Jamiluddin Aali: Jeevay, Jeevay Pakistan

Posted on April 24, 2009
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, >Shahran Asim, ATP Mushaira, People, Poetry
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Shahran Asim and Owais Mughal

It was summer of 1986 in Karachi, when satellite dishes were unheard of and people used to put Aluminum dishes to get better reception of the ‘neighboring’ Television channels. I was also one of those who would always try put some wide aluminum plates to get the signal of Doordarshan. We used to envy Lahoris who are so close to the border that they easily view the transmission of our neighbor.

On one of the days we got good reception and guess what was coming through? It was an Urdu Mushaira. I was a school going kid and was not very much interested in viewing these shows but then for some reason I decided to sit and watch as there was always some curiosity with the “Foreign TV Channel”. The mushaira was being relayed from Hyderabad Deccan India and then I heard a person who started reciting his poetry in tarranum with the following lines:

dohay keh keh kar Aali mann Ki Piyas Bhujhay“.

His voice mesmerized myself and all the Hyderabadi audience. At the end of his segment, I saw the audience gave him thunderous applause. Then I was told that he is the same Jamilluddin Aali whose songs we always love to sing and recite on national days i.e. Jeevay jeevay Pakistan, and many more.

Born on January 20, 1925 in Delhi into a literary family (his lineage goes back Mirza Asadullah Ghalib), Dr. Nawabzada Mirza Jamiluddin Khan Aali embarked on his poetic journey at an early age. As most Urdu poets do, he began with the ghazal (lyrical poem). He drifted to the doha (poem describing a whole idea in two lines) when barriers were erected between him and the girl he loved and wanted to marry. Unlike Majnoon, Punnoo, Farhad, Ranjha and other Romeos, he was fortunate enough that the issue got resolved amicably and he tied the nuptial knot at age 19 when the bride was over 25 years of age. The two, blessed with three sons and two daughters, have been living happily since.

The photo below is from 1967. This was a corner meeting of writers before convention at SMCHS-Karachi office of Pakistan Writers Guild. Seen in the photo are Obaidullah Aleem, Professor Jamil Akhtar, Professor Mumtaz Hussain, Jamiluddin Aali (standing), Ibn-e-Insha and Pir Hisamuddin Rashdi.

He passed the CSS examination in 1951 and joined the Pakistan Taxation Service. His career saw many ups and downs and he joined the National Bank of Pakistan as its vice president in 1967 and retired from it as its senior executive vice president in 1988. His poetry, however, found a renewed stimulant when he took a fancy to a boy, who grew up to be a senior police officer and died from cancer in his lap. Tears welled up in Aali’s eyes while he described the day when the dying man’s mother telephoned him to be with her son at his dying moments.

“People say what they may, but there was nothing carnal or immoral about it. I loved him intensely and wrote couplets about him. I even dedicated one of my books to him.”

This makes his poetry unique even in these times of modernity where “Azaad” poetry is much more common. Some of those words are even obsolete in the current lingua franca. In poetry, Mr. Aali has been an innovator par excellence, in so far as he has revived the classical form of doha and adapted it into Urdu imparting a distinct South Asian Muslim cultural flavour while retaining its beauty. Besides doha he has also written ghazals, poems, lyrical ballads or geets and patriotic songs. His long poems reflect a unique discourse on great Scientific and Philosophical themes, blended with aesthetics. At mushairas Aali recited dohas in his melodious voice, which became instant hit and made him one of the most sought-after poets at poetry recitals. His Dohas do have a tinge of Hindustani Language and also the rural Urdu dialect which is still being spoken in parts of North India.

Following photo is from Harvard University, Boston in 1962. Aali saheb is 3rd from the left. Henry Kissenger is 4th from the right.

‘Insan’, a poem containing some 7,500 lines, is the latest feather in his cap. “Some 2,500 lines were censored out.” Critics find it as an unusual feat of perseverance and hard work. He says people might take a few more years to study and understand the merits of this poem. His poetry collections include Ghazlain, dohay, geet, Lahasil, Aye meray dasht-i-sukhan etc which also contain his popular national songs such as Aye watan kay sajeelay jawano…, Aye mao, bheno, betio, …. and jeevay jeevay Pakistan, sung by Shehnaz Begum.

