FAIZ AHMAD FAIZ (1911-1984)

Dear stomach, you are bored, not hungry!

FAIZ AHMAD FAIZ (1911-1984) Faiz Ahmad Faiz was born in Sialkot and joined the Education Corps of the British Indian Army during World War II After the war, he settled in Lahore where he became the central figure in a small but increasingly influential group that espoused socialist causes The group included several politicians, including Mian Iftikharuddin, a wealthy landlord and businessman, who in the late 1940s founded an English-language newspaper, The Pakistan Times Faiz was appointed the newspaper’s chief editor The paper’s initial aim was to promote the idea of Pakistan, a separate homeland for the Muslims of British India Once it became clear that the idea of Pakistan was close to realization, the paper turned its attention toward the social objectives that the new country should pursue In recommending a course of action for Pakistan’s first government, the editorial pages of the newspaper followed an approach close to that adopted by the Soviet Union and the countries of Eastern Europe Faiz Ahmad Faiz was deeply disappointed by the turn taken by Pakistani politics, especially after the death of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan’s founder and the new country’s first governorgeneral He and some of his associates were approached by a group of army officers and were asked to help them articulate a program for the social and political development that the army should pursue in the country if it were to assume power These contacts led to the formation of a group of people drawn from the military and from Faiz’s associates in Lahore who began to conspire against the government

The result was the Rawalpindi Conspiracy Faiz and his fellow conspirators were arrested in early 1951 and were given long prison sentences by a military court Faiz was, however, released from prison in 1955, and went back to writing poetry The award of the prestigious Lenin Peace Prize by the Soviet Union made Faiz even more suspect in the eyes of Pakistan’s conservative establishment During Zia ul-Haq’s period of martial law, Faiz spent several years in self-imposed exile in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and Lebanon While in Beirut, he edited a journal to promote the Palestinian cause He returned to Lahore in 1982 and died in 1984 Several of his books of poems have been translated into Western languages

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