The launch of a book on the life and works of noted writer Hakim Nayyar Wasti was held here in Islamabad on Thursday, with a number of serving and retired diplomats, bureaucrats, and politicians in attendance. Written by Asfa Waheed, ‘Nayyar-e-Hikmat’ is an anthology of the works of one of the most respected writers of his era.
Syeda Afshan highlighted Wasti’s literary contributions in Urdu and Farsi, while also noting his skills as a hakeem.
Azra Wasim paid rich tribute to the late Nayyar Wasti, including a story about the first time she met him as a child, and her firsthand experience with how caring a practitioner of homeopathy he was.
Later, speakers noted that though a God-fearing man, he followed no sect, and always identified himself as a Muslim, and only a Muslim.
His efforts dispense medicine received great praise while his great love for Turkey was also noted, something that brought smiles to the faces of Turkish Ambassador Babür Hizlan and his wife.
Wasti’s medicinal work was also highlighted, as the speakers recounted how his consulting rooms in Masti Gate was always full of patients, many of whom came from far off places. While he charged his affluent patients, who included businessmen and feudals, he always treated the poor for free, including providing free medicines. He would put a sign in a corner of the prescription he wrote, an indication to his staff that the patient was not to be charged for consultation or medicine.
Wasti’s passion for the works of Rumi was also highlighted, most notably by the Chief Guest, MNA and former Education Minister Aseff Ahmed Ali, who noted in an anecdote that Wasti managed to do something that even the great Allama Iqbal could not; be immortally present at the mausoleum of Rumi, where a plaque bearing a couplet penned by Wasti is on display.
After pointing out that Wasti was awarded the Sitara-e-Khidmat in 1961 and an award for his work in Farsi from the Shah of Iran, Ali spoke of his great respect for Wasti, calling the cultured, multi-lingual gentleman one of, “The people who were the identity of Muslim India,” adding that, “These are the kind of people who represented what was best about Muslim India.”
Ali closed by referring to one of Wasti’s works, a statement on purifying the soul, “We must look into ourselves, into our souls, and see what is happening there.”
Other notable personalities in attendance included Wasti’s son-in-law Brig (retd) Zareef Malik, former Naval Chief Admiral Fasi Bokhari, former Lok Virsa Chairman Uxi Mufti, former FBR Chairman Mian Iqbal Farid, Nawaz Sharif’s former Principal Secretary Saeed Mehdi, a former Monopoly Control Authority Chairman, and retired World Bank executive Abid Hasan.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2011.
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