Ashfaq Ahmad can be credited as a great writer, broadcaster, intellectual and spiritualist in the literary history of Pakistan. He was one of those renowned personalities who earned a lot appreciation for his work even from across the border. His contributions to Urdu Literature in the form novels, TV plays mystical writings endow with the status of a Literary Legend.
Ashfaq Ahmed was born on 22nd August 1925 in Ferozepur district, India. He got his early education from his native town and migrated to Pakistan shortly before partition of subcontinent in 1947. He got his masters degree in Urdu literature from Government College Lahore. Later he got married to his classmate Bano Qudsia, also a great novelist in Urdu literature.
Immediately after partition, he volunteered as a broadcaster in radio Azad Kashmir which was operated out of truck on emergency basis due to lack of infrastructure. He along with his colleagues used to move on the truck in various parts of Kashmir on routine basis. Shortly afterwards he was installed as a lecturer in Dayal Singh College, Lahore where he stayed for two years. Later on, he joined Radio Italia, Rome and worked there as a news caster. During this period he taught Urdu language at the university of Rome and mastered his grip on Italian and French languages by earning a diploma from the university of Rome and the university of Grenoble France respectively. He also earned received formal training in radio broadcasting from New York.
After his return from Europe, he joined Radio Pakistan as script writer. At the same time he also served as a editor of the Urdu weekly Lail-o-Nahar and started publishing his very own magazine titled ‘Dastaango’ or ‘Story Teller’. He also hosted a weekly radio program named ‘Talqeen Shah’ whichran almost thirty years making it the longest running radio show in Pakistan. He also wrote many popular TV dramas including ‘Aik Muhabbat Sau Afsanay’, ‘Uchhay Burj Lahore Dey’, ‘Tota Kahani’, ‘Hairat Kadah’ and ‘Mun Chalay ka Sauda.’ He si credited with more than twenty books including ‘Zavia’. He was awarded Sitara-e-Imtiaz and President’s Pride of Performance award due to his contributions to Urdu literature.
Ashfaq Ahmed, during all his life was inclined to Sufism which is also visible in his work. He hosted a TV show named Zavia which promoted Sufism and was praised all over the country. He died of cancer on 7th September 2004, at the age of 79. His death has been a great loss to all of us and Urdu literature but he will remain alive in the minds and hearts of the people due to his prolific work.