ISLAMABAD: The third death anniversary of Ahmed Faraz, one of the greatest Pakistani Urdu poets, was observed on Thursday.
Ahmad Faraz was born in Kohat on January 14, 1931.
He was considered one of the greatest modern Urdu poets of the last century. Faraz is his pseudonym (‘takhallus’), whereas his real name is Syed Ahmad Shah.
Outspoken about politics, he went into self-imposed exile during the Zia ul Haq era after he was arrested for reciting certain poems at a poetry reading (mushaira) criticising the military rule.
He stayed for six years in Britain, Canada and Europe before returning to Pakistan, where he was initially appointed Chairman Academy of Letters and later chairperson of the Islamabad-based National Book Foundation for several years. He has been awarded with numerous national and international awards.
He was awarded the Hilal-i-Imtiaz in 2004, in recognition of his literary achievements. He returned the award in 2006 after becoming disenchanted with the government and its policies.
Ahmed Faraz, who has been compared with Faiz Ahmed Faiz, holds a unique position as one of the best poets of current times, with a fine but simple style of writing. Even common people can easily understand.
Ethnically a Hindko speaking Pashtoon, Ahmed Faraz studied Persian and Urdu at the Peshawar University. He later became lecturer at the Peshawar University.
Ahmed Faraz died in Islamabad on August 25, 2008.

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