About jeeway jeeway Pakistan

During the 1965 war, the Chairman PIA then approached Jamiluddin Aali to write something focusing on integration of East and West Pakistan as problems had started arising between two wings of our country then. Jamiluddin Aali then wrote ‘Jeevay Jeevay Pakistan’, which was recorded by the then PIA Arts Academy under Hameed Nasim. But politics held back the song till it came in July 1971 when Ishrat Ansari of PTV-Karachi Studios called in Shahnaz Begum and requested Sohail Rana to compose the music. Finally, the song was ready and released on PTV on 14th August 1971. The song has managed to stay in the hearts of thousands of Pakistani’s to date, there is no child, adult or anyone who has at some point lived in Pakistan and does not sing along to ‘Jeevay Pakistan’ when it is aired every year on the 14th of August.

- The News

Here is the 1972 video of Aali saheb’s most popular national song ‘jeevay jeevay Pakistan’ sung by Shahnaz Begum

Moved by the plight of the prisoners of war following the 1971 war, he composed Aey des ki hawaoin, sarhad ke par jao in 1972.

As the world celebrated Women`s Year in 1976, Aali composed Hum ma-ain, hum behnain, hum baiteyan - a song that was banned by the Zia regime and was subsequently employed to good effect by the Benazir government.

In 1986, Aali wrote a song, Jo nam wohi pahchan, Pakistan, at the request of former president Ghulam Ishaq Khan.

In 1996, he composed another national song, Mera inam Pakistan, for the celebrated singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

In 1999, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif got him to write a national song, Yaum-i-amn-o-baqa.

He has visited many countries and written travelogues about three of them, including Iceland, a country no other writer from the subcontinent has written on. He has been writing a weekly Urdu column for over 45 years and the columns have filled several volumes. These columns have been a great source of information since those are so well researched that you can find various topics of philosophy, history, literature technology in those columns which is very rare among the Urdu Columnist.

He has written prefaces to books published by the Anjuman and their number has crossed the figure of 250, most of them published in four volumes. At least eight theses and books have highlighted his literary achievements.

Under the aegis of this very Anjuman he was associated as Honorary Secretary for 12 years and Honorary Administrator for three years with the Urdu College, which evolved into two prestigious institutions.

Photo to the right shows the foundation laying ceremony of Urdu College in 1964. President Ayub Khan and Aali saheb are in the photo

The Urdu Science College (now Urdu University – where all subjects upto the level of Masters are taught in Urdu) building was raised during Mr. Aali’s tenure. He was highly instrumental in growth of the English-Urdu Dictionary of baba-i-Urdu Dr. Moulvi Abdul Haq and in the arrangement and publication of some rare manuscripts and great classics has been one of Mr. Jamiluddin Aali’s main passion.

He is one of the principal founding fathers of the Pakistan Writers Guild during the Ayub Khan era along with Qudratullah Shahab which has a membership comprising men of the letters of all Pakistani languages. Mr. Aali has been constantly devoted to services for the welfare of indigent Pakistani Writers and the bereaved families of those who are no more.

Mr. Jamiluddin Aali as an expansion of his activities also entered the field of practical social science. He has been a Senator from Sindh in the upper house of parliament where he was also elected as Chairman of Senate’s Standing Committee of Education, Scientific and Technological Research.

The many awards he has received include the President’s Pride of Performance, Hilal-i-Imtiaz, Canadian Urdu Academy Award, Sant Kabeer Award and Kamal-i-Fun Award. Besides, he has received honorary D.Litt. degrees from a private university and the University of Karachi.

He has a huge collection of photographs with a number of renowned personalities, and even with JFK and at a gathering in Harvard where he used to wear Jinnah Cap and even as of today he religiously follows it. In these troubled times which Pakistan is facing on various fronts, he is a optimist to the core.

