Ashfaque Ahmad

 Ashfaque Ahmad

Ashfaq Ahmed (22 August 1925 – 7 September 2004) was a writer, playwright and broadcaster from Pakistan. His works in Urdu included novels, short stories and plays for television and radio of Pakistan. He received the President's Pride of Performance and Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Star of Excellence) awards for his everlasting services in the field of broadcasting and literary heritage of Pakistan.

Ashfaq Ahmed was born on 22 August 1925 in Muktsar, Punjab, British India, in an ethnic Pashtun family of the Mohmand tribe. His early education was in Muktsar.

Shortly before the partition of India in 1947, he migrated to Pakistan and settled in Lahore, Punjab. He completed a Master of Arts degree in Urdu literature from Government College Lahore. Bano Qudsia, his wife and companion in Urdu literary circles, was his classmate at the Government College.

Ashfaq  Ahmed travelled widely and could speak Punjabi, Urdu, English, Italian and French.

As a boy he wrote stories, which were published in Phool (Flower), a magazine for children. 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 radio program, Talqeen Shah (The Preacher) which made him 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 an adviser in the Education Ministry during Zia-ul-Haq's regime.

Ahmed wrote over thirty books. His short story (afsana), Gaddarya (The Shepherd) earned him early fame in 1955.

From his own resources, he created the Central Board for the Development of Urdu in Lahore.

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