Ata ul Haq Qasmi is a popular columnist, poet and playwright. His humorous and witty columns are highly appreciated by the readers. He was born on February 1, 1943 in Amritsar, where his father used to teach at MAO High School and MAO College. After partition, his family came to Pakistan and settled in Bakar Gala, Wazirabad, where his father continued his teaching profession in a school. Ata ul Haq Qasmi got his primary education in Wazirabad. His father Maulana Baha ul Haq Qasmi was an eminent religious scholar. One of his father’s teacher Maulana Mufti Muhammad Hassan (the founder of Jamia Ashrafia) advised him to go to Model Town, Lahore and preach Islam to the people who lived there. Thus, the family moved to Lahore and Ata ul Haq Qasmi continued his education in the Model Town High School there. After matriculation, he joined MAO College and remained there till graduation. Then, he went to Oriental College for getting Master’s degree. Later, he joined the “Nawa-e-Waqt” as sub-editor and his initial salary was PRs. 323. In the meantime, he was appointed as a lecturer at MAO College, Lahore. Thus, he continued teaching and writing at the same time.
He has made some great contributions in the print and electronic media, but his main strength is columns and article writing in different newspapers and on different subjects. His writings clearly express the feeling of freedom and he has written many articles on the social inequalities as well. He has bravely taken a stance against the dictatorships many times. He also has done a great job as an Ambassador of Pakistan in Norway and Thailand. He participated in many literary events as a chief guest in other countries. He also participated in many conferences and represented Pakistan and expressed his expert views on Urdu Literature and fine arts. He is a true inspiration for the young columnists and poets. Mushtaq Ahmad Yousafi has termed Qasmi as the best columnist of Pakistan while Altaf Gohar has termed him as the wittiest columnist of current era.
Ata ul Haq Qasmi has been writing Urdu columns for more than last 45 years in the leading newspapers with the name of “Rozan-e-Dewar Sey”, out of which he spent 35 years with Majeed Nizami in “Nawa-e-Waqt. His first book named “Rozan-e-Diwar Say” was published in 1977 and received Adam Ji Award. So far, he has written 18 books. It is generally believed that whatever is written in a newspaper is a column. However, it is not so. Some of his columns are genuine short stories. For instance, the title of one of his columns is “Alahdin Kay Jin Ka Zawal.” In one of his columns, Intizar Hussain described it as a high class short story. He has a unique style of writing incomparable to any other columnist because of his humorous way which holds the reader till the last line of his column which is his punch line. The most distinguished character of Qasmi’s column is his satire on social inequalities of the society and his anti-dictatorship stance which he boldly takes in his columns. He has a unique style of writing incomparable to any other columnist because of his humorous way which holds the reader till the last line of his column which is his punch line while his TV Drama serials include the most popular and humorous plays like “Khawaja and Son”, “Shab Daig”, “Sheeda Talli” etc. His travelogues are also very popular and one of the best is “Shauq-e-Awargi”. He has also been teaching as a professor of Urdu Literature.
He has several books of his columns and famous travelogues like “Shoq-e-Awargi”. His books of columns include “Column Tamam”, “Shar Goshiyan”, “Hansna Rona Mana Hay”, “Mazeed Ganjey Farishtey” and many more.
Ata ul Haq Qasmi has been working as Chairman Arts Council Lahore for the last six years as well who has undoubtedly made it the biggest Cultural Center of the country. Under his Chairmanship Arts and Cultural Festivals are being held for the last three years where youth’s talent is being stimulated through different cultural activities including different medium of expressive art, competitions and organizational events
In recognition of his literary contribution, the government of Pakistan awarded him the ‘Hilal-e-Imtiaz’,’Sitara-i-Imtiaz’ and the ‘Pride of Performance’. The Prominent poet, columnist and journalist Ata-ul Haq Qasmi was appointed as Chairman Pakistan Television Corporation on 23 December 2015 by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.