Noted progressive writer Ashfaq Saleem Mirza lauded as a living legend

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Islamabad: A noted progressive writer, historian and scholar of philosophy Ashfaq Saleem Mirza was honored as a living legend for his life long struggle and matchless contributions to literature, especially to the literature of philosophy. A Large number of friends, literacy colleagues and members of civil society gathered to pay glowing tribute to Ashfaq Saleem Mirza.

Panellists during ‘Tribute to a living legend program: Celebrating Life and Work of ‘Ashfaq Saleem Mirza’, organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) urged the universities to honored Ashfaq’s work with a doctorate degree, not because he needed, but his work merit to be recognized and honored with at least a doctorate degree.

Dr. Iqbal Afaqi, eminent critic and author said Ashfaq Mirza is an incredible personality of strength and patience, who gives confidence to his colleagues and friends in their difficult times. He said Hegel’s (a German philosopher) philosophical literature was beautifully translated by Ashfaq Mirza is such a way that a common person can understand and learn Hegel’s philosophical thoughts. Mirza was among very few personalities who write on German Historicism, he added. He urged Mirza to continue his writings, especially, with the perspective of post-modern conditions of the society.

Kishwar Naheed, renowned Urdu poet said Ashfaq is a punctual and disciplined personality and she learns from his intellect and philosophical thoughts. She said Ashfaq is an optimistic personality who could find optimism in every worse situation, even he was optimist in martial laws era. It was his optimism, which help us and other colleagues to stand strong against any oppression, she added.

Dr. Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI said our society is in moral debt trap and SDPI’s tribute to a living legend series program was an attempt to overcome this moral debt trap. He said the work and contribution of Ashfaq Saleem Mirza, especially in the literature of philosophy, was commendable and should be remembered. Those who wanted to understand Falsafa (Philosophy), especially the young generation, must learn and benefit from the worthy work of Ashfaq Mirza, he added.

Sarmad Sehbai, famous poet, film and theatre director said Ashfaq’s personality is universal in nature, which cannot be expressed in few words. He said though Ashfaq looks serious in nature, but he has deep understanding of love and beauty of nature, which he expressed in his poems. Ashfaq is like a think tank of our society, he remarked. Dr Noor Fatima, Assistant Professor, Department of Politics & International Relations, IIUI said Ashraf Mirza’s contributions to literature are multi-dimensional in the field of Urdu literature, poetry, history and philosophy. She said Ashfaq is a great mentor and have independent mind to take clear position of domestic and international social issues. It was due to Ashfaq Mirza’s counseling and guidance that today I am in the profession of teaching and contributing to literature, she added. She called upon universities to honored Ashfaq’s work with a doctorate degree, not because he needed, but his work merit to be recognized honored with at least a doctorate degree.

Dr Ravish Nadeem, eminent writer and poet said Ashfaq in his political and philosophical struggle never lose his patience. He said Mirza is a human with beautiful mind, and his personality has the traits of compassion, optimism, and progressiveness. Dr. Naazir Mahmood, Progressive Intellectuals and Social Commentators said Ashfaq’s book titled ‘Falsafa Kia hy-Aik Nai Madi Taabeer’ was beautifully summed up the essence of philosophy. He said a common person can understand with ease about the philosophy by reading Ashfaq’s books. He urged Ashfaq to write his memoirs, especially about his struggle of left politics.

Dr Arshad Waheed, Renowned Scholar said even in today’s growing censorship time, Ashfaq, with his poor health condition, stood with his friends in demonstrations against oppression and records his protest. Dr Humaira Ashfaq, Urdu editor and research fellow, SDPI said there are very few writers and intellectual left in our society who writes on the discipline of philosophy and Ashfaq Saleem Mirza is one of those rare progressive writers who help pushed our generation towards the real essence of philosophy. Noted progressive writer and poet Ahmed Saleem and other friends and literary colleagues also express their thought and pay homage to Ashfaq Mirza.

Ashfaq Saleem Mirza, while thanking the panelists for their thoughts said today, Pakistan is suffering with such a situation which he never witnessed in his 76 years life. He said this crisis will result in chaos. However, he was optimist that every chaos sometimes leads towards betterment. At the closing ceremony, SDPI’s Life Time Achievement Award was presented to Ashfaq Saleem Mirza by Ahmed Saleem, noted poet, progressive writer and Senior Advisor Education & Religious Diversity, SDPI.