Lahore - A condolence reference was held here on Thursday at the Government College University Lahore to pay tribute to the services of eminent drama writer, columnist and poet Munir Ahmed Qureshi, popularly known as Munnu Bhai .

Noted poet Amjad Islam Amjad, art professor Ms Salima Hashmi, noted playwright Asghar Nadeem Syed, veteran human rights activist IA Rehman, columnist Tahir Sarwar Mir, GCU Lahore Vice Chancellor Prof Hassan Amir Shah, PHEC Chairperson Prof Dr Mohammad Nizamuddin, and close relatives of Munnu Bhai addressed the condolence reference held under the auspices of Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) at the university’s Bukhari Auditorium.

Highlighting different aspects of Munnu Bahi’s life, I.A Rehman said that he had a special ability to observe political and social issues from different angles beyond the common perception which helped him writing amazing columns on a daily basis for more than 63 years. He said it would take decades to research, understand the literary and political writings of Munnu Bahi.

While cherishing his long friendship with Munnu Bhai , famous drama writer Amjad Islam Amjad said that he was so artistic in his depiction of ideas that he presented very harsh and sensitive topics in humorous yet insightful way. “He was a master of soft-criticism,” he added.

Vice Chancellor Prof Hassan Amir Shah said that Muno Bhai was a very versatile person; he wrote poetry, plays and very popular Punjabi poems. He was a humanist and always used his pen to support the exploited and down trodden, and dedicated last years of his life serving thalassemia patients. “He should serve as a role model for the younger generation,” he concluded.

Prof Mohammad Nizamuddin paid a rich tribute to the philanthropic services of Munnu Bahi for the children suffering from Thalassemia and pledged to continue his mission. “We will preserve his legacy and will continue his mission”, he said.

Asghar Nadeem Syed said that Munnu Bhai was the most loved person in his contemporary literary circle. His dramas like Sona Chandi provided a window to understand the sufferings of a middle class family. His collection of columns “Jangle Udas Hai” depicted his empathy for the trivialized and marginalized people of the society.

Tahir Sarwer Mir said that for as many as 63 years of his life, Munnu Bhai wrote columns on regularly basis; his writings were a classical blend of wit, satire, and criticism. He was a great advocate of women empowerment that was evident from his dramas, poetry and interviews.

Saleema Hashmi detailed about Munnu Bhai’s friendship with her husband Shaoib Hashmi and father Faiz Ahmed Faiz.

Noted writer Dr Saadat Saeed said that real literature was one which transforms society; Munnu bhai was among the prominent progressive writers who worked for change; his writings were for the empowerment of common people. A short documentary was also screened about the life and services of Munnu Bhai on this occasion.