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Published in the 1-15 July 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Meem Afzal appointed ambassador to Angola

The Milli Gazette Online

Mohammad Afzal, senior Congress leader, distinguished journalist, former Rajya Sabha MP and presently vice chairman of Delhi’s Urdu Academy has been appointed India’s ambassador to Angola by the President of India APJ Abdul Kalam. He will take up his new assignment soon.

Angola is one of the 30 odd countries of the African continent and is situated in northwest part of the Atlantic coast. Area-wise it is a fairly large country, almost double the size of Pakistan but populationwise a small country, with a total population of 12 or 13 million only. After Nigeria, it is the second largest petroleum producing country of Africa. Petroleum was discovered recently in this country and after that its progress has been rapid. The country is also famous for its diamond and copper mines and almost 10 percent of the world’s diamond is found in Angola. 

Born in Delhi in January 1952, Afzal received his education at Delhi’s Anglo-Arabic Higher Secondary School, thereafter at Delhi College (now Zakir Husain College), Jamia Millia Islamia and Delhi University. He is a fearless and principled journalist and as chief editor of widely circulated Urdu weekly Akhbar-e Nau he gave a new direction to Urdu journalism. He was elected president of All India Urdu Editors Conference, member of All India Newspapers Editors Conference, Indian Federation of Small and Medium Newspapers Federation and Legislatures of India. He was also appointed member of National Integration Council. He has written nearly five thousand articles and write-ups, interviewed a large number of political leaders and important personalities which is a record in Urdu journalism. As a journalist he visited more than 25 countries of the world including Japan, Jordan, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Libya, Hong Kong, Namibia, Tanzania and Thailand in addition to USA, Russia and almost all countries of Europe and wrote a number of travelogues.

He started his journalistic career from the Urdu weekly Nai Duniya and thereafter started his own weekly Akhbar-e Nau which soon became popular. 
Elected to Rajya Sabha in 1990, he worked as an active member and raised his voice for the promotion of Urdu language and Urdu journalism. Whether it was enactment of TADA or innocent people arrested under TADA, repression in Kashmir, disappearance of voters’ name from voters lists, he strongly raised all these matters in Parliament. He also served as member of many standing committees of Parliament, advisory committee of ministry of Information and Broadcasting for Urdu programmes and as a member of delegations of prime ministers and Presidents to foreign countries. 
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