Writer and poet Amjad Islam Amjad passes away at 78

Literary icon of country dies of a heart attack aged 78

Renowned playwright, poet and eucationist Amjad Islam Amjad died at the age of 78, here on Friday.

The literary icon of Pakistan died of a heart attack, according to his family sources, whereas his funeral has not yet been announced. However, his burial would take place in Lahore, according to the family members. Amjad Islam Amjad was among Pakistan’s best-known Urdu poets. He was immensely popular among Urdu-lovers due to his brilliant poetry and excellent screenplays. He had been a regular feature at poetry readings all over the world for the last four decades.

Some of his plays, dramatised by the television channels, had won international acclaim. ‘Waaris’, ‘Samandar’, ‘Waqt’, ‘Dehleez’, ‘Raat’ and ‘Apne Log’ were among his most popular screenplays. Amjad Islam Amjad was born on August 4, 1944 in Lahore. He received his MA (Urdu) degree from the Punjab University in 1967, and was appointed a teacher at the Urdu Department of MAO College Lahore from 1968 to 1975. Later on, he appointed as deputy director of Punjab Arts Council in August 1975.

In the 1990s, Amjad Islam Amjad’s services were assigned to the Department of Education and he again joined the teaching department at MAO College. He also held the responsibility as the director of Children’s Complex. Amjad received the Graduate Award in 1975 for the TV drama ‘Khawab Jaagte Hain’. His poetry collection ‘Barzakh’ and translations of modern Arabic poems were published under the title of ‘Aks’. His translation of poems by African poets was also published, while his book of critical essays was published under the name of ‘Tasirat’, which became very popular.

In 1976, he was awarded ‘Writers Guild Award’; in 1987, the Presidential Pride of Performance Award, and in 1998, the Star of Distinction. He received the Nagar Award as the Best Film Writer twice, while he was also honored with numerous domestic and foreign awards including the PTV Award. PM Shehbaz Sharif expressed deep sorrow at the famed poet and screenwriter’s passing. He prayed for the deceased’s soul and a high rank in heaven for him. He also sent his condolences to his family. “Amjad Islam Amjad gave Pakistan memorable TV dramas such as Waris, Fishar and Samandar. His literary contributions will be remembered for ages. His death has deprived Pakistani literature of a great author and poet,” he said.

Governor of Punjab Muhammad Baligh Ur Rehman also expressed grief over Amjad’s demise. He prayed for him to have a high rank in heaven. “Undoubtedly, Amjad Islam Amjad was Pakistan’s number one drama writer. He made a name for himself with his unique poetry. Poets, literaries and drama writers like him are born after decades. May Allah grant the deceased’s family beautiful patience,” he said.

Caretaker Punjab Information Minister Amir Mir offered his condolences upon hearing of the renowned author’s death. “Amjad Islam Amjad is among historic literary personalities, I commend him on his educational and literary services. The gap that he leaves behind can never be filled. Presidential award winner Amjad does not only hold a unique spot in Pakistan but also the world. May Allah grant him a high rank in heaven and grant his family forbearance.”

President Arif Alvi took to Twitter to offer his condolences. Former cricketer Shoaib Akhtar and actor Imran Abbas spoke about the loss Urdu literature has suffered from Amjad’s passing. Federal Minister for Energy Khurram Dastgir-Khan and former senator Farhatullah Babar also posted to honour the great poet. According to Rekhta, he is the author of over 20 books, including Barzakh, Aks and Satwan Dar. Amjad received several awards, including the Pride of Performance and Sitara-e-Imtiaz, for his literary work.