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Ishtiaq Ahmed & Inspector Jamshed

Posted on August 2, 2006
Filed Under >Bilal Zuberi, Books, Urdu
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By Bilal Zuberi

Over dinner sometime last week, conversation turned to an apparent lack of reading culture in Pakistan. Participants questioned if anybody went to the bookstores any more, and why Urdu bazaars in large cities remained largely deserted until the school seasons came (though I was told Lahore now has some nice book stores). All the talk about developing reading habits in children reminded me of one of my favorite authors from childhood: Ishtiaq Ahmed.

Before there were J.R.R.Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Hardy Boys or even Archies Comics in my life, there was Ishtiaq Ahmed: a brilliant mastermind who authored hundreds, if not thousands, of suspense thriller novels in Urdu for kids during the 1970s, 80’s and into the 1990s. (I am told the actual number is closer to 400).

It is hard not to say that I grew up wanting to be like Mahmood, Farooque aur Farzana, the three main characters in his most famous series: Inspector Jamshed. Many of us will remember owning crates full of Ishtiaq Ahmed books – kids in my mohalla even organized a book club where we loaned our Ishtiaq Ahmed books to each other for 25 paisas per novel.

Ishtiaq Ahmed was one hell of a prolific writer. His books were published at a rate faster than I could save money from my lunch allowance to buy them (hence the need for the Mohalla library!). My mamoon swore by Ibn-e-Safi’s Imran series, but Ishtiaq Ahmed was the one who got me hooked onto reading. I remember reading his Khaas (special) novels with more than 2000-3000 pages until late into the night. He was among the most effective and successful Jasoosi novelists in Pakistan.

Even though his detective teams also included Inspector Kamran and the Shoki brothers, it was the Inspector Jamshed team (and the series built around their escapades to protect world peace) that captured the imagination of several generations in Pakistan. The series featured a detective, inspector Jamshed, who solved crimes with the help of his three children, Mehmood, Farooq & Farzana. Inspector Jameshed hated evil and in his crime-fighting he had not only his children to help, but also a retired army officer, Khan Rehman, and Professor Daod.

If I remember correctly, Mehmood was always the smart one, the trio’s leader with brilliant ideas, Farooque was the street smart, witty one, and Farzana always knew when danger was lurking around the corner. And the evil? Jaral, who appeared in several novels, was the number one enemy. Inspector Jamshed’s enemies were not just after money or power – they were morally corrupt and somehow always had some external forces helping them in their evil plans. It has been said that Ishtiaq Ahmed was not very subtle in disguising his resentment towards states or actors that he deemed anti-Islamic.

Ishtiaq Ahmed created characters that were larger than life – but they were inspirational for young men and women of that age and time. Inspector Jamshed, Mehmood, Farooq and Fazana were heroes, who were smart, witty, brave, and fought for the righteousness. Ishtiaq Ahmed wrote beautifully in a language that many now do not study for its poetry or prose. His contribution to Urdu literature, unfortunately, has not been acclaimed in a deserving manner, but his fans remember him well.

Statements like “Inspector Jamshed kee Uqaabee nigahon ney mauqay kee nazakat ko bhaanp liyaa” are a distant memory, but still a charming one. Maybe my kids will also dig through my stash of Ishtiaq Ahmed novels like I went through my mother collection of Pakeeza digests. They will find lots of incredible stories. And they will learn why I love the Urdu language.

For the uninitiated and the fans, a website advertises that you can buy his novel there. Alternatively, contact Feroze Sons in Lahore.

Dr. Bilal Zuberi is Vice President of Product Development at GEO2 Technologies in Boston (MA), USA. See more at Bilal’s blog: BZNotes.

122 Comments on “Ishtiaq Ahmed & Inspector Jamshed”

  1. August 2nd, 2006 2:44 am

    Interesting post…I never got around to reading these classics…my limit to Urdu literature remaind confined within whatever was written “Hamdard’s Naunehaal”… Thanx for the website…Do you recommend a particular one ?

  2. Undone says:
    August 2nd, 2006 4:38 am

    Right out of my childhood!
    Farooq & Farzana with their trademark “Lagta hai yahan daal nahi galnay wali” and “Jalti hai meri jooti”. Ishtiaq Ahmed was indeed a master at the art and no one I know of has written so neatly for kids while writing adevnture/spy novels in urdu. If you chance to read “Dastaan-e-Ameer Hamza” & ” Umrooh Ayyar” they were mt first and only fanatsy novels. Umrooh’s “Zambeel” was something I always wanted to have :)

    Thank you for such a fantastic trip down the memory lane.

