Tuesday, July 11, 2006 ۔۔ LAHORE: Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi, the last of the literary giants of his creed, died on Monday morning, transcending into immortality due to his unmatchable contribution for seven decades to Urdu literature. He was 89.
Qasmi was suffering from asthma. He was taken to the Punjab Institute of Cardiology on Saturday night where his condition deteriorated the next day. He died on Monday at around 9 am. He left behind two daughters and a son.
Born as Ahmed Shah in Anga, a place near Khushab on November 20, 1916, Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi was a multi-dimensional personality of Urdu literature, who was not only a progressive writer deep down to the core but also a beacon of light for writers and poets of all schools of thought. He was widely respected by his contemporaries and admirers.
Qasmi graduated from Bahawalpur in 1935. He started his literary journey much earlier but his real contribution towards Urdu literature started with his editorship of Phool: Taleem-e-Niswan in 1937. After the independence, he joined Radio Pakistan, Peshawar. He became the editor of “Funoon” in 1963 and remained its mentor till his death. Another dimension of Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi was his leadership of the renowned literary organisation of the subcontinent The Majlis-e-Taraqi-e-Adab as its general secretary.
Qasmi was buried at Hazrat Baba Shah Mashaikh graveyard, in Pakki Thatti, Samanabad, since his children wanted him to be buried there. Qasmi’s wife is also buried in the same place.
His funeral was taken out from his residence in Galion Colony Samanabad, the same place where, just three houses away another literary giant late Qateel Shafai used to live. Those, who visited Qasmi’s residence to offer condolences personally, included Punjab Governor Khalid Maqbool, Mian Aamir Mehmood, Ghulam Mustafa Khar, Mujeebur Rehman Shami, Shehzad Rafique, Pervaiz Kaleem, Amjad Islam Amjad, Mustansar Hussain Tarar and many others. Bollywood filmmaker, writer, poet and director Gulzar offered his condolences by telephone, saying: “Today, I really feel lonely”.
APP adds: President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz have expressed a deep sense of sorrow and grief over the demise of Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi. In their separate condolence messages, the president and the prime minister paid rich tributes to Qasmi for his meritorious services in the field of Urdu literature. They said Qasmi was an outstanding poet, novelist, fiction writer, a perceptive critic and commentator on the political and social issues facing society. No less memorable is Qasmi’s role during the freedom struggle, the premier said.