ISLAMABAD  - Literary figures across the country paid tribute to the remarkable literary services of renowned Urdu poet Qateel Shifai on his 11th death anniversary today.  He was born on 24 December 1919 in Haripur, Hazara Division in British India and died on 11th July 2001.

Talking to this agency, renowned literary figure, Dr Salahuddin Darvesh said Shifai was one of those great poets of 20th century who had gained international recognition.

The poets of his era were mostly associated with any ideological movement but he distinguished his work without affiliating himself with any such movement, he said, adding another major achievement of this historical poet was his outstanding work for film industry, which got immense fame nationally and internationally.

He produced unmatchable work including ghazals and poems and gave life to the film industry through disseminating the message of love and deep philosophy of life.

The heart touching and evergreen tunes were composed on his poetic verses and the legendary singers of that era sung those in their melodious voices. He said that Qateel’s name would be remembered in the literary history of Indo-Pak.

Renowned literary critic, Professor Fateh Malik termed Qateel Shifai a blessed lyricist who took genre of lyrics and songs to new heights. The poet introduced variations and trends as a lyricist and songwriter, he added.

According to Iftikhar Arif, Qateel Shifai was the one of the most respectable poets and lyricists in term of his works especially ghazals and poems. He wrote a number of songs for Pakistani film industry, which gained immense popularity among the showbiz circles, he said. He adopted Qateel Shifai as his pen name in 1938 under which he was known in the world of Urdu poetry.

Qateel was his takhallus and Shifai was in honour of his teacher Hakim Mohammed Shifa whom he considered his mentor.

In 1946, he was called to Lahore by Nazir Ahmed to work as the assistant editor of the monthly Adab-e-Latif, a literary magazine published since 1936. His first ghazal was published in the Lahore weekly ‘Star’, edited by Qamar Jalalabadi.

In January 1947, Qateel was asked to pen the songs of a film by a Lahore-based film producer. The first film he penned the lyrics for was Teri Yaad (1948). He won numerous awards as a lyricist.

Many of his poem collections were published; amongst them was Mutriba, which was given highest literature award in Pakistan. Over 20 collections of verse and over 2,500 songs for Pakistani and Indian films were published. His poetry has been translated into numerous languages including Hindi, Gujarati, English, Russian and Chinese.

Qateel Shifai received the Pride of Performance Award in 1994 for his contribution to literature, Adamjee Award, Naqoosh Award, Abbasin Arts Council Award and Amir Khusro Award in India.