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Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

Altaf Hussain Asad

The News on Sunday

Published Date: Aug 27, 2017

Creating space for a legend

Nisar Aziz Butt is no stranger to the world of words as she made her presence felt with her four novels and autobiography. Her first novel Nagri Nagri Phira Musafir hit the newsstands in 1956 and received a positive nod from the redoubtable Muhammad Hasan Askari, the doyen of Urdu critics in Pakistan.

Three more novels followed in 1973, 1986 and 1990 respectively. Her memoir Gaye Dinon Ka Suragh was released in 2004 and that too was widely appreciated. The memoir chronicled an entire era in which she witnessed many episodes. Born in Mardan in 1927, Butt’s father was a book lover and an officer in the Revenue Department. He wanted his daughter to study which she did: she devoured authors like Abdul Halim Sharar, Rashidul Khairi, Hijab Imtiaz Ali, Mirza Adeeb to satiate her thirst for literature.

From an early age she had a deep fascination for literature and went on to devote her life to writing. Despite her lifelong commitment to literature, she wasn’t given the recognition she deserved.

The volume has been divided into two parts: Urdu and English. The major chunk of the book comprises Urdu articles which are both personal and critical in nature.

Karvan-e-Khayal-o-Jamal, Nisar Aziz Butt Fun Aur Shaksiat is a much-needed book that attempts to encapsulate the life and works of the esteemed writer. Dr Humaira Ashfaq, who compiled the volume, is an assistant professor of Urdu at International Islamic University Islamabad. Dr Ashfaq has written and compiled 14 books on various Urdu writers and by ferreting out Urdu and English pieces on Nisar Aziz Butt she has done a good job.

The volume has been divided into two parts: Urdu and English. The major chunk of the book comprises Urdu articles which are both personal and critical in nature. Mumtaz Mufti, Ada Jafri and Noorul Hasan Jafri share their personal camaraderie with Butt which they seemed to have enjoyed fully. Mumtaz Mufti felt thrilled by the fiction of Nisar Aziz Butt as he likened her style to that of Ismat Chughtai’s. From these personal essays, she appears to be someone who doesn’t care about self-projection and that is why she avoided the limelight.

Apart from these personal essays, critics evaluate her novels as well. Muhammad Hasan Askari, Mujtaba Hussain, Dr Muhammad Ali Siddiqui Mukhtar Zaman, Asloob Ansari, Mansha Yaad are a few top ranking writers who have scanned her oeuvre. Muhammad Ali Siddiqui admires her for not playing to the gallery as “she wrote whatever she could write best”. Masood Ashar admits he was initially in awe of her because her literary columns in the Dawn fascinated him beyond words. He remembers reading a review of Aag Ka Daryawritten by Nisar Aziz Butt which he terms as the best so far of the magnum opus.

The English section of the book contains essays from distinguished writers like Intizar Husain, Muhammad Salim-ur-Rahman, Khaled Ahmed, Sartaj Aziz (brother of Nisar Aziz Butt), Asif Farrukhi and others. Sartaj Aziz’s essay is a peep into the household where he and his sister were born. It was a traditional Pashtun society; all of NWFP didn’t have a single girl’s college in the 1940s. But that didn’t dampen the great writer’s spirit. She landed in Lahore and did her masters in Mathematics.

Muhammad Salim-ur-Rahman terms her novel Darya Kay Sang as her best because “it exudes composure and the narrative is relaxed, almost leisurely, the ideas are expressed clearly”. Khaled Ahmed’s three pieces on her works are illuminating as well as scholarly. Like Masood Ashar, he was enamoured by the literary columns she wrote in late 1960s. With the presence of these leading figures, the English section of the book is a real treat to read.

The compiler of the book has also shared nuggets from her novels and autobiography at the end of the Urdu section for those who are not familiar with the works of Nisar Aziz Butt. This book is a must read for common readers and students of literature alike because there is dearth of books on the worthy writer. The present volume may prod budding writers to re-assess the novels and autobiography of Nisar Aziz Butt which is much needed because she deserves more appreciation than we have bestowed upon her so far.