Even Wanderer Scan Become Maven: Khalid Khokhar

By: Mahira Majid Ali

Khalid Khokhar, a renowned name in journalism, who has not only worked in print and electronic media, but is alsoworking for the betterment of digital media.Khalid Khokhar is presently an Executive Editor in Daily Jeejal Hyderabad, President of Hyderabad Union of Journalists and SAFMA (South Asian Federation of Media Association) Hyderabad chapter, also an Editor at Online Indus News. He is working in Sindh TV Network as well.

Basically, Khalid Khokhar hails from Bhan Saeedabad, but he shifted to Hyderabad in 1980s. He belonged to a middle-class family. His father, Mohammad Essa, was a High School Teacher. Khalid got an inspiration to workas a journalist from his maternal uncle, who was anEditor of Ibrat Newspaper. He says, I used to observe my mamu throughout his work, his attitude towards his co-workers and his commitment towards his duty. At that time, there were not much newspapers and the only channel was PTV but my uncle’s cooperation and public relations were highly respected.

Though Mr. Khokhar completed his secondary education in 1982, but he was working as a proof-reader in Ibrat newspaper since 1981. He continued working there for four years, till 1984 and then he left it.After his matriculation, he shifted to Hyderabad andresided in Khokhar Mohalla. Half of his family lived in Hyderabad while, othersremained in Saeedabad. In 1985,when Mohammad Khan Junejo became the Prime Minister, he took over Mehran newspaper, Khalid worked with Niaz Panhwar and Mehmood Yousufani, the editors of Kawish and Ibrat newspaper.

The biggest change came into his life when he shifted to Karachi in 1987, he joined Ibrat and then joined Barsat newspaper till 1992 he remained as News Editor. At that time, composing was very much difficult, coloured pictures were not easy to publish in newspapers but negatives were in use. Sources for news were radio and telephones. But now, technology has changed and gave feasible typing as well as printing process.

When he joined Ibrat, his pay was rupees 325 but he left it and joined Mehran newspaperand was given 750 rupees per month.  It was a difficult time of his life when he was working as a reporter in Karachi. A personal conveyance is very much important for a reporter but he faced transportation problems and lived in hostel with his friend. He used to travel in local buses to reach his destination.

Once, Taaj Joyo came as a guestto him he says, Khalid had to attend the press conference of G.M. Syed, suddenly I felt hungryand asked Khalid, if he has some money. Khalid replied, I have just 5 rupees and if we would spent these in eating, we will have to go in meeting by foot. I said, I cannot stay hungry so he gaveme those 5 rupees and we ate corns. After that, we walked 4 to 5 miles to reach in the press conference. He is such a caring friend.

In 1998, Khalid Khokhar worked as a Resident Editor in Sach newspaper, with Editor Agha Saleem. In 1999, he became an Editor of this newspaper. Later, he became an Executive Editor of Jeejal newspaper and also worked in Sindh TV Network as Director of news and current affairs.

He got married with a lady from Tando Allahyar.He has 2 kidsand his marriage proved lucky for his future, as he got more accomplishments and success in his life after his marriage. He is the one and only person, who stayed on different posts in Hyderabad Press Club. In 2007, he became president there. At that time, the land issue was the main clash for the journalists of Hyderabad. Khalid requested Qaim Ali Shahin this purpose and due to his efforts and requests, they got 75 acresin 2010.

When asked about any regret in life, Khalid told that in 1986, when Iqbal Ahmed was a reporter of BBC news, people complained against him that he do not report the harsh attitude of army towards common man. Mr. George Arne, who look after the issues of Afghanistan and Pakistan, came to conduct an interview of G.M. Syed in Hyderabad. I met him for the first time and he offered me to be the reporter of BBC from Hyderabad and send us news. Due to my deferment and irresponsibility, I did not joined BBC that time and I still feel sorry for that.

A kind, simple and generous man having a smile on his face is way too much frank, jovialand vigorous. He has strong feelings for his friends. He sorrowed over the accident of his friend, Sarmad Sindhi, a singer with whom he spent most of his time during stay in Karachi.  The death news of his beloved friend, Mir Murtaza Bhutto was also very shocking for him and turned him into tears.He always keep helping his friends passionately. Once, he was invited intwo marriage ceremonies by his friends in Islamabad and Gujranwala. He reached there on a short noticeand attended both ceremonies.

He worked in different environments by changing places. He was like a wanderer. Sometimes, he left his working place due to less wages and sometimes due to lack of interest. He says, I have learnt a lot through these wanderings and I am still learning. He said that I worked in different newspapers and I wandered for my goal hence, I achieved it. He advises to the folks, never think that you are superior to others, always try to make others happy and try to help them with the core of your heart without expecting anything from them. Only through this, you may find console and success in your life.