  3. Saad says:
    August 2nd, 2006 6:11 am

    Nonihal, Taleem o Tarbeeat, Phool, Inspector Jamshed, Imran (Prince of dhumb) , Umroo Ayaar, Dastan e Ameer Hamza….
    God! Those were THE DAYS. I remember dumping school homework for these books and spending hours upon hours virtually licking through the whole this treasure trove of fantasy writing.
    Thank you for such a nice writeup on one of my favourite childhood writers…

  4. Phil says:
    August 2nd, 2006 7:03 am

    FYI Archies comics is older than 1960′s. But Taleem o Tarbiat and Phool were just too good magazines for children. Wonder if they publish them anymore. They should have been made a part of the cirriculum as there was nothing more creative than these. I owe my Urdu skills to Taleem o Tarbiad and Phool. Taleem o Tarbiat more :P

  5. August 2nd, 2006 9:51 am

    Altamash, try waadi-e-dahshat or daldal kaa samander. All the Khaas numbers were more fun. They also lasted longer :-)
    And if you get Jaral kee Waapsi, I will be happy to borrow from you at 25 paisas per day?

  6. Nighat Loya says:
    August 2nd, 2006 10:05 am

    Ys I remember only two well. I had infact discovered Enid Blyton’s Famous Five first. However, when I discovered Ishtiaq Ahmed, I found them equally intriguing . I remember those 2000-3000 pages think novels. I remember one title “Jazeere ka pahar”. Yes, definitely these books instilled the love of reading in us. I honestly hope my kids can develop the same love of reading. I remember spending whole summer afternooons just immersed in Famous Five and Nancy Drew and Ishtiaq Ahmed novels, never needing or thinking about TV or movies….I am trying my best to get my boys interested in books as opposed to cartoons also..but its pretty tough with the one million cartoon channels available these days..and then game boys and game cubes..and what have you on top of that

  7. Zahid says:
    August 2nd, 2006 4:05 pm

    I just can’t stopp laughing looking at that pic…. its a classic… do they still do that? I haven’t been to pakistan in few years… didn’t grow up in pakistan and have no clue about Ishtiaq Ahmed, glad to know that someone like him was there….

  8. Ather says:
    August 2nd, 2006 5:10 pm

    This has revived the nostalgic feelings of my childhood and it feels like walking down the memory lane. I grew up reading Ishtiaq Ahmed ‘Novels’ in Karachi. I remember reading two of his books every day during the summer vacations. Boy, those were the times. Ishtiaq Ahmed’s books were the best thrillers that I have come across and were a great read for a growing boy. I distinctly remember that his first book that I read was ‘Rustam Khan’ published by Ferozsons. Eversince, I was totally addicted to Ishtiaq Ahmed. Cannot ever outlive the thrill I got from them , not to mention that they improved my Urdu.
    Great article, Dr Zuberi!
    and a Great Blog too!
    Does anyone know that Ishtiaq Ahmed write thrillers anymore? He should be given some ‘Tamgha’ by the Government. Afterall both him and Ferozesons are doing a Yeomans job in service for Urdu!

  9. Owais Mughal says:
    August 2nd, 2006 10:40 pm

    Nostalgic and nostalgic. like other commentators on this post, i also grew up reading Ishtiaq Ahmed. I can also relate to Bilal’s experience that he wrote books faster than we could save money and hence the local book clubs were established. We also had a few in our locality.

    Once Ishtiaq Ahmed announced prizes for anyone who owned all his books. By then the book count was around 120 or so. Somebody in our street won that prize and we were so envious of him. this lad protected his collection of 120+ books so much that he didn’t lend it to anyone so we used to call him ‘kanjoos-makhi choos’ (miser).

    I stopped reading Ishtiaq Ahmed after he started depicting his villains after a certain minority of Pakistan. I didn’t like bringing one’s religious beliefs into ‘jasoosi’ novels.

    Other than that I agree with Ather that his novels are doing a great service to Urdu. I used to finish his books faster than text books :)

  10. Momina says:
    August 3rd, 2006 1:51 am

    Great piece Bilal….. Feels like I am back in Lahore enjoying my summer vacation with a new novel every week and the monthly khaas number…If i recall correctly he used to publish 4 mini novels and one Khaas number in a month…… Rest of the reading material looked so dry once you had the Ishtiaq Ahmed number in ure hand…. But I had to read all the taleemo tarbeeats, Phool, Naunehal etc as my parents were always skeptical if I was actually learning anything from Sir Ishtiaq Ahmed other than skipping meals and not paying attention to my surroundings….. :)

    And it would be unfair to forget Inspector Kamran Mirza with Aftab, Asif and Frahat and the Shauki borther series…

    Altamash I would recommend Khazaney ka Toofan and Vaadi-E-Dehshat

  11. sabizak says:
    August 3rd, 2006 7:31 am

    Aaah! Ishtiaq Ahmed, my Urdu reading sort of dried up after that. There is also an Orkut comunity in his name that I belonged to last time i checked Orkut (its not available here in the UAE) that has a number of enthusiastic fans.
    How come nobody’s mentioned ‘Sea Moon’ or ‘Jee Mauf’ here.
    I quite agree with Mr. Owais Mughal about Ishtiaq Ahmd turning way too politically incorrect in his later years. His fanatical religious inclination started putting me off him but not before going through a particular mix of Islamic fundamentalism mixed in with Riverdale teen mentality and British Borading School consciousness (Malory Towers, Enid Blyton).
    I love the name of the first novel ever written by Ishtiaq Ahmed ‘Yeh Bachay khatarnaak Hain’

  12. Talha says:
    August 3rd, 2006 5:09 pm

    Bohoot aala:)

    I still remember from farooq “Ye to kissi novel ka naam ho sakta hai”.

