Born in Lahore, Mohammad Safdar Mir was respected and feared for his encyclopedic knowledge, making his mark as a poet and playwright. He acted on stage in both Bombay and Lahore; taught English literature at Lahore’s Government College; and wrote a weekly column under the pen name ‘Zeno’ for The Pakistan Times for over a decade, and later for Dawn.
Notable themes in his articles included his polemics against Maulana Maududi and the Jammat-i-Islami (during the General Ayub Khan’s era), expositions of Allama Iqbal’s thought, and commentaries on Sufi tradition.
His nationalist songs during the War of 1965 and the perception of his support of Gen. Yahya Khan’s military operation in Bangladesh caused some controversy. He contributed to the Pakistan People’s Party manifesto of 1970, and briefly edited the party paper Musawat.
Safdar Mir took active part in the strikes held by the press union when The Pakistan Times and Imroze came under the axe of the government in 1971.
Safdar Mir had written Dard kay Phool which is a collection of his poetry in Urdu; Aakhar-i-Shab, a collection of selected plays, besides other anthologies.
Source: The Oxford Companion to Pakistani History
Daily Times, February 14, 2018
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