Published Date: Jan 12, 2016
Renowned writer Mushir Anwar remembered
ISLAMABAD: “I knew Mushir Anwar was a man of intelligence and wisdom after I had met him just a few times,” said Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) Secretary General I.A. Rehman.
Mr Rehman was speaking at a memorial for Mushir Anwar hosted by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) on Monday.
Mr Rehman said the late writer was a man who knew how to say what he wanted to say in just the right words and one who always gave the right advice.
Mushir Anwar died at the age of 78 in Islamabad on December 30, 2015. He was born in Moradabad, India and grew up in Rawalpindi.
He completed a Masters in English Literature from Gordon College in 1966 and went to work at the Ministry of Finance from where he retired as chief publications officer. He also worked at a number of newspapers. He edited a number of journals for the Pakistan Academy of Letters and other institutes and translated Isaac Bashevis Singer’s book, ‘A Young Man in Search of Love’ in Urdu.
Talking about the late writer, the HRCP secretary general said: “He would always want people to be part of his happy times, and never told people when he had problems. He was very close to his wife, Malika.”
Anwar’s wife, Mehjabin, was fondly known as Malika by family and friends.
Khayyam Mushir Anwar, the late Mushir Anwar’s son, also spoke at the memorial and said the Pakistan of his father’s youth was different to the Pakistan of today.
“My father did not believe in differentiating on the basis of religion or sect and everyone was always welcome in our home. He had never thought Pakistan would change so much,” he said.
“My father never cared about saving or investing in property. He liked talking about poetry, cinema, literature, film and food,” he added.
Renowned poet Kishwar Naheed said she had met Anwar after his bypass and had become friends with his wife as well.
“People would ask him to edit their thesis and he could often be found editing 300 to 400 page dissertations,” she reminisced. She said the late writer would often demand there be at least three dishes at the table.
Talking about both late Mushir Anwar and his wife, Ms Naheed said the husband and wife were very close.
“The day Malika died, Mushir said he did not think it possible to live without his wife,” she said.
Remembering Mushir, columnist Ashfaq Saleem Mirza said: “Stephen Hawking once said that quiet people have the loudest minds. Mushir was a great listener and both husband and wife were very welcoming.”
Dr Pervez Tahir, who worked with Anwar at the Ministry of Finance, talked about when he had first met him.
“In Pak Secretariat’s S Block, I saw a name plate with ‘Mushir Anwar, Publication Officer’ written on it when I first joined. I went in and after some time I did not feel suffocated anymore because we talked about Keats and Wordsworth and other great literary writers,” he said.
Poet Harris Khalique said the late writer’s demise was a great loss while Executive Director SDPI Dr Abid Qayum Suleri said that people like Anwar are the ones who contribute towards building the nation.