PO committed to take forward mission of its founder
It is a great privilege and honour for us in the Pakistan Observer that the newspaper, founded by one of the pioneering and seasoned names of Pakistani journalism – Zahid Malik, has completed 33 years and is entering into the 34th year of its life.
This is, indeed, a significant achievement in itself if one takes into account the challenges brazen out to the profession of journalism and especially bringing out a quality Daily in Pakistan.
The successful and eventful journey of Pakistan Observer is a tribute to the commitment and hard work of all those who remained associated with the newspaper in one capacity or the other and contributed to its cause as well as the profession.
Like other newspapers, Pakistan Observer too is bracing the challenge of survival in this highly complex age of online journalism and mind-boggling revolution of social media but this newspaper encountered additional problems being an ideological publication committed to promoting the cause of Pakistan, Islam, the Muslim Ummah and humanity in general, besides maintaining its status as champion of objective journalism.
Zahid Malik always believed in professional pursuits and never compromised on principles of healthy journalism.
This has been the policy ever since Pakistan Observer was launched as a tabloid on 11 November 1988 and is vigorously being pursued today.
One of the biggest challenges that Pakistan Observer faced during its life was the day when its founder, Zahid Malik, who had great vision and plans for the Paper, breathed his last on 01 September 2016.
We found ourselves at crossroads and some feared uncertainty about the future of the Daily but we bow our head before Almighty Allah, for granting us the necessary resolve and courage and guiding us on the path of survival and success.
We are also thankful to all the team members who persisted in their support and cooperation and as a result Pakistan Observer is shining magnificently in the galaxy of Pakistani press as before, rather with added strength and vitality.
There has been immense media proliferation in Pakistan in recent years and conflicting interests have created a very complex situation where principles of objective and fair journalism are often compromised for the sake of rating and circulation.
Zahid Malik had a firm conviction that, in our context, journalism has to serve the community, uphold social, cultural and ideological norms and traditions of the society, promote national identity and religiously defend the cause of the Muslim Ummah.
He did not waiver on this resolve throughout his life and even went to jail for speaking and upholding the truth.
Based on his enlightened vision, the newspaper has all along promoted the cause of a strong defence, nuclear programme of the country, Kashmir issue and stronger relationship with all Muslim countries, especially the Arab world.
He was also an ardent supporter of the idea of a strategic relationship with our great neighbor China and for this purpose he founded a think-tank ‘101 Friends of China’, a non-governmental organization aimed at consolidating and widening ties with Beijing.
In line with his thinking and vision, Pakistan Observer made its humble share during the last five-six years in forging national consensus on the epoch-making project of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), highlighting its benefits for Pakistan, the two countries and the region as well as promoting intellectual discourse to help remove misgivings of provinces and some vested interests.
The Pakistan Observer and prestigious Shanghai Daily have also signed an agreement of cooperation to promote people-to-people contacts between the two countries and the China Daily is circulated in Pakistan through the courtesy of Pakistan Observer.
Late Zahid Malik sincerely believed that Pakistan has to go for ‘Look Arab’ and ‘Look Central Asia’ policy as part of the strategy to mitigate its economic woes and challenges.
With this in view, he had developed personal rapport with envoys of Arab and Central Asian Republics and frequently visited these countries for interaction with opinion-makers aimed at forging multi-dimensional relationships.
This continues to be the policy of Pakistan Observer and it is endeavour of its management to nurture closer cooperation and ties with these countries.
Strong defence of the country’s nuclear programme has been one of the most dominant principles of policy of Pakistan Observer.
Zahid Malik acquired global fame as an author of two widely read books on Pakistan’s nuclear programme that provide the most authentic account of genesis of the country’s nuclear quest and rationale of the programme.
This newspaper has always maintained that nuclear deterrence was a must to guarantee peace in South Asia because of India’s aggressive posture and threats to Pakistan’s security and existence due to Indian designs.
There is national consensus on Pakistan’s nuclear programme, to which every successive government has contributed its share, and no one can or should dare roll it back as it made defence of the country invincible.
Strengthening of the ideological foundations of the country and promoting identity and religious and cultural values remain fundamental pillars of the policy of Pakistan Observer.
The founder of the paper not only authored two highly informative books on religion – ‘Mazameen-e-Quran-e-Hakeem’ and ‘Mazameen-e-Ahadees-e-Nabvi’ (Subjects of Quran and Subjects of Hadith) but also established ‘Aiwan-e-Quaid’ in the Federal Capital, which is instrumental now in disseminating knowledge and promoting the cause of ideology and our great religion.
This is because we believe that geographical and ideological defence of the country is complementary in nature and a strong ideological base serves as a strong pillar for geographical defence.
Nazriya Pakistan Council (NPC) is also seized with a number of initiatives aimed at promoting these lofty ideals.
The Pakistan Observer has also been championing the cause of democracy and continuation of the policies and the system.
We firmly believe that Pakistan’s problems have much to do with instability and discontinuation of policies and, therefore, all elected governments must complete their terms and people allowed to make a choice in the general election on the basis of their performance.
We also believe that there should be no institutional rivalry or clash as this has unimaginable consequences for the country in the backdrop of an emerging regional and global environment.
While the elected governments should be allowed to work unhindered, it is also the duty and responsibility of the governments to take effective measures to strengthen institutions as a country can be as strong as its institutions.
The Pakistan Observer is also conscious of the challenges and threats posed by the age of technology, Internet and intensive competition.
All newspapers are threatened by problems like sluggish growth of ads affecting their revenues and squeezing circulation in the face of online journalism.
I am glad that our team is continuously engaged in innovation, adapting to new technologies and formulating business plans as per dictates of the new era.
As we turn 34, we renew our pledge to continue our humble contribution as a responsible member of the ‘fourth pillar’ of the state, committed to fulfillment of aspirations of our readers vis-à-vis healthy journalism and cause of the country, Islam and welfare of the international community as well as peace and security of the globe.
The Pakistan Observer is committed to braving all challenges and taking forward the mission and philosophy of its founder.