Ishtiaq Hussain Qureshi

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Ishtiaq Hussain Qureshi
Born(1903-11-20)20 November 1903[1]
Died22 January 1981(1981-01-22) (aged 77)[1]
ResidenceIslamabad, Karachi
Known forHistory of Pakistan
Academic background
Alma materAligarh Muslim University
St. Stephen's College
Cambridge University
ThesisAdministration of Sultanate of Delhi (1939)
Academic work
InstitutionsDelhi University
Punjab University
Columbia University
Karachi University
National Language Authority

Ishtiaq Hussain Qureshi (Urdu: اشتیاق حسين قریشی ‎) (20 November 1903 – 22 January 1981) popularly known as I.H. Qureshi), SP, HI, was a Pakistani historian, scholar, writer, and a professor of political history, first at the University of the Punjab and then at the Karachi University.[1][2]

An early activist of the historic Pakistan Movement,[1] Qureshi served in the ministries of education and frontier regions as the secretary; in addition, he was elected a member of the parliament of Pakistan. But, due to his association with academia, he resigned from his government appointments and joined the academic faculty at the Columbia University as a professor of South Asian history. But soon, he returned to Pakistan and founded the National Language Authority (NLA) in the 1970s and helped set up the History Department at the University of the Punjab. Later, Qureshi joined the faculty of history at the University of Karachi where he remained there the remainder of his life. Qureshi is also credited for editing a four-volume series on history of Pakistan.[3]


Early life and education[edit]

Qureshi was born on 20 November 1903 in a noble family of Patiyali, District Kasganj, a town in Uttar Pradesh, British India. He did matriculation in 1916, and joined Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College Aligarh. At this time, he took active part in Khilafat movement. He did graduation and M.A. in History from St. Stephen's College, Delhi with distinction. In 1927, he got M.A. in Persian. He served as Lecturer in History at St. Stephen's College from 1928 to 1944. Between 1937–40, he studied at Cambridge University for a PhD degree. The topic of his thesis was Administration of Sultanate of Delhi. During this period, he also briefly joined the Pakistan Movement founded by Choudhary Rahmat Ali.[1]

After returning from England, he joined Delhi University where he was appointed Professor of History, and subsequently, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts. He also served as Acting Vice Chancellor of the Delhi University. In 1947, during the Partition riots, when the Muslim students of the St Stephen's College had to be evacuated to the Purana Qila, Dr Qureshi's library was completely burnt down by the mobs.[4]

Career in Pakistan[edit]

After seeing suffering from riots, he migrated to Pakistan in 1948. There, he continued his academic and political career, and served as a member of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. In 1949, he was appointed Professor of History at the University of the Punjab, Lahore. He also joined the Government of Pakistan as Minister of Refugee Rehabilitation, and later as Minister of Education. Later on, he joined the Columbia University, New York where he wrote his famous book, the Muslim Community of the South Asia, as a story of the trials and tribulations of the Muslims in the South Asia.[5] On his return, he played a pivotal role in the establishment of the University of Karachi and remained its Vice-Chancellor for many years.[6]


He was:

  • Member of the Indian as well as Pakistan Historical Records Commissions,
  • Member of the Councils of the Indian and the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs,
  • Member of the Executive Committees of the Indian History Conference and Pakistan History Society.
  • Vice-President of the Pakistan History Society
  • President of Pakistan Political Science Association.
  • General President of Pakistan History Conference as well as Pakistan Political Science Conference.
  • Director of the Central Institute of Islamic Research,
  • Founding member of Urdu Language Authority Muqtadra Quami Zaban, and
  • Vice-Chancellor of the University of Karachi (1961).[6]

Political activities[edit]

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • In recognition of his services, he was decorated with the order of Sitara-e-Pakistan (Star of Pakistan) by the President of Pakistan.[2]
  • On 20 November 2001, Pakistan Post issued a commemorative postage stamp in his name in its Men of Letters series[7]
  • The annual Ishtiaq Hussain Qureshi Memorial Lecture continues to be organised by the History Society of St. Stephen's College.
  • Ishtiaq Hussain Qureshi was nominated as one of the founding members of Pakistan Academy of Letters in recognition of his services to Pakistani languages and literature.[8]


His books on the history of Muslim community in the South Asia as well as other publications on the Pakistan Movement, Administration of the Mughul Empire, role of religious scholars in politics, brought him into the category of the distinguished historians of South Asia. After retirement he associated with writing and research.

English titles of History Work[edit]

  • Administration of the Sultanate of Delhi (1942)[7]
  • Ulema in Politics
  • Akbar, the Architect of Mughal Empire
  • Education in Pakistan
  • The Administration of Mughal Empire
  • The Struggle for Pakistan[2]
  • The Muslim community of the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent, 610–1947: a brief historical analysis. Gravenhage, Mouton. 1962[7]
  • The History of the Freedom Movement[2]
  • A Short History of Pakistan (General Editor)[2]
  • The Religion of Peace (1930)
  • A Nation Born of Sacrifice (co-authors Altaf Husain & General Muhammad Musa)[9]

Urdu Work[edit]

  • But Tarash
  • Band Lifafa
  • Katt Putlian
  • Gunha ki Diwar
  • Mitthai ki Tokri
  • Moalim Aswad
  • Mullah Aala
  • Nafrat ka Beej
  • Hamzaad
  • Neem Shab
  • Naqsh-e-Akhir

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Rauf Parekh (20 January 2009). "The grand old man of historiography". Dawn (newspaper). Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e Profile of Ishtiaq Hussain Qureshi on Overseas Pakistanis Foundation website (archived) Retrieved 22 April 2018
  3. ^ Qureshi, I.H. (ed), A Short History of Pakistan. University of Karachi Press, 1967 (First edition)
  4. ^ St Stephen's College, Alumni page Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 22 April 2018
  5. ^ Qureshi, I.H. (1962). The Muslim community of the South Asia, 610–1947; a brief historical analysis. Gravenhage, Mouton
  6. ^ a b Massacre condemned (by Ishtiaq Hussain Qureshi) Dawn (newspaper), Published 14 October 2011, Retrieved 22 April 2018
  7. ^ a b c d Postage Stamp issued in 2001 for Ishtiaq Hussain Qureshi by Pakistan Post (Men of Letters series) Retrieved 22 April 2018
  8. ^ Rauf Parekh (18 July 2016). "Pakistan Academy of Letters promoting country's literature and languages". Dawn (newspaper). Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  9. ^ Ishtiaq Hussain Qureshi's book on GoogleBooks Retrieved 22 April 2018

External links[edit]