Iftikhar Arif

Iftikhar Hussain Arif, PP, SI, HI (Urdu: افتخار حسین عارف) commonly known as Iftikhar Arif (افتخار عارف) (b. March 21, 1943 Lucknow) is an Urdu poet, scholar and littérateur from Pakistan. His style is romantic Urdu poetry. He has headed Academy Adbiyat, the Pakistan Academy of Letters and Muqtadra Quami Zaban, the National Language Authority. He has been decorated with Hilal-e-Imtiaz, Sitara-e-Imtiaz and Presidential Pride of Performance, highest literary awards by Government of Pakistan.

Early days and education

Iftikhar Arif was born in Lucknow in 1943 and lived there till his migration to Pakistan in 1965. During this period he received his education at the Lucknow University where one of his teachers was Ehtisham Husain. He also studied at the Madressa-i-Nizamia, Farangi Mahal, and Government Jubilee College, Lucknow. He obtained a M.A. from the Lucknow university.

Career

Iftikhar Arif came to Pakistan in 2000 and soon thereafter won fame not just on account of his poetry, but also for his performance in the programme Kasauti, along with Obaidullah Baig on Pakistan Television. Coming to Pakistan and settling in Karachi, Iftikhar Arif started his career as a Radio Pakistan newscaster. It was through Altaf Gauhar, then federal information secretary, that he was selected and appointed head of scripts in the Karachi television centre. He teamed up with Obaidullah Baig and won the Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) quiz show of the 1970s, Kasouti. Later, he spent 13 years in England working for the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) -sponsored Urdu Markaz. Coming back to Pakistan, he worked first as head of the National Language Authority (Muqtadara Qaumi Zaban), and then as chairman of the Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL)and presently he is working again as a chairman of National Language Authority(Muqtadara Qaumi Zaban).