Ashfaq Ahmed (Urdu: اشفاق احمد; 22 August 1925 – 7 September 2004) was a writer, playwright and broadcaster from Pakistan. He wrote several books in Urdu. His works included novels, short stories and plays for television and radio. He was awarded President's Pride of Performance and Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Star of Excellence) awards for his services in the field of literature and broadcasting.
|Born||22 August 1925|
Muktsar, Punjab, British India
|Died||7 September 2004 (aged 79)|
|Occupation||Writer, playwright, intellectual|
|Subject||Literature, philosophy, psychology, socialism|
Pride of Performance
|Children||Aneeq Ahmed Khan, Anees Ahmed Khan, Aseer Ahmed Khan|
Ahmed was born on 22 August 1925 in Muktsar, Punjab, British India, into an ethnic Pashtun family of the Mohmand tribe. He obtained his early education in his native district of Muktsar. Shortly before independence in 1947, he migrated to Pakistan and settled in Lahore, Punjab. Ashfaq Ahmed completed his Masters in Urdu literature from Government College Lahore. Bano Qudsia, his wife and companion in Urdu literary circles, was his classmate at the Government College.
Ashfaq Ahmed was a widely travelled person and could speak Urdu, English, Italian and French languages besides his mother-tongue Punjabi language.
He started writing stories in his childhood, which were published in Phool [Flower], a magazine for children. After returning to Pakistan from Europe, he took out his own monthly literary magazine, Dastaango [Story Teller], and joined Radio Pakistan as a script writer. He was made editor of the popular Urdu weekly, Lail-o-Nahar [Day and Night], in place of famous poet Sufi Ghulam Mustafa Tabassum by the Government of Pakistan.
In 1962, Ashfaq Ahmed started his popular radio program, Talqeen Shah [The Preacher] which made him immensely popular among the people in towns and villages. He was appointed director of the Markazi Urdu Board in 1966, which was later renamed as Urdu Science Board, a post he held for 29 years. He remained with the board until 1979. He also served as an adviser in the Education Ministry during Zia-ul-Haq's regime.
Ashfaq Ahmed had authored over 30 books during his life time. His short story (afsana), Gaddarya (The Shepherd) earned him early fame in 1955. Another notable achievement was that he had established, out of his personal resources, the building of the Central Board for the Development of Urdu in Lahore.
- Talqeen Shah (1962)
- Baithak (The Guest Room)
Later years, death and legacyEdit
Ashfaq Ahmed, in his later years of life, was greatly inclined towards Sufism. His close association with Qudrat Ullah Shahab and Mumtaz Mufti was also attributed to this tendency. He used to appear in a get together with his fans in PTV program Baithak (The Guest Room) and Zaviya (The Angle) where he gave swift but satisfying responses to each and every question posed by the youth audience.
In November 2004, Allama Iqbal Open University staff organized an event in Islamabad to pay tributes to Ashfaq Ahmed. At this event, Chairman, National Language Authority, Fateh Muhammad Malik stated that with the death of Ashfaq Ahmed, a vacuum had been created in the literary world of Pakistan. Chairman, Pakistan Academy of Letters, Iftikhar Arif also paid tribute to him as a dynamic literary figure and said that one of his priorities had always remained welfare of the people.
Awards and recognitionEdit
- Ashfaq Ahmed remembered Dawn (newspaper), Published 16 September 2009, Retrieved 26 February 2019
- "About Ashfaq". Zaviia.com website. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
- ISLAMABAD: Tributes paid to Ashfaq Ahmed Dawn (newspaper), Published 1 November 2004, Retrieved 25 February 2019
- Iqbal, M 1999, Colours of Loneliness, Oxford University Press, p.391
- Colours of loneliness. Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
- "The enigma behind the man". The News International (newspaper). Retrieved 26 February 2019., Biography of Ashfaq Ahmed
- "Ashfaq Ahmed". Pakistanconnections.com website. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
- "ASHFAQ AHMED – An Unforgettable Personality". Hamariweb.com. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
- "In life, in literature: the Siamese twins". Dawn (newspaper). 10 April 2011. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
- Nadeem F. Paracha (1 March 2015). "The sage, the populist and the dictator". Dawn (newspaper). Retrieved 26 February 2019.
- "Ashfaq Ahmed promoted sufism". Nation.com.pk. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
- Ashfaq Ahmed, winner of Sitara-i-Imtiaz Award and Pride of Performance Award on urdunovelsorg.com website Retrieved 26 February 2019
- Ashfaq Ahmed remembered (includes his awards info) The News International (newspaper), Published 8 September 2017, Retrieved 26 February 2019