A Journalist, Film Producer, Director, Story, Dialogue and Screenplay Writer, Author, Columnist ……
Ali Sufiyan Afaqi when and where ever this name is seen, it mean the reader is going to jump into an ocean of beautiful waves of sweet memories, wonderful, magnificent narration, film comprising of full of entertainment, information with strong character and traditional customary plot. Ali Sufiyan Afaqi who started his career as journalist cum columnist but after seeing the imposed restricted atmosphere by the governments and different pressures, yellow journalism with dictated presentations he deviated his attention from open journalism to film reporting which subsequently preceded to film dialogues writing, film screenplay, film story writer. In coming years we see the Afaqi as film producer and then director with wonderful films who hit the box office at their point of time. And again once he saw fall of ethical and moral values in film industry he quitted it and restrict himself to writing only. From 1952 to till to dated he has inspired generations of journalists, story writers and authors to aspire for the highest standards of professional excellence.
Ali Sufiyan Afaqi was born on 22 August 1933 in Sehore District of central Indian Muslim majority state of Bhopal. Ali Sufyan Afaqi got his early education from Bhopal and Merath. In 1947, his family migrated from India to Pakistan at the time of division of Sub-continent, at that time he was fourteen years old and one of his sisters stayed back in India who wanted that young Ali Sufiyan stay with her in India so he stayed in India but he had developed lot of affection for this newly born Islamic State so finally after two years on 9 June 1949, he also migrated to Pakistan. As before moving he was asked to take along some household items with him which was a load of two trucks. Being a young boy he managed to move with the entire luggage to Lahore but after lot of official formalities and joined his family who was settled at Model Town. Afterward he did his B.A. (Hons) from Lahore.
Early Career as Journalist
Right from the outset, Ali Sufiyan Afaqi saw a literary atmosphere within his family, he found every member of his family tangled with reading newspaper
or some books so naturally that inculcated the same practice in his personality as well. Young Ali Sufiyan developed a knack of reading in general and writing in particular. In 1946, once he was in Matric he issued his first family newspaper named “Chughal Khor” within his family. This amateur newspaper used to have news pertaining to his family members, written on a full-scape paper and used to circulate within the family members. He had started this paper alone but afterward few more family kids joined him and acted as his reporters. After migration in 1949, he came to Pakistan and did his graduation. Then came the issue to his employment so initially he family advised him to join Navy but as he had water phobia so was reluctant to join Navy but after lot of pressure of his family he went to Navy recruitment center for enrolment but when he was asked to remove his shirt for preliminary medical inspection formalities he refused to do so due to his shyness. Finally he was rejected by the Navy recruiting staff and he came back happily with his hidden desire to not join the Navy. Then on the suggestion of one of his family known person named Moulana Muhammad Ali Kasuri, young Ali Sufiyan joined an Insurance Company which had its office at Naqi Building. There in the office he met Lucky Sahib and started his job but soon he found this job totally against his nature and finally he also quitted it forever. But after leaving this job he had to face lot of criticism from his family that this boy would do nothing in his life. Such remarks used to make young Ali Sufiyan very upset and embarrassed.
In those days Ali Sufiyan met Munawar Sahib, commonly known as Master Jee by all and was running a School named M. Z. School at Walton, Lahore who asked him to translate some stories. Within a week, Ali Sufiyan presented his translated six pages to Master Jee who not only liked it very much but also gave rupees twelve to Ali Sufiyan as the translation charges which was his very first earning as writer. After seeing this writing capability in Ali Sufiyan, his cousin referred him to one of her relatives, Waqar Hassan Gardezi who was in Pakistan Times. He met Gardezi Sahib who had affiliation with Jamat e Islami Pakistan so through him Ali Sufiyan was employed in the daily daily “Tasneem” of Jammat-e-Islami Pakistan in 1951. From there he moved to explore new horizons of the profession of his choice and won a seat in weekly “Chattan”. There he met Agha Shorash Kashmiri who was very out spoken and used to address his subordinated very rudely. But on the opposition of Ali Sufiyan, Agha Shorash Kashmiri used to address him as Moulana Ali Sufiyan. Through his writings in “Chattan” he was introduced with Hameed Nizami who used to like his style of writing and considered him as matured aged journalist but was much surprised when he met Ali Sufiyan and found him as youngster.
