Dedication to social development
The Agha Khan Rural Support Programme
A journey through grassroots
By Shoaib Sultan Khan
Published by: Oxford University Press
No: 38, Sector 15, Korangi Industrial
PO Box 8214, Karachi-74900
Price: Rs725.00 Pp: 502
By Ishrat Hussain
The Agha Khan Rural Support Programme
(AKRSP) is a story of 'service with sincerity and
dedication' and thus the success element has turned it
into 'how determination pays-off.
In Pakistan, most of the rural areas
are under developed and lacking in even basic amenities
like, clean drinking water, healthcare, education and a
number of essential facilities without which a survival
struggle carries on.
The AKRSP is a people-centred
development programme with elements of sustainability in
times to come. Participatory development in the rural
areas has shown success all round and stands as an
example for areas that need development. The author,
Shoaib Sultan Khan has spent some fifty years of his
life, working, understanding, implementing and enhancing
the work, its concept and laying the structure for other
organisations to follow.
In the Preface, he states, "In
1978 at Nagoya, Japan I gave a presentation on the
Daudzai Project at the United Nations Centre for
Regional Development (UNCRI). In the audience was Prof.
R.P. Misra of the Institute of Development Studies,
Mysore, India. I responded, who would be interested in
reading the book? Besides, who would print and publish
it? Professor Misra persuaded me to leave that to him. I
should only concern myself with producing the
manuscript, he said, and he would take care of the rest.
The tremendous demands of the ten Rural Support
Programmes (RSPN) hardly gave me time to think about
writing a book on the AKRSP.
In the finalisation of this book,
selected NFRs which threw light on the concept, approach
and methodology of the AKRSP besides including all the
NFRs which I had personally written were included. I am
grateful to all those who wrote the NFRs, which proved
to be a rich resource for this book.
Ultimately, it fell to the lot of Dr
Virginia of NRSP to give the material its present shape.
She worked hard and long before achieving a coherent and
readable document. I am greatly indebted to her for
editing, re-arranging chapters and organizing the
material into a book for the consideration of
An anthology of wandering thoughts
By Lt Col Ashraf Faiz
Published by: Paramount Publishing
152/O, Block-2, PECHS
Price: Rs495 Pp:261
By S.H. Jafri
Seldom one comes across a beautiful
book in terms of its literary excellence. The book
'Reflection' fills that gap which literary minds keep
craving for. The book is of 'wandering thoughts' moving
from one domain to another life and its intricacies
dealt with in a manner where the past and present both
come to meet at various junctures. From politics to
political philosophy, from Sufism to day and day
affairs of dealing with life and to face whatever comes
The author, a soldier of fine
intellect and with love of literature has dealt with
many interesting issues. Major Arbab Safdar Hayat in his
foreword says, "They say old soldiers never die,
they fade away. A good solider by virtue of his
training, moulding and psychological make-up is as
clear, clean and transparent as diamond. I knew the
intellectual background of Col. Faiz already, yet I
discovered his flair of writing and literary pursuits
when he presented me a copy of his maiden work 'The
Parachgan'. I cannot describe how impressed and proud I
felt to read the scholarly efforts of my pupil more
of a younger brother.
The author in his 'Preface' says,
"I have often wondered what urges me to observe,
reflect and be sad that I earned the sobriquet 'gloomy
face'; perhaps it is inborn."
The book does not reflect this
character but rather reflects on his in depth
understanding of social and political issues and the
philosophy of life.
The chapter-1 deals with an emotional
relationship with his mother and he pays tribute to how
she managed to help him become what he ended up with.
The chapter-2 deals in some detail with aspects of love
and human involvement in the finer feelings born in
He moves on to deal with 'prayers and
faith' and finds out that both are interlinked. Step by
step he takes up various topics and goes into it at time
lightly and at other, deeply and with emotions.
An interesting book by all accounts
and should be read by people interested in some good
literary reading where the purpose is to enjoy
By Amin Rahat Chughtai
Published by: Gulrez Publications
258, St 1, Allama Iqbal Avenue,
Price: Rs 400 Pp: 368
By Prof Jamil Azar
Amin Rahat Chughtai is by far the
most a seasoned Urdu writer who wears many caps. He is a
senior journalist, renowned poet, astute literary critic
and erudite research scholar. By now he has written
seven valuable books on poetry, criticism and Moghul
miniature painting. His latest book, under review, is
"Bam-e-Andeshah" (A point to ponder). It
consists of 175 ghazals which reflects the
socio-political problems of the country.
The deeper study of the book reveals
that it is the poetry with contemporaneous spirit.
The poet passionately says that we
are moving in a vicious circle and presumes to have
traveled a long distance. But the destination, still not
being in sight. The common man remains as an undefined
species of the land. He is shape without form, shade
without colour. The exploiters are the same lords who
have been trampling upon the dreams of the people since
Nevertheless Chughtai emerges as an
optimistic poet and conveys his message to the readers
that (tr.) "The beauty of faith helps melt the
darkness. When the night falls it does give the message
of dawn too."
The diction of his poetry is simple
and lucid but couched with fresh symbols and metaphors.
His restless inquisitive temperament provokes him to
explore new horizons of truth and reality. Whereas he
expresses himself with ease and facility, he is bold and
dauntless to give vent to his feelings. In the
background of current judicial crisis, he boldly speaks
out against the tyranny and injustice (tr.)
"Don't' be proud of smashing the ringing bells of
justice. The masses shall come out with louder protests
from every nook and corner of the country.
His symbolic style coupled with
sublime elegance and grace lifts the readers from the
woes to the higher contemplation of life. He is fully
alive to our socio-political milieu. He never takes into
consideration any extenuating circumstances of the time
or occasion in his judgment and declares openly that
(tr.) "We, the tormented by our own conscience,
could do nothing but to kiss the gallows to express the
goals of life."