KARACHI - Famous Urdu poet, critic, columnist and scholar Nawabzada Mirza Jamiluddin Ahmed Khan, popularly known as Jamiluddin Aali, passed away yesterday at the age of 90 after suffering cardiac arrest.

He has been hospitalised due to diabetes and respiratory related illness. He was survived by a wife, three sons and two daughters.

Aali was renowned for his songs - Jeeway Jeway Pakistan, Aye Watan Kay Sajeelay Jawano sung by late Noor Jehan in 1965 war, “Hum Mustafavi Mustafavi Hain” official song of 1974 Islamic Conference Summit at Lahore that prompted patriotism and Islamic unity among the people of the country.

Aali was born on January 20, 1925 to a literary family in Delhi. His grandfather Nawab Allauddin Ahmed Khan was a friend and student of great Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib. His father Sir Ameeruddin Ahmed Khan was also a poet while his mother Syeda Jamila Baigum belonged to the family of another great Urdu poet Mir Dard. Aali earned a BA in Economics degree from Anglo Arabic College, Delhi.

He served as an assistant at the ministry of commerce at Delhi in British India and later passed CSS exam and got posted as an income tax officer in Karachi in 1952. He also did his LLB from Karachi University. Aali migrated to Karachi on Aug 13, 1947 with his wife, Tayyaba, and six-month-old daughter Humaira by the last train from Delhi.

Jamiluddin Aali’s literary work include Ballads -Aye Mere Dasht-e-Sukhan, Ghazlain Dohay Geet (six editions), Jeeway Jeeway Pakistan (five editions), La Hasil (three editions), Nai Kiran and Travelogues including Duniya Mere Aagye, Tamasha Mere Aagye, Iceland and Hurfay.

He was the founder member of the Pakistan Writers Guild (PWG) and remained its secretary and later secretary general till the Guild was moved to Lahore. He also initiated five annual literary awards during his tenure in the Guild, which continued for several years.

Aali revived the classical form of doha and adapted it to Urdu. He also wrote columns in newspaper. ‘Insan’, a poem containing some 7,500 lines, is the latest feather in his cap.

His other patriotic songs include ‘Mein Chota Sa Ek Ladka Hoon’, ‘Mera Paigham Pakistan’-sung by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, ‘Ab Yeh Andaz-e-Anjuman Hoga,’ ‘Hum Maain, Hum Behnain, Hum Baitiyan’, ‘Jo Naam Wahi Pehchan Pakistan Pakistan’, ‘Aye Des Ki Hawaao, Kushboo Mein Bas Ke Jao’, ‘Itne Bade Jewan Sagar Mein, Tu Ne Pakistan Diya’-sung by folk singer Allan Faqir and several others.

Aali was also former member of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and also contested the general elections on March 7 1977 from NA-191, but lost. In 1997, he was elected as member of the Senate for a six-year term with support of Muttahida Qaumi Movement.

Jamiluddin Aali also played an important role along with Maulvi Abdul Haq in laying foundations of Urdu College in 1949. The college was later given status of university in 2002 by General (retd) Pervez Musharraf on the recommendation Dr Attaur Rehman.

Talking to The Nation, a faculty member of Federal Urdu University for Arts, Science and Technology-Saddar Campus- Dr Tauseef ur Rehman said that Jamiluddin Aali played an important role for the Urdu University specially for arts campus in Saddar.

“In 2002 when General Musharraf agreed upon giving status of university to Urdu College campuses in Gulshan-e-Iqbal and Islamabad, it was Aali who insisted for also including Arts campus for university status, arguing that the university status without this campus will be incomplete,” he said.

He said that Jamiluddin Aali was a man of determination and worked day and night for the institution and mobilisation of Anjuman-e-Taraqqi-i- Urdu through publication of around 350 books and manuscripts by the Anjuman.

He also lauded Aali for supporting oppressed people of the society and said that he was one of the three lawmakers in Senate who supported a resolution condemning a murder in the name of honour.

Aali also remained the chairman of the Urdu Dictionary Board for three years along with his work for the English-Urdu dictionary of Dr Moulvi Abdul Haq.

He also received several awards for his achievements including Hilal-e-Imtiaz in 2004, Pride of Performance in 1991, Adamjee Literary Award in 1960, Dawood Literary Award in 1963, United Bank Literary Award 1965, Habib Bank Literary Award 1965, Canadian Urdu Academy Award (1988), Sant Kabeer Award – Urdu Conference Delhi (1989). He was also awarded Kamal-e-Fun Award from Pakistan Academy of Letters in 2006.

Aali’s son, Raju Jamil said that they had lost a great father whose space could never be filled not only for them but also for the nation. “I will write a book on his legacy so that the future generations could also be conveyed regarding his struggle and sacrifices,” he said.

His funeral prayers would be offered at Jamia Masjid Tuba, Defence Housing Society after Asar prayers today.

Meanwhile Presiden Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Muttahida Qaumi Movement Co ordination committee, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sikander Mandhro, Makhkdoom Jamil uz Zaman, advisor to CM Sindh Sharmila Farouqi, Vice Chancellor Karachi University Professor Dr Mohammad Qaiser and others condoled his demise and termed his death as a great loss for Urdu literature.