The death anniversary of eminent writer, playwright and broadcaster Ashfaq Ahmad is being observed today.
Born on August 22, 1925, Ashfaq Ahmad wrote dozens of TV dramas and hosted a famous program on Radio Pakistan “Talqeen Shah” which was broadcast by Radio Pakistan for about 35 years.
His famous PTV plays were “Munchaley ka Soda” “Aik Muhobaat Sao Fasaney” “Tota Kahani” “Hairat Kada” and “Afsaney”.
On television, Ahmad penned the script of several plays that went on to become popular with audiences including, Uchhay Burj Lahore De, Tali Thallay, and Tota Kahani. He also made a feature film called “Dhop aur Saya” in the 1960s. Ashfaq Ahmed married Banu Qudsia, who was also a well-known author and literary personality.
He received both the Presidential Pride of Performance award (Sadarti Aizaz Barai-Husn-Karkardagi) and Sitar-e-Imtiaz.
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.
Later in life, Ahmed’s devotion to Sufism grew. His close association with Qudrat Ullah Shahab and Mumtaz Mufti, Baba Mohammad Yahya Khan was also attributed to this tendency. He used to get together with his fans in PTV program Baithak (The Guest Room) and Zaviya (The Angle) where he gave swift but satisfying responses to each and every question posed by the youth audience.
Ashfaq Ahmad died on September 7, 2004, in Lahore at the age of 79.