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KARACHI: Literary prose, poetry evaluated

May 08, 2005

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KARACHI, May 7: A meeting to discuss the merits of two publications from journalist/writer and poet Ashraf Shad was held at the Arts Council on Friday. The writer, based in Australia, authored two poetry collections — Aa Merey Qareeb Aa and Nisaab and three novels – Bewatan, Wazir Azam and Sadar-i-Mohtaram. Continuing his literary pursuit, he proved his mettle as a researcher and broadcaster.

Dr Peerzada Qasim, in his presidential discourse, lavishly admired the writer Mr Shad ‘a value-added’ person, a truthful journalist, equally enlightened fiction writer and a poet. Ashraf Shad’s loyalty to his country and the people was admirable, Peerzada Qasim said, and added that Mr Shad belonged to a large community of honest journalists.

Discussing the social environment plagued with the conditions of fear and uncertainty and which had changed the psyche of the entire nation, Dr Peerzada said that writing of a novel in such conditions had become very difficult. There was no social justice and corruption was rampant. But Ashraf Shad described those conditions with courage, Dr Peerzada concluded.

The function to honour Ashraf Shad and evaluate his publications was arranged by his devoted friends in the city. Mujahid Barelvi, Shahnaz Ahed, Rukhsana Zuberi, Amjad Islam Amjad who had come from Lahore to join the function, Naqqash Kazmi whose friendship with Shad was spread over four decades and famous broadcaster from BBC London Shafi Naqi Jamei who happened to be in Karachi.

A full-length paper covering the literary and journalistic career of Ashraf Shad was read out by senior poet and writer Hemayat Ali Shair. He praised the writer and his wife Ms Yasmin, a successful neurologist serving the humanity in their best ways.

Prof Saher Ansari sadly noted that in the history of Urdu prose spanned over hundred years, there were only a few novels one could count of fingertips. Ashraf Shad’s novel was highly readable written in popular style, depicting Pakistan’s society in its changing form.

Amjad Islam said that Sadr-i-Mohtaram was a monument at work and the characters it carried were portrayed with utmost courage.

Shahnaz Ahed read out some interesting lines from the novel. Ashraf Shad himself recited the last paras of the novel to the pleasure of the audience.—H.A.