    Bohoot alaaa, I wonder if you ever read Anbar, Naag Marya by A. Hameed?

  13. Saima Muslim says:
    August 4th, 2006 2:07 am

    One dialogue which I still remember and sometimes use in my coversation even today is the reply to “Oh,my God!”….they would say” ab aya angrezi main khuda yaad”, I wonder if my children will be able to understand and appreciate the underlying sarcasm in the above dialogue, if they get to read Ishtiaq Ahmed’s work today. I believe they won’t as their exposure and expectations are very different from ours… is the time for instant gratification…reading among children is not as prevelant as in the past…..thanks to the easy access to visual entertainment.

  14. Undone says:
    August 4th, 2006 7:01 am

    I cant help turning back and reading more and more yeah “those were the days” . I remeber the names “khatarnak teeen” “Sonehri Chitan” Khaass numbers I guess. Talha thanks for reminding Anbar, Naag, Maria, Keti by A.Hameed, another great series. I wonder how could i have survived without these book all that time.

  15. August 8th, 2006 9:42 am

    Great Post Dr Saab!!!!!

    You sent me back to my childhood when I used to read these novels most of the time.I prefered Inspector Jamshed over Kamran mirza[am i remembering right].Though these novels look childish to read after reading IBn-e-safi’s work but still they were great at that time.Lines like “Mehmood ne raan per haath mara” ,”Ye kisi novel ka naam hosakta hay”.ahh great.

    Would someone comeup with a post about IBn-e-Safi and Imran Series?

  16. Mustafa Zulqarni says:
    August 9th, 2006 10:32 am

    People do not read anything in Pakistan except Jang or Nawa-e-Waqt.When it comes to text books,I can say few of those study aids or ‘guides’ are all that are popular with students otherwise there is little to be found and even less to read.
    Who would buy a book priced at Rs.375 and that too in bad quality printing and poor binding.I’ve been brought up in Pindi and I remember I used to frequent the Sunday old book bazar in Saddar.Pindi has the only such kind that there is.Lahore and Karachi don’t have it.
    If video had killed the radio star,we can say video also killed the reading stars.
    Where is this picture taken?I suggest when posting photos,the location must also be given.

  17. August 11th, 2006 12:43 am

    Can there be a Netflix type system in the US/Europe for Pakistanis with children growing up abroad to get Urdu books for themselves or their kids? I notice how friends want me to brng back novels or poetry books for them every time I go to pakistan. Why can’t we create a collection for people to borrow and use?

  18. August 11th, 2006 7:13 am

    Zuberi saab you mean an online version in which we put scanned copy of novels?

    That would create copyright issue

  19. August 11th, 2006 11:14 am

    I meant a physical copy that you can rent from a library, they will mail it to you, and you then send it back when you are done.
    The Netflix model refers to a company in the US which employs this method for movies. People subscribe to the service by paying a monthly fee and then they can get 3 or 4 movies at a time from Netflix. When they are done watching they just mail them back. If such a service was started for Urdu books, esp the Ishtiaq Ahmed type that you don’t necessarily need to own, then it might gain popularity in the Pakistani community.
    Maybe its too much of a long shot.

  20. Mustafa says:
    August 12th, 2006 1:27 pm

    Its unfortunate to say that the urdu literature and urdu adab is dying a slow death in Pakistan.
    Internet and cable TV killed whatever was left of the reading culture in Pakistan and the book profiteers made sure no one buys books in Pakistan where a poorly printed book with bad binding which breaks loose in 2 weeks is sold for ‘bata’prices of like Rs.375 and Rs.430.
    Secondly access to public libraries is restricted and few people make it to whatever few of them are left there.
    To become a library member,the usual requirement is for the membership form to be ‘attested by a Grade 17 officer’ accompanied by a hefty deposit and a couple of photos,that too attested all that and more.
    Pakistanis read the least amount of books in Asia(survey) and we also print the least amount of prints every year.So I would say there are too many issues and obstacles hindering the growth of reading culture in Pakistan.

  21. August 13th, 2006 5:40 pm

    assalamu alaikum,

    To begin with; I came across this blog randomly and i must admit I’m lovin’ it…mad props to the people behind it…

    And secondly this particular post struck me because just as the writer mentioned: ishtiaq ahmed’s novels have indeed inspired generationS…i was introduced to ishtiaq ahmed by my mom when i was just at tender age of 8….I was an avid reader of his novels; I still remember that I spent all of my pocket money (2oo ruppeess) on his novels,,,I supplemented the reading with taleem o tarbiyat and nonehal…

    Subhan Allah the subtle ways Ishtiaq ahmed would bring in the “islam” factor to his novels and the uprigtheousness really shaped my own self…I think it is through the works of ishtiaq ahmed really I learnt to love islam…not to mention the value of his novels in the “detective/suspense” genre…

    “dhat teray kee” (mahmood)

    I enjoyed reading this piece….

