Friends, co-workers and family pay rich tributes to the deceased for his consistent and exhaustive efforts
A memorial service for former additional secretary at the Senate and honorary general secretary of Pakistan for Youth Hostels Association Agha Afzaal Hussain was held on Saturday.
Friends, co-workers and family paid rich tributes to the deceased for his consistent and exhaustive efforts to facilitate the youth by building 18 youth hostels across Pakistan.
Short story writer and novelist Mazharul Islam said that Hussain’s life is a representation of dedicated and selfless struggle for the welfare of Pakistani youth, despite opposition from all political quarters.
“Showing no signs of stress even when he knew that his medical condition was untreatable, Agha Sahib also taught us how to die gracefully”, Islam said.
“His life reminds me of a story by Oscar Wilde, ‘the nightingale and the rose’ where a lone bird embarks on a search for a rose against all odds to save a young man’s love”, he added.
Hussain’s grand daughter, Zarnab Javed said that there are very few people who focus on the welfare of the needy and Hussain was one of them. Senator Raja Zafarul Haq said that as a true visionary, Hussain had an extra ordinary ability to galvanise the crowds. “While serving as a federal minister for information and broadcasting, Hussain remained a main supporting force behind my career,” Haq said.
Former ambassador and additional secretary ministry of foreign affairs Qazi Humayun said that his friendship with the deceased is more than half a century old. “He was not just a bureaucrat but worked with a missionary zeal for the welfare of young people”, Humayun said.
Vowing to take forward his legacy, Humayun announced that PYHA will initiate an award scheme named as Agha Afzaal Hussain youth award which will be given every year to students who have shown brilliance in fields of arts science or sports. “A cash prize will also be given with the award, while youth hostel in Lahore will be named after Hussain Youth Hostel”.
Hussain’s brother, Javed Islam Agha said that having taken initiatives such as youth travel bureau, youth train and student insurance scheme, he was a true spokesman for the youth across Pakistan.
Speaking of Hussain’s relationship with renowned poet Parveen Shakir, senior journalist Naseer Ahmed Saleemi said that he and his wife are to be credited for opening up their house to Parveen Shakir and rescuing her from depression and taking care of Shakir’s son after her death.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 11th, 2015.