Shahid Batalvi Speaks

with apology to Black Elk for he speaks first

Ijaz Batalvi (1923 – 2004)

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Republished from: The Dawn, March 9, 2004
By: Staff Correspondent
 
LAHORE, March 8: Ijaz Batalvi, a jurist par excellence and litterateur, will be laid to rest at the graveyard at G-Block, Model Town, on Tuesday. He died late on Sunday night after a protracted illness at the age of 80. He is survived by a widow and two sons.
 
Ijaz Batalvi, who suffered from a prostate cancer, was first treated at the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and then in a New York hospital during the three-year ailment.
 
The Lahore High Court didn’t work after midday on Monday in memory of one of the finest lawyers. The Lahore High Court Bar Association also cancelled its session, and its office-bearers issued a statement to the press, paying homage to the jurist, who had been the teacher of about half of the bar members.
 
A graduate from the Government College, the late Mr. Batalvi called on Lincoln’s Inn for his Bar-at-Law degree, which he secured in 1954. During his stay in England, he also served on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as a broadcaster and anchorperson for many a programme.
 
He was among the pioneers of the Halqa-i-Arbab-i-Zauq in the city soon after his family migrated from Batala, where he was born in 1923. He was among the earliest visitors of famous Coffee House on The Mall, which later turned to the Pak Tea House, another centre of the people of literature.
 
The late Batalvi was a short-story writer and a critic, whose contemporaries included Mira Ji, Noon Meem Rashid, Syed Abid Ali Abid, Sufi Ghulam Mustafa Tabassum, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Mukhtar Siddiqui and Qayyum Nazar.
 
Born to the house of Ghulam Akbar Khan, Mr Batalvi had five other brothers, including historian Ashiq Batalvi, whose "Iqbal Ke Aakhri Do Saal" has become a reference book now. The family migrated to Lahore in 1947 and he took admission to the Government College and also associated himself with the Radio Pakistan.
 
He remained a broadcaster and wrote scripts for a good number of radio programmes till 1950. The late Mr Batalvi will be remembered also for his contribution to the Radio Pakistan during the India-Pakistan war in 1965. Subsequently, he left for England for higher education in law. He specialized in criminal law. Later, he showed similar eminence at the high court and the Supreme Court level.
 
The famous cases he contested in superior courts included the one in which he represented the government as special public prosecutor against Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. One of his last cases was for former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
 
The late Mr Batalvi joined the Punjab University Law College as a lecturer at a very early period. He remained on the college rolls until about fours years back when he was almost bed-ridden. There his contemporaries included Manzoor Qadir and Ghulam Mujadad Mirza. No less than 50 per cent of the bar and bench members were his students at the PULC. Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court, Justice Iftikhar Husain Chaudhry, was among his pupils.
His funeral will be taken out from his residence at 73-Shadman, Lahore. Funeral prayers will be offered at the Shadman Masjid and he will be buried at Model Town. Qul will be held on Wednesday at 83-F, Model Town, at 5.30pm.
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Written by Shahid Batalvi

July 15, 2008 at 8:58 pm

Posted in Personal

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