    Jzakum Allahu khair

  22. Abdul Sami says:
    August 15th, 2006 11:35 am

    Lovely post.. I read at orkut community the guy is back on business and has published four novels recently. more info at orkut comunity

  23. August 15th, 2006 10:33 pm

    guyz, lets plz find a way of putting some of these stories on the web

  24. Sana Ishaque says:
    August 19th, 2006 1:29 pm

    What a blog!!
    Its exaclty what I have experienced in my childhood..I and my brother both were great fans of Ishtiaq Ahmed and we had a good collection of all novels in our home library we used to bind them on our own and save our pocket money to buy those great great novels…
    have spent lot of time in dreaming to become farzana..:-)
    if u guys put those stories on web ..that will be great

  25. ali raza says:
    August 20th, 2006 5:33 am

    Come on people, his writing had an appeal limited to the age group 10-12 years old. You read tarzan first, then umro ayyar, then one of the inspector series and then graduated to abridged versions of real literature.
    His novels carried anti-ahmadi messages, and statements declaring them to be non-muslims, poisoning the minds of innocent children against their country folk. I asked my urdu teacher, who I was unaware at the time was ahmadi himself, about this and he told me some people felt this way but I should ask my parents about religious matters. They banned me from reading that crap. In my case his tirades against sheezan beverages backfired too because I would immediately go out looking for the mangoey goodness.

  26. Mehdi says:
    August 24th, 2006 11:15 am

    I owned a rental library …(Moon Library), in my School days living in North Nazimabad, Karachi when I was a kid/teenager and had all his collection written between 1976 and 1983…. I was a big fan… I disagree that his following was among age group 10-12 only. My mother (who was a Karachi University graduate, my khalaas and mumaanis and so many other elder would love to read his books as a past time. He was really good… Even now when I am working at a high level in corporate America, I end up using some of the rational and analytical and skills learned by reading likes of Ibn-e-Safi, Ishtiaq Ahmed and Maqbool Jehangir …

    Some of Ishtiaq Ahmed’s finest works were:

    Yeh bachay khatranaak hain, Draikola ka bhoot, Haulnak dhamaky, Sola teer teen fire, Maut ka khauf, Maut ka jazeera, Jeeral ka mansooba, Kali Ankh, Waadi-e-dehshat, Malaasha ka zalzalaa, Surkh Teer (series of four), Hawa key qaidi, Purasraar aghwa (series of four), Kali Kitaab..

    Practically his earlier work (written between 70’s and early 80’s is all worth redaing

    Some of the villains he created larger then life till I was in know … Kali -ankah, Jeeraal, Jeetaal, Altaanio, Anaasha…. I think he created some more in later series

    For those who want to know… he is back to writing… but his latest books (I was in Pakistan last year and picked some of his latest novels just to rekindle) are disappointing … and I don’t think its because I have grown up as I also got a few older ones and they were as interesting…. I guess what it is that he used all his ideas … writing 800 novels and trying to come up with newer stories is not a joke..

    I agree that he deserves some kind of recognition… we know if were in West he would have been J K Rowllin kinda millionaire

    Some facts

    - Ishtiaq Ahjmed wrote some books for elders as well.. more like a bit rated PG 13 kind of detective novel. ‘Lohey ki Larki’ comes to mind.

    - His characters ‘Inspector Jamshed’ three kids with Professor Daud, Khan Rahman were duplicated by himslef into Inspector Kamran Mirza, three kids and Munnawar ali Khan….. (I don’t why) but it made the ‘Khaas numbers’ more fun…

    - Shaoki series of five teenage brothers starting a P.I. agency was based on his own family characters…. this one was more close to reality and life…. it would have been a great success if translated into other languages..

    More importantly he was inspired by the great late Ibne-Safi. This is evident in his characters. He developed his character traits around Imran, Col Faridi and Captain Hameed but just distributed into more characters (Intelligence of Imran and Faridi to Farzana and Farhat, wit of Hamed to Farooq and Aftab, quickness to Mehmood and Asif etc) Inspector Jamshed /Kamran Mirza were all knowing like Faridi. Jamshed even could dodge bullets like Ali Imran and so on…

    - It seems he had a subtle bias himself towards his primary characters (Inspector Jamshed and Co) it seems. In many ‘Khaas numbers’ when all teams would be together solving a global crime, Inspector Jamshed would edge out Kamran Mirza on skills… (Like the target shooting competition on the sea ship in ‘Waadi-e-Dehshat’,

