Shehzad Ahmed – Dawn/File photo
Shehzad Ahmed – Dawn/File photo

LAHORE, Aug 1: Shehzad Ahmed, Director of Majlis-i-Taraqqi-i-Adab and poet, died on Wednesday. He was 80.

“My father went to office as usual on Wednesday and came back at 4pm. Suddenly his condition deteriorated. He was rushed to hospital but died on the way,” Tauheed Shehzad, the poet’s younger son, told Dawn.

He said though his father had been suffering from cardiac problems, the death was not due to heart attack or any such trouble.

Shehzad Ahmed was born on April 16, 1932, in Amritsar (India). After partition he migrated to Pakistan. According to Tauheed Shehzad, his father did his matriculation in Amritsar. He did MSc in psychology from Government College, Lahore, in 1956 and in 1958 he also did MA philosophy from GC. From his college days he was into poetry and used to recite poems in different poetry sittings.

He wrote some 30 books on poetry and a number of books on psychology. He also translated books and poetic collections. He was awarded the country’s highest civil award, the Pride of Performance, during 1990s.

He is survived by two sons and three daughters. His funeral will be held near his residence, the Old Officers Colony Sadar Cantonment at Faisal Shaheed Mosque on Thursday after Asr prayers.

Amjad Islam Amjad, lauding Ahmed’s poetry, said he was a representative of the first generation of post-partition poets that counted among its ranks legends like Ahmed Faraz, Habib Jalib and John Elia.

Poet and writer Khalid Ahmed said Ahmed was also a very learned man. He had the confidence to probe subjects like psychology and philosophy through his poetry.

Playwright Asghar Nadeem Syed said Shehzad Ahmed had held aloft the torch lit by Faiz and Faraz. Recalling a meeting last week with the late poet, Asghar Nadeem Syed said he was with Ahmed at Nariang art gallery, where on every last Friday of the month Nayyer Ali Dada, the owner, hold a literary sitting. He said at the gallery Ahmed recited his three ghazals.

Poet Zafar Iqbal said they had studied together at Government College, Lahore. “We had such close family relations that I named my daughter after Ahmed’s wife.”

Prominent poetic collections of Shehzad Ahmed include Sadaf, Jalti Bhujti Ankhain, Tuta Huwa Pal, Utray Meri Khak per Sitar and Bichra Janay Ki Rut.

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