As a reporter, Mr. Raja Liaquat has made his desires designation in journalism by his hard work, ability and strong will power. This is a common desire of every journalist. Beside journalism, he also started to write a column name as “Talkhiyaan” in a daily “Azkar” Islamabad. Now days he is guiding people towards right path. He is doing this job without any lust for his sake. That is the only reason behind rapid increase of his fame among people.
Due to my developing interest in journalism, I decided to interview famous journalists related to this field. I adopted this as a hobby. By this activity, I can collect more information about journalism and can convey it to my web page visitors. To accomplish my desire I made a long list of journalists to whom I have to take interviews. This interview is also a part of that chain. By the time, you will get the opportunity to read more interviews.
Q: What is your qualification and how did you come towards journalism?
Ans: I did inter from district Chakwal. Graduated from Govt. College Jhelum and from Punjab University Lahore I did M.A in Mass communication. A part from this I never tried to become a journalist nor desired to come towards this field. The reason was my family background that is in education field and rests of them are in army. I was also interested in army and attempted ISSB exams two times but had not selected. Afterwards I started my school in Rawalpindi that is still running.
I had entered by chance in journalism. Circulation manager Mr. Chaudary Ishaq started his newspaper after retirement. Once he came to my house and asked me about my schedule. He further asked about my qualification. I told him that I did M.A in journalism. He offered me to go his office. To the next day, I reached there by chance. On his question, I told him about my interest towards crime reporting. He diverted me with the most senior journalist Mr. Mehboob Sabir. He was my trainer. He was a busy personality. I follow him but he never gave me a lift or not concentrated towards me. During all this, I met to another senior reporter. He teaches me that we cannot learn reporting by anyone else. We can enhance this creativity by our own selves. He further asked me to utilize my inner talent, read daily different newspapers, compare news and make your own.
Thanks to Allah, due to my passion of writing, it was not difficult for me to practice it and this tip helped me a lot. Finally, after a month my first news published in newspaper with my name. I was so happy like a child who gets its loly pop. I called my friends and told them to see my news in the paper. Afterward this series started.
I started reporting but my actual desire was to write columns. When I read Column of famous journalists then I always desired to write like them. I remember that seven years ago my first column was published in the “Asaas” newspaper, which was on the topic of ‘crisis in educational system’. I got positive responses. Then my career started from there.
Q: What were your ambitions in your child hood?
I always imagined myself as Imran Khan. When I went to bed, I used to dream myself as a bowler in front of West Indies and Australia. Moreover, I kept on bowling them and I used to bowl them. In addition to it I also used to shout myself with exclaim.
However, circumstances failed and I did not become a cricket player. However, by playing with cricket stars and by spending time with them I accomplished a huge part of my desire. I live near KL ground. Due to Abdul Qadeer khan, in those days International cricket teams invited to play for 3 days. I got the chance to play cricket with prominent figures of Pakistan like Shoaib Akhter, Azhar Mehmood, Razak and Waseem Akram. I played tennis with Sohail Tanveer. International teams were in KL ground including Australia, West Indies and Sirilanka. I got many chances to chat with them in the box. That is enough for me. No one can fulfill all of his desires.
Q: What changes happened after being a journalist?
Ans: My way of thinking totally changed after coming in this field. Our life not bound among eating, sleeping and chatting. A part from this I learned to help needy people. I groomed myself and were that world is so wide and people are much more talented as we think. Only we are not talented in this world.
Q: Can anyone become economically stable after becoming a journalist?
Ans: Journalism is an honorable profession. One gets reward if he joins it with positive attitude and is sincere towards it. Many of my journalist’s friends are getting high pay. They had started from a very low level and achieved their target.
I will suggest people if they had a strong family background or their life is already settled then they come to this field. One must think before joining journalism because this job is not stable and sometimes one have to live without any payment for several months. They can beer unemployment only in the case if they are stable.
Q: What do you think we make our luck or luck makes us?
Ans: Our behavior and way of thinking decides our destiny. Without Allah’s mercy and order, no one can fulfill his desires. Allah helps those who help themselves. If we will work hard then we can get everything without doing anything we cannot get anything. Our thinking has dual nature. Just think for a while that we say that our lives are in hand of Allah but on the other side, we are scared of America.
Q: What struggles did you made to get this designation in the field of journalism?
Ans: Fact is that I had not to work hard. I count myself to among those lucky people who have good friends. When I entered to journalism, I met too many honest and good friends. Mr. Ishfaque Sajid, Mr. Afzal Butt and Mr. Jamil Mirza guided me and supported me on my every step. So I had not to struggle more.
Q: How did you decide to become a columnist or any one suggested you to become a columnist?