    Lastly, I agree we need to make this literature available for next generations…. I would Inshallah take that as a challenge and a project to work on getting something online in next year or so

    Mehdi Hasnain, Boston (MA)

  27. amer says:
    August 29th, 2006 12:00 pm

    SALAM all.

    i remember the days when i w as young, i had very good english but unfortunately very bad urdu writing and then somebody give me ISHTIAQ ahmed novel when i was like 12 and after reading the first novel i got hooked, i remember spending thousands of ruppes to colect all his novels, reading about mehmood farroq farzana, but the best were shoki brothers, they didnt knew how to fight and use their wits to fight,. and there mother always being greedy, :-).. but since i moved to america ihad to donate them all to library. :-(

    his characters were larger then life and some to relate it. u can see yourself working as a private eye and have autorization from the president to go any where ad do anything.

    even his villians were quite respectable JIRAL C MOON were quite known their strick principals and well not go back on their words of truce.jiral was the most loved villian as he even died and he had to bring himback to life in KHAS NUMBER 35 “: JIRAL” as an alien from another world who looks like him.

    i got some of hiskhas numbers, anybody interested to trade or read e-mail me ..

    take care ALLAH HAFIZ

    p.s: i heard he writes novels now which are 20 pages only, as cost went to high for paper and he wrote more than 800 books 793 to be precise plus extras. a man does get burned out ,, byeyeye

  28. September 5th, 2006 5:02 am

    Wow…… its been a while since I read that name. I use to adore his novels and read them when I was really young. I must say through his work, I greatly imporved my Urdu Reading and got into the habbit of reading Urdu newsppaers. With our education system in English Language, I think all kids find it hard to develope any sort of Urdu skills.

    However, I really wondered what happened to him. To be honest, I had quite forgotten about him and never really tried to look up his work. As I grew, I got out of reading Fiction, hence stopped reading all Fiction Work, but I would always think of how Ishtiaq Ahmed completetly disappeared. And I wonder if kids these days even have access to his stuff. His work should probably be marketed properly. There is some good revenue for Freozons in this!!

  29. September 9th, 2006 6:17 am

    In my view and estimate, Mr Ishtiaq Ahmed, a matric pass unemployed youth with weird religious ideas, had only one purpose… to instill an irrational intolerance in the young Pakistani mind which sought to equate Pakistan and Pakistani nationalism with some sort weird fundoo bigotry (the same sort that opposed the creation of Pakistan in 1947 mind you- in form of deobandis and what not)..

    His novels were dose of lies, propaganda and hatred not just against “anti-Islamic” forces, but those Muslims who disagreed with his fanatically Islamist ideas…. hence Ahmadis (who were in the fore front of the Pakistan movement) were reinvented as enemies of Pakistan… I consider people like Ishtiaq Ahmad a bane for Pakistaniat .. god save us from such people.

    On the other hand… Ibn-e-Safi’s “Imran Series” was a the real thing and did not promote the cause of irrational bigotry.

  30. September 21st, 2006 1:11 am

    [quote post="266"]i got some of his khas numbers[/quote]

    I am forgetting but are not khas numbers in which both jamshed and kamran mirza’s family worked together?

  31. A.F.Khan says:
    October 1st, 2006 5:48 pm

    Interesting how every discussion eventually transforms into being eitehr about religion or about Musharraf!

  32. bhitai says:
    September 25th, 2006 6:01 pm

    During the mid/late 80s, Ishitiaq Ahmed turned Tablighi/wahabi and started injecting sectarian poison in his stories. That was quite troubling, considering I had once cherished his works. I now regret why I wasted time on his lousy stories anyway.

    Btw for tilism-e-hosh ruba fans, it’s being translated in english. Should be coming out any time now:

  33. October 1st, 2006 2:50 pm

    Qadyanis were declared non-muslims not by Ishtiaq ahmad anyway, were they? *thinking*, atleast I don’t remember that I read any such novel in which he brought some case against Qadyanis as ‘Enemy’ and then his novel teams solved it. Yes he used to print some statment against Qadyanis on first page and back of every novel which I think his right like those who curse Mullahs freely here and everywhere.

  34. bhitai says:
    October 4th, 2006 12:43 pm

    “Yes he used to print some statment against Qadyanis on first page and back of every novel which I think his right like those who curse Mullahs freely here and everywhere.”

    Mullahs used to be all-powerful in those days (remember it was Zia’s time), so I don’t think his religiousity was any kind of protest against mullah-bashing. That’s quite a strech I would say!

  35. October 5th, 2006 12:25 am

    [quote post="266"]Mullahs used to be all-powerful in those days[/quote]

    and Now left wing liberals are powerful. No difference at all

  36. Faisal says:
    October 5th, 2006 10:11 am

    Yadish Bakhair- I don’t know how many of the readers here enjoyed Ibn-e-safi. I believe he was the most gifted story teller to have written in Urdu since Manto stopped writing. If you are unfamiliar with his body of work, pick up “PagloN ki Anjumanâ€

  37. October 5th, 2006 3:25 pm

    faisal i believe majority of Pakistanis know Ibn-e-Safi well. What do you say about “Doctor Duago” ?

