Top literary award for Ada Jafri
ISLAMABAD – This year’s “Kamal-i-Fun Award” for life time achievement in literature has been given to poet Ada Jafri. She is the first woman recipient of the award since the literary prize was established by the Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) in 1997.
A nine-member jury of literary personalities adjudged the nominees for the 2003 award. The award carried a monetary endowment of Rs500,000. Prof Sharif Kunjahi announced the names of the recipients of the literary award at the PAL in Islamabad on August 3.
All members of the jury – Prof Sharif Kunjahi, Dr Fahmida Hussain, Dr Saleem Akhtar, Dr Anwar Ahmad, Mushfiq Khwaja, Muhammad Nawaz Tair, Dr Naimatullah Gichki, Dr Anwar Ahmad, National Languages Authority chairman Prof Fateh Muhammad Malik, and Pakistan Academy of Letters chairman Iftikhar Arif – were present at the news conference.
Speaking on the occasion, Iftikhar Arif said Ada Jafri was nominated after the jury evaluated her entire literary work and not with reference to any particular book of her poetry.
He announced the national literary award and named the books which had created a stir in literary circles in Urdu as well as other Pakistani languages during 2003. He also announced prizes of Rs50,000 for each category, which had been increased this year by Rs10,000.
The Allama Iqbal Award in Urdu was given to Zia Jullundhry for his book of poetry Dam-i-Subuh. The Bab-i-Urdu award for the best Urdu prose was shared by Intizar Hussain for his book Sharzad Ka Naam and by Bano Qudsia for her book Dast Basta.
Ahmad Rahi was given the Waris Shah award for Nimi Nimi Wa. Shah Abdul Latif Award for the best Sindhi writer was given to Dr Fahmida Hussain for her book Adabi Tanqeed jo Fun Ain Tareekh.
The Khushhal Khan Khattak Award for Pushto was given to Ayaz Daudzai for Adabi Hasey. The Khwaja Farid Award was given to Aslam Qureshi for his book Kakraan. The Baluchi language Mast Tawakkali award was given to M.S. Azat for his book Tunapeen Taran.
A new award called the Taj Muhammad Award for Brahvi literature was also announced. A novel feature of the award is the recognition of English literature produced in Pakistan as dominant literary effort to express Pakistani ideas and heritage in the international literary circuits.
The Patras Bukhari Award for Pakistan English writing was given to Kamila Shamsie, who has already famous for her books of English fiction. In the news conference a question asked was whether the award to Ada Jafri was a belated national recognition of women writers.
The Kamal-i-Fun Award to poet Ada Jafri, has not come a bit too soon since she is already an octogenarian (Born 1924). But she has been honoured with other national literary awards including the Adamjee Award in 1965 and Tamgha-i-Imtiaz in 1981.