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Pakistan Writers Guild


Pakistan Writers Guild was founded at Karachi in January 1959 on the initiative of a number of Urdu writers, including Qudratullah Shahab, who was also the Education Secretary of Pakistan, to promote the ideals of Pakistan. Shahid Ahmad Dehelvi was the chairman of its executive committee. Its coordinator for East Pakistan was muhammad enamul haq, director of bangla academy. Of the 250 writers who attended its first conference, 50 were from East Pakistan. Of the 25 members of the central committee, 11 were Bengalis. Qudratullah Shahab was elected its secretary general. Later, regional committees were formed at Karachi, Lahore and Dhaka, each with a 13-member committee.

During the first year, the Guild arranged a seminar at the Engineers' Institution in Dhaka on the theme of mir mosharraf hossain's contribution to literature. Its second seminar was held on 7 April 1961 under the chairmanship of muhammad shahidullah. On 21 June 1961 UNESCO recognized it as a non-government organisation. A delegation of the Guild, consisting of 3 members each from East and West Pakistan, under the leadership of poet golam mostafa, attended the UNESCO conference in November-December 1961 in Colombo. On 14 January 1961 the Guild arranged a seminar in Dhaka to commemorate alaol. The fifth meeting of its central executive committee was held in Dhaka on 29 January 1962. At this meeting the Guild made a 6-point recommendation on copyright. At it's meeting in Karachi in March 1970 the Guild elected Mahbub Jamal Zahedi unanimously as secretary general.

The quarterly Purabi (later renamed Lekhak Sangha Patrika) was its mouthpiece. At different times Golam Mostafa, muhammad abdul hYE and begum sufia kamal served as its editor. Some important books published by the Guild were farrukh ahmad's Naofel O Hatem, Maulana Mostafizur Rahman's Hazrat Mohammad (Sm) Jibani and Anisuzzaman's Muslim Manos Bangla Sahitya.

Many well-known and progressive Bengali writers, journalists and intellectuals were associated with the Guild, among them Khan Bahadur abdur rahman khan, jasimuddin, Begum shamsunnahar mahmud, muhammad mansuruddin, syed waliullah, Syed Ali Ahsan, nurul momen, abdul quadir, benajir ahmad, Talim Hossein, Abdullah Al Muti, Ibrahim Khan, syed murtaza ali, abul fazal, shawkat osman, mahmuda khatun siddiqua, mohammad barkatullah, munier chowdhury, dewan mohammad azraf, jyotirmoy guhathakurta, shamsuddin abul kalam, nilima ibrahim and Anisuzzaman. It introduced a number of literary prizes: Adamjee Literary Prize, Daud Prize (1963), National Bank Prize (1968) and President's Award for Pride of Performance.

The activities of the Guild suffered as a result of political conflicts between East and West Pakistan. Its members from East Pakistan gradually became disinterested in its work, and in 1962 a separate writers' guild of young writers and artists was set up in East Pakistan to focus attention on East Pakistan's demand for autonomy. [Sambaru Chandra Mohanta]