london.Rich tributes were paid to renowned Urdu humorist Late Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi at the High Commission on 01 November 2019. To honour the memory of the great Urdu writer, the High Commission and Urdu Markaz London jointly organised an “Evening with Iftikhar Arif”, followed by a Mushaira with the local Urdu poets.
A large number of Urdu loving Pakistani community as well as fans of both Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi and poet Iftikhar Arif attended the Evening with great zeal and enthusiasm.
In his welcome remarks, High Commissioner Mohammad Nafees Zakaria paid glowing tributes to Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi for enriching Urdu language and creating sublime humour. He commended his services for the promotion of national language and cultural heritage. To the amusement of the audience, Mr Zakaria read out some humorous excerpts from the writings of Yousufi.
Underlining the importance of national language in transmitting national heritage and cultural ethos to the future generations, the High Commissioner appreciated acclaimed poet Iftikhar Arif for his contribution to promote Urdu language and poetry in Pakistan as well as abroad.
The High Commissioner also acknowledged famous broadcaster Raza Ali Abidi for his services to Urdu language and mentioned some of his popular BBC Urdu programmes like Jernaili Sarak, Shair Darya and Sab Ras.
Appreciating Dr Javaid Sheikh, Chairman Urdu Markaz London, for his efforts to advance Urdu language in the UK, Mr Zakaria assured all possible support to the Markaz for its future literary endeavours.
On the occasion, the High Commissioner also updated the attendees on the current situation in Kashmir and reiterated Pakistan’s diplomatic, moral and political support to the Kashmiris. The audience also expressed solidarity with the Kashmiri people and called for ending Indian atrocities in the Occupied Kashmir.
In his talk, Iftikhar Arif shared the fond memories of his association with Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi. He also shed light on life and literary work of Yousufi. He was of the opinion that Yousufi is remembered as a humorist but he was perhaps the greatest prose writer of Urdu. Mr Arif recited some of his famous poems and ghazals and was applauded by the audience.
Raza Ali Abidi and Dr Javaid Sheikh also spoke about the literary art of Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi and his personality.
At the Mushaira, poets Javed Saba, Aqeel Danish and Rehana Rohi presented their poetry and received applause from the attendees. Poet Faizan Arif moderated the Mushaira and read out a brief message of Yousufi’s daughter Rukhsana Ahmed sent for the occasion.
The event was held in keeping with the tradition of the High Commission to promote Urdu language and literature and connect the young British Pakistanis with their cultural heritage.
It was a memorable evening thoroughly enjoyed by the fans of Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi and Iftikhar Arif.