Poets

Pace, Asst. Professor Vincent B.

Associat professor of Urdu language at Foreman Christian College Lahore since 2003, Mr. Vincent Pace (pen name Aseem Saleebi) is a Pakistani patriot, a language scholar, a Christian poet and, above all, a man of letters with deep-seated Christian values of service. Before joining the above institution, he was a lecturer at LaSalle, Faisalabad, the city where he was born and completed his education.

His published works are: Sr-e shehr-e sangbdast and Jannat di chhan. His other books in the various stages of publication include: Samudar say samunder tk, Apni chhat - apna angan, Geeli rait, Fun-e shakhseyat nigari, and Mout say hayat tk.
 
Pace is a name well-known in reputed literary journals, including, Catholic naqeeb, Deed gah, Tajdeed, Urdu nama, Tadeeb, Humsukhan and Aftab, and he has been the longtime editor of the literary page of the newspaper, Christian Monitor. A frequent visitor to cultural and literary events, he prides himself on being a close associate of the 'greats' in these fields, counting among his friends and associates such names as Adeem Hashimi, Munir Kazmi, Zahid Akkasi, the late Dr. John Joseph, Father Rahid Asi, the late Nemat Ahmar, and Naheed Nawaz.

Tabita, Ms. Preeya

A new and refreshingly fresh voice among contemporary Christian literary circles, Preeya Tabita is a researcher, literary critic, columnist and poetess. Her latest research efforts are being considered for a PhD award at the Government College, University of Lahore.

One only has to study her book, "Urdu Novel kay manfi kirdar - aghaz taa qayam-e Pakistan"
- اردو ناول کے منفی کردار
آغاز تا قیام پاکستان published in 2006, to discover that Urdu is her subject - her passion. Her best known published work on literary criticism, which also meets the gold standard of academic research, Younas Adeeb - Hayat o fun  (یونس ادیب - حیات و فن) was published in August 2009.
 
"Hamesha rooth jaatay ho", (ہمیشہ روٹھ جاتے ھو) is Tabita's successful attempt to be counted among the generation of new poets who will often be quoted in years to come.
Tabita's awards and honours include the following: BM Hasrat Award (2007) presented by Christian Writers Guild; National Youth Award (cash prize of Rs.50,000 ) presented by The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Sayed Yousaf Raza Gillani (2008); Taak Kashmiri Award (cash prize Rs. 10,000), awarded by Lahore Diocesan Board of Education (2008); Sacred Heart Award (2008) presented by Rev. Lawrence Saldana (2008); Quaid-e Azam hlal-e Ahmar Gold Medal (2009) and Crown Certificate for Excellent Services (2009).
 
Between 2008 and 2009 Tabita was in charge of, and contributed a daily column to, the literary edition of the daily Aftab in Quetta, Pakistan. Since 2003, she has served as an Assistant Professor in the department of Urdu Language at Foreman Christian College, University of Lahore.
 
Her published articles and columns are too many to be enumerated here. Only a short, and hopefully a fairly representative, selection of these is presented here: Shazad Ahmad ka asri sha'oor, Aangan آنگن novel ka tajazziyati mutaliya, novel nigari ka irtiqa, Ibne Insha kee safar nigari, Taraqi passad tehreek: ik jaiza, and Romanvi tehreek: aaghaz o irtika. Her poetry, both nazms and ghazzlas, has appeared in reputable magazines including Shadab, Al-hamra, Dabistan, Naqeeb and Saher.

Zia, Master K. R. (d. 2004)

A towering figure of the twentieth century, Master K. R. Zia ماسٹر کے آر ضیاء was not only a great poet and writer but also a founder of many literary movements in the Christian community of Pakistan. He was born in the village of Dauder of Moga (India) in 1920 and started his literary career from Christian Training Institute (C.T.I) as an Urdu language teacher and a songwriter. He was a major contributor to the famous Hymn book "Sialkot Convention Geet Ki Kitab". While in Sialkot he wrote two books  Naghma-e Zindigi   نغمہ زندگی and Taran-e Zindgi  ترانہ زندگی .
 
K. R. Zia was the first choir conductor of the historic, international Christian Convention commonly known as the Sialkot Convention of which he was the most significant figure. He was also the first to write and direct Christmas dramas for radio broadcasting for the Christian community.
 
C.T.I. has been a status symbol in the education world of Pakistan and K.R. Zia was one of the most prominent teachers of that institute. Physical punishment of students to maintain discipline was in practice in that epoch but it is said that K.R.Zia, was the only teacher in the whole Institute who did not engage in it. He used only his words to achieve the goal of disciplining his students who in turn were deeply affected by this polite way of teaching.
 
Founder and original organiser of Christian camping in Pakistan, K.R.Zia filled his camps with literary and artistic activities as well as with young people from all over the country.
 
