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Death anniversary of Pashto poet Amir Hamza Shinwari observed
February 18, 2024

The 29th death anniversary of renowned Pashto poet, writer, novelist, translator and the father of Pashto ghazal Amir Hamza Khan Shinwari was observed.

Amir Hamza Shinwari was born in Landi Kotal. After matriculation, he became inclined towards the literary arts. In 1935, he wrote the first Pashto drama, 'Zamindar,' for All India Radio Peshawar, followed by scripting the story, dialogues, and lyrics for the first Pashto film, 'Laila Majnoon,' released from Bombay in 1941. Apart from writing, he also directed and performed playback singing duties.

Following the establishment of Pakistan, Hamza Shinwari penned numerous dramas, features, and speeches for Radio Pakistan Peshawar. As a translator, he rendered translation of Rahman Baba's 204 ghazals into Urdu, while translating Allama Iqbal's 'Javid Nama' and 'Armughan-e-Hijaz' into Pashto. He also translated 'Nahjul Balagha' into Pashto.

Amir Hamza Shinwari contributed to every genre of Pashto literature, leaving behind a rich legacy in mysticism, poetry, psychology, and culture through numerous prose and poetic works. His work 'Tajalliyat-e-Mohammadiya' is considered as a seminal work in Pashto Sufi literature.

He is respectfully remembered as 'Hamza Baba' or the 'Father of Pashto Ghazal '. It is believed that he introduced the ghazal in Pashto poetry.

Amir Hamza Shinwari also served as the editor of the Pashto page of the English newspaper 'Khyber Mail', where he contributed daily columns under the title 'Zhor Fikrona' (Deep Thoughts) on various social and literary topics.

In recognition of his literary services, the Government of Pakistan conferred upon him the 'President’s Award for Pride of Performance' and the ‘Sitara-i-Imtiaz’.

Amir Hamza Shinwari passed away on February 18, 1994, and was laid to rest in his ancestral area. Even today, thousands of people gather at his shrine annually to pay tribute to this great Sufi poet.