LAHORE, Aug 22 :The 95th birth anniversary of eminent writer, playwright and broadcaster Ashfaq Ahmed being observed on Saturday with tributes paid to his services in the field of literature .
He was born on August 22, 925 in Muktsar, Punjab, British India, in an ethnic Pushtun family of Mohmand tribe. Ashfaq Ahmed got his early education in Muktsar. Ashfaq Ahmed’s works in Urdu includes short stories and plays for television and radio of Pakistan. He received the President’s Pride of Performance and Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Star of Excellence) awards for his services in the field of literature and broadcasting.
After the partition of India in 1947, he settled in Lahore and completed a Master of Arts degree in Urdu literature from Government College Lahore. Bano Qudsia, his wife and companion in Urdu literary circles, was his classmate at the Government College.
As a boy he wrote stories, which were published in Phool magazine. After returning to Pakistan from Europe, he took out his own monthly literary magazine, Dastaango, and joined Radio Pakistan as a script writer. He was made editor of the popular Urdu weekly, Lail-o-Nahar, in place of famous poet Sufi Ghulam Mustafa Tabassum by the Government of Pakistan.
Besides writing dozens of plays, Ashfaq Ahmed started his radio program, Talqeen Shah in 1962 which made him 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 wrote over thirty books. His short story, Gaddarya earned him early fame in 1955. He was died on September 7, 2004 in Lahore.