The photo below is the occadion of Pakistan writers guild’s 10th anniversary on January 31, 1968 at Hotel Metropole, Karachi. Jamiluddin Aali, Secretary PWG on mike with Shahid Ahmed Dehlavi on his left followed by Hafeez Jallundhari (who wrote Pakistan’s National Anthem) and Akhtar Hussain Saheb, former Governer West Pakistan and President Anjuman-e-tarraqi-e-Urdu Pakistan.

Following photo is from a mushaira gathering in London in 1981. The photo shows Qateel Shifai, Zehra Nigah, Parveen Fana Syed, Iftikhar Arif, Himayat Ali Shaiyar, I.H. Burney (Host BCCI), Zamir Jannery, Jamiluddin Aali and guest.

In the following photo Neelofer Abbasi is seen interviewing Jamiluddin Aali during daily morning show ‘subah-e-nau’ of Radio Pakistan.

Due to his unquestionable allegiance to the motherland and is hopeful for the future. “jeevay jeevay Pakistan”!


(1) His Rare Collection : Audio Poetry of Jamiluddin Aali during Radio Pakistan Karachi Mushaira 1963

(2) Jeevay Jeevay Pakistan. All time favourites in his own voice can be heard here. You will have to choose Aali from the drop down menu.


(1) Doha and Ghazal

(2) Mushaira in Michigan USA

(3) 1965: aey watan ke sajeele jawano - sung by Madam Noor Jehan

The 1965 War got Aali to compose his first national song. Sung by the late Noor Jehan, Aey watan ke sajeeley jawanoon gained tremendous popularity.

(4) hum Mustafavi haiN

This song was the anthem of Islamic Conference held in Lahore in February 1974. Poetry is by Jamiluddin Aali and the song is sung by Mehdi Zaheer.

1. Article on Jamiluddin Aali in DAWN by Naseer Ahmed;
2. Raju Jamil, for his photo collection;
3. Mushaira.org;
4. Urdulife.com
5. The News

35 Comments on “Jamiluddin Aali: Jeevay, Jeevay Pakistan

  1. jk says:
    April 25th, 2009 12:29 am

    Jeeway jeeway Pakistan

  2. ASAD says:
    April 25th, 2009 3:55 am

    I am very glad to see this post.

    In these times of despair, let us remember those who make us proud as a nation and the sentiments that make us proud as a nation.

    Imagine what the Taliban would do to someone like Aali Sahib because of his poetry.

    I too say today: Jeevay, Jeevay, Pakistan.

  3. Aliya says:
    April 25th, 2009 4:18 am

    Great tribute to a man of many talents. His style of reading (singing) his poetry makes it all the more pleasure to listen to him.

  4. --Naseer says:
    April 25th, 2009 5:39 am

    - Dear Sahran Asim and Owais Mughal,
    May I just correct a fact that Sohni Dharti is written by Sehba Akhtar Sahib and not my father.
    However, as a Pakistani, I thank you for putting up a great article on a Pakistani asset.

    Naseer s/o Jamiluddin Aali
    A couplet of his which I think is a ”mahasil” or ”Lahasil” of his poetry.
    - jaane kyon ek daro divaar ka paband hua ,
    main ke mansoob kiye jaate thhe sehra mujhse –

  5. YLH says:
    April 25th, 2009 6:32 am

    I do not wish to be an alarmist but because unlike many of you, I am in Islamabad…. I am forced to say the following ..

    All our art, culture, civilization, the Jinnah cap, Jeevay Jeevay Pakistan, Sohni Dharti is about to end- the barbarians are at the gate… let us make an effort to safeguard this beautiful culture and civilization… let us unite.

    What is stopping us from making a “Save Pakistan Fund” directed towards creating a Pakistani resistance to these Taliban hordes?

  6. meengla says:
    April 25th, 2009 7:46 am

    Much thanks to the authors of this article!

    On a side note, looking at the 1977 picture of Sohail Rana, Nisho, and Aali Sahib makes me nostalgic about the pre-Zia ul Haq era. How ‘liberal’ and ‘normal’ Pakistani society was despite occasional Shi-Sunni and other ethnic violence.

