LONDON - Minhaj Burna was a role model for the journalists in the past and for times to come, and his struggle for freedom of speech and the rights of workers of newspaper industry both journalists and support staff would go a long way in the annals of history as an example of unflinching and non compromising commitment. These tributes were paid to veteran journalist, poet and human rights activist in a memorial meeting organised by Pakistan Journalists Association (PJA) in the British Parliament here late Wednesday. A large number of journalists, scholars and human rights activists paid befitting tributes to the services of Burna who set an example for the role of journalists and trade unions. High commissioner for Pakistan to the UK Wajid Shamsul Hasan was the chief guest of the meeting which was presided over by Lord Nazir Ahmed and President PJA. Prominent among the speakers were Lord Hussain, MP Rehman Chishtie, Broadcasters Raza Ali Abidi, Assef Jilani, David Page, Prof Amin Mughal, Barrister Sibghat Ullah QC, Cllr Mushtaq Lashari and Amjad Ayub Mirza, Vice President and General Secretary PJA Tahir Chaudhry and Wajahat Ali Khan. The speakers highlighted various phases of struggle initiated by Burna in the form of a movement beginning from 1949 which he continued till his last breath and stood firm against dictatorships and repressive regimes. His pivotal role in uniting the journalists at the national level by creating the platform of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists ( PFUJ) and bringing all the employees of newspaper industry under the umbrella of All Pakistan News Papers Employees Council (APNEC) and achieving the setting up of wage boards to protect the economic exploitations of both the journalists and other employees meant institutional reform and revolution for Pakistani journalists in keeping the freedom of expression alive, opined speakers. It was also decided to hold an event on yearly basis and give award in the field of journalism and human rights in the name of Minhaaj Burna. High Commissioner of Pakistan Wajid Shamsul Hasan gave account of his long standing association with Burna, saying that he always looked at him as true mentor and learned from him in spirit how to serve and save true journalism and not to make any comprise on the voice of conscience. He said that by following Burna as a role model he was able to take stand as an editor and at times defy the employer. The biggest lesson taught by him was of no compromises. He added saying that another quality that he taught was to write in a way as to convey message between the lines. By doing so he was able to send his message across even in the times of worst censorships in the time of Ayub and Zia . Mr. Hasan said keeping her promise Mohtarama Benazir Bhutto fulfilled the long standing demand of the journalists of dissolving National Press Trust (NPT) . The High Commissioner also endorsed the idea of annual event and award in the name of Minhaaj Burna and offered assistance fromm the High Commission in this respect. Lord Ahmed in his address said that brave journalists were targeted every where in the world. Burnas struggle was unique and it is hard to see that kind of struggle these days. It is important to fight for the rights of people at the same keeping ethics of journalism were also important, he added. He urged upon establishing a specialized National College of Journalism in Pakistan to provide guidelines for the journalists in Pakistan through quality training. Towards the conclusion of meeting Fateha was offered for Minhaaj Burna.