Irshad Ahmed Haqqani (6 September 1928 – 24 January 2010) was a popular senior editor, veteran journalist and reputed column writer for the Jang Group of Newspapers. He also served as federal information minister in Malik Meraj Khalid’s caretaker government in the time period of 1996–97.
His series of columns have been issued in several volumes in Urdu language. His popular column “Heraf Temana” has still great influence even after his death, upon individuals of Pakistan specifically intellectuals and politicians of Pakistan. He mostly used to publish in his column, a letter of a notable Politician on a national issue, and hence a national political debate was initiated by the letters of others politicians and intellectuals published in his columns. He often condemned the Martial Law Government of General Muhammad Zia Ul Haq and General Pervaiz Musharraf.
Early life of Irshad Ahmed Haqqani
Haqqani was born on the day of 6 September 1928 in Kasur. He initiated his career as a lecturer in the government college at Kasur, and retired as the principal of the same college. He also served, for various years, as professor of history at the Islamia College, Kasur. He joined Jamaat-i-Islami and served as editor of its organ Tasneem for some time. But he and a group of senior scholars and ideologues supervised by Maulana Amin Ahsan Islahi left the party after developing differences with the party’s founder Maulana Maududi over his policy of bringing about the Islamic revolution through the ballot. The differences erupted at the 1957 Machhi Goth meeting of the Jamaat.
Haqqani worked with several newspapers during the course of his career and was linked with the Jang Group of Newspapers at the time of his death, where he became a senior editor of the national newspaper, Daily Jang. Besides his famous daily column titled ‘Harf-e-Tamanna’, he sustained to be well acclaimed among different schools of thoughts involving scholars, politicians and thinkers. As a senior editor of the Daily Jang, he gave new trends to column writing in Pakistan.
Haqqani was also a patron of the Mir Khalil ur Rehman Society. He used to involve criticism in his columns with the intention of presenting solutions. Even ex-president Pervaiz Musharraf lauded his columns despite of the fact that he used to criticize the General. Irshad Ahmed Haqqani was an educationist-turned-columnist who influenced almost 3 generations. He imparted education and awareness amongst youngsters and old throughout his career. He made no compromises over the virtue and stood tall amongst his generation. He was a vocal supporter of the deprived and oppressed and he always raised voices for the cause of Palestine, Kashmir and Vietnam. He was really the most impressive intellectual of this age but his canvas of knowledge was pretty huge and he read a lot on all subjects. He emphasized researchers and students to preserve his journalistic contributions by doing research on his work.
Irshad Ahmed Haqqani suffered from heart disease and passed away on 24 January 2010. His funeral was held at Lahore. He was buried at his ancestral graveyard in Daimul Hazoori, Kasur.