KARACHI: Professor Syed Mateen-ur-Rehman Murtaza, a veteran journalist and former chairman of the Department of Mass Communication at the University of Karachi, was laid to rest in the university cemetery on Tuesday.
He died Monday evening as a result of surgery. He was 80 years old.
His funeral prayers were offered after Zohr at Masjid-i-Ibrahim, which was attended by a large number of university professors, his relatives and friends.
He is survived by a widow and three daughters.
An excellent Urdu prose writer, Professor Murtaza was best known for his rational, daring and analytical editorial writings, especially for the daily Jasarat and later the weekly Takbeer during the Ziaul Haq regime.
Professor Murtaza had migrated from East Punjab to Pakistan. He recalled his childhood memories of migration – during which he and his younger brother were separated from the family – in a booklet titled Me Ne Pakistan Bante Dekha. Its second edition is currently being published.
His other book is Sir Syed Ka Nazaria-i-Sahafat Aur Doosre Mazameen.
He joined KU in 1972 and served as Chairman of the Mass Communication Department from 1988 to 1991. As a committed teacher and head of the department, he helped train many students to become journalists who serve. now various public and private media organizations.
One of his major contributions to journalism was the translation into Urdu of at least 15 textbooks for English language courses, which are currently part of the curriculum of the mass communication department of different universities. In 1970 he joined Jasarat from Multan and then started working in Karachi. During this period he remained largely engaged in editorial writing.
“His independent and forceful views earned him the wrath of the Bhutto government, which shut down the newspaper several times and imprison Salahuddin Shaheed, the newspaper’s editor,” recalls Professor Tahir Masood, former chairman of the mass communication department. of the KU, adding that Professor Murtaza and the late Salahuddin were intellectually close to each other.
“This strong relationship became evident when Salahuddin Shaheed quit his job when Professor Murtaza was sacked by the administration, arguing that as editor of the newspaper he was responsible for what is published. They became one under Takbeer, a widely read weekly at the time, launched on March 23, 1984. ”
After retiring from KU in 1999, he laid the groundwork for the mass communication department at Jinnah University for Women and then Jamia-tur-Rasheed. Other journals he wrote for included Mashriq, Hurriyat, and Islam.
He also represented Pakistan at the United Nations and was the speechwriter for Nawaz Sharif during his first term.
“Ethical and moral values were at the heart of his life and he taught us to sacrifice everything for your conscience, your beliefs and your freedom of expression,” said Professor Masood.
Dr Fauzia Naz, the current chair of the KU Mass Communication Department, also a student of Professor Murtaza, said: “He was both a great human being and a teacher. He helped me explore my hidden potential for which I would always be grateful.
Posted in Dawn, le 17 March 2021