    Aali Sahib was supposedly banned from TV appearances by Zia for almost 11 years of his rule and it was only when Benazir Bhutto came to power in 1988 then people like Aali and Faiz Ahmad Faiz were given some limelight again.

    This blogspace needs a dedicated permanent place to discuss the sea-change in Pakistani society in a mere decade under Zia ul Haq so that world at large may know what Pakistan was once before the West-supported ‘Benevolent Dictator’ Zia ul Haq ruined it for Pakistanis.

    Kudos to Aali Sahib. And Jeevey, Jeevey Pakistan!

  7. Nostalgic says:
    April 25th, 2009 9:53 am

    Say what you will about his other achievements, but his association with the Guild will remain a black mark on his record for ever… he and Mumtaz Mufti, Ashfaq Ahmed, Bano Qudsia and other proteges of the infamous Qudratullah Shahab sold their souls to the devil, in this case the Ayub regime… while Faiz and his comrades in the Progressive Writers’ Movement were being hounded and ostracized, these Guildiyas were being projected as the saviors of the language and hailed as literary geniuses… I don’t question the obvious literary merits of some of their work, and their other services, but the fact remains that they chose to remain silent against a martial law regime… Jamiluddin Aali even served as Ayub’s speech writer, a fact that this article fails to mention… and he may have lost favor with Zia, but Ashfaq Ahmed was Zia’s favorite playwright and the dictator had great respect for Qudratullah Shahab…

    To mention these people in the same breath as Faiz is going a touch too far in my opinion…

  8. ali says:
    April 25th, 2009 11:35 am

    Aali`s achievements outweigh his mistakes and weaknesses. Ayub Khan managed to get some good people around him and Aali was one of them.It was because of Jamiluddin Aali that Ayub Khan`s speeches were balanced.

  9. Tasleem says:
    April 25th, 2009 11:41 am

    Jameel sahib was also an accomplished civil servant (and i think banker. There was an entire generation of people like him, Ibn-e-Insha, etc. who were multi-talented and successful in multiple careers. Very good of you to highlight him here.

  10. Saleem Toor says:
    April 25th, 2009 11:54 am

    Many thanks for compiling the information about Aali sahib.

    Since almost fifteen days, I have been switching the Pakistani channles, whether entertainment, music or current affairs and I have been unable to find a single national song, whether new or old, on scores of these channels. A song dedicated to Pakistan, our values, Islam, our heroes, our wishes… believe me, not a single one.

    In current situation, the media should probably be taking the front seat and utilizing all forms of confidence building acticities for Pakistanis. The media people are only raising nation’s anxiety; they have to add some “hope” to the situation.

    I read in papers that Sohail Rana is in Pakistan these days (he has already immigrated to Canada back in 1990′s). Can Aali sb and Sohail Rana join together for few new national songs please. Can we have some inspiration for the people from Junaid Jamshed (despite his new thinking and appearnace) please. Can we request Ali Azmat, Shahzad Roy, Abrar-ul-haq, Shafqat Amanat Ali, Rahat Fateh Ali and all the other young ones to please produce at least one peace each with their skills, hearts and souls invested for a few hours. We need it guys, we need it!

  11. Alam says:
    April 25th, 2009 1:38 pm

    Very well written. Really informative.

  12. Nihari says:
    April 25th, 2009 4:03 pm

    His lineage might go to Ghalib from his maternal side but paternally he is from the Nawab of Loharu family of Dehli which were not just patrons of Ghalib but are quite well known for patrons of all art and culture of Dehli and Urdu.

  13. Owais Mughal says:
    April 25th, 2009 10:04 pm

    Naseer saheb, thanks for the correction and we have duely corrected the post above.

    I have a question. Can you name people in second photo from the top in this post. Besides Aali saheb, i was able to pick Ibn-e-Insha and I believe 2nd person sitting from left is Hakim Mohammad Saeed. Am I correct? Who else is in this photo?

