The passing away of Mr. Asghar Ahmed on October 1, 1999 was the demise of an institution; an institution built on sincerity, knowledge and on high professionalism. Seniors still recall how in his person as well as in his publication Mr. Asghar was a pillar institution of Pakistan’s tourist industry and, of course, the Industry also gave him the level of friendship and respect which have been earned by very few media persons in Pakistan.
For his unique qualities of head and heart, he was invited to all forums of the industry and his counsel was sought and received respectfully always. His positive neutrality was monumental; he became the natural choice as Returning Officer for elections at TAAP and at PATA Pakistan Chapter.
When the officials already recognized as a travel writer, set about founding the Travels Writers Association of Pakistan in 1981, Mr. Asghar was the obvious and unanimous choice for its Chairmanship at the foundation meeting held in the office of TAAP. Its member travel writers kept him lifetime in that office.
With PATA Pakistan Chapter, his involvement was from its very inception and the Weekly took its membership and contributed, from within, to its development, always supporting and reporting its efforts and achievement in his Weekly.
A remarkable aspect of Mr. Asghar’s day to day functioning was that he had built up in his mind a schedule of weekly calls and he made weekly calls on the various leaders and functionaries of the tourist industry and administration; they all took him into in-depth confidence but one did not hear of the other from him; never completing the triangle! In the stories which he published, he always filtered out the ‘personals’.
Mr. Asghar was presented by the government of Pakistan an overdue recognition award “Friend of Pakistan” for his contributions and achievements from the hands of the then federal Minister of Tourism.
Mr. Asghar, a true Pakistan from his heart, mind and pen will always be remembered for his high qualities of person and profession. He has left behind not only his daughter and staff but many of his readers and comrades-in-tourism to mourn his death and pray for his higher station in the hereafter. To this Editor personally, his passing away has been an irreparable loss which he still feels.
In our continued presence in the industry we miss our Asghar Saheb for his towering personality, whose presence would have made some vital difference in the industry’s fortunes since 9/11, only two years after his Recall.
Our editorial endeavour is to live up to the expectations and commitment he had made in 1978 with the very start of Holiday weekly.