Ahmed Faraz goes unsung on death anniversary
ISLAMABAD, Aug 25: The fifth death anniversary of the renowned poet Ahmed Faraz on Sunday went unnoticed at the state level as no official function was held in this regard in the federal capital.
However, his family visited the H-8 graveyard to pray for him. Saadi Faraz and Shibli Faraz, sons of Ahmed Faraz, were accompanied by Mehboob Zafar and Ghazanfar Hashmi who laid a floral wreath on behalf of the Ahmed Faraz Trust.
Poets and writers from the twin cities, including Naseem Saher, Manzar Naqvi, Sana Hashmi, Tariq Naeem, Aftab Zia, Rana Mohammad Ajmal and others were also present on the occasion. Similarly, Chairman Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) Abdul Hameed also visited the grave and laid a floral wreath.
Shibli Faraz, while talking to Dawn, said all over the world, poets and literary personalities were officially remembered but the government of Pakistan had done nothing to appreciate his father’s services.
“My father had said Asif Zardari’s PPP (Pakistan People’s Party) was not the same founded by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto due to which he was banned from state television,” he said.
He added, “The PPP government should have returned his (Ahmed Faraz’) presidential awards Sitara-e-Imtiaz and Hilal-e-Imtiaz which he was given in 2004. He had returned these titles when Pervez Musharraf imposed an emergency in November 2007, but no one bothered to restore them,” he said.
Shibli Faraz said during the PPP government, he had gone to the Secretary for Cabinet Division Nargis Sethi after coming to know that his father’s awards were being restored, but she had refused to give him anything in writing.
“I don’t have any expectation from the [current] PML-N government because they think Ahmed Faraz belonged to the PPP. They should understand that Faraz was poet of Pakistan,” he said.
Poet Mehboob Zafar said Ahmad Faraz’ death was an irrecoverable loss as such poets were born once in a century. “Faraz was the most prominent and famous poet,” he said.
Poet Tariq Shahid said, “A large number of poets and writers who were facing financial problems were helped by Faraz.”
Ahmed Faraz (real name Syed Ahmad Shah Ali) was born on Jan 12 1931 in Kohat. He was arrested for reciting poems which criticised military rulers in Pakistan during the Zia-ul-Haq era and also went into a self-imposed exile to the United Kingdom.
During Benazir Bhutto’s rule, Faraz came back to Pakistan and was appointed as Chairman PAL and later as chairperson of the National Book Foundation for several years.
He was awarded numerous national and international awards, and died from kidney failure on August 25 2008.