Daily Khabrain’s origin lies in a revolt at daily Jang’s Lahore office in the late 1980s when Zia Shahid and some other senior members of its editorial staff walked out. They later set up daily Pakistan, a newspaper that – originally – had an innovative financing structure. Though it was owned by a registered company, dozens of people invested money in it to become what the newspaper called its ‘members’.
Within a year, Zia Shahid had a falling out with his senior editorial staff as well as with some leading ‘members’. It was then that he started daily Khabrain where he continued the membership model but changed it in such a way that he inverted the employer-employee relationship too. Consequently, those wanting to become district reporters and local distributors of the newspaper first needed to pay a ‘membership’ fee that ran in thousands of rupees.
Editorially, too, daily Khabrain made some very controversial moves. It set up raiding squads that barged into factories, restaurants and other business concerns and recorded allegedly illegal and immoral activities taking place there. This vigilante-style coverage was then splashed in the newspaper, naming and shaming the alleged wrongdoers. In many instances, the newspaper also became an arbiter and enforcer of moral propriety for women and youth, especially at educational institutions and market places.
In 1997, daily Khabrain ran a concerted campaign against one Mohammed Yusuf Ali, a resident of Lahore. Accusing him of calling himself a prophet, the newspaper gave him the title of kazzab, an Arabic word that means liar in English. Ali was sentenced to death by a court in Lahore in 2000 on blasphemy charges but was killed inside a jail in the same city by another inmate. The gun used in his murder was allegedly smuggled inside the prison by a reporter working for daily Khabrain.
The newspaper’s morality-driven, nationalism-soaked sensationalized news coverage, often endorsing some wild conspiracy theories, made it the third largest daily in Punjab, after daily Jang and daily Nawa-i-Waqt, in the mid-1990s. It, however, could not maintain that position for long. It also had half a dozen editions coming out from different parts of the country – some of them having folded since then.
Paid Content (PKR 20)
Media Companies / Groups
Daily Khabrain is owned by Liberty Papers Limited, 63.85% shares of which are owned by Zia Shahid, his wife, the widow of his late son, his other children and their spouses and his many grandchildren. The remaining shares are owned by the family of Aleem Chaudhry (8.18%), Dr Muzzafar Un Nisa (2.67%), the family of Kamran Safdar Qureshi (2.5%), Iqbal Malik (1.9%), the family of Ijzaz Hashmat Khan (1.87%), Irfan Hameed Khan (1.87%), the family of Azam Suherwardy (1.63%), the owners of Saga Sports Sialkot (1.55%), Bilal Ahmad (1.28%), Tariq Mehmood (1.25%), Uzman Nabi (1.25%), and around 950 others who all own less than 1% shares each.
Group / Individual Owner
The family of Aleem Chaudhry
Aleem Chaudhry was a working journalist based in Multan, a city in southern part of Punjab province when, in the early 1990s, he invested a large sum of money in Liberty Papers Private Limited. He subsequently became the resident editor of Khabrain’s Multan edition when it first came out and held that position till his death a couple of years ago. Together with his wife Suriya Aleem, he is still recorded as a major shareholder in Liberty Papers Private Limited.
Dr Muzzafar Un Nisa
No information is available about Dr Muzzafar Un Nisa in the public sphere. The government documents about Liberty Papers Private Limited show her as the resident of a certain address in Lahore’s Model Town area. Four other residents of the same address are also shown in the same documents as minor shareholders of the same company. It is not known if they are related to each other or to Dr Muzzafar Un Nisa.
Affiliated Interests Founder
was a senior member of the editorial board of daily Jang in the late 1980s but, unhappy with being overlooked for appointment to the post of editor, he left daily Jang and, in December 1990, started daily Pakistan, an Urdu language newspaper, from Lahore. In around a year, he left daily Pakistan too and later, in September 1992, started daily Khabrain, also from Lahore.
Soon afterwards, Zia Shahid launched Sahafat, an evening newspaper in Urdu, which immediately earned fame, or notoriety, for a targeted and scandalous coverage of doctors, private hospitals, eateries and bakeries in Lahore. In 1994, its editor Khushnood Ali Khan developed differences with Zia Shahid and the two parted ways. The split resulted in the latter losing the ownership of Sahafat to the former.
Zia Shahid subsequently founded a number of others news outlets that include a daily newspaper in Punjabi language, Khabraan, a daily newspaper in Sindhi language, Kabroon, and an English language daily, The Post. He also founded Channel 5, a news television channel, in 2012. Except for daily Khabrain, most of these outlets are either dying or they are already dead.
Zia Shahid has been active in various forums associated with news media too. His most recent initiative in this regard was to collaborate with many other journalists, editors and newspaper publishers to set up Pakistan News Media Association (PNMA) in March 2019. The association is meant to promote coordination, cooperation and networking among people working in different categories and sub-sectors of the news media industry. He was also the president of the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) in 2017-18.
Affiliated Interests Ceo
younger of the two sons of Zia Shahid, he is the chief executive officer of Channel 5 besides being the editor of daily Khabrain.
Affiliated Interests Editor-In-Chief
is the editor-in-Chief of Khabrain, see above for more.
Affiliated Interests other important people
the older son of Zia Shahid, he was the editor of The Post when he died of a cardiac arrest in London in 2007 at the age of 37.
the daughter of Zia Shahid, she works as the managing editor of daily Khabrain.
the widow of Ednan Shahid, Zia Shahid’s older son, she became the editor of English language daily owned by Khabrain Group, The Post, in 2007 after her husband’s death but the newspaper’s publication stopped soon afterwards. She also served a five-year stint between 2002 and 2007 as a member of the provincial assembly of Punjab on a seat reserved for women. In 2009–2010, she became the Rita E Hauser Fellow, a research post cosponsored by the Harvard University Committee on Human Rights Studies. In 2014, she wrote her memoir, Devotion and Defiance: My Journey in Love, Faith and Politics, in collaboration with American journalist Kelly Horan.
Revenue (in Mill. $)
Operating Profit (in Mill. $)
Advertising (in % of total funding)
The outlet was sent information request on 14 January 2019 through a courier company as well as by email. It did not respond even after a reminder was couriered on 1st February 2019 and emailed on 4 February 2019. No verified online information is available about daily Jang’s ownership structure and its financial status.
The data obtained from SECP shows only its ownership structure and no record of its current or recent financial status.