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Ashfaq Ahmed

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Ashfaq Ahmed
اشفاق احمد

Born(1925-08-22)22 August 1925
Muktsar, Punjab, British India
Died7 September 2004(2004-09-07) (aged 79)
Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
OccupationWriter, playwright, intellectual
GenreFiction, non-fiction
SubjectLiterature, philosophy, psychology, socialism
Notable worksTalqeen Shah, Aik Muhabbat So Afsaney, Gadariya, Tota Kahani, Mann Chale Ka Sauda, Zavia, Farhang Istalahaat
Notable awardsSitara-i-Imtiaz
Pride of Performance (1979)
SpouseBano Qudsia
ChildrenAneeq Ahmed Khan, Anees Ahmed Khan, Aseer Ahmed Khan

Ashfaq Ahmed (Urdu: اشفاق احمد خان; 22 August 1925 – 7 September 2004) was a Pakistani writer, playwright and broadcaster.[1][2] His works in Urdu included novels, 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 everlasting services in the field of broadcasting and literary heritage of Pakistan.[3]

Early life[edit]

Ashfaq Ahmed was born on 22 August 1925 in Muktsar, Punjab, British India, in an ethnic Pashtun family of the Mohmand tribe.[1][4][5][6] His early education was in Muktsar.[4][5][7]

Shortly before the partition of India in 1947, he migrated to Pakistan and settled in Lahore, Punjab.[8] He 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.[9]

Ahmed travelled widely and could speak Punjabi, Urdu, English, Italian and French.[1]



As a boy he wrote stories, 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.[1][2]

Ahmed wrote over thirty books. His short story (afsana), Gaddarya (The Shepherd) earned him early fame in 1955.[2]

From his own resources, he created the Central Board for the Development of Urdu in Lahore.[3]


In 1962, Ashfaq Ahmed started his radio program, Talqeen Shah (The Preacher) which made him popular among the people in towns and villages.[1] 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.[8] He remained with the board until 1979. He also served as an adviser in the Education Ministry during Zia-ul-Haq's regime.


In 1968, he wrote and directed the Urdu movie Dhoop Aur Sayay (Sun and Shades), which was also the only Urdu production of Hakim Ali Zardari. It was a failure at the box-office, but Ahmed argued that it was because its content was ahead of its time and anticipated the Parallel cinema movement in India.[10]

Later years, death and legacy[edit]

Ashfaq Ahmed's Grave in Model Town, Lahore

Later in life, Ahmed’s devotion to Sufism grew.[11] His close association with Qudrat Ullah Shahab and Mumtaz Mufti, Baba Mohammad Yahya Khan[12] was also attributed to this tendency. He used to 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.[2]

On 7 September 2004, Ahmed died of pancreatic cancer. He was buried in Model Town, Lahore, Pakistan.[1]

In November 2004, Allama Iqbal Open University staff organized an event in Islamabad to pay tributes to 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.[3]


Radio plays[edit]

  • Talqeen Shah (1962)
  • Baithak (The Guest Room)

Television shows[edit]

  • Uchhay Burj Lahore De / اُچے برج لاہور دے[2]
  • Tali Thallay / ٹالی تھلے
  • Tota Kahani (1970s)[1] / توتا کہانی
  • Aik Mohabbat Sau Afsanay (1975–76)[13] / ایک محبت سو افسانے
  • Aur Dramay / اور ڈرامے
  • Zavia[1] / زاویہ


  • Zaviya / زاویہ #1
  • Zaviya 2 / زاویہ #2
  • Zaviya 3 / زاویہ #3
  • Aik Mohabbat Sau Afsanay / ایک محبت سو افسافے
  • Mann Chalay Ka Sauda / من چلے کا سودا
  • Gadaria: Ujley Phool / گڈریا: اُجلے پھول
  • Safar e Maina / سفرِ مینا
  • Tahli Thalley / ٹاہلی تھلے
  • Mehman Bahaar / مہمان بہار
  • Vidaa e Jang / وداعِ جنگ
  • Changez Khan ke Sunehri Shaheen / چنگیز خاں کے سنہری شاہین
  • Khattya Wattya / کھٹیا وٹیا
  • Tota Kahani / توتا کہانی
  • Qumkaar / قمکار
  • Garma Garm / گرما گرم
  • Haft Zabani Lughaat / ہفت زبانی لغات
  • Doosron Se Nibah / دوسروں سے نباہ
  • Aik Hi Boli / ایک ہی بولی
  • Subhaney Fasaney / صبحانے فسانے
  • Band Gali / بند گلی
  • Mehman Saraey / مہمان سرائے
  • Baba Sahiba / بابا صاحبا
  • Safar Dar Safar / سفر در سفر
  • Ucche Burj Lahore De / اُچے بُرج لاہور دے
  • Tilisam Hosh Afza / طلسم ہوش افزا
  • Aur Dramey / اور ڈرامے
  • Nange Paun / ننگے پاؤں
  • Hasrat Tameer / حسرت تعمیر
  • Jang Bajang / جنگ بجنگ
  • Aik Muhabbat So Dramey / ایک محبت سو ڈرامے
  • Hairat Kadah / حیرت کدہ
  • Shaahla Kot / شاہلا کوٹ
  • Khel Tamasha / کھیل تماشا
  • Guldaan / گلدان
  • Dheenga Mushti / دھینگا مُشتی
  • Shora Shori / شورا شوری
  • Dhandora / ڈھنڈورا
  • Arz e Musannif / عرضِ مصنف
  • Fankar / فنکار
  • Mukhtalif Mashron Mein Aurat Ki Hasiyat / مختلف معاشروں میں عورت کی حیثیت

Awards and recognition[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Ashfaq Ahmed remembered Dawn (newspaper), Published 16 September 2009. Retrieved 26 February 2019
  2. ^ a b c d e "About Ashfaq". Zaviia.com website. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  3. ^ a b c ISLAMABAD: Tributes paid to Ashfaq Ahmed Dawn (newspaper), Published 1 November 2004. Retrieved 25 February 2019
  4. ^ a b Iqbal, M 1999, Colours of Loneliness, Oxford University Press, p.391
  5. ^ a b Iqbal, Muzaffar (1999). Colours of loneliness. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195778502. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  6. ^ "The enigma behind the man". The News International (newspaper). Retrieved 26 February 2019., Biography of Ashfaq Ahmed
  7. ^ "Ashfaq Ahmed". Pakistanconnections.com website. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  8. ^ a b "ASHFAQ AHMED – An Unforgettable Personality". Hamariweb.com. 29 November 2008. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  9. ^ "In life, in literature: the Siamese twins". Pakistan: Dawn. 10 April 2011. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  10. ^ "Ashfaq Ahmed". Pakistan Film Magazine. Archived from the original on 9 July 2023.
  11. ^ "Ashfaq Ahmed promoted sufism". The Nation. Pakistan. Archived from the original on 5 September 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  12. ^ "Modern day Mystic". 6 January 2014.
  13. ^ Nadeem F. Paracha (1 March 2015). "The sage, the populist and the dictator". Pakistan: Dawn. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  14. ^ Ashfaq Ahmed, winner of Sitara-i-Imtiaz Award and Pride of Performance Award on urdunovelsorg.com website Retrieved 26 February 2019
  15. ^ Ashfaq Ahmed remembered (includes his awards info) The News International (newspaper), Published 8 September 2017. Retrieved 26 February 2019

External links[edit]