LAHORE: Nisar Osmani award for journalist
LAHORE, March 27: Journalist Ahmed Rashid was given on Sunday the Nisar Osmani award for his courage in journalism and for his book on Taliban written after his extensive tour of Afghanistan.
The award, introduced by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), carries a prize of Rs 100,000 which Mr Rashid donated to Afghan women and children who, he said, were suffering because of the problems 'created' by Taliban.
Mr Rashid is the third to receive the award after Zamir Niazi and Razia Bhatti. Former HRCP chairperson Asma Jehangir gave the award.
The US consul general in Lahore and a large number of people attended the ceremony during which the journalist was praised by the HRCP chairperson Afrasiab Khattak, secretary general Hina Gilani, Dr Mubashir Hasan, Dr Mehdi Hasan, Mr Arif Nizami, Mr Abdullah Malik, Mr Najam Sethi, Ms Asma Jehangir and others.
They said Mr Rashid was the first journalist in the country who introduced the Central Asia and war-torn Afghanistan to the world in their true perspective. His experiences, written in his book and in his newspaper columns, reflected his courage in seeking truth.
Mr Afrasiab Khattak said the HRCP would continue to support and appreciate the people who believed in human rights, democracy and peace.
Mr Rashid said the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan was the gravest. "The country is the centre for the export of extremism across the region, terrorism, heroin and weapons. This is being done not by the Afghan people but a handful of ambitious warlords and the continued interference of outside powers."
According to him, a cut in supplies of military equipment to all sides will dry up the war machines within months. He paid tributes to the late Nisar Osmani who he said had impeccable integrity and who faced three military regimes.
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