Let’s begin with some details about the visit of our royal guest General Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi.
He came on a one-day visit after our prime minister extended an invite to him. General Shaikh Muhammad is well-read, with sound knowledge of world affairs.
In the past, he was extremely kind to me and my colleagues. Whenever we visited Dubai on business trips, he would invite us to Abu Dhabi where General Chowhan and I would meet him. We often met his other brothers as well.
All of them held important portfolios. As is their tradition, His Highness always wanted to give us valuable gifts, which both General Chowhan and I would politely but gratefully refused.
Our relationship with the UAE started during the time of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and continued until after the death of General Zia. Later on, Nawaz Sharif shifted Pakistan’s primary attention to Saudi Arabia. In those earlier days, we were the UAE’s best friends. We founded their airline – Emirates – and many of our professionals held important jobs in the country’s banking and engineering sectors.
Our bad policies gave Indians a chance to replace our manpower in the UAE. It is time our prime minister made a vigorous effort to build friendships with all the Gulf states along with Turkey, Azerbaijan and Iran to renew our traditional relations with these countries. It is the need of the hour.
The great personalities that I would like to draw attention to are a journalist and a poet.
The former is Altaf Hassan Qureshi, a veteran writer and journalist. He is one of the imams of journalism, and is of the same calibre as Maulana Zafar Ali Khan, Mr Khalilur Rehman, Mr Muhammad Taqi, Shorish Kashmiri, Mr Majid Nizami, Mr Mujibur Rehman Shami, Mr Mushtaq Ahmad Yousufi, Mr Zamir Jafri, Arif Nizami, Mr Talat Hussain and Mr Mazhar Abbas. I have had the pleasure of knowing Altaf Hassan Qureshi for decades.
When you meet him, you notice that he smiles first and then talks – a sure sign of a noble upbringing. His professional career spans more than five decades. He has been the editor-in-chief of ‘Urdu Digest’ and is the author of many books. He is also a good poet.
Tahir Masood, a veteran writer and analyst, has compiled an excellent book on Altaf Hassan Qureshi titled Altaf-e-Sahafat’. This book is like an encyclopaedia about him. It contains a large number of reviews by Pakistan’s most well-known literary figures. He belongs to the pioneers of journalism.
The second great personality is Mr Nasim Sehar, a poet par excellence. He spent many years in Saudi Arabia and has participated in many mushairas. His collection of poetry titled ‘Kulliat Nasim-e-Sehar’ is a treat to read. It is a voluminous books (1,720 pages of text and 20 pages of pictures).
The pictures show him with known writers and poets. I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had a place in this section too, even though that I am neither a famous writer not a well-known poet.
The book contains ‘ghazals’, ‘nazams’ and ‘naats’. It also contains very positive reviews by some famous writers and poets. I have had the honour of knowing Nasim Sehar for decades. He is a much-sought-after poet and is invited to many mushairas and literary functions. I wish Nasim Sehar all the best in his future endeavours and look forward to seeing him again at some point.
Email: dr.a.quadeer.khan gmail.com