 In 1980 K. R. Zia founded the Pakistan International Christian Arts Society which established a music school and organised a series of concerts, dramas and Mushayeras to promote Christian poets and artists and to provide a stage for Christian artists. He was also the founder of Masihi Tehreek-e-Adb-o-saqafat. Under the banner of this Tehreek, he organized many mushayeras in Pakistan. During this time his book Jagtay Harf جاگتے حرف appeared and was well recieved in the literary circles.
  
Dr. Billy Graham, the world renowned American evangelist, invited K.R.Zia to attend the International Christian Conference, organised by Billy Graham Ministries in 1986.
 
In 1994 K.R. Zia published his book of Urdu poetry, Chiragh-e-Akhir-e-Shab چراغ آخر شب . The last book he wrote was Dahst-e-Tanhai  دشت تنہائی . However, life did not give him the opportunity to publish it. Sadly, on 2nd July 2004 he died of a lung infection.
 
 
ہم اپنے وقت کے سورج ہیں ہم کو پہچانو
جلیں گے ہم تو ستاروں میں روشنی ہو گی
 
(I would like to express my deep and sincere gratitude to Mrs. Anita Aslund (Canada) for this article.)

Kanwal, Ms. Asnath

Asnath Kanwal, a well-known poetess, columnist and short-story writer hails from Lahore, Pakistan. She is a family lady but this has not overshadowed her long and significant contributions to the world of Urdu literature. In addition to being a graduate of the Punjab University, she also hold Urdu Faazal Diploma, and a diploma of Bible Seminary Training from F.G.A. Bible College Lahore. She regards Dr. Kanwal Feroze as her mentor and teacher in literary matters. She has thus far published three books, Paniyun Ka Phool (poetry 2003), Khawab aur Inqlab (collection of published columns 2005), and Intizar, (collection of short stories (fiction ) 2009). Another two books, in the various stages of publication are,  Ankh Mein Pani Rahney Dey (poetry), and Zairay Daam (fiction).

Her articles and poetry often find place in countrywide and internationally renowned magazines such as, Muasar, Mah-e-Nau, Shadab, Humsukhan, Sanjan, Tadeeb, Nikhar, Zindaghi (Magazine Daily Pakistan), Shairy, Belag, Rang-e-Adab, Sanghat, Duniya-e-Adab, Adbiyat, Sayyara Digest, Sad Rang, Women Times, Zar-Nigahr, Qirtas, Muskarahat and Nala-e Dil. She has nearly a dozen awards and honours to her name: I. D. Shahbaz Award, from Pakistan Christian Writers' Guild, Qateel Shaffai Society Award, Shadu-Wunren Award form Human Rights International, Literary Forum ADRAAK Award, Adab Saywa Award, Naulakha Church Writers Award, Taq Kashmiri Award, form LDBE, and Ex. General Secretary (Central) Pakistan Christian Writer's Guild. Asnath Kanwal has contributed quality material to Urdu literature and her columns have lead many to think and ask difficult questions. Yet as a writer she continues to challenge the intellectual elite while at the same time providing beautiful poetry for sensitive hearts.

Bhatti, Munir (b.1964)

Munir Bhatti is a unique Christian poet who has probably written the largest number of contemporary Christian songs.
 
He first came to public view in 1985 when he started contributing in the magazine Aftab-e-Sedaqat. He went on to produce fifty-eight audio cassettes. Bhatti then joined ROMA cassette ministry in 1986, and has since successfully released another12 volumes.
 
In the eastern tradition of life-long gratitude extended to one's teachers, Munir Bhatti always wishes it to be known that his teachers were B M Yad, and Pervaiz Paras. Though, himself a man of letters with mastery of words written to create devotion the Lord Jesus, Bhatti is known to the Urdu and Punjabi speaking Christian masses for his popular songs, which are too many to be listed here. His most popular religious songs according to one of his fans are: Zindgi Ka Darya, Saleeb Kay Sa'aye Talay, Yassoo Tujehay Salam, Yassoo Zinda ho Gaya, Peyar Ka Saggar and Christian Qawali, Hallelujah.
 
Bhatti also has the honour of being a Christian poet whose poetry is sung by notable Christian as well as non-Christian singers including, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Anwar Raffi, Ghulam Abbas, Perviaz Shan and Ernest Mall.
 
He is worthy but a humble recipient of several awards: Qaid-e-Azam Gold Award, Husn-e-Kar Kardigee Award, Bishop John Joseph Award, Gethsemane Award and Christian Talent Award.The latest addition to his growing list of honours was the awarding of Certificate of Merit presented to him by the Bright Future Society. The certificate was presented to him in Lahore by the UK's Lord Mayor Nazir Ahmad, who visited Pakistan in the May of 2010.

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