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April 6, 2019

Tributes paid to late Allah Bakhsh Yousfi for role in Independence Movement


April 6, 2019

PESHAWAR: Speakers at a function paid glowing tributes to late Allah Bakhsh Yousfi, a leader of the Independence Movement from Peshawar city who was also a known journalist and author.

A literary and cultural organisation, Gandhara Hindko Board, had arranged a programme to enumerate the services of the late leader who was born here on December 25, 1900, and passed away on March 13, 1968.

The function was hosted at the Sain Ahmad Ali Auditorium of the Gandhara Hindko Academy.

Khalida Yousfi, the daughter of the late leader, presided over the function. His grandson, Sohail Anjum, a writer and cultural activist, was the chief guest.

Some among the speakers were Professor Dr Fakhrul Islam, Director, Pakistan Study Centre, University of Peshawar, Hindko language writer, poet and research scholar, Muhammad Ziauddin, Dr Salahuddin and Iqbal Sikandar.

They talked of the life and struggle of Allah Bakhsh Yousfi in the context of the Independence Movement.

They hailed him as a politician, journalist and author who played a role in the Freedom Movement and used his pen to raise political awareness among the Muslims during the British Raj.

Muhammad Ziauddin, who specialises in research and documentation, said: “Late Allah Bakhsh Yousfi was among those figures who played a commendable role as political leader and journalist in the Independence Movement and was called “Baba-e-Sahafat Sarhad.”

The research scholar said the role Allah Bakhsh Yousfi played in politics and journalism fields strengthened the freedom struggle. “His landmark book, “The Frontier Tragedy” offers the most authentic account of the April 23, 1930 massacre committed by the British security forces in Qissa Khwani,” pointed out Ziauddin who is general secretary of the Gandhara Hindko Board and chief of the Executive Committee of the Gandhara Hindko Academy.

Ziauddin said the very publication by the journalist and author set the research standards. “It was even discussed by the British parliamentarians a time when the Raj was making every bid to retain the control of the subcontinent and wanted to enforce policies for the purpose,” he elaborated.

He said late Allah Bakhsh Yousfi became associated with the Khilafat Movement and worked tirelessly to spread its message of the Muslim unity. “This movement later strengthened the freedom struggle in this part of the subcontinent which ultimately resulted in winning freedom,” he went on to add.

Professor Dr Fakhrul Islam said late Allah Bakhsh Yousfi carried out a remarkable research-based work on the Qissa Khwani tragedy.

“We will continue to benefit from this research because the great sacrifice which Peshawar saw at Qissa Khwani on April 23, 1930, continues in different forms to date,” said the director of the Pakistan Study Centre.

The academician said it was our duty to inform the new generation about these scarifies. “We should accomplish the task to keep alive the sacrifices of the people of the Peshawar city,” he suggested.

The chief guest, Sohail Anjum, said the family felt honoured that efforts were being made to relive the contributions made by late Allah Bakhsh Yousfi. “I am grateful to the Gandhara Hindko Academy for re-printing the publications of my maternal grandfather,” said Sohail Anjum.

Earlier, Dr Salahuddin gave an overview of the services of late Allah Bakhsh Yousfi. He said the leader took an active part in the Khilafat Movement and was elected secretary of the Hijrat Committee. His contribution to the Khilafat Movement was widely acknowledged and he was appointed the general secretary of the All India Khilafat Committee in 1926.

Allah Bakhsh Yousfi joined All India Muslim League in 1935 and was appointed President of the Bombay chapter of the league. His abilities were utilised by the Quaid- Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah who appointed him convener of the party parliamentary board.

About the journalistic services, Dr Salahuddin said late Allah Bakhsh Yousfi launched the weekly “Sarhad” from Peshawar in 1921 and turned it into a daily in 1924. He edited the “Hilal-e-Pakistan” in 1943. Being a prolific writer, he produced 72 works.

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