  14. Owais Mughal says:
    April 25th, 2009 10:14 pm

    Aali Saheb used to visit family of one of my best friends from school. Therefore I was able to see him on numerous occasions in Dastgir Society (Federal-B-Area block 9) and later in North Nazimabad Block H.

    Whenever I’ve seen Aali saheb at my friends place, my friend and I were always sitting in the street outside with other street boys, drinking tea or cracking jokes like street boys do in Pak – . As soon as Aali saheb was seen in the street, everyone would whisper ‘Aali saheb aa gaye’. all jokes were stopped. everyone looked serious with respect and we would ‘salam’ him if we got the chance. I am sure he does not even know me. I was just a face in the crowd who sat in the street with other ‘aawaara’ boys. I am talking about years of 1984-88.

    Nothing important – just a personal anecdote of when I was always awed to see the person behind ‘jeeway jeeway Pakistan’ in real life.

  15. Owais Mughal says:
    April 25th, 2009 11:51 pm

    hum Mustafavi haiN

    The Islamic Summit which was held in Lahore in Feb 1974 had this song titled ‘hum mustafavi haiN’ as the de-facto anthem. Jamiluddin Aali has written the song and sung by Mehdi Zaheer. The generation which grew up in 70s, must remember this song was played occasionally on PTV.

    I’ve added the video to the post above under the ‘video collection’ heading.

  16. Owais Mughal says:
    April 26th, 2009 12:36 am

    aey watan ke sajeele jawano

    The war of 1965 got Aali to write his first national song. Sung by the late Noor Jehan, Aey watan ke sajeeley jawanoon gained tremendous popularity.

    Added to the post above under Video Collection heading

  17. Sridhar says:
    April 26th, 2009 2:29 am

    Thanks for posting this article. Also interesting to know that he was from the family of the Nawab of Loharu. Loharu is a tiny junction on the Delhi Jaipur line on the border between Haryana and Rajasthan. I have visited the place – it is quite close to Pilani, the birthplace of the Birla family (a major business house in India) and the location of the Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences, one of the best engineering institutes in India. Loharu itself is a sleepy little town today, with the junction and the old Loharu fort as the two points of interest there.

    The Loharu princely estate was a small one, but associated with a disporportionately large number of famous personalities. They include, besides Mirza Ghalib and Jamiluddin Aali (as I have now learnt), Sir Syed Ahmed Khan (nobody here needs an introduction to him), the Nawabs of Pataudi and the former Indian President, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed. Quite a lot for a princely state whose area was less than 600 sq. km.

    Another small piece of trivia – Mirza Ghalib lived in the home of the Loharu Nawabs in Delhi’s Ballimaran area. The perennially broke Ghalib survived for quite a while on the money he received from his wife’s family (which was part of the Loharu clan).

  18. Owais Mughal says:
    April 26th, 2009 12:43 pm

    People in photo # 2 of this post are identified and caption is corrected. Please take a look.

  19. Owais Mughal says:
    April 26th, 2009 12:59 pm

    Two more priceless/nostalgic photos of Aali ji and our literary history added to the post. These are the last two photos of the post. please take a look

