5 most influential Pakistani fiction writers

Sadaat Hassan Manto


Born in 1912, Manto has been famous for his short stories (Afsaney) however many people don’t know that beside his famous short stories such as “Bu”, Thanda Gosht and others he was also a film and radio scriptwriter and a journalist. All in all he has twenty-two short story collections, one novel, five radio play collections, three essay collections and two personal sketches collection on his credit.

Manto is famous for his cutting take on the problems that most of our authors dare not to touch, yes the sexual issues being the biggest taboo of the society, that lead to many social problems in the society. However, works of Manto has been tried to destroy by conservative elements and were not easily available at one time in Pakistan it is also true that his contribution in the Liberal narrative is one of the most influential ones. Manto died at the age of 42 in Pakistan.


Ashfaq Ahmed

ashfaq ahmad

Born in 1926, Ashfaq Ahmed was a writer, playwright and broadcaster who authored several Urdu books, novels, short stories and plays for television and radio. He also received Pride of Performance and Sitara-e-Imtiaz for his services.

Ashfaq Ahmed has been equally famous in the youth and in the older generations for his story based take on Sufism. He present difficult Sufism ideas in simple narrations that speak of general people and their problems connecting it all with the higher authority and the true purpose of Islam which is based on live and let live and other humanitarian principle as well that of love towards Allah. Ashfaq Ahmed died at the age of 82.


Ibn-e-Safi (Asrar Ahmed)


Born in 1928, Ibn-e-Safi or Asrar Ahmed, was a fiction writer, novelist and poet. He wrote the 125 book series, Jasoosi Dunya and then a 120 book series Imran Series along with some satirical works and poetry. His writings were based on mystery, suspense, violence, romance, comedy and adventure.

Both his series provide cheap yet engaging entertainment to the people which made him one of the most influential writers of his time. Although he wrote suspense fiction and his characters were larger than life such as the Bond himself his stories carried a moral and message of Patriotism and the urge to fight for death for the right cause.

Anwar Maqsood

Anwar Maqsood

Anwar Maqsood Hameedi or Anwar Maqsood was born in 1935 and is a famous scriptwriter, television host, satirist, humorist and actor. He has been famous for his sketches in Fifty Fity and writings in plays and shows such as Show Time, Angan Terha, Studio Dhaai, Loose Talk and the likes. He has been awarded Hilal-e-Imtiaz and Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Anwars Maqsood has written numerous skits and dramas for the Pakistani television screen along with T.V shows and other material that went on the air. His take on the social issues has always been satirical however he has written serious material as well. It is through his creations that the Pakistani television began to highlight social issues prevailing in the country, which would not be discussed otherwise. He died at the age of 52.

Mohammad Hanif

Mohammad Hanif

Born in 1964, Mohammad Hanif is a writer and a journalist who left a career in Pakistan Air Force to become a journalist. He has worked for prestigious institutions such as Newsline, The Washington Post, India TOday and BBC. He moved to East Anglia to graduate from University of East Anglia and then to London before moving back to Pakistan.

Hanif Mohammad like Anwar Maqsood writes in a satirical manner, however his critical take on the matter of utter seriousness such as the “Case of Exploding Mangoes” which was his take on the famous Pakistani dictator General Zia-ul-Haq’s mysterious death has been a source of reading pleasure for many. His other works include, Novels; Our Lady of Elice Bhatti, The Baloch who is not missing and other who are and Plays, What Now, Now that we are dead? and Dictator’s Wife.