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March 8, 2012
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G Allana — a man of many facets

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March 8, 2012

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Karachi
Today is the 26th death anniversary of Mr G Allana, who was a veteran of the Pakistan movement, a seasoned diplomat, an eminent poet, a prolific historian, and a visionary statesman.
Mr Allana entered politics at an early age and played an active part in the Pakistan movement. After Partition, he was instrumental in forming the Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FPCCIE) and remained its founding president for nine years till 1957. He was also the president of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce, International Islamic Chamber, and a member of the West Pakistan Legislative Assembly, besides being the mayor of Karachi.
Internationally, Mr Allana represented Pakistan at over 100 conferences, served on the governing body of the International Labour Organisation, and the president of the International Organisation of Employers, Brussels. At the United Nations he led a number of peace and diplomatic initiatives/working groups and went on to become chairman of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in 1975. For his contributions he was awarded the United Nations peace medal and was also a nominee for the Noble Peace Prize in 1977.
Mr Allana gained international repute as a poet as well. He once wrote about his work ‘One can cull the ecstasy of a deathless fragrance only from the accumulated wisdom of countless ages. My soul, challenged and choked by suffocating gloom and darkness, groped for light. My pen rolled on and lisped these poems of love and devotion’. He was a fellow of London’s Royal Society of Arts and vice president of United Poets Laureate International. For his work he was awarded a gold medal by the president of Philippines, a medal and award by the Centro Studies Scambi International, Rome, Laurel Crown by Poets Laureate International, Certificate of Honour by the International Academy of Leonardo Da Vinci, Rome, and International Poet Laureate for Human Rights by the United Poets Laureate Association. He received two

honorary doctorate degrees from the Institute of Studies in History Barcelona (Spain), and the World University, US. He was conferred the Freedom of the City/Golden key of civic honours by San Francisco, Paris, Rome, Philadelphia, and Geneva. One of the prominent roads in Karachi is named after him.
Mr Allana authored twenty-six books on history, poetry and literature during his lifetime. The books include Quaid-i-Azam, The story of a Nation, Our Freedom Fighters, His Highness The Aga Khan, The Risalo - Shah Abdul Latif Bhattai, A rosary of Islamic readings, Al Beruni - a restless genius, The World Within, and Love Tales Of The East. His books have been translated into several local and international languages and still used as reference material at universities in the US. Faiz Ahmed Faiz once commented that “Allana writes with an old-world naiveté, rare amongst his contemporaries and with a self-assurance not given to many in the present day world”. He died in 1985 during Zia ul Haq’s martial law regime with a heavy heart for the country and its people. I wonder if his heart would be lighter or heavier now.
The writer is a daughter of G Allana

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