KARACHI: Renowned humor writer Mushtaq Ahmad Yousafi passed away after a protracted illness in Karachi on Wednesday. He was 94. He did his Masters in Philosophy and LLB from Aligarh University. Mushtaq Yousafi was born on September 4, 1923.
He started his professional career as a banker. He worked in Muslim Commercial Bank and Allied Bank. He later became the president of the United Bank. In 1977, Mushtaq Ahmad Yousafi became chairman of Pakistan Banking Council. He was awarded Quaid-e-Azam Memorial Medal for distinguished services in the banking sector.
He was writer of Chiragh Talay, Khakamba-dahan, Zarguzasht, Aab-e-gum and Sham-e-Shair-e-Yaaraan. In recognition of his services to Urdu literature, the government conferred upon him two highest literary awards Sitara-e-Imtiaz Award and Hilal-e-Imtiaz.
Due to his contribution, he was famed and admired among the literary circles. Poet Iftikhar Arif was crestfallen. Talking to Dawn, just as he was about to take a flight from Islamabad to Karachi to attend Yousufi sahib’s funeral, he said: “He was the greatest [Urdu] prose writer after Ghalib. It would be wrong to box him as a humorist. He was more than that. He was a great prose writer.
In the presence of Shafiqur Rehman, Patras Bukhari, Col Mohammad Khan, Ibn-i-Insha etc, he was the tallest. He was unique and his contemporaries wholeheartedly acknowledged his greatness. Just like there was no other example like that of Faiz Ahmed Faiz [among his contemporaries], he was one of his kind. “He wrote even at the age of 90. If you’ve read his books, you would know that how different an author he was.
People remember his paragraphs [not just sentences or lines] like the way they memorise good couplets. Also, he led a pure, uncontroversial life. He never became part of any literary clique. I thought of him as my teacher, my father. I’ve learned a lot from him.”