Afaqi as Film Journalist
Afterward Hameed NIzami managed to get Ali Sufiyan associated with daily Nawa -e- Waqat where he used to write columns and essays on different issues. But after spending sometime here in Nawa –e- Waqat he moved to Daily “Afaq”. Which used to publish under the patronage of Mir Noor Ahmed and Professor Sarwar was its editor. Here again his focus was notational issues but for the first time he published a news about film industry which changed his line of direction altogether. What happened was that Nighat Sultana emerged as new film actress in Karachi film industry and her film with Fazlani did box office business so she was called at Lahore by Syed Shoukat Hussain Rizvi to work in his new film, Noor Jahan was heroine of the film. After few days of shooting someone complaint to Noor Jahan that Nighat Sultana is flirting with Syed Shoukat Hussain Rizvi. Noor Jahan immediately rushed towards the film studios and had exchange of harsh words with Nighat and finally slapped on her face and thrown her out of the Shahnoor studios. Responding to the situation Nighat Sultana launched a court case against this act. Since Nighat Sultana was a new comer in Lahore filmdom so everyone was interested to know about her as only two columns news was published in leading newspapers. Ali Sufiyan approached her and after interviewing her published a very detailed interview about her in the Sunday edition of Afaq. In the office of daily Afaq everyone opposed Ali Sufiyan’s idea of publishing the interview against Noor Jahan who was then very popular and famous figure of Pakistan and Sufiyan openly narrated the complete story and his stance was inclined towards Nighat Sultana. When interview was published his colleagues advised him not to come to the office for some days otherwise you’ll be fired. Anyways next day he came to the office and was called by the Managing Director of Afaq, Mir Noor Ahmed Sahib who asked him why he has published this controversial interview in the newspaper. Ali Sufiyan replied that everyone was inquisitive about this incident so he thought to answer the query of general public. Before that Mir Noor started bullying Ali Sufiyan, a person came into the office and asked permission for publishing of another seven thousand copies of the newspaper as he had just received the order for this additional newspapers. Mir Noor Sahib got astonished and on that day twelve thousand copies were printed which is a record. On that day onward Mir Sahib asked Ali Sufiyan to take charge of a complete page of the newspaper as Film Edition for the first time in the history of Pakistan. Subsequently Ali Sufiyan was called by Syed Shoukat Hussain Rizvi about this issue but Ali tackled it very tactfully and asked him and Noor Jahan for their interview so that public should take their point of view as well. These interviews gave lot of boost to the standing to Ali Sufiyan’s career as film journalist. While working in daily Afaq, Ali Sufiyan was known as Ali Sufiyan Afaqi and then it became its recognition.
Like his previous routine his switched over to some other organization and left Afaq but after sometime he again rejoined it as assistant editor and worked under the editorship of Moulana Ghulam Rasool Meher. By 1957, he remained attached with different newspapers like he was appointed Editor of weekly “Aqwam“of Meem Sheen. Then Afaqi joined daily “Aasar” as joint editor, it was the newspaper of Mansoor Ali Khan who started after the closure of “Zimindar”, here it is worth mentioning that Mansoor Ali was son of Moulana Akhtar Ali Khan and grandson of Moulana Zafar Ali. Being a seasoned columnist he used to cover the arena of social, political and cultural activities of the society. He used to write columns for “Nawa-I-waqt”, “Afaq”, “Amrooz”, “Ehsan”and “Jang” under the titles of “Dam-e-Khayal” and “Dareechey”.
Ali Sufiyan Afaqi as Film story, dialogues and Screenplay Writer
While writing film reviews and incharge of Film Edition of Afaq, Afaqi had a sufficient exposure to film personalities. He developed close association and had lot of interaction with artists and film producers and directors. First of all Zaheer Kashmiri gave him the idea to writer screenplays for the films but Afaqi was reluctant but when renowned film director Luqman asked him to write dialogues and screenplay for his film Ayaz in collaboration with Zahoor Hussain Dar and Mirza Adeeb. But before that in 1957, Thandi Sarak was his bebut film as film writer which he made in association with Shabab Kiranvi. Fortunately Thandi Sarak which was a light comedy film proved an instant hit. The story, dialogues and scenes were conceived and written by Ali Sufyan Afaqi.
Other than his film commitment as film writer he kept on writing his columns focused on different issues of the country but in 1958 when Field Martial Ayub Khan imposed Martial Law in the country. A lot of restrictions were imposed on newspapers especially on writers and they used to be summoned by Army courts for little bit deviations from the code of conduct as prescribed by the Martial Law. This prevailing situation really disappointed Ali Sufiyan Afaqi so crestfallen Afaqi left journalism forever which was his bread and butter so after taking this decision he became very upset and faced lot of financial constraints. Finally he stood by with his decision and finally he whole heartedly focused on films as his fulltime profession.
