Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Muhammad Sarwar - True Pakistani Ambassador

Muhammad Sarwar - True Pakistani Ambassador
Dr Shabir Choudhry 8 January 2012

Mohammed Aslam, Chief Editor of ‘Liberty International’ asked me many times to write a short piece on Muhammad Sarwar to appreciate his remarkable contribution to journalism; and what he has done to enhance the image of Pakistan in Britain and Europe. In his view Muhammad Sarwar is a true soldier of Pakistan who wants to see a stable, democratic and prosper Pakistan that can make positive contribution in world affairs; and help to eradicate culture of violence, extremism, communalism and hatred.

I agree with him, Muhammad Sarwar is a man with a mission. Despite ill health and meagre resources he works more than fourteen hours a day to accomplish his mission. His mission is to promote and protect interest of Pakistan and Islam; and this task is extremely difficult because there are powerful internal and external forces working against Pakistan and Islam.

Muhammad Sarwar is from the biggest and most disturbed city of Pakistan – Karachi, which is also economic backbone of Pakistan. After completing Masters from the Karachi University he joined famous Urdu daily ‘Nawa e Waqt’; and soon made his presence felt in the journalist community. Because of his skills, dedication and hard work more than one news paper wanted to benefit from his talent, but he chose to become News Editor of daily ‘Masawaat’.

Owners of the biggest media empire Jang Group of Newspapers do not like his rival papers to pose challenge to his dominance; and Muhammad Sarwar’s talent, public relations skills and news making abilities were becoming a major threat to his empire. So very wisely they decided to employ him and use his talent to advance their agenda. Muhammad Sarwar turned down very lucrative offer, but persistent efforts eventually won him over and he was requested to become a News Editor of Jang London.

This is where I first met Muhammad Sarwar. He was the News Editor of most popular and effective Urdu daily paper, and I went to see him in his London office. I was Secretary General of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front at that time; and because the Kashmir dispute was not commercialised at that time we always had problem in getting appropriate media coverage for our activities.

I found Muhammad Sarwar polite, friendly and accommodating. He spoke softly but chose his words carefully. He assured me that he would provide appropriate media coverage to our political activities. However, he cautioned me to ensure that we did not do anything against Pakistan, because his loyalty was with Pakistan and not Jammu and Kashmir. I said to him that we were well wishers of Pakistan and would not do anything against state of Pakistan; and added that we wanted help and support of Pakistani brothers.

Muhammad Sarwar honoured his words and provided us and other Kashmiri political activists appropriate coverage in his paper. This service he continues to do to date, despite competing interests and indomitable pressure from various powerful groups. The Kashmiri groups in Britain and Europe and the Kashmir cause has benefited from abilities, skills and the services of Muhammad Sarwar; but we people of Jammu and Kashmir have not been able to reciprocate, or at least, appreciate his services rendered in promotion of the Kashmir cause.

As a News Editor of the Jang London, he enhanced its reputation, improved quality of news and made his readers better informed. A number of challenges were made by powerful rival papers but none could compete effectively. After taking the Jang London to new heights, Muhammad Sarwar said good -bye to Jang and undertook a new project of starting the first electronic media known as TV Asia; and became its Director Current Affairs.

When TV Asia was up and running as a successful business enterprise he decided to return to print media, and became Chief Editor and Publisher of ‘Nation’. Nation, as a newspaper has provided extremely valuable service to the Asian community living in Britain. As a patriot Pakistani and a true Ambassador of Pakistan he advanced interest of Pakistan in places where it mattered.

Apart from that he has made strenuous efforts to promote culture of peace, harmony, toleration and coexistence among different ethnic communities living in Britain. He sincerely served all ethnic minorities, and encouraged them to live in Britain in peace and harmony; and respect law of the land by making positive contribution to the British society.

Not only he provides space to different religious sects and promotes Islam positively; he also provides space to those who want to advance cause of liberal, democratic and secular ideals. He positively advanced the cause of people of Jammu and Kashmir; and very boldly said Kashmir belongs to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and only they are entitled to decide its future.

Furthermore he said, apart from Kashmiris, people of Pakistan and India are also suffering because of the Kashmir dispute; and it is only appropriate that it should be resolved according to the wishes of the people that there can be peace and friendship between India and Pakistan.

When it was considered treacherous to present view point of India on the issue of Kashmir, or publish views of pro Indian Kashmiris he had courage to publish their views despite strong opposition and criticism. His view was that there are three parties to the Kashmir dispute, namely India, Pakistan and the people of Jammu and Kashmir; and he wanted his readers to know all three view points and make informed judgements.

Muhammad Sarwar has excellent public relations skills and his networking is second to none. He has very big circle of friends in all walks of social and political life. People in field of journalism highly regard his courage, skills, intellect and dedication; but there are some powerful people who want to end his journalistic career by forcing him to close down ‘Nation’, which he has nourished like his baby.

Despite all tactics and pressures of his opponents he has, on his own and without any financial support, survived in this field with honour and pride for so long; and without having any scandals to his paper or his name. He is not only regarded as a leading Asian journalist; but also admired as a true thinker, analyst and scholar. In many public meetings and conferences, especially meetings of political nature he is invited as a key note speaker that people can benefit from his wisdom and experience.

Mohammed Aslam, Chief Editor of ‘Liberty International’ commented: ‘Muhammad Sarwar is a journalistic genius. He is the biggest, most efficient and influential Asian journalist in Britain. He is a true Ambassador of Kashmir and Pakistan; and has done far more than Pakistani diplomats stationed in Britain have done for Pakistan and the Kashmir dispute.’

In conclusion I may add that Muhammad Sarwar can be a true soldier of Pakistan, and he may be a true Ambassador of Pakistan as well. I can agree that he is a sincere and dedicated man and would not compromise on his principles. I can also agree that he may be a genius in his field; but he must understand that lone warriors do not win wars. He needs to build a team and an institution that others can also make some contribution to his cause.
Writer is Director Diplomatic Committee of Kashmir National Party, political analyst and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir View:

1 comment:

Mediation Experts said...

Hope all the Three nations involved in the Dispute arrive at a solution & end the tension in the region.