Glowing tributes paid to Minhaj Burna
By Zakir Hassnain
PESHAWAR: Journalists, employees associated with newspaper industry and people from various walks of life paid tributes to Minhaj Burna, a legend in journalism who always struggled for the rights of working journalists and press freedom.
Tributes were paid to the late journalist at a condolence reference organised by Khyber Union of Journalists (KhUJ) at Peshawar Press Club on Monday.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Information Mian Iftikhar Hussain said late Burna had progressive thinking and believed in social justice in society. Iftikhar said Burna struggled all his life for the rights of working journalists and labour class.
“People only with good and clean character are always remembered,” said the information minister. He said people should follow Burna’s character. Iftikhar said all newspaper owners were not the same adding some exploited their employees while others gave them their rights. The information minister said the government would fight against owners sucking the blood of their employees. He said there were good journalists and there were bad journalists like politicians. Iftikhar praised journalists and politicians that struggled for the restoration of democracy. He said struggle against cruelty and social injustices would continue.
Paying tributes to the legendary journalist who was a role model for journalists and trade unionists, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) President Shaukat Parvez said the rulers, who struggled alongside journalists for the restoration of democracy, were today supporting newspaper owners after being in power. Shaukat said Burna, who died on January 14, 2011 at the age of 85, founded All Pakistan Newspaper Employees Confederation (APNEC). The PFUJ president said 63 journalists were killed in bomb blasts and target killing for unveiling truth. He said the democracy that we had today was due to journalists’ sacrifices. Shaukat said none of the newspaper owners went to jail for the freedom of press.
The PFUJ president said a large number of journalists were deprived of their salaries and their families were faced with starvation. PFUJ General Secretary Shamsul Islam Naz criticised newspaper owners for always supporting dictatorship while Burna fought against dictators. “He did a lot for the welfare and rights of working journalists,” said Naz.