Rich tributes were paid to the renowned journalist, editor and Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) President late Arif Nizami in a condolence reference organised by the CPNE here at the Aiwan-e-Iqbal. A large number of journalists, editors and intellectuals participated in the reference. Paying glowing tribute to Arif Nizami, Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar said that Nizami always considered his journalism as worship and with his passing, Pakistan has lost a great son. According to the governor, Nizami always emphasized parliamentary democracy and his father Hameed Nizami was his ideal. “When he revealed the story of Imran Khan’s marriage, I received a phone call from Chaudhry Ghulam Hussain regarding the authenticity of the news. I told him that Arif Sahib always gives any story after a thorough investigation,” said Governor Sarwar. “He was an investigative journalist in a true sense and it is an honour for me that I know him for the last 18 years I met him for the very first time in the UK,” he added. Aitzaz Ahsan, senior PPP leader and one of the close friends of Arif Nizami, said that his death was a loss for the whole country and the nation and the vacuum created by his departure will hardly be filled. Aitzaz Ahsan also narrated an interesting incident regarding media censorship during Zia’s dictatorship in which Nizami set new trends. According to Aitzaz, the news not liked by the dictators was not allowed to be published during the Zia regime. “In those days, newspapers had manual page making. One day when some news was taken down from Nawai-e-Waqt, Arif Nizami suggested to Majeed Nizami that instead of filling the story with a new story, it should be published blankly, so that the people know that the story in these blanks has been dropped by the dictator. When the newspaper was printed the very next day, Arif Nizami received many phone calls from various military officers asking him why he had left a blank space in the newspaper. Arif replied that you people yourself had asked to drop the news. After that, the same practice was started in all the newspapers,” narrated Aitzaz Ahsan. Nizami always remained a very well-dressed personality throughout his life, he added. Acting President of CPNE Kazim Khan said that Arif Nizami was a complete human being and he never saw such a principled man like him. “You are not here on the condolence reference of CPNE president only but you are here to pay tribute to a great man,” he said. “He used to disagree with the people but never hated them,” he added. Vice President of CPNE and Group Editor 92 Irshad Arif said, “Someone asked me that people will not come here due to Covid-19 when we were planning the condolence reference but I said that people will come because they love Arif Nizami.” He further said Arif Nizami was the great son of a great father. He was of the view that Arif Nizami was a well-informed journalist who broke the news of Benazir Bhutto’s removal by then president Farooq Laghari. Group Editor Express Media Group Ayaz Khan said that Arif Nizami was an era that ended with his death. He was of the view that there are very few people who are good at being a reporter, editor, columnist and analyst at the same time, and Arif Nizami had all these abilities. Senior journalist Mujeeb-ur-Rehman Shami said that Nizami was a great son of a great father but he built his identity based on his ability. “He was an investigative reporter and his ideal was his father. He never let his likes and dislikes affect his journalism. The government should also give a medal to Arif Nizami in recognition of his services and a road should be named after him,” he suggested. Senior journalist Imtiaz Alam recalled his time spent with Arif Nizami and said that Nizami was a great journalist as well as a great personality. “Arif Nizami had an identity of his own and he built this identity based on his ability,” he said. Yousuf Nizami, son of Arif Nizami said that he considered himself lucky to have worked with a professional journalist like Arif Nizami for some time. “I learned a lot from my father. I consider it my good fortune that I got the opportunity to work with Arif Nizami,” he said. He was as committed to his family life as he was to his professional life. He considered friends as the capital of life and he taught us that we should be helpful to our friends in every way. He never compromised on his principles and he was a reporter till his last days. Editor-in-Chief of 92 Haider Ameen and senior Journalist Jameel Athar also addressed on the occasion.