KARACHI: The veteran journalist Abdul Hameed Chapra passed away on Tuesday December 22 afternoon. He was 81.
Mr Chhapra served as KPC’s president for five times and once as its secretary. He had a long working association with the Jang Group after which he became known as a trade unionist too. He remained the president of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) twice. Known as a strong advocate of freedom of the press and freedom of speech, Mr Chhapra also penned three books on these subjects.
Expressing sorrow over the passing of a fine senior member they all looked up to, several KPC members remembered how until his health allowed him to, Mr Chhapra would make it a point to attend every programme, including the press conferences held at the KPC.
The KPC hosted several programmes in Mr Chhapra’s honour, one of which was also held in 2019.
Family sources said that he was fine on Tuesday but then he suddenly started feeling unwell during the afternoon and was rushed to a nearby hospital where he peacefully slipped away. He leaves behind wife, three daughters and a son. His funeral was held after Asr prayers on Wednesday followed by burial at the Safoora Goth graveyard.
Meanwhile, the PFUJ has expressed condolences over the sad demise of Mr Chhapra. In a statement, PFUJ President Shehzada Zulfikar and Secretary General Nasir Zaidi recalled the services of Mr Chhapra for the cause of press freedom and the rights of journalist community. They said Mr Chhapra was known as a vocal advocate for independence of the press and freedom of speech and expression.
The late journalist, they said, remained in jail during the 1978 movement for freedom of the press in the days of General Ziaul Haq’s regime. They said Mr Chhapra’s life was a beacon of light for today’s journalists, particularly for the younger lot who were facing hardships due to the crisis in media industry.
One of the seniors most and veteran journalist and former Pakistan high commissioner to the UK, Wajid Shamsul Hasan said that in the death of Abdul Hameed Chapra, we have lost a life-long colleague and dear friend. Chapra was a great crusader for democracy, freedom of the press, human rights. He never hesitated take on oppressive forces.
“My heartfelt condolences to his son Jumma Khan and the members of the family. He was remembered for donating. His one kidney to his younger brother. Indeed, Chapra was a selfless caring person who believed to service to all. May Allah rest his soul in peace. Ameen”
M. Sarwar, Chief Editor, The Nation, London, said that it is a very sad news. Chapra saheb was very humble, sincere and dedicated person. “He paid my press club fee in my absence for some months and did not let lapse my membership when I came to London. When I tried to return the money, he refused and snubbed me saying “no one take money from his younger brother”. He was indeed a great man. May Allah bless his soul and give enough strength to his family and friends to bear this irrevocable loss. Aameen
Senior journalist and former member of Karachi Press Club, Jahan Zeb has also condoled the death of Abdul Hameed Chapra and said that late Chapra saheb himself was a history of journalists’ struggle and an admirable personality. “He will always be remembered and his services for the journalism and journalists are unforgettable”, he emphasized.