Ashfaq Ahmed (Urdu: اشفاق احمد ; 22 August 1925 – 7 September 2004) was a writer, playwright, broadcaster, intellectual and spiritualist from Pakistan. Ashfaq Ahmed authored more than 20 books in Urdu. His works included novels, short stories and plays for television and radio.
He was awarded President’s Pride of Performance and Sitara-i-Imtiaz for meritorious services in the field of literature and broadcasting.
Ahmed was born in Garhmukteshwar village, Ghaziabad, British India. He obtained his early education in his native district. Shortly beforeindependence in 1947, he migrated to Pakistan and settled in Lahore, Punjab. He completed his Masters in Urdu literature from Government College Lahore. Bano Qudsia, his wife and companion in Urdu literary circles, was his classmate at Government College.
He started writing stories in his childhood, which were published in Phool [Flower] magazine. After returning to Pakistan from Europe, he took out his own monthly literary magazine, Dastaango [Story Teller], and joined Radio Pakistan as a script writer. He was made editor of the popular Urdu weekly, Lail-o-Nahar [Day and Night], in place of famous poet Sufi Ghulam Mustafa Tabassum by the Government of Pakistan.
In 1962, Ashfaq Ahmed started his popular radio program, Talqeen Shah [The Preacher] which made him immensely popular among the people in towns and villages. He was appointed director of the Markazi Urdu Board in 1966, which was later renamed as Urdu Science Board, a post he held for 29 years. He remained with the board until 1979. He also served as adviser in the Education Ministry during Zia-ul-Haq’s regime. In the 60s, he produced a feature film, Dhoop aur Saie [Shadows and Sunshine], which was not very successful at the box office.
Later Years and Death[edit source
Ashfaq Ahmed’s Grave in Model Town, Lahore
Besides his personality as a great author of impressive and laudable books, Ashfaq Ahmed, in his later years of life, was greatly inclined towards Sufism. His close association with Qudrat Ullah Shahab and Mumtaz Mufti was also attributed for this tendency. He used to appear in a get together with his fans in PTV program Baittakh (The Guest Room) and Zaviya (The Dimension) where he gave swift but satisfying responses to each and every question posed by the youth audience.
On 7 September 2004, Ashfaq Ahmed died of pancreatic cancer. He was laid to rest in a Model Town, Lahore