The literary and intellectual bridge of social understanding and literary cooperation between Muslims and Christians of Pakistan, Nazir Qasir has often risen above the petty and meaningless divisions that many unsocial elements would like to sow among the peaceful followers of their respective religions.
Nazir Qasir was born on 5th of January 1945 in Hooshiyarppur, India. A few days later his mother passed away promptoing his father to take him to Jehlam (now in Pakistan) where his father Aziz Masih's close friend, lala Ootar Narayan Gujral lived. Nazir Qasir lived and received his early education in the Gujral household, and was treated as none of their own children.
Inder Kumar Gujal, Prime minster of India (April 1997 to March 1998), was the son of htis same lals Oatar Nayan Gujral. At the creation of Pskistan in 1947, Nazir Qair's father served with the peace keeping troops of UNO and chose to stay in Pakistan despite the insistence of the the Gujrals to accompany them to Inida.
Qasir's literary journey began in 1958, and in a few short years he began to be appreciated by the literary giants of his time. When in 1968 his book Ankahin, chehra, hath hit the market, he received glowing reviews and compliments form Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi, Sufi Tabassam, Nasir Qazmi, Zafar Iqbal, Munir Niazi and other such prominent poets and literary critics.
Qaisar's poetry, like his personality, is inviting and absorbing. I first read his bookd Zaitoon di Patti during school days, and was impressed by his ability to convy deep concetps and delicate emotions uring very simple word and common phraseology. Indeed I was nto the only one impressed by this master artisan of word, for soon after I learned that Nazir Qasir was awarded the Adam Jee Award for his publication. I was pleased at this news.
Many years later in the late nineties I had the privilege of meeing Qasir on several occasions, and foun him to be just like his books, interesting, and though provoking.
His published books are:
- Ankhain, chehra, hath (آنکھیں ، چہرہ ہاتھ ) poetry, 1968.
- Ankhain, chehara, hath poetry, 1968.
- Zaitoon the patti - Punjabi poetry (زیتون دی پتی) Punjabi poetry, 1979.
- Teree Duneiya (تیسری دنیا ) long poem, 1979.
- Gunbad-e-khouf say basharrat (گنبد خوف سے بشارت ) poetry, 1984.
- Rujhanat (رجحانات ) collection of articles, 1984.
- Naiy ehd kay geet ( نئے عہد کے گیت ) Christian songs, 1984.
- Temharay shehar ka maosam (تمھارے شہر کا موسم ) poetry, 1992.
- Aye shaam humsukhan ho (اے شام ہمسوخن ہو ) poetry, 1995
- Haray Krishna (ہرے کرشنا ) long poem, 1993.
- Qasam fajar day taray dee (قسم فجر دے تارے دی ) Punjabi poetry, 2003.
- Danish ka buhran (دانش کا بحران) A philosophical treatise, 2004.
- Muhabat mayra mausam hai ( محبت میرا موسم ہے ) poetry, 2013
- Yas'oo (یسوع) novel, 2013.
- Dhool main dhanak (دھول میں دھنک) Autobiography, in the publication process, 2014.
- Koonjan bharya asman ( کونجاں بھریا آسمان ) Punjabi poetry, 2014.
- Masihiyat ki tashkeel-e-nau (مسیحیت کی تشکیل نو) An analysis, 2014.
- Mausam ( موسم ) Compilation of various works, 2014.
- Ay hawa moazan ho ( اے ہوا مؤزن ہو ) poetry.
His ghazzals have been sung by the greats of the music world: Ustad Ghulam Ali, sang, woohi palkoon ka japakna woohi jadoo tayray وہی پلکوں کا جھپکنا وہی جادوتیرے ), Madam Noor Jehan sang, Aa ja ray, Aa ja mayray pass ray آ جا رے، آ جا میرے پاس رے ) and Gulsha Ara Sayed sang the blockbuster hit ghazzal, Temharay shehar ka maosam (تمھارے شہر کا موسم ). His other all time favorite which has been sung by various artists is Dewaroon say batein karna acha lagta hai (دیواروں سے باتیں کرنا اAa ja ray, Aa ja mayray pass ray was filmed in the Neya Sooraj ( نیا سورج ) which was released in 1977 and become one of the top cinema sensations of its time.
The following is a complete list of his awards:
- Pakistan National Cultural Award
- Presidential award for literature
- Masood Khadar Poshe Award
- Peace Award (European Union)
- Shawl of Honour from Prime Minister of India
The literary journey of Nazir Qasir continues, and so does the on-going appreciation of CUWAP for this one-of-a kind master of Urdu and Punjabi poetry.