  38. shakaib says:
    October 11th, 2006 10:38 pm

    I would love to know how is he doing now…where he is and how can we get hold of his current literature. Can anyone guide?

  39. Amer says:
    October 30th, 2006 3:43 pm

    Salam to all, i wasnt going to reply to your posts but i did end up. i am a english student and my urdu was horrible then somebody give me ishtiaq ahmed novel and i was hooked . i brought more then 600 books but when i was leaving for states i had to get rid of them.i give them to a library for other kids. which i regret now as those were the time in my life that we ENJOYED BEING kids. now all is work and college.everytime i go to pakistan i buy and find his novel i got 20 khas number and still hunting for 40 more. total. i got some extra copies of some too if you guys want to trade some with me for then wlcome to e-mail me and we can discus

    peace out

    Allah hafiz


  40. October 31st, 2006 12:47 am

    bhai shakeb, Ibn-e-safi died long time back[may be in 70s?]. There was an official website but it seems dead now.

  41. October 31st, 2006 12:50 am

    one of his novel is available online:

  42. Adil says:
    November 7th, 2006 4:12 am

    If anyone want to read ishtiaq ahmed biggest novel ” Ghar ka samandar” then go to site

  43. johar says:
    November 11th, 2006 7:46 am

    A nice article I have no idea what happened to the new generation what the hell(internet) they are doing. Instead of reading such wonderful stories(fiction) but inspirational. I request to all to promote among the new genration to read books. I have another suggestion to come forward all who wish to make a website in urdu and collect the wonderful literature for kids. If the typing urdu novels of Mr. Ishtiaq is impossible. we can scan these novels and and put them on our website. Our kids who do not want to read books can read these stories book on websites.

  44. Ather Rizvi says:
    November 16th, 2006 9:13 am

    Well…Ishtiaq Ahmed might be a very creative writer to some special community but for me its nothing but senseless fiction, especially when Insp. Jamshed use to throw “chaqoo” from a very special angle to cut 20 heads in one row, even in a massive crowd of enemies farzana manage to get a pencil bomb out of her pocket, i really cant understand what cloths she would wear to have pockets in them, she must be a grown up girl. and the beauty of a hidden knife in one of those brother’s shoe (mehmood/farooq)….where as ibn-e-safi came up with a lot of sense, even with imran’s “sang-hee” art when he use to dodge bullets and his other special tricks but all of them make sense to me. if i compare imran to insp. jamshed, there is much theory and practical approach in imran series and instiaq ahmed tends to fill pages with 3rd class crakers and so called one liners multiply by 10.

  45. November 16th, 2006 1:10 pm

    Jamshed use to throw “chaqooâ€

  46. nadeem khan says:
    November 19th, 2006 4:55 pm


    mein kuch zayada nahi kehana chahoo ga bus yehi kaho ga ”kay woh bhi kiya din thay !” ab sab kay batein parh kay wakai bhot acha laga.

  47. Sobaan says:
    November 19th, 2006 9:01 pm

    This post has brought some good old memories of my childhood as well. I was also a BIG fan of Ishtiaque Ahmed’s (Inspector Jamshed series). Infact, there will still be a collection somewhere in my house in Pakistan. The series had “special numbers” as well which were thicker and had much more pages than a normal novel which used to sell at Rs.5 (uptill mid 80′s). I still remember there was a character “Salatar” which became very popular and then there was “Salatar ki wapsi” and so on.
    There was another series which I was totally addicted to as well. This was by A. Hameed and the name was “Amber, Naag and Maria” These guys were immortal and had special powers. Amber lived for 5000 years, Naag was actually a snake who had converted to man after being alive for 1000 years and Maria was their sister who remained invisible. I really enjoyed those times and always waited till new novels came every month.
    Does anyone know if Ishtiaq Ahmed or A.Hameed are still alive or where do they live. Any phone numbers???
    I would really love to talk to these guys who had given me such a wonderful time reading those books :)

  48. fatima amir says:
    November 21st, 2006 12:37 am

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! what a name and what memories it brought. Ishtiaq ahmad was brilliant and filled our childhood with such fun and thrill. Where is he now and does he still write?

  49. Muhammad Usman says:
    November 21st, 2006 2:25 am

    Inspector JAMSAAD series is very good.npw i m in BCS but i also read it. i want to talk ishtiaque Ahmid but i have not theier contect no. If he read t so plz call me my no is 0333-5479490

  50. Syed Inam Ahmed says:
    November 29th, 2006 4:33 am

    Assalamo Alikum All,

    Kindly welcome me…I feel I am PhD(Ishtiaqiyat)…:)

    Engineer Inam

  51. Asif Masood says:
    December 2nd, 2006 11:05 am

    Good old memories…. I remember my pocket money used to be Rs 40 and whenever any Khaas Number used to come, used to go and buy it. Still remember the name of a Khaas Number ‘Si moon ki Waapsi ” :)

    I also remember Inspector Jamshed’s “ghanti bajane ka andaz”

    Ishtiaque Ahmed’s brother copied him and started writing in the similar fashion. Created similar characters like Inspector Jamshed and his kids.

