LAHORE: Punjabi short story writer and poet, retired Col Nadir Ali, was laid to rest at his ancestral village of Machhiyana in Gujrat district on Saturday.

He was suffering from chest congestion and had been admitted to the Combined Military Hospital here for around three weeks where he passed away early on Saturday. He had tested negative for Covid-19 twice during the last few days. He leaves behind a widow, a son and four daughters.

According to Nadir Ali’s son-in-law Moazzam Sheikh, he was born in Kohat in 1936. He went to school in his ancestral village in Gujrat and did LLB from the Aligarh College.

Later, he joined the military. He served in Dhaka, Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) as a major from April to October 1971 and got an opportunity to command his battalion. He retired from the armed forces on medical grounds after the 1971 war with India.

In 2007, he opened up about the events of the war in a detailed interview with BBC Urdu, titled ‘Aik Fauji Ki Yadasht’. He also delivered a talk at BRAC University in 2011 on his experiences during the six months he was posted in Dhaka when the operation was launched against those wanting a separate country.

Nadir Ali was a renowned Punjabi writer and had written four books, including one on poetry and three short stories. His short story books are Kahani Paraga, Kahani Kara and Kahani Lekha. The title of his poetry collection is Bol Jhoote Te Sache. He also wrote columns for various English newspapers, including The News on Sunday and Dawn.

The Pakistan Academy of Letters also awarded him the Waris Shah Award in 2006.

Published in Dawn, December 27th, 2020

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