  20. Owais Mughal says:
    April 26th, 2009 1:08 pm

    Sridhar, thanks for your comment. It is very informative

  21. --- Naseer says:
    April 27th, 2009 5:41 am

    —- Owais Mughal Sahib and Sridhar Sahib,
    Owais, I have made a copy of the picture you wanted named.
    I shall consult Aali Sahib and submit it shortly.
    ” aye watan ke sajeelay jawaanoan ” the heart rendering naghma was written prior to the ’65 war.
    It was recorded and played in the ’65 war.
    And for your friend who I believe I know at N Nazimabad house where Aali Sahib visited often, it is of his great friend and Poet Jamal Panipati Sahib. He often visited his friend Saleem Ahmed Sahib, the great Urdu playwrite and critic, all uncles to us.
    -Shridhar Sahib, I don’t think Sir Syed was related in any way to my Loharu family.
    Whereas you rightly pointed Ballimaran. In fact Gali Qasim Jan is the particular street, where many of the Mughals lived,in bad shape now, I hear.
    My great grand father, Mirza Alauddin Ahmed Khan Alai , also a poet(my son Alai is named after him). Nawabs of those times probably had not much to do except write poetry and fight pigeons. Alai was the disciple and much loved by Ghalib.
    His (Ghalib’s) famous ghazal ” hum hain mushtaq e jafa —”
    has a line on Alai –” hum se Alai ne yeh ghazal likhwai ”.
    There are letters between Ghalib and Alai (my great grand father), where Alai wrote to him calling him ”dada” , Ghalib replied that ”I am not only your dada but ” dildada”.
    These exchanges are oft quoted in literary works. meetings held in honour of Jamiluddin Aali worldwide(the reason I put these here).
    Aali Sahib’s ” khwab” is national integration (qaumi yakjehti) on which he has written consistently in prose and poetry for the past 45 years.
    The great saga ” Insaan ” in free verse is something to be talked about apart from ” chupkali ka dimaagh” a treatise on humans reptilian complex.
    That needs to be read while ” sitting ” down(I mean not casually).
    Let us leave it to posterity to comment on his contributions to the establishment of Urdu College, now a University ( his life time achievement, according to him).
    Naseer s/o Jamiluddin Aali

  22. - Naseer says:
    April 27th, 2009 5:56 am

    — Owais Mughal Sahib,
    I have only responded to the so called good things attributed to Aali.
    It will be in fitness of things (and maybe to set the record in its correct perspective – if not straight) and comment on ” Nostalgic” Sahib comments on Aali’s association with Pakistan Writers Guild.
    I will ask my father to respond to it through me very soon.
    ps: let me know if I can send some of his other pictures

  23. Kamal says:
    April 27th, 2009 9:02 am

    Very nice tribute. As a nation we need to be highlighting the achievements of Pakistanis instead of only finding faults. Look at the US, even with Sally Hemmings and the contradiction on freedom and slavery they have a sense that the good things people do should be celebrated even if no one of us is ever perfect.

  24. Adnan Ahmad says:
    April 27th, 2009 11:22 am

    Ignoring certain very public choices Aali made in his life, for which he has been and will continue to be condemned, here is one fine verse from Aali the poet that I heard long time ago.

    kuch naa thaa yaad bajuz kaar-e-mohabbat ik umr
    ab jo bichraa hey to kaam ka’ee yaad aayai

  25. Sridhar says:
    April 27th, 2009 4:28 pm

    Naseer sb,

    Thanks for correcting the record about Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. My recollection is that the connection was by marriage – perhaps not his own, but that of his brother. But I may be mistaken on this.

    Yes, Gali Qasim Jan is the exact place within Ballimaran where Mirza Ghalib lived. Here’s a blog post by Mayank Austen Sufi about the street – there are some pictures also for those who are interested.


    There have been several proposals for a full-fledged Ghalib museum at the house in which he lived and to rejuvenate the entire area – but nothing has really happened. In any case, the entire area of old Delhi is a living museum – it is a pity that the tremendous heritage has not been preserved and has been allowed to go to seed, if not destroyed altogether.

  26. Owais Mughal says:
    April 27th, 2009 5:23 pm

    Naseer sb, you guessed right about my friend in North Nazimabad. For sharing more photos of Aali-ji here, I’ll contact you off-line.

  27. pakistani says:
    April 27th, 2009 11:15 pm

    I was reading somewhere that Saif Khan famous indian actor, son of Mansoor ali Khan Pataudi is also part of Aali jee’s family. Can someone confirm. Also Junaid Jamshed as well.