    Somebody told me that lately Ishtiaque Ahmed got inspired by some banned religious organization and started spreading hatred through his writings.

    The times when we used to read those novels…there used to be only one TV channel which used to show ‘Raag Rang’at primetime :)

    Nowadays with so many TV channels…new generation has just lost the habit of reading.

    Asif Masood
    Detroit MI

  52. Amer says:
    December 4th, 2006 10:30 am

    Salam again. yeah i still see this blog getting bigger. i am doing my masters but inshallah next year i will try to open a website and post inshtaq ahmed and ibn-e-safi novels there,, my exams are near to no time right now inshallah i will post them around 2007 summer. Allah hafiz
    contact me at

  53. Akif Nizam says:
    December 8th, 2006 12:45 pm

    …..loved these growing up; used to get all four books the first day they appeared at the bookstore and had them devoured and memorized by next day. Probably did that from grade fourth onwards. By seventh or eighth grade, I switched to Mazhar Kalim’s Imran Series and that held my imagination until college came around.

    Good post.

  54. Aijaz says:
    December 10th, 2006 5:48 am

    I would say most of us had these steps as far as reading for pleasure :

    2.Umro Ayaaar.
    4.Ishtiaq Ahmad. ( Amber Naag Maria etc.) plus Naunehaad , Taleem-o-tarbiyaat , Annkh machooli , bachoon ka risaala etc.

    4. Mazhar Kaleem Imran series. or some other
    5. Finaly the big Guru Ibn-e-Safi.

    Ishtiaq Ahmad stands out for his four novels per month those days and big big khaaas numbers.
    FOr info of others replica of Inspector jamshed series was created because of some copy right issue at that time with publication office. But as popularity continued with kamran series so he kept this also after the copy rights issue was resolved.

    “Dhaaat tairee kei , yeah to kissi novel ka naam ho saktaa hai ” jalti hai mari jooti , “un kay munh say niklaaa” , ghanti bajanay ka andaaz these are specialities of Ishtiaq ahmad`s writing.

  55. Inam Ahmed says:
    December 12th, 2006 5:03 am

    Well Done Dr. Saheb,

    Great place to share our memories, extremely nice to look back in those golden days of our life. I still remember, when I used to guess in the mid of the novel ” Mujrim kaun hoga?” and unfortunately in the initial days, most of the times I got that wrong but later when understood the psyche of Insp. Jamshaid(Ishtiaq Ahmed)it was easy guess always.

    I consider khaas number “Zsabnayey Muhim” as the best one.

    Makhan(Aftab#2) of shouki brothers was very nice and innocent member, what others say??

    Hope to post the comments frequently as i found this very place nice.

  56. Hina Zafar says:
    December 16th, 2006 3:46 am

    Wow, never realized there were so many fans out there. For those of you who have read both Ibn-e-Safi and Ishtiaq Ahmed, whose plots would you consider as being more strong?

  57. Ghazali says:
    December 17th, 2006 4:35 pm

    Aijaz Bhai,
    In the list of steps you have forgotten one great writer who comes between Ishtiyaq Ahmed and Mazhar Kaleem and he is Naseem Hijazi.

    Without him I sincerely would not know a spec of Muslim history.

  58. Daktar says:
    December 17th, 2006 6:26 pm

    [quote comment="17467"]Aijaz Bhai,
    In the list of steps you have forgotten one great writer who comes between Ishtiyaq Ahmed and Mazhar Kaleem and he is Naseem Hijazi.

    Without him I sincerely would not know a spec of Muslim history.[/quote]

    No disrespect meant, but with him you probably have most of your Muslim history wrong.

    I do hope people do not learn their history, Muslim or otherwise, from works of fiction and movies!

  59. Inam Ahmed says:
    December 22nd, 2006 4:54 am

    Any body knows about the brother of Ishtiaq Ahmed named Aftab Ahmed who used to write his own series ….

    Is he writing yet???

  60. meengla says:
    December 22nd, 2006 10:25 am

    Ahh, too long ago to remember the content of any of Ishtiaq Ahmed novel. But I do remember the names of Mehmood, Farooq etc. I do remember saving my meager spending money and rushing to the nearby bookstore. I do remember slowly migrating from Inspector Jamshed novels to more adult oriented Ibn Safi ones…..

