Tributes and condolences poured in as soon as the news of senior journalist Muhammad Ziauddin’s passing broke out on Tuesday with many describing him the “pioneer of economic journalism” and how his death would leave an irreparable void in the Pakistani media.
The veteran columnist passed away at the age of 83 after a prolonged illness in Islamabad. During his illustrious career spanning over 60 years, Ziauddin had worked extensively for almost all major newspapers of the country including The Muslim, The News, Dawn and The Express Tribune.
People belonging to various walks of life including the journalist fraternity, politicians and government officials expressed sorrow over the sad demise and paid tribute to his contributions to journalism.
Senator Mushahid Hussain, while speaking to The Express Tribune, said he knew Ziauddin since the days of ‘The Muslim’ and found the seasoned writer an outstanding economic journalist and a thorough professional, “who was among the first to do serious and substantive economic analyses with a sharp analytical mind”.
“I personally found him a kind, warm-hearted and well-read journalist. He was a highly principled man who was always ready to lend a helping hand to his friends and colleagues,” he added.
The seasoned parliamentarian further said that Ziauddin launched quality newspapers like The Express Tribune and was one of the most professional editors in the country’s print journalism.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, senior journalist Farhan Bokhari said Ziauddin will be remembered as the “pioneer of economic journalism” in Pakistan.
“He had a unique personality and his integrity was never questioned. He remained a man of very high moral standards throughout his career and therefore always respected for his views,” he added.
Bokhari defined Ziauddin as a “fearless journalist who could never be influenced or pressured by anyone… his departure is a huge loss which can never be repaired”.
Another senior journalist, Mutaza Solangi said Ziauddin during his career as a journalist never wavered or vacillated on his progressive and democratic ethos, not for a single day.
“Ziauddin lived his life on his terms, his values and his principles. He did not waver and vacillate on his progressive and democratic ethos for a single day. His over half a century work is a compass in our dark days and nights. Goodbye my comrade! You shall not be forgotten,” he wrote on his Twitter handle.
#Ziauddin lived his life on his terms, his values and his principles. He did not waver and vacillate on his progressive and democratic ethos for a single day. His over half a century work is a compass in our dark days and nights. Goodbye my comrade! You shall not be forgotten. pic.twitter.com/w8v9CTRpZ4
— Murtaza Solangi (@murtazasolangi) November 29, 2021
“My teacher, mentor, friend [Ziauddin] passes away. He was an icon. Sad day for Pakistani journalism,” said senior journalist Kamal Siddiqi.
My teacher, mentor, friend @MZiauddi passes away. He was an icon. Sad day for #Pakistani #journalism
— Kamal Siddiqi (@Tribunian) November 29, 2021
Senior analyst Mazhar Abbas described the esteemed writer as “one of the most outstanding journalists of Pakistan.. and iconic figure and a guide for all the young journalists”.
“May Allah give his family strength to bear the loss.”
Veteran and one of the most outstanding journalist of Pakistan M. Ziauddin Ahmad has passed away. He was an iconic figure and a guide for all the young journalists. May Allah give his family strength to bear the loss.
— Mazhar Abbas (@MazharAbbasGEO) November 29, 2021
Ziauddin’s close friend and senior journalist Abbas Nasir said the veteran writer was an “iconic journalist who always stood up to autocrats for over 50 years”.
Waking up to the devastating news Ziauddin Sahab is gone. An iconic journalist; a personal friend of 35 years; a senior who was generous with his counsel and love; and a giant who stood up to autocrats for over 50 years. I am so much the poorer for his loss. Rest in peace, Sir.
— Abbas Nasir (@abbasnasir59) November 29, 2021
Former journalist and PPP Senator Sherry Rehman said, “Pakistani journalism will be poorer without his vigilant eye and moral purpose”.
Shattered to hear of @MuhammadZiauddin’s passing.He was a true practitioner of independent journalism, professional integrity,a quiet mentor to many seeking guidance,and a voice for the vulnerable. Pakistani journalism will be the poorer without his vigilante eye & moral purpose pic.twitter.com/n8tI318Fpx
— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) November 29, 2021
His other colleagues and journalists also echoed the similar sentiments.
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry in a condolence message said Ziauddin was “one of the most capable fiercely independent journalists I came across with”.
“Ziauddin was no commoner a wise man — integrity and boldness added to his personality… you will be missed Zia sb… RIP.”
One of the most capable fiercely independent journalist I came across with has left for his final abode #Ziauddin was no commoner a wise man—integrity and boldness added to his personality… you will be missed Zia sb… RIP
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) November 29, 2021
PML-N President and Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif said the death of the seasoned writer is a huge loss for the Pakistani journalism.
He also prayed for the departed soul and offered condolences to his family.
سینئر صحافی ضیاء الدین کی وفات ایک قابل لکھاری، دانشوراورصحافت ومعاشرےکابڑا نقصان ہے۔وہ صحافت میں استاداورادارے کی حیثیت رکھتے تھے، ڈٹ کر اصولوں پر کھڑے ہونے کے باوجوداسی قدرنفیس اورشائستہ انسان تھے۔آئین،جمہوریت اورصحافتی اصولوں کےلئے ان کی خدمات تادیر یادرکھا جائے گا۔
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) November 29, 2021
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, in a statement, said the demise of the renowned columnist “marked the end of an era of unbiased and responsible journalism in Pakistan”.