After 36 years of research, writing and advocacy, Ahmad Salim gets the Pride of Performance, a lifetime achievement award offered by the Government of Pakistan. The announcement came earlier this week as a part of this year’s Independence Day celebrations.
Here is a poet, author, teacher, translator, researcher, editor and activist, who has a formidable record of authoring 150 publications. Among them, about 40 books compiled and edited by him, explore Punjabi and Urdu literature; history of Punjab, Sindh and Pakistan; freedom struggles such as the Khilafat Movement; and, the status of minority communities in Pakistan.
His works of original writings include:
– 25 books of Punjabi literary works of poetry, fiction, criticism and travelogues
– 20 books of non-fiction in Urdu, English and Punjabi
– 20 researched works on the minorities in Pakistan
At this time, he is working on 15 book projects.
In the previous years, Ahmad Salim won the following awards:
– Punjabi Adabi Sangat Award (UK) on best Punjabi contribution, 2000
– Guru Ram Singh Azadi Award (UK), 1999
– Masood Khaddarposh Award on best Punjabi prose work, 1996
– Masood Khaddarposh Award on 3rd best Punjabi prose work, 1996
– Best script for television documentary (Cholistan), 1978
– Writer’s Guild Award on best translation from Sindhi to Punjabi, 1977
– Best poem on Poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz, 1966
He has taught Pakistani languages at Shah Hussain College in Lahore and Sindh University in Jamshoro, is an avid translator, has served as the Director of Urdu Publications for Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), and, has been associated with South Asian Research and Resource Centre (SARRC).
Born January 26, 1945 in village Miana Gondal in district Mandi Bahauddin in the Punjab, Ahmad Salim grew up to be a strong political voice in Pakistan.
In the past three decades, not only that Ahmad Salim has produced 150 books but his work has emanated from his strong commitment to human rights where he was among the very first people who fought for the language rights of the people of Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan and the NWFP. He was among a handful of people in West Pakistan who took a clear stand in support of Bengali freedom movement in the early 70’s. He has been tireless in his work to strengthen inter-community/inter-faith relations in Pakistan, to develop and maintain lines of communication between Indian and Pakistani Punjabis, and to investigate Pakistan’s curricula and text books with a view to eradicate religious and political bias.
Ahmad Salim’s contribution to Punjabi literature, development of literary criticism, research into history, and his ongoing attempts to bring communities together has created a body of work so substantial that the Pride of Performance seems slight in comparison.