  28. - Naseer says:
    April 28th, 2009 1:48 am

    - Mr Pakistani and Shridhar Sahib,
    Junaid Jamshed is certainly our ‘nephew’ from his mother’s side and hence a loharuwala too. Also Nawab Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi is our cousin, Saif by default should be my nephew.
    In the same way, Rampur is also connected to us.
    Aali Sahib has nephews as old as himself but we are very senior
    in ” rishta’s ”,and rather funny when I am called a ” chacha” by people as old as 80. Thats fate !!!
    Loharu state had close relationships by way of marriages into different states.
    Sahibzada Yaqub Ali Khan is my ” cousin” from Rampur.
    Just google search Loharu and have a mind boggling experience.
    My grandfather, Nawab Sir Amiruddin Ahmed Khan abdicated later in life. Though he was knighted but WE (my father Jamiluddin Aali )
    never took a good view of it (though a fact)as it was a” samraji” thing.

    Shridhar Sahib, I was doubtful about Sir Syed, in fact he is related to us through his wife (I checked yesterday).
    I will certainly check the dehli website and come back with more.

    Owais Mughal, I am yet to ‘confront’ Aali Sahib about the names in the picture which is a must for posterity’s sake.
    More later

  29. -- Naseer says:
    April 28th, 2009 3:20 am

    – Dear All
    — Quoted hereunder are extracts of Aali interview, shedding some insightful thoughts for some.
    Interviewer: Maria Najam
    Coordinator: Sadaf Mohsin
    Interview Date: Thursday August 14, 2008

    Aaj Online Exclusive arranged an interview in which you will get an opportunity to look at the different shades of his life so, let’s start our conversation with Jamiluddin Aali.

    Q: Tell us something about your educational and family background?
    A: I belonged to a literary family of Delhi. My grandfather, Nawab Allauddin Ahmed Khan, was a friend and student of Ghalib. My father Sir Ameeruddin Ahmed Khan was also a poet, and my mother Syeda Jamila Baigum belonged to a family of Mir Dard. I am BA in Economics from Anglo Arabic College, Delhi. We are three siblings; I was the only boy in my family and I was very stubborn. I was married when I was 19 years of age and my wife is seven years older than me. After the partition of India, my family migrated to Pakistan and settled in Karachi. . I have five children (three sons and two daughters).

    Q: How did you think to write ‘Jeevay Pakistan’? Tell us the story behind that?
    A: I wrote this song in 1970-71 during elections. At that time people used to chant slogans like ‘Jiay Sindh’, ‘Jiay Punjab’, ‘Jiay Balochistan’ and ‘Jiay Sarhad’. I thought why they don’t say ‘Jeevay Pakistan’. I was filled with excitement when I wrote this song. ‘Bikhray huo ko bichray huo koek markaz per laya Itne sitaron kay jhurmat mai suraj ban k aaya Pakistan’ This particular verse expresses my wish. This song was so famous in West Pakistan as well as in East Pakistan. Whenever people see me they start to sing this song.

    Q: Before partition there must be any incident which is engraved on your mind. Tell us about it?
    A: Let me tell you a very interesting incident which took place when I was in Anglo Arabic College commonly known as Delhi College. Liaquat Ali Khan was the chairman of Government body. Quaid e Azam used to come to our college. At the eve of annual dinner Quaid e Azam was invited as a chief guest and the arrival time was 8:00 pm. The hall was locked after making appropriate arrangements and me and my friend was standing in front of the hall. Our Principal, teachers and other staff members were standing at the main gate to welcome Quaid e Azam but we didn’t know about that. Quaid e Azam came directly to our hall and said that everybody knew that I am coming but nobody is here. We said that we are here to welcome you. He said thanks and asked us to open the hall. We said we don’t have the keys. Quaid e Azam said that I want to get inside in the appropriate time so just take out the door. We were so enthusiastic we broke the glass of the door and pulled the door. In the mean while a boy whistled and shouted ‘Quaid e Azam’ our Principal and teachers heard it and came running towards us and was shocked to see Quaid e Azam. I was impressed by Quaid e Azam’s personality. He was a true leader in every sense.

    Q: Why didn’t you write your biography?
    A: I don’t lie and I can’t tell the truth so I gave up idea of writing biography.