As Film Producer and Director
Director and producer Hassan Tariq who subsequently became very good comrade of Afaqi, was making Jungli which was scheduled to be shot in the wild forest Sundar Bin of East Pakistan. Hassan Tariq asked Ali Sufiyan Afaqi for the script writing of the film. But subsequently, Jungli was failed to be set on the silver screen due to some unavoidable reasons. As mentioned above, during the same year he wrote dialogues and scenes of Ayyaz, Aadmi and also written Farishta which was inspired from Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. Since he was focused on writing film story, dialogues and screenplays as per the details mentioned below. Meantime, he developed very close association with Hassan Tariq so in 1965 Ali Sufiyan Afaqi stepped into film production and as film producer he made Kaneez in association with Hassan Tariq. The story of Kaneez was a product of Mr.Afaqi’s fertile imagination. Afterward again he produced Mera Ghar Meri Jannat in collaboration Hassan Tariq which proved super hit film and encouraged Afaqi established his own film production house named Filmsaaz and produced Saza as solo producer. Saza was directed by Humayun Mirza and released on December 26th 1969 in which he introduced a new couple Jameel and Rozina. The film had melodious music which was composed by Nashad and had some everlasting songs like:-
- Jab bhi chahen ik nai sorat bana lete hain loog, aik chehrey par kai chehrey saja letey hain loog – Mehdi Hassan
- Kabhi ham ne kabhi tum ne, kia iqrar ulfat ka – Ahmed Rushdi, Mala
- Main kiyun daman ko phelaon, koi doua mangon – Ahmed Rushdi
- Mere Jure mein gainde ka phool, main tujhe kaise dekhon – Mala
- Tu ne bar bar kia mujh se iqrar, ja re siyyan tera dekh lia piyar – Mala
In 1972 he took another step and made film Aas as its writer, director and producer. Under the banner of Film fair Productions, Aas was released in August 10th 1973 and hit the box office. The film had all the segments including its music which was composed by Nisar Bazmi and songs were pen downed by Masroor Anwar and Tasleem Fazli which were well received by all. Some of the songs of film Aas are:-
- Bol ri, guria bol zara, chup rehtey tujhey sadiyan beeten abb to ye lab khol – Nayyara Noor
- Jayiey, shouq se jayiey – Runa Laila
- Koi yun bhi ruthta hai, mana meri khata hai, magar abb muaf kar do – Noor Jahan, Ahmad Rushdi
- Lakh nakhre dikhao, sar jhukana pare ga, ban ke dulhan hamare ghar aana pare ga – Noor Jahan
- Meri marzi, main gaun gi, paiyal chhankaun gi – Runa Laila
- Best Film of the year Award – Aas (1973)
- Best Producer – Aas (1973)
- Best Story Writer – Aas (1973)
- Best Dialogues Writer – Aas (1973)
Ali Sufiyan Afaqi’s films as story, dialogues and Screenplay Writer
Here is the detail of all films of Ali Sufiyan Afaqi as Film story, dialogues and Screenplay Writer:-
Honors and Awards:
Some of the glaring honors and awards presented to Ali Sufiyan Afaqi are mentioned below:
- Following films of Ali Sufiyan Afaqi were nominated and sent to Tashkent film Festival and moreover dubbed in many local languages of Russia:-
- Ali Sufiyan Afaqi participated in International Film Festival as delegate from Pakistan which was held in 1987 at Honolulu, United States of America.
