Iftikhar Qaisar, a distinguished figure in the realm of journalism, poetry, and cultural exchange, has left an indelible mark on the Pakistani and British Pakistani communities. Born in the town of Pakpattan, Sahiwal District, Pakistan, he has led a life characterized by passion, dedication, and a relentless pursuit of excellence.
Iftikhar Qaisar’s Early Life and Roots
Iftikhar Qaisar’s journey began in the town of Pakpattan, known for its association with the Sufi poet Baba Farid. However, he grew up and received his education in Chishtian Mandi, a town linked to another revered Sufi poet, Khawaja Ajmair Chishti. His family’s migration from Jalandhar, India, during the tumultuous partition of India in 1947 infused his upbringing with stories of nostalgia and longing for their pre-partition lives. Many immigrants, including his family, missed their Hindu and Sikh friends, cherishing the multi-cultural and multi-religious tapestry of Indian society.
Educational Journey and Poetry
In the pursuit of knowledge, young Iftikhar Qaisar found solace in the local library of Chishtian Manddi, where he immersed himself in Urdu literature, politics, and poetry. His love for poetry was nurtured by his tutor, Abdul Hamid Shakeb, himself a poet and writer. Iftikhar began writing poetry in school and saw his work published in newspapers like ‘Daily Imrrose.’ As a college student, he assumed various leadership roles, including Editor of the college’s magazine and Secretary General of the literary society. His poetic prowess earned him numerous accolades in student poetry competitions across the country.
Political Engagement and Career
In 1981, Iftikhar Qaisar embarked on a political journey, joining the ‘Mazdoor Kisan Party’ (Labourer and Farmers Party) in his hometown. Led by the renowned communist leader Major Ishaq and student communist leader Imtiaz Allam, this experience introduced him to the world of activism. Subsequently, he shifted his allegiance to Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s ‘Peoples Party.’ However, upon embarking on his professional journalism career, he severed all political affiliations.
Journalistic Impact and Fearlessness
Iftikhar Qaisar’s journalistic career spans over three decades, primarily with the Jang media group in London. His dedication to quality journalism led him to cover the Kosovo war, where he faced danger when gunmen opened fire on a refugee camp he was reporting on. In 1981, during the early stages of his career, he was detained by martial law authorities for reporting on a cholera outbreak in Chishtian Manddi during a media blackout. His report garnered international attention, resulting in aid being sent to the affected region.
The Jang Forum: Fostering Dialogue
A significant facet of Iftikhar Qaisar’s career was the establishment of the ‘Jang Forum‘ in the London bureau of the Daily Jang newspaper in 1991. With the support of Ashraf K Kazi, the organization’s local CEO, this forum provided a platform for critical discussions on a wide range of topics, bridging cultural gaps, and bringing Indian and Pakistani celebrities face-to-face with the public. It evolved with the launch of Geo TV in 2001, becoming a TV show and traveling across the UK and Europe.
Cultural Impact Through Poetry and Music
Iftikhar Qaisar’s work in poetry and music resonated with audiences both in Pakistan and abroad. His collaboration with esteemed singers, including Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, contributed to the preservation and promotion of traditional Pakistani and Urdu poetry through music. His poetry book, ‘Samander Maen Samander,’ and the associated music album further solidified his standing as a prominent literary figure.
Film and Television: A Storyteller’s Journey
Iftikhar Qaisar’s journey in the world of film and television reflects his passion for storytelling. His contributions to Pakistani television, including producing the TV drama serial ‘Muhabatain’ and directing a documentary on the life of Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, showcase his versatility in the media industry. In 2001, he established IQ Studios in Pakistan, contributing to the creation of jobs and the training of technicians in the industry.
A Legacy of Community Engagement and Cultural Exchange
Iftikhar Qaisar’s legacy extends beyond his individual achievements. His dedication to community engagement, journalism, and the arts has fostered cultural exchange and promoted a deeper understanding of Pakistani culture and heritage. Through his work, he has bridged cultural divides and left a lasting impact on the Pakistani and British Pakistani communities.
Iftikhar Qaisar’s life and career are a testament to the power of passion, dedication, and the profound impact one individual can have on their community and culture. His fearless pursuit of excellence in journalism, poetry, and the arts has made him a revered figure in both Pakistan and the United Kingdom.
As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, there is no information available regarding Iftikhar Qaisar’s passing. Please note that my information might not be up to date, and if he has indeed passed away since then, I recommend adding that information to the biography to provide a complete and up-to-date account of his life. If you have specific details about his passing, please share them, and I can assist you in incorporating that information into the biography.
Here are some faqs about Iftikhar Qaisar
1. Who is Iftikhar Qaisar?
- Iftikhar Qaisar is a British Pakistani journalist, poet, broadcaster, travel writer, and filmmaker known for his contributions to journalism and the arts.
2. Where was Iftikhar Qaisar born?
- Iftikhar Qaisar was born in the town of Pakpattan in the Sahiwal District of Pakistan.
3. What are some of his notable achievements as a journalist?
- Iftikhar Qaisar served as the editor of the London-based Urdu newspapers Daily Jang and The News International. He also worked as the Bureau Chief of Geo News for the UK and Europe.
4. Can you tell us about his early life and education?
- Iftikhar Qaisar grew up in Chishtian Manddi, where he received his education. He developed a passion for Urdu literature, politics, and poetry from a young age.
5. How did he become involved in politics?
- In 1981, Iftikhar Qaisar joined the ‘Mazdoor Kisan Party‘ (Labourer and Farmers Party) in his hometown and later became associated with Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s ‘Peoples Party.’
6. What is the ‘Jang Forum,’ and what role did he play in it?
- The ‘Jang Forum’ was founded by Iftikhar Qaisar in the London bureau of the Daily Jang newspaper. It served as a platform for discussions on community issues and hosted prominent figures from India and Pakistan.
7. How did he contribute to the world of poetry and music?
- Iftikhar Qaisar was a renowned poet whose work was appreciated by eminent poets and singers. He collaborated with top Pakistani and Indian singers, and his poetry was set to music.
8. Can you provide information about his film and television career?
- Iftikhar Qaisar worked as a motion film director and later established IQ Studios in Pakistan. He produced TV dramas, documentaries, and shows, contributing to the media industry.
9. Is there any information about his literary contributions?
- Iftikhar Qaisar authored a poetry book titled ‘Samander Maen Samander,’ which gained recognition and was published by Alhamd Publications in Lahore, Pakistan.