Urdu version of former envoy’s book launched

Published January 4, 2024
Surya Kamal (sitting at the head table) speaks at the launch of the Urdu version of the memoirs of her spouse late ambassador Arif Kamal in Muzaffarabad on Wednesday. — Photo by author
Surya Kamal (sitting at the head table) speaks at the launch of the Urdu version of the memoirs of her spouse late ambassador Arif Kamal in Muzaffarabad on Wednesday. — Photo by author

MUZAFFARABAD: “Kamal Nama”, the Urdu version of the memoirs of Ambassador Arif Kamal (late)who served Pakistan as a career diplomat for more than three decadeswas launched at an impressive ceremony on Wednesday.

Ambassador Kamal had chronicled his diplomatic career across the globe in “Reminiscence of My Wanderings” whose virtual launch was hosted by the Centre for Strategic Perspectives (CSP) at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) in March 2021.

The book was translated in Urdu by Mujahid Eshai and the family decided to hold its launching in Muzaffarabad, withCentre for International Strategic Studies (CISS) of the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (UAJK) becoming the host.

Ambassador Kamal, who was born in India occupied Jammu in January 1947, lays buried in Islamabad, where he breathed his last in December last year after protracted illness.

In his remarks about the book at the March 2021 virtual launching, Mr Kamal, who served as ambassador in Qatar and Jordan, had explained that it presented the thoughts and experiences of his life in the bureaucracy and the roles he played in his personal capacity as a diplomat.

Besides touching upon the issue of Jammu and Kashmir in the context of peace-building, the book was also an amalgamation of his personal glimpses of historically significant moments including the Iranian Revolution, the final years of the Soviet Union, war in Afghanistan and the Middle East cauldron, he had said.

Representing her late husband at the CISS-sponsored function, Ms Surya Kamal,shared the collaborative efforts to have the ‘Reminiscence of My Wanderings’ translated into ‘Kamal Nama’ byMrEshai, amid addition of a personal touch to the poignant narrative.

“Unlike other authors, Kamal sahib has refrained from boasting about himself and his family in his book,” she said.

She added that even after retirement, her spouse ensured not to disclose any national secrets in a manifestation of his unwavering dedication to Kashmir and Pakistan.

In his brief comments, translator Mr Eshai stated that every word in a language held a unique context and flavour which must be given due consideration in its translation.

“I have tried my best to faithfully convey the true essence of the author’s words to the readers throughout the translation process,” he said.

Late ambassador’s son, Mustafa Kamal, stated that his father’s primary identity was as a son of Kashmir followed by his role as a diplomat.

Additionally, he was deeply devoted to Madina, which highlighted his priorities in life.

Naila Altaf Kayani, a renowned social and political activist, remarked on the occasion that by consolidating his 30 plus years diplomatic journey into a book, Ambassador Arif Kamal had effectively preserved it for the future generations.

“I am sure the youth will find value in the book and benefit from its content for the purpose of research as well as any prospective role for their nation,” she said.

The ceremony also addressed by Leader of the Opposition in AJK Assembly Khawaja Farooq Ahmed, secretary agriculture Sardar Javed Ayub, CISS executive director Dr Asma Shakir and others.

Published in Dawn, January 4th, 2024

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