Karachi Khabarnama On PTV of Late 60s


By  Raju Jamil


At dot 9PM a certain music to ears signature tune use to alert the city that “KHABARNAMA” is on air..live initially and for the first time starting from. PTV Lahore as a six-seven minute “Khabrain” read by Tariq Aziz and a bit later by, I think, Kunwal (Hameed) Naseer.

By 1967 Nov when PTV came to Karachi and each of the four stations then (Lahore, Rawalpindi, Dacca and Karachi) had the same news timing but limited to 25 minutes and about 5 minutes for “mausum ka haal” and sports news. That was in Urdu. And all stations named it “KHABARNAMA” which continues…with slight changes. Dacca had Bengali News besides English News…but till PTV went on Nationwide Telecast in mid-70’s, each station had their own news slots. Lahore had Urdu, Punjabi and English. Karachi had Urdu, English and Sindhi, Rawalpindi had only Urdu and English. Dacca had English and Bengali.

The Nationwide telecast made entire Pakistan see URDU KHABARNAMA and English News read from Islamabad TV centre—-through all stations. Regional News continued only at the concerned stations. Now, they have a full Regional Network…a separate Network known as PTV-National…which covers all the Regional Languages and programs. There is PTV-News also and doing great.

The English News also came to limelight on regular basis by 1966. Tariq Rahim is the only name which comes to my mind being English newscaster from Lahore. From Rawalpindi, who can forget the one and only Shaista Zaid who went on to receive PTV Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

News meant news…not views and the manner, tone, ambience and presentation and simplicity on dress code, make up was the kind that has made home in the minds and thoughts of those who really enjoyed the news telecast both; Urdu and English. We also remember the beautiful and wonderful smiley faces and the tone so soft and the news of any kind; be of a win, be of a death of someone famous, be of finance and stock, be of sports, be of anything—the tone was always controlled and not pitching it high, high, higher and higher like we see and hear today that even a news of some death being given currently on the dime a dozen networks—-appears to be some huge achievement when the newscaster shrieks and variates his or her tone like in some drama.

The good old days of PTV KHABARNAMA and the word “breaking news!!” Would make us freeze wherever we were seated or standing with TV on. Now…..the word “breaking news” appearing on the tube is like it’s going to be morning tomorrow then afternoon then the evening and then the night…which even a KG student would know. Breaking News has been made a laughing stock now. The breaking news on PTV during those merry merry days of TV…meant and scored the importance without sponsorships. The probability to switch the TV on and the first thing to see is some advert….just like we experience now….then was almost NIL.

The newscasters I remember (and a few who have been known to me) were; Zubairuddin (typical hair style he had) , Nighat Afreen (still as attractive as ever and settled in States) , Khalid Hameed, Mahpara Safdar, Zahida Butt, Safia Kazim, Surraiya Shahab, Yasmin Wasti and Arjumand Shaheen sisters of TV artiste Shehryar Zaidi, Azhar Lodhi, Absar Abdul Ali (writer of the famous series “Sang e Meel”) , TV and film artiste Bindya (under the name of Rubina Alkhammass) Saba Faisal, Shaista Zaid, Hareem Arif, Saeed Ahmed Nasim…the list goes on. My apologies if I am forgetting some names and I would love to add some here if anyone may remind me with conviction on names missing.

Listening to the news those days….was fun and kind of entertainment one wished would extend…contrary to the current situation that people wait so eagerly for the news to end because of everything being blown sky high.

Those who have seen and heard the real KHABARNAMA of PTV full of attraction and not totally obvious that it’s being telecast not for you but for money/sponsorships…something which excels that even headlines are sponsored.

Long live PTV….now in its 54th year.


Raju Jamil
Ptv debut: 2nd Dec, 1967 from Karachi.

About Amin H. Karim MD

Graduate of Dow Medical College Class of 1977.
This entry was posted in Media in Old Karachi. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Karachi Khabarnama On PTV of Late 60s

  1. Sir,
    I read you article here, is apriciable as I have been watching ptv since 1968 and witness all you mentioned about ptv news. My father, Sultan Mahmood retired from ptv as Senior News Editor, Lahore. He was known as sports specialist reporter also.

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