Though Kuldip Nayar was 95, the news of his death sent shock waves all over the world. Born on August 14, 1923, he was one of the last great peace activists and secularists in the Subcontinent. As expected, condolence messages began pouring in from all over the world once the news of his passing spread. Though it is always heartbreaking when a beloved personality like Nayar sahib leaves this world, his death is also a major loss to the peace movements in the Subcontinent. In Pakistan, Kuldip Nayar was practically a household name. He was one of the few journalists involved in the Track-Two diplomacy initiated by The Muslim, an English daily from Islamabad which was under the editorship of young Mushahid Hussain Syed during the Zia ul Haq regime’s tenure. Ultimately, both countries successfully used this intimate contact for their own designs. Pakistan was able to convey that it is a nuclear power, and India was able to learn this from the horse’s mouth, Dr. Abdul Qadir, father of the Pakistani bomb. In his autobiography, Kuldip Nayar wrote, “He used his journalistic expertise and tactics to provoke Dr Qadir, who banged the table and declared, ‘Yes! Pakistan is an atomic power’. But on the Pakistani side who knew the security arrangements of Dr Qadir were clear that an Indian journalist could not contact the father of Pakistan’s atomic bomb without approval from the highest echelons of power. This landed Mushahid Hussain in trouble because civilian Prime Minister Mohammad Khan Junejo was not in the loop. Naturally, he was very angry and wanted Mushahid Hussain tried for treason. Kuldip Nayar received his early schooling at the Ganda Singh High School in Sialkot. After school, Kuldip Nayar studied at a number of institutions, including Murray College (Sialkot), FC College (Lahore), Law College (Lahore) and Medill School of Journalism (Evanston, Illinois, US). His degrees include BA (Hons), LLB, MSc (in Journalism) and PhD (in Philosophy). Kuldip Nayar was one of the few journalists who stood against Indira Gandhi for freedom of expression and went to jail for his commitment He did not want to migrate to India in 1947. He has written about how he and his family was forced to leave Pakistan in his autobiography. He would always mention his dialogue with Mohammad Ali Jinnah when he came to address the students at Law College, Lahore. Kuldip Nayar was many things in his life; a reporter, editor, a detainee during the Indian Emergency (1975-77), High Commissioner to Great Britain, a Rajya Sabha member and peace activist. However, what he will be best remembered for are his clear analysis regarding events, issues and personalities in Indian politics. Since 1985, Kuldip Nayar had written a syndicated column that ran in 80 publications in 14 languages, both overseas and at home, including some of India’s most influential newspapers and magazines. Kuldip Nayar has also authored over a dozen books, including Between the Lines, Distant Neighbours: A Tale of the Subcontinent, India after Nehru, Wall at Wagah: India-Pakistan Relationship, The Martyr and India House. Kuldip Nayar has dedicated himself to the cause of peace. He was President of the Hind Dosti March, which besides organising other functions held vigils on the Wagah border each year on August 14 and 15. Kuldip Nayar’s ideal was Bhagat Singh, on whom he wrote two books. He was a ‘Pakka Punjabi’ and his commitment to the Punjabi language could be gauged from the fact that he would always speak Punjabi with Pakistani Punjabis. He organised an International Punjabi Conference in 2008 and invited about two dozen Pakistanis to Patiala University to participate. He was a frequent visitor to Pakistan and his column used to be published in an Urdu daily. The last column was printed just a few days before his passing. He was a harsh critic of PM Modi’s communalist policies and violation of human rights in Indian Occupied Kashmir. He wanted normalisation of relations between Pakistan and India and also a visa free regime in South Asia. He witnessed many important events in Indian history. He was the first reporter to lodge a story about the assassination of Mahatma Ghandi. He was also present during the Tashkent and Simla Accords. They say “Indra Gandhi asked Indian journalists to bend, but they crawled”. Kuldip Nayar, however, was one of the few journalists who stood for freedom of expression and went to jail for his commitment. He knew every leading politician and peace activists by first name in Pakistan. His autobiography was also translated into Urdu and was launched in Lahore. He also participated in the book launch. Due to his efforts, ultimately a museum on the partition has been established near Wagah border on the Indian side. The writer is a freelance columnist Published in Daily Times, August 29th 2018.