CareerAmong masses, he is famous for his autobiography, Shahab Nama. This book chronicles and reveals an amazing life spent serving Pakistan and its ideology since its independence. Qudrat Ullah Shahab was an ICS (Indian Civil Service) officer who started his career before Pakistan came into being. At the time of partition, he had already become a senior bureaucrat and in early years of Pakistan's history, he had chance to work on some important designations. At peak of his career, he had a chance to serve along side Ayub Khan and before him, Iskander Mirza. His work as a close associate of country's leadership proved to be instrumental and though its exact influence on Pakistani politics has always been underestimated. Shahab's famous book Shahab Nama is a chronicle of Pakistan's leadership history, its bureaucracy and is an amazing document which proves to be inspiring as well as an elucidating resource for students of Leadership and Pakistan history.
Career After Coming PakistanAfter coming to Pakistan he was first posted in the Ministry of Commerce as a Deputy Secretary and then as Chief Secretary of the new state of Azad Kashmir at Muzaffarabad. Thereafter, he became Deputy Commissioner of Jhang, Punjab. He also served as Director of Industries of Punjab and dealt mostly with settlement issues concerning migration. He was appointed by Governor General Ghulam Muhammad his Principal Secretary and remained on this post during Iskander Mirza's and Ayub Khan's regimes. He served as Ambassador of Pakistan to the Netherlands in 1962 and later as Secretary of Information and Education. He resigned after a clash with the new regime of Yahya Khan and opted for a self-imposed exile at UK. Shahab was elected a member of the executive board of UNESCO in 1968.
Retirement YearsAlthough he tried to resign couple of times during his career, it was not realized until he saw Yahya Khan’s military rule. His trouble with government circles forced him to leave Pakistan for United Nations, where he became member of UNESCO. He was denied pension from Government of Pakistan for few years. During that time in England he toured Palestine as an Iranian businessman to investigate the changes made in curriculum and education by the occupation authorities of Israel. His spying job was successful and all of his documentary evidences were accepted by UN. This mission was primarily sponsored by Arab representatives of the United Nations.
His book Shahab NamaHis master piece, Shahab Nama, was finished but still unpublished when he died in 1986. It made him immediately a household name in Pakistan. Its idea came when he was visiting his friend Ibn-e-Insha in England and they were talking about the philosophy of life. He then started writing chapters and read them in reading circles. Some were published in newspapers and magazines. The ‘Shahab nama’ is a most wonderful book in its simplicity. In the main, a memoir of Qudrat-ullah Shahab, this book allows one to contemplate and think about what should be important in our lives and to relish those things before it is to late. His words and insights have a simple clarity, which would live on in the hearts of the readers. The ‘Shahab nama’ is in effect, a candid, moving and entertaining memoir.
List of Books
- Shahābnāmah, autobiography
- Ya khuda, novel
- Mān̲ jī, short stories
- Surk̲h̲ fītāh, short stories
- Nafsāne, short stories
- Shahāb nagar, literary miscellany
- Pathans, an essay about Pashtuns
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