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Literati pay tribute to poet

July 17, 2017

RAWALPINDI: Rich tribute was paid to the renowned poet Iftikhar Arif, at the Rawalpindi Arts Council’s (RAC) Sham-i-Mulaqaat programme.

The event was arranged by the Harawal Literary Society and the RAC, and attended by a selected gathering of writers, poets and thinkers.

Ali Amran, a young poet, opened the programme by thanking Mr Arif for taking out the time to chat with the participants, and opened the session for the guest speaker.

Mr Arif began the session by talking about his early life. He said he was born in Lucknow, and studied Urdu, English and Sanskrit at Lucknow University. He also studied journalism at Columbia University in New York City.

At 21, he migrated to Pakistan and worked at Radio Pakistan. Along with Ubaidullah Baig and Qureshpur, he broadcast Kasauti, a popular quiz show on Pakistan Television (PTV). He joined PTV, and then left that for BCCI in London, where he also managed affairs at Urdu Markaz until 1990.

Mr Arif has headed national literary institutions such as the National Language Authority and the Pakistan Academy of Letters, and is recognised as an intellectual in his own right.

He is a veteran poet, and shared his literary journey through some of his finest romantic poetry, which the session’s audience thoroughly enjoyed.

He said he never loved or wrote poetry for any women, and if it was ever written it was a coincidence.

Prominent writers, such as Jaleel Aali, Yousaf Hassan, Mehboob Zafar, Hassan Abbas Raza and others said Mr Arif has his own significance in Urdu poetry.

Since gaining popularity both locally and internationally for his Urdu poetry, Mr Arif is considered a reno­wned poet of his time.

Published in Dawn, July 17th, 2017