Former Minister & ex-Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir has expressed deep shock over the demise of eminent NRI, Sultan-ul-Uloom Educational Society Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Munsif Urdu Daily Khan Lateef Khan.
“The sudden demise of Mr. Khan Lateef Khan has come as a major shock for everyone. We’ve lost a good human being who had spent his whole life serving the people in various capacities as philanthropist, academician and journalist,” he said in his condolence message on Friday.
Shabbir recalled that he was associated with Khan Lateef Khan since 1987 when he was a Youth Congress worker. “I enjoyed his blessings and guidance when I began my career in electoral politics in the year 1989. He was among the first few people who met and congratulated me when I was made a minister in the cabinet of Marri Chenna Reddy in 1989. He used to call me ‘Mantri Ji’ and addressed me with the same pet name till he last time he interacted with me about two months ago,” he recalled.
He praised the role played by Khan Lateef Khan in providing education for poor students, especially in the old city of Hyderabad. “He was very concerned about the closure of government schools in the Old City which provided free education to poor children. He took several initiatives to impart education to poor students at free of cost. He believed that everyone must have access to free and quality education irrespective of their socio-economic status. He has played a commendable job as the Chairman of Sultan-ul-Uloom Education Society which has re-defined the modern education, especially among minorities,” he said.
Ali also recalled that it was Khan Lateef Khan who agreed to bear huge legal expenses in the fight to defend 5% and then 4% Muslim reservation in the High Court. “It was because of Khan Lateef Khan that we were able to hire senior counsels like Rajiv Dhawan to contest the case in favour of Muslim reservation which so far benefitted over two million poor Muslims in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh,” he said.
Khan Lateef Khan has done a great service to Urdu journalism by taking over Munsif Urdu Daily in the year 1999. By incorporating modern technology, he took the Urdu journalism to a different level. Later, he also launched Munsif TV, a satellite channel in Urdu language which was never dreamt of. We had detailed interactions on multiple occasions before he took over Munsif. He was very clear that he won’t be making any profit or even recover his investment by running an Urdu daily newspaper. But he was firm on serving Urdu readers by providing them a quality newspaper,” he said.
Speaking about his personal association with him, Shabbir Ali recalled that when he faced an assassination bid by naxalites, Mr. Khan Lateef Khan gifted him a bullet proof jacket which he brought from the USA. “While expressing concern for my well being, he told me that Allah has given me a new life for a purpose. Therefore, he advised me to work dedicatedly for the welfare of people for the rest of my life,” he said.
Shabbir Ali said that the death of Khan Lateef Khan has caused him inconsolable pain and irreparable damage. He prayed to the Almighty Allah to grant Khan Lateef Khan the highest level in Jannah.