Dawar’s book on Arbab Hidayatullah depicts life of Pushtu free verse pioneer

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Professor Dawar Khan Daud is widely to Pashto literary circles as a prolific, dedicated and keen researcher scholar and an accomplished authority on almost aspect of Pashto language and literature. His effort has always been to discover and bring something new to the forth for the benefit of readers and also to add something of high literary value to the treasure trove of Pashto. Daud’s recent discovery is about a reclusive literary figure who has enjoyed a long and illustrious professional career in the Police department as an honest and conscientious officer with his soul always drenched in literary pursuits and public service. Born in 1923 at village Landi Arbab in the vicinity of Peshawar city, Arbab Hidayatullah did his matric from Mission High School, Peshawar and qualified graduation from the historic Edwards College, Peshawar in 1944. 

The publication of his maiden free verse poem in Pashto titled – Spogmai ta (To moon) in the college literary magazine ‘Palwahsa’ in 19 42 proved not only the first step of his literary career but also it made a landmark in the history of Pashto literature as Pashtun literary critics ranked it as the first ever attempt of Arbab Hidayatullah at introducing a new poetic genre of expression. He became the youngest editor of his college magazine. After graduation he joined All Radio Peshawar in 1935 and rose to the post of Programme Executive (PE) but after having qualified the Civil Superior Services (CSS) examination in 1950 he switched over to the Police department. He got retirement in 19 82 as Sindh Inspector General of Police (IGP) and since then has devoted his full time to writing and horticulture. 

When daily the Frontier Post was launched in 1986 Arbab Hidayatullah began contributing columns to it on hot social issues and soon acclaimed widespread fame for his unique style. 

He claims to have groomed up Ajmal Khan Khattak how to write short story and give due place to translate people’s problems in writings. 

Though he has a sound background in Persian language but he has a good command over language as well it is obvious from his translation of a portion of Khuhhal Khan and Rahman Baba’s poetry and a chunk of Pashto tapas -a three liner popular folk poetry genre in English. His poetry is romantic in nature blended with a nationalistic spirit. He is currently working on compilation of his memoirs in English. 

The book written by Professor Dawar Khan Daud contains interviews, poetic pieces and some of Arbab sahib’s interesting experiences related to his service in the Police. One such interesting event unveils a glimpse of his professional honesty and wisdom which he had exhibited on a right occasion. Arbab Hidayatullah says that during One Unit he had happened to meet Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto when he was in the Intelligence Bureau (IB). “During the talks our discussion turns towards Khan Abdul Wali Khan, I found that Bhutto was very critical of Wali Khan’s political views without any solid ground and even termed him a separatist”

I did not agree to his point of view and told him that Khan wants only autonomy for his own people and province. Gen Zia during his first meeting with Wali Khan in Hyderabad’s jail had told him that Gen Haya Khan had Wali Khan in his good book which means my dairy had worked regarding Khan’s loyalty to Pakistan. People say I played great role in breaking One Unit, recalls Arbab. 

While in radio way back in 1935 till 1950 he had launched a memorable Pashto programme ‘ Hujra’ based on social issues which ran successfully for 40 years , it was used to be scripted by Ajmal Khattak and Samandar Khan Samandar in its earlier stage. He was made OSD in 1983 on suspicion for being lolyal to Wali Khan. Quoting Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s celebrated book ‘ If I am assassinated’ Arbab Hidayatullah records, “Arbab Hidayatullah who is and who was Wali Khan’s man has been sent to my home province as I.G.P.” Being a must read this is the second edition of the book full of such interesting and revealing incidents regarding Arbab sahib’s professional life and literary journey spread over six decades.

Printed Pages: 182 
Price: Rs 90 
Printed by Jadoon Printing Press, Peshawar