Shahab Nama by Qudrat Ullah Shahab

Shahab Nama has sixty chapters and 893 pages (Sang-e-Meel Publications, Lahore, 2005). The first chapter entitled "Iqbal-e-Jurm" (confession) is about the author's motivation for writing an autobiography. The next seven "Jammu main plague" (Plague in Jammu), "Nanda Bus Service", "Chamkor Sahib", "Raj keroo ga khalisa baqi rahey na ko" (No one else but the Khalsa shall reign), "Maharaja Hari Singh kay sath chahay" (Tea with Maharaja Hari Singh), "Chandravati", and "ICS main dakhla" (Entry to ICS)chronicle his early life up to entry into Indian Civil Service. Chapter nine to fifteen describe author's experiences during his initial postings to different parts of India and creation of Pakistan in 1947. Four chapters are devoted to Mr. Shahab's writings and critics' comments on them. (Chapter 16 to 19). Chapter 20 is on the new state of Kashmir ("Azad Kashmir") and 21 on assassination of the first Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan ("Sila-e-Shaheed"). Chapter 22 to 34 are devoted to author's experiences as Deputy Commissioner of Jhang District in Punjab. After a year in Jhang, Mr. Shahab left for the Netherlands on a scholarship to attend a six-month course at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague. Two chapters, 35 and 36 are on his impressions of the Netherlands and his decision to proceed to Hajj. Chapter 37 and 38 are a pilgrim's tale. "Jhoot, fraud aur hirs ki daldal" (The quagmire of lies, fraud and greed), chapter 39, details author's time at the Ministry of Industries as Director. For the next 200 pages, chapter 40 to 50, Mr. Shahab delves into politics of his time as observed by him as the Principal Secretary to Governor General Malik Ghulam Muhammad, President Iskander Mirza and General Ayub Khan. The last ten chapters of Shahab Nama deal with a variety of topics such as death of his mother ("Maa ji ki wafaat"), life of an Ambassador ("Rozgar-e-safeer"), the future of Pakistan ("Pakistan ka mustaqbil)" and so on. There is a chapter titled "Iffat" dedicated to his late wife. The last chapter is about his mystical experiences.

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