- Throughout his career he remained member of different juries as under:-
- Member Rotary club Lahore Garrison
- Life Time Member of East and West Institute America
- Chairperson Pakistan Film Writers’ Association (five Times)
- Vice Chairman Pakistan Film Producer’s Association
- Life Time Member Pakistan Film Journalist’s Association
- Life Time Member Pakistan Film Producer’s Association
- Life Time Member of Lahore Press Club
Ali Sufiyan Afaqi was awarded numerous awards as a tribute to his commendable services for Pakistan Film Industry, he has been honored with many film awards:
- Nigar Awards – 9
- Best Dialogues Writer – Kaneez (1965)
- Best Dialogues Writer – Andleeb (1969)
- Best Film of the year Award – Aas (1973)
- Best Producer – Aas (1973)
- Best Story Writer – Aas (1973)
- Best Dialogues Writer – Aas (1973)
- Best Dialogues Writer – Meharbani (1982)
- Best Dialogues Writer – Kabhi Alwida Na Kehna (1983)
- Best Dialogues Writer – Kamyabi (1984)
- Graduate Award – 6
- Film Critic Award – 1
- Mussavir Award – 1
Films as Producer:
- Mera Ghar Meri Janat (With Hassan Tariq)
- Kaneez (With Hassan Tariq)
- Aas (with Rasheed Javed who himself was Editor of Film Magazine Mumtaz)
- Aabro (with Rasheed Javed)
- Jagir (with Rasheed Javed)
- Ajnabi (with Rasheed Javed)
- Aag Aur Ansoo (with Rasheed Javed)
Ali Sufiyan Afaqi as Film Director
Afaqi has directed seven films, details are mentioned as under:-
Ali Sufiyan Afaqi as Author
Mr. Ali Sufyan Afaqi is a prolific writer yet his pen never scratched a sentence that may be marked as immoral or inartistic. His lucid and fluent style of expression has won him a prestigious and honorable place among the fraternity of authors. Here is list of his books as writer (Names will appear in alphabetically):-
- Ajaibat-e-Frang (Travelogue)
- Aalmi Dimagh-Saifuddin Saif
- America Chalen
- Filmi Alif Laila
- Biography of Syed Abu ul Modoodi
- Chand Chehrey -Part -l
- Chand Chehrey -Part -ll
- Dekh Lia America (Travelogue)
- Dowran-e-safar (Travelogue)
- Europe Ka Koh -e- Qaaf (Travelogue)
- Europe Ki Alif Laila (Travelogue)
- Goriyoun Ka Deis (Travelogue)
- Khwabon Ki sarzamin (Travelogue)
- Mom Ka Adam
- Muhammad Ali Jinnah
- Neel Kinarey(Travelogue)
- Paris Ki Galiyan(Travelogue)
- Safar Nama-e- Spain
- Safar Nama-e- Sri Lanka
- Safar Nama-e- Thailand
- Safar Nama-e-Iran
- Safar Nama-e-Turkey
- Sahir Ludhyanvi
- Shola Nawa Shorash Kashmiri
- Siyasi Baten (Interviews)
- Siyasi Log (Interviews)
- Sur Chhaya – Noor Jahan
- Zara Englistan Tak(Travelogue)
Ali sufian Afaqi from films to journalism
He remained very busy in film industry up till 1977, he started avoiding film industry when he found arrival lot of non-professional and then their occupation over the film industry by making violence and sex oriented films. So Ali Sufiyan Afaqi restricted himself in writing stories, dialogues and screenplays of the films. Lastly he was just focusing on writing only, very regularly he was writing his past film experiences as “Filmi Alaf Laila” which is being published in monthly digest Sarguzasht and as Hazardastan in Weekly Family Magazine. With his writing he was also working as Editor “Weekly Family Magazine” of Nawa-i-waqt group since 1990. Ali Sufiyan Afaqi was indeed an asset for Pakistan and guide for new writers and journalists.
Ali Sufiyan Afaqi got married with Lubna Afaqi and blessed with three daughters, living happily in Model Town, Lahore.
Demise of the Artist
Ali Sufyan Afaqi died on January 27, 2015. He was not well for few days finally he had heart attack and was evacuated to private hospital, Jail road, Lahore but took his last breath at the end. His funeral prayers were held at Model Town and buried in same graveyard at Lahore. He is survived by three daughters and a widow besides countless fans across the country.
Latest News / Events
Ali Sufiyan Afaqi – A tribute
|A pleasing night to pay a tribute to living legend writer, Journalist, producer and director Ali Sufiyan Afaqi was organized at Al-Hamra cultural complex by Pakistan Film & TV Journalists Association. A large number of showbiz personality with journalist attended the function. Being a journalist’s show many showbiz related journalists arrived from Karachi to attend the function, particularly Aslam Ilyas Rashidi the curator of weekly film newspaper Nigar.
Renowned film actress Zeba Begum paying a tribute to legendary film journalist, writer, producer and director – Ali Sufiyan Afaqi
The name of Ali Sufiyan Afaqi will be remembered with golden words ever in the film history of Pakistan.
This feature (article) need additional input so if you have some details about it, you may assist by sharing the information. Please support us in compiling the first ever directory of Pakistani cinematic and its related artifacts.