Ans: I entered in the journalism as a reporter but my real intension was to become a columnist. That is why I concentrated towards both sides journalism and reporting. I was confident that I could write good articles. In starting, I was confused about people’s response but when I did start to write and I got positive response then I became satisfied about my performance. I thanked Allah that I can write since then I remained engaged in column writing until now.
Q: How did you select your logo for your column?
Ans: Once I was sitting in press club with my friends. I asked them that I am writing a column but confused about logo for it. One of my friends proposed me to make “Talkhiyaan” as a logo he explained the reason that my columns usually based on pungency or hardness so this logo will suite on my column. I liked his advice and selected “Talkhiyaan” as the logo.
Q: On which things you focus in your columns?
Ans: I usually focus on corruption, which done by corrupted people. I write about them even though they are strong personalities. I do not hesitate to pass on the realities to the people even if I have to face displeasure of anyone.
Q: Any columns you remember where by you earn public appreciation or any instant reaction?
Ans: There had been occasions. After publishing my column the very next day we heard very strange sort of reactions. However, I will present only one example here.
Hanif Abbasi MNA of ML (N) and chairperson of ‘sasti roti skeem’, he published his article in daily ‘Jinnah’ by his name that not actually written by him. In that article, he did flattery of Nawaz Sahrif. In that, he wrote about Chief Minister of Punjab Mr. Shahbaz Sharif that once he called him at midnight 2 am and asked him that, ‘Hanif Abbasi! Isn’t in Rawalpindi anyone who went asleep without dinner or that he didn’t have the medicine?” Thus, he wanted to show that he had a close relation with Shahbaz Sharif. A special compliment he added in his column was, “Mr. Shahbaz Sharif is an organization who can attract the whole country”.
In reply to that column, I also wrote a column in which, I said,” for a while, we consider that he is that organization but Mr. Hanif Abbasi remembers one thing. That if a part in a car is not technically fit then it makes whole car useless. And you are that part which forcefully wants to make whole ML (N) useless.”
On this reply, he gave a very strong reaction. He complained to our newspaper editor and owners. When he interrogates me then I replied that whatever I have written is truth. If he has a problem with this truth then what can, I do. I think after that he reads my column regularly.
Q: What are the qualities of a good journalist?
Ans: A good columnist must not be a lawyer of any political party. His personal favors must not mix-up with profession. A part from this he must have to keep an eye on the current issues of the world and the changes happening by the time he must have knowledge to get benefits from latest technologies like internet. He must not compromise and not even give priority to his personal benefits in front of his nation and country.
I think beside journalism if common people also do so. Then half of our problems can solve.
Q: As a journalist, which other columnist inspires you?
Ans: To inspire by other columnist is a natural thing. A part from this you get updates and get to know that what others are writing. I read columns of Jawed Chaudary, Hassan Nisar and Haroon-u-Rasheed. In English, I read columns of Ayaz Amir. He is our MNA chakwal. I also read columns of Sana Bucha and inspired by her writing.
Q: As we heard, that columnist works on ‘pay roll’. So please tell me about reality?
Ans: Good journalists never work on ‘pay roll’. However, this is our bad luck that some people has compromised there principles for their personal interests and this is a bitter truth that some journalists are working as a lawyer of political parties, government and private agencies. The fact is that when a journalist is working for some agency or government, he does not make the news on his own opinion but according to the policy, which is paying him to do the reporting. Those people who write with certain limits or biased with the help of their designation not considered as a good journalists or writers. After a certain limit, people stop reading and responding to their articles.
Q: Is there any interesting circumstance, which you come across during reporting?
Ans: My friend called me from England and asked for a favor that his father was coming to Pakistan but he had misplaced his passport so he was coming on travel documents so if I could receive him from airport. My house is near the airport so I agreed and reached at 6 on the day of his arrival. A lot of time passed but uncle did not come out. I inquired about him at the officer counter and the officer told me that he was not traveling with his passport so we cannot let him go. I did not tell them that I am a journalist. It was as quite serious case and it was an FIA case. On the other side, the inspector was asking uncle for three lacks. Uncle said to him that my nephew is standing outside you should talk to him. Inspector came and said that u have to give at least 3 lacks because everyone in the shift has the part in the money and 1.5 lacks directly goes to the director. He did not know that I was recording all this conversation on my Mobile Phone. I went to the deputy director Mr. Khalid Khatak’s office and there told him about the scenario and gave him the tape to listen. When he listened to the tape, he was shocked and embraced. He called uncle and the whole shift of the police staff. There he turned on the tape. When they came to know that, I am a journalist they became scared. He dismissed the entire shift. I took my uncle back to home without any payment. The benefit of all this happened in the way that slogans were made and put on all the counters, “if anyone asks you for some money please contact to Mr. Khalid Khatak’s office.”
Q: Is there any desire you want to fulfill impatiently?
Ans: My biggest desire is that the corruption in Pakistan end and the poor people get justice on their doorstep without doing any struggle for their right.