Agha Ashraf Bereaved
Srinagar, Mar 29: Kashmir-born Agha Shaukat Ali (91) passed away in Virginia (USA) on March 19. Born in Srinagar Kashmir, he was an independent thinker, a visionary in political thought, and had an acute-insight and enthusiasm for global affairs. Agha Shaukat Ali is the elder brother of noted academician Aga Ashraf Ali.
Born to a well-off family in Srinagar, Agha Shaukat attended prestigious Aligarh Muslim University (AMU in 1930’s. He later joined Kashmir Civil Services.Agha resigned from government service in 1946 and joined Muslim Conference as a Founding Member, at the request of Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He became the General Secretary of Muslim Conference the same year.
Agha was jailed from 1946 to 1949 on the orders of then Prime Minister Ram Chander Kak. His release was brokered by the United Nations after Pakistan was founded on August 14, 1947 and was set free as part of exchange of political prisoners between India and Pakistan. Agha moved to Pakistan with his wife after his release.
However, after Jinnah passed away, Agha was expelled from Muslim Conference.
Agha attended Woodrow Wilson School of International affairs at Princeton University as a Fulbright scholar in 1950’s.
Agha authored the book “The Modernization of Soviet Central Asia”. He founded the Iqbal-Shariati Foundation in Lahore which funded the translation and publication of the works of Sir Muhammad Iqbal and Ali Shariati, two poet-philosophers whom he greatly admired. Agha is survived by his two brothers, Agha Nasir Ali (93) and Agha Ashraf Ali (90) who still reside in Kashmir. He is also survived by his children, daughters -Tehmina Khan and Rabia Ali, son -Agha Azhar Ali.