    Q: What hurdles u faced when you founded Urdu university?
    A: There were only hurdles when I thought about it. I am very happy that I am the founder of that university. Maulvi Abdul Haq had advised me several times to have established an Urdu university. An opportunity presented itself as I saw a 20 acre large tract of land along University Road. I reminded the administrator of the Karachi Development Authority, if he could allot that piece of land for an Urdu university, it would be a great service to the cause of the language. He agreed but insisted that we pay a nominal price of Rs3 million. We did not even have Rs30,000, but I promised that I will arrange the money. So I went to moneyed people such as Seth Daud and paid Rs100,000 to the KDA and took possession of the land on the promise that the remaining amount would be paid in installments. I went to Islamabad and met Ayub Khan he laid the foundation stone and praised Anjuman Taraqqi-i-Urdu’s role. But somehow we got away with it and then came the era of nationalization and the KDA received its dues from the federal government. I am very thankful to Dr. Ata ur Rehman education advisor at that time without whom this university would not have been possible.

    Q: Anything on which you feel proud of?
    A: I feel happy for Urdu university but I don’t feel proud because its not the way I wanted it to be and people even don’t give me credit for that.

    Q: What is the future of Urdu language?
    A: Future of Urdu is in danger now. It is the language of communication it won’t die or abolish but there is a great need that it should become an official language.

    Q: What are you doing these days?
    A: I am honorary secretary of ‘Anjuman Taraqi-e-Urdu’ since 1962 and still serving there. I have published more than 300 books I have published dictionaries.

    Q: How do you see the future of Pakistan?
    A: The future is in your hands it depends on you how you will shape it. I am a very optimistic person but if the political turmoil will continue then I see Pakistan on the verge of destruction.

    Q: Any message for the nation?
    A: Quaid-e-Azam had given a very beautiful message ‘Work work work’ and I don’t think so that now there is need for any message.


  30. - Naseer Aali says:
    May 2nd, 2009 9:34 am

    Dear Owais Mughal Sahib,
    It may be late in the day, but I promised , here are the other names you asked to be identified in the picture where Aali Sahib and Ibn e Insha are seen.
    1- Pir Hisamuddin Rashdi, a great writer who did ” Shah jo Risalo”( on Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai).
    2- Ibn e Insha,
    3- Humayun Akhtar,
    4- A Phd doctor from University of Karachi,
    5- cannot identify
    6- Jamiluddin Aali (standing),
    7- Jamil Akhtar Khan (last man sitting),
    8- Obaidullah Aleem (sitting behind- in check coat).

    I shall more historical pictures soon, though my elder brother Raju has already sent some material to you.

    Thank you
    Naseer Aali

  31. Owais Mughal says:
    May 2nd, 2009 11:01 am

    shukria Naseer sb

  32. May 4th, 2009 12:51 am

    The Citizens Archive of Pakistan’s Oral History Project, launched on June 16th 2008, is an attempt to capture the voices and experiences of Pakistan’s partition generation. Mr. Jameeluddin Aali kindly consented to an interview with our society and spoke about his prolific career at length. We were honored to learn about the inspiration behind the song, ‘Jeevay, jeevay Pakistan’.

    If you wish to view an audio-visual clip created from Mr. Aali’s interview, please visit http://thecitizensarchiveofpakistan.blogspot.com/2009/04/oral-history-project-jeevay-jeevay.html

    To find out more about The Citizens Archive of Pakistan, please visit http://www.citizensarchive.org

    We would be grateful if the owners of the photographs displayed within this article could contact us at citizensarchive@gmail.com

  33. Sohail Tariq says:
    July 25th, 2009 6:06 am

    I want to know about Mehdi Zaheer, can some one please write an article on him?

  34. Owais Mughal says:
    September 10th, 2009 3:38 pm

    Last photo of the post added today. It is just above the heading ‘Audio collection’ and shows a radio interview of Jamiluddin Aali with Neelofer Abbasi in the program ‘subah-e-nau’

  35. A. S. H. Khan says:
    February 18th, 2011 4:39 pm

    Jamiluddin Aali never appeared in the Central Superior Services examination CSS 1951.

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