One of the greatest modern Urdu poets of the last century.
One of the acclaimed modern day Urdu poets, Ahmed Faraz was a passionate and popular voice for progress and change. He recited his verses to adulating audiences at mushaeras that made him a household name among lovers of poetry.
Faraz recites his poetry
Collections of Faraz’s poetry have been quite popular for its simple style of writing with which the common man can identify with. His voice, however, was annoying in the halls of power. He opposed usurpers and dictators alike.
Outspoken about politics, Faraz was imprisoned for writing and reciting poems against the military government of Zia Ul Haq. The military regime could not tolerate Faraz’s association with the PPP government. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Pakistan People’s Party inspired Faraz.
In 1976, Faraz became the founding director general the Pakistan Academy of Letters. He was its chairman in 1989-90. His last official job was as the chairman of National Book Foundation based in Islamabad. He won numerous national and international awards.
Upon return of democratic rule, Faraz who stayed for three years in Britain, Canada and Europe, in self-imposed exile, returned to his country.
In the last decade of his life largely during Gen Musharraf’s regime Faraz came out openly against the military regime and returned his country’s highest civilian award, the Hilal-e-Imtiaz, in 2006 (conferred on him in 2004).
Faraz gave his full support to the Pakistan’s lawyers’ movement against Musharraf’s rule.
Famous amongst poetry of resistance has been ‘Mahasara’. And one amongst his great ghazals is ‘Ranjish Hi Sahi’. Authored 13 books and all put together come as ‘Shehr-e-Sukhn aarasta Hai’ his latest publication.
Ethnically a Pashto-speaking Pashtun, Ahmed Faraz was born Syed Ahmed Shah in Nowshera, a village near Kohat. He studied Persian and Urdu at the Peshawar University where he taught these subjects later on.
He had been on dialysis and passed away in Islamabad.