  61. Faisal says:
    December 28th, 2006 1:10 am

    i started reading Ishtiaq Ahmed back in 1985 when i was in Class III or IV in my school. i read all the 4 novels he published every month & ‘Khas Numbers’ after every six months. i still remember that i read his novels during my exams & covered the novel under my text books, jis par mujhe apni ammi se daant bhi parti thi! i learned a lot from his novels specially Hadees Mubarak at the start of each novel then his famous ‘Do Batein’ i love his Inspector Jamsheed series & khas nos. also like other series & in those days i waited every month for his novels which were avaialble every 20th of the month. my all summer vactions spended reading his novels. i missed those days v v much. i read Ishtiaq Ahmed till my intermediate then i was busy getting Engineering education. 2 or 3 years back go to a book shop where all the old books, novels available there i found a lot of novels & khas numbers. i was v happy & i lost in my child hood memories then i buy a no. of novels from there. now life is v busy these days & unfortuately we have no time to read this stuff but still if time permits then i will start reading Ishtiaq Ahmed again.

    Muhammad Faisal Khan
    Software Engineer

  62. Hana Khan says:
    December 28th, 2006 4:43 pm

    Thank you for bringing back such happy memories of Mahmud,farooq Ferzana…I went to Pakistan earlier this year after 9 yrs and did notice that kids these days avoid reading like plague. I love books and brought back a lot of great books with me. i would love to read Ishtiaq Ahamd again if someone has a collection. I still remember “Begaal Mission” that was khaas number where all 3 teams come together with their chatpatay comments…”aut teeno ney cheek ker khaa “haieen” ” uss ney raan per haath mar ker kahaa “ooh” Happy reading you all.

  63. Ibrahim says:
    December 29th, 2006 7:44 am

    [quote post="266"]In the list of steps you have forgotten one great writer who comes between Ishtiyaq Ahmed and Mazhar Kaleem and he is Naseem Hijazi.[/quote]
    I think there are many other ways to learn Islamic history and people should look at more traditional religious text but I don’t disagree with your statement.

    [quote post="266"]No disrespect meant, but with him you probably have most of your Muslim history wrong.
    I do hope people do not learn their history, Muslim or otherwise, from works of fiction and movies! [/quote]
    I think you’re quite wrong. He was strict in representing the correct history even though it was fiction. For example, even in smaller history books you’ll find writers making baseless stories about Mohammad bin Qasim being in love with Raja Dahir’s wife or daughter (I think his wife). But, there’s no proof, and Hijazi keeps away from that. Are you learing your “Islamic history” from Oxford University Press??

  64. abacus says:
    January 1st, 2007 7:06 pm

    I was a huge fan of Ishtiaq Ahmed’s books, before graduating to Ibn-Safi’s Imran & Inspector Afradi books during 10th grade. This definitely made for an exciting childhood. I would feel sorry for any kids who are missing these classics.

  65. January 18th, 2007 2:29 am

    i m a senior writer of children ishtiaq ahmed is the best novelist in children literature.

  66. Kazim Alam says:
    January 18th, 2007 2:17 pm

    Yeah…those were indeed great days! Once, I was a critic of every type of blogging. But now I think it is a good means of sharing good moments of one’s life.
    Apart from Qadyani stuff, IA was a good read, no doubt. Has somebody here read “Heeroon ki baarish”….a superb novel..?

  67. January 30th, 2007 4:33 am

    [quote comment="3564"] *thinking*, atleast I don’t remember that I read any such novel in which he brought some case against Qadyanis as ‘Enemy’ and then his novel teams solved it. Yes he used to print some statment against Qadyanis on first page and back of every novel which I think his right like those who curse Mullahs freely here and everywhere.[/quote]

    I remember reading a novel where the bad guy was called Mirza Khasir.

    There were obvious anti ahmadi references in his novels. He also wrote books like “Mirza Qadiyani kay Lateefay” or something like that and publicised it as a very interesing read for children. I remember reading an advert for it on the back of his book telling the kids to buy the book and share it with friends.

    I hear he has some mental problems now. I thought he always had mental problems.

  68. Ashar says:
    February 16th, 2007 4:40 pm


  69. The Pakistanian says:
    February 16th, 2007 6:33 pm


    Dear Ashar
    Nice to know you enjoy his novels, I just have a question, since you mentioned you recently read his latest novel, does Ishtiaq Ahmad still have the same picture of his printed on the back cover, did he get a new one by any chance. The picture I am talking about is probably from the 70s and he had that one on his novels well into the 90s! I didn’t get a chance to read or even see any of them since then.

  70. February 25th, 2007 10:16 am

    Just saw the link to an online scanned version of “Ghaar Kaa Samandar” – Khaas number by Ishtiaq Ahmed. So for all those who missed reading Ishtiaq Ahmad’s writing, here’s a chance:

    Dhat taray kee – here goes my Sunday.

  71. Amer says:
    February 28th, 2007 12:27 pm

    [quote comment="18764"]Any body knows about the brother of Ishtiaq Ahmed named Aftab Ahmed who used to write his own series ….

    Is he writing yet???[/quote]
    he actually died, he was 39, one day he fell in his house and died, ishtiaq ahmed hid death details in one of his novels i dont have that , but i have ” do baatain” of another novel where he talks about it


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