West to devise its system of governance, the life of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is a complete guidance for a system which should be adopted in an Islamic country like Pakistan.”
This was stated by Senator Raja Zafarul Haq, Chairman Pakistan Muslim League (N) and the leader of the house in the Senate, on the occasion of the re-launching of a book of former diplomat, journalist, ex-chairman of the National Press Trust and author of 20 books, the late Mr Qutubuddin Aziz. The book “The Prophet of Islam: A blessing to Mankind”, was re-launched at a local hotel by Mr Aziz’s family, in compliance of his last will.
Spotlighting the contents of the book, Raja Zafarul Haq said that its lucid language (English) makes it a perfect document to be made available to the entire world so that a true image of Islam could reach people in an international language. He promised to ask the government in Islamabad to arrange the official distribution of the book in other countries of the world.
Ex-Governor Sindh and former federal Interior Minister, Lt General Moinuddin Haider, informed the participants that he had met the late Mr Qutubuddin Aziz in London at the Pakistan Embassy for the first time and the discussion that followed about the Quaid-i-Azam and Pakistan, testified that the late Mr Aziz was a patriotic Pakistani.
Addressing a fully packed hall, he said that Qutubuddin Aziz played an active role in propagating Pakistan’s ideology in an effective manner in all countries where he was posted as a diplomat. “He was a true voice of Pakistan,” he declared.
Mr Aziz’s youngest brother, Khalidul Aziz, a businessman, informed that after the 1971 war with India, the then President of Pakistan Z A Bhutto, had sent Qutubuddin Aziz to the USA, to campaign for the release of the Pakistani POWs. As expected, Aziz met 32 senators of the American Congress and this put extreme pressure on India, which ultimately released the Pakistani POWs.
Chairmen Avari Hotels and Towers, Byram D Avari, who was a close friend of Mr Aziz, appreciated the fact that besides Muslims, he always gave importance to minorities living in Pakistan and considered them as patriotic Pakistanis as Muslims. He said that the celebration of the life and works of the late Mr Qutubuddin Aziz is the best way to pay tributes to the services of a “true Pakistani.”
Some other dignitaries who spoke on the occasion included Senator Dr Abdul Qayyum Soomro, a parliamentarian and Special Advisor to Chief Minister of Sindh on Religious Affairs and Auqaf; MNA Dr Farooq Sattar; Secretary, Sindh Education Department, Fazlullah Pichoho; former ambassador Mehdi Masood; former law minster Mir Nawaz Khan Marwat; former Director Quaid-i-Azam Academy, Dr Shehla Kazmi; CEO of Royal Book Company and publisher of Qutubuddin Aziz’s books, Jamshed Mirza; TV anchor Faeza Dawood and others. The participants were also shown some clips of interviews given By Mr Aziz to some private channels during his lifetime about Quaid-i-Azam and Pakistan.
Samina Iqbal Qasim, the elder daughter of Mr Aziz, told the audience that her father always said: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”.
Sheher Bano, a senior journalist working for The News and President of The News Employees Union (CBA), who conducted the program, also spoke on the occasion. In her tribute to the distinguished Pakistani, she observed: “Qutubuddin Aziz has done his share of work by writing more than 20 books and penning down hundreds of articles, besides serving in the government and propagating the cause of Pakistan. Now it is high time that the government should announce an Award for Mr Aziz posthumously. This will be the best way to pay tribute to a legend and a patriotic Pakistani and acknowledge his services for Pakistan and its people.”
Fariha Khan, Mr Aziz’s daughter, talked about her father’s ideology and recalled some of his time spent in the United Kingdom. She also shared a collection of memorable photographs and messages that she had received from Mr Aziz’s friends.
Besides a large number of local and foreign diplomats, academicians, educationists, researchers, politicians, businessmen, and senior bankers, some of the dignitaries who attended the function included minister for local bodies Jam Khan Shoro who is also the neighbor of Mr. Qutubuddin Aziz, Mr. J.T Kennedy from US Consulate Cultural Affairs, Senator Nihal Hashmi, Mirza Ikhtiar Baig, Azad bin Haider, Moin Fudda, Honorary Consul General of New Zealand in Pakistan; Abdullah Dadabhoy and Khursheed Alam from Mostamar Alam e Islami, Sirajuddin Aziz CEO Metropolitan Bank, Hakeem Usman from Hamdard, Sardar Yaseen Malik, chairman of Commonwealth Association of Pakistan along with Mr . Shahid Mohiuddin and Syed Masroor Ali, Cricket Board’s ex-selector Iqbal Qasim, former sports chief of Habib Bank Abdul Raqeeb, Sports Consultant of National Bank of Pakistan, Ghulam Muhammad, prominent social and educational figure Azmatullah Khan and others.
In the end, Samina Iqbal Qasim, Fariha Khan and Anila Ali, the three daughters of the late Mr Qutubuddin Aziz, presented his book, “The Prophet of Islam: A Blessing to Mankind” to the chief guest Senator Raja Zafarul Haq. Copies of the book were also distributed among the participants.