22 August 1925|
Firozpur, Punjab, British India
|Died||7 September 2004
|Occupation||Writer, playwright, intellectual|
|Subject||Literature, philosophy, psychology, socialism|
|Notable awards||Pride of Performance|
Ashfaq Ahmed (Urdu: اشفاق احمد; 22 August 1925 – 7 September 2004) was a writer, playwright and broadcaster from Pakistan. He authored 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 for meritorious services in the field of literature and broadcasting.
Ahmed was born on 22 August 1925 in Firozpur, Punjab, British India, into an ethnic Pashtun family of the Momand 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. He 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.
After Partition, when Ahmed arrived at the Walton refugee camp with millions of other migrants, he used to make announcements of directions on a megaphone around the clock for the refugees. Later, he got a job in 'Radio Azad Kashmir', which was established on a truck that used to drive around in various parts of Kashmir. He then got lectureship at Dayal Singh College, Lahore for two years. Whereafter, he went to Rome to join 'Radio Rome' as an Urdu newscaster. He also used to teach Urdu at 'Rome University'. During his stay in Europe, he received diplomas in the Italian and French languages from the 'Sapienza University of Rome|University of Rome' and University of Grenoble, France. He also earned a special training diploma in radio broadcasting from New York University.
He started writing stories in his childhood, which were published in Phool [Flower] magazine. 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, 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 adviser in the Education Ministry during Zia-ul-Haq's regime. In the 1960s, he produced a feature film, Dhoop aur Saaei [Shadows and Sunshine], which was not very successful at the box office.
Later years and death
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 Dimension) where he gave swift but satisfying responses to each and every question posed by the youth audience.
Awards and recognition
- http://www.ankhmacholi.pk/lectures/zaavia-ashfaq-ahmed-ptv/, Retrieved 13 March 2016
- http://www.samaa.tv/?s=Ashfaq+Ahmed+, Retrieved 13 March 2016
- "About Ashfaq". Zaviia.com. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
- http://archives.dailytimes.com.pk/national/08-Sep-2004/literary-icon-ashfaq-ahmed-laid-to-rest, Retrieved 13 March 2016
- http://www.dawn.com/news/398748/islamabad-tributes-paid-to-ashfaq-ahmed, Retrieved 13 March 2016
- 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 Daily Jang. Retrieved 13 March 2016., Biography of Ashfaq Ahmed
- "Ashfaq Ahmed". Pakistanconnections.com. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
- "ASHFAQ AHMED – An Unforgettable Personality". Hamariweb.com. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
- "In life, in literature: the Siamese twins". X.dawn.com. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
- http://archives.dailytimes.com.pk/national/23-Dec-2004/ashfaq-ahmed-paid-tribute, Retieved 13 March 2016
- "Ashfaq Ahmed promoted sufism". Nation.com.pk. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
- http://urdunovelsorg.blogspot.com/search/label/Ashfaq%20Ahmed, Ashfaq Ahmed, winner of Sitara-i-Imtiaz Award and Pride of Performance Award on urdunovelsorg.com website, Retrieved 23 March 2016
Ashfaq Ahmed: Shakhsiat-o-Fuun (ISBN 969-472-112-1) is a 1998 book written by A. Hameed and Mohammad Hameed Shahid as part of a project of the Pakistan Academy of Letters titled "Pakistani Adab Kae Mehmar".