Sunday, December 29, 2013

Pakistan Postage Stamps Issued in 2013

Pakistan Post issued over two dozen commemorative stamps during the almost ending year 2013. Most of the stamps related to the exclusive series of Men of Letters which honoured the writers and poets of Pakistan who have rendered valuable services for the development of Urdu language, literature and poetry. Beside, Pakistan Post also issued a number of commemorative stamps to honour heroes and celebrating centenaries of two prestigious educational institutions of Pakistan.

The details of the stamps as per the date of issue is as under:
1. The first stamp of the year was issued on 2 March on the eve of death anniversary of famous Urdu language poet Syed Nasir Raza Kazmi. The Rs. 15 valued stamp carried the portrait of the poet in an oval frame in dominating green colour.
2. The second stamp of the year also pertained to the series of Men of Letters and issued on 23 March in respect of famous Urdu language writer Qudrat Ullah Shahab. He was an eminent Urdu writer and civil servant from Pakistan and is famous for his autobiography 'Shahab Nama.' This Rs. 15 valued stamp carried the portrait of the writer in an oval frame in dominating crimson colour.
3. The third stamp of the year was issued on 23 March in the honour of much less known man for his background - Allama Muhammad Asad. It would be unfair not to introduce the Allama and his long back ground and his contributions to literature and Islam.
Muhammad Asad was born Leopold Weiss on 2 July 1900 and was an Austro-Hungarian born journalist, traveller, writer, linguist, thinker, political theorist, diplomat and Islamic scholar. After travelling across the Arab World as a journalist, he converted to Islam and chose for himself the Muslim name "Muhammad Asad"—Asad being the Arabic rendition of his root name Leo (Lion).
During his stay in Saudi Arabia, he spent time with Bedouins and enjoyed close company of Ibn Saud—the founder of modern Saudi Arabia. He also carried out a secret mission for Ibn Saud to trace the sources of funding for Ikhwan Revolt. Due to these activities, he was dubbed in a Haaretz articles as "Leopold of Arabia"—hinting similarity of his activities to those of Lawrence of Arabia.
On his visit to India, Asad became friends with Muslim poet-philosopher Muhammad Iqbal who persuaded him to abandon his eastward travels and "help elucidate the intellectual premises of the future Islamic state". On 14th August 1947, Asad got Pakistani citizenship and later served at several bureaucratic and diplomatic positions including the Director of Department of Islamic Reconstruction, Deputy Secretary (Middle East Division) in the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan and Pakistan's Envoy to the United Nations.
In the West, Asad rose to prominence as a writer with his best-selling autobiography, The Road to Mecca. Later, after seventeen years of scholarly research, he published his magnum opus: The Message of the Qur'an—an English translation and commentary of the Quran. The book, along with the translations of Pickthall and Yusuf Ali, is regarded as one of the most influential translations of the modern era
In 2008, the entrance square to the UN Office in Vienna was named Muhammad Asad Platz in commemoration of his work as a "religious bridge-builder". Asad has been described by his biographers as "Europe's gift to Islam" and "A Mediator between Islam and the West"  
Read more about Allama Muhammad Asad at Wikipedia
4. The fourth stamp of the year of Rs. 15 face value was issued on the eve of the centenary celebrations of the Kinnaird College for Women. The girls exclusive college located  in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan was founded by American missionaries under the British Raj, the school turned college is now a semi-government institute recognized by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan and is one of the oldest institution for the education of girls in the region.
5. The fifth stamp of the year of Rs. 15 face value was issued on 21 April on the eve of the 75th death anniversary of Allama Muhammad Iqbal - the national poet of Pakistan, a philosopher, social reformer and a politician instrumental in dreaming for a separated Muslim country to be carved out of the British India. A dream which came true but about a decade later than his death in 1938.
6. Continuing with the series of Men of Letter,  the sixth stamp of the year of Rs. 15 face value was issued on 27 April to commemorate the life of sufi saint Sufi Barkat Ali.
7. On the eve of the inauguration of Army Museum at Rawalpindi, Pakistan on 30 April a Rs. 15 valued commemorative stamp was issued showing the Army Museum building in the background and a life sized bronze statue of Subedar Khuda Dad Khan who became the first South Asian as a 26 years old sepoy to be awarded the Victoria Cross during the WW-I for an act of gallantry on 31 October 1914, at Hollebeke, Belgium.
8. A set of three stamps to honour the recipients of Nishan-e-Haider and Hilal-i-Kashmir was issued by Pakistan post on 30 April 2013, each with a face value of Rs.8. The stamps showed the portraits of the recipients along with their dates of birth and martyrdom. The stamps on the sides are Havildar Lalak Jan (left) and captain Kernal Sher Khan (right) who were awarded the highest military honour of Pakistan - the Nishan-e-Haider. The stamp in the centre shows portrait of Nail Saif Ullah Janjua who was awarded with the Hilal-i-Kashmir for his bravery during the Kashmir War of 1948.
9. A Rs 8 commemorative stamp was issued on 11 May 2013 on the eve of general elections after a successful tenure of five years by an elected government.
10. A Rs 8 commemorative stamp was issued by Pakistan Post on 24 May 2013 as part of the Pioneers of Freedom series in the honour of  Nawab Sadiq Muhammad Khan Abbasi V, GCSI, GCIE, KCVO, LLD, Nishan-e-Quaid-e-Azam, who was the Nawab, and later Amir, of Bahawalpur State from 1907 to 1966 and played an important role in supporting the creation of Pakistan.

The Nawab was born 29 September 1904, in the famous Derawar Fort and died 24 May 1966, in London. His death, ended his  59 years as Nawab and Ameer of Bahawalpur; his body was brought back to Bahawalpur and was buried in his family's ancestral graveyard at Derawer Fort. His eldest son Haji Muhammad Abbas Khan Abbasi Bahadur succeeded to his father's title of Nawab of Bahawalpur, but with no administrative power. His grandson Nawab Salah-ud-din Ahmed Abbasi currently holds the title of Nawab.
11. The eleventh stamp of the year waa part of the Men Letters series - honouring Syed Zamir Jafri, a hallmark in the development of Urdu language literature in Pakistan. The Rs 8 commemorative stamp bearing portrait of Syed Zamir Jafri was issued by Pakistan Post on 29 May 2013.
12. The twelfth stamp of the year was issued on the 100 Years of famous Islamia College of Peshawar. Islamia College is a renowned educational institution located in the city of Peshawar in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It was founded in October 1913 by regional leader Nawab Sir Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum and then Chief Commissioner of the province Sir George Roos-Keppel in an effort to provide quality education to the region's youth. The college has now been converted into a university. The Rs 8 commemorative stamp issued on 30 May 2013 shows the building of the Islamia College.

13. The thirteenth stamp was also part of the Men of Letters series - this time honouring Shafiq-ur-Rahman, a Pakistani humorist and a short-story writer of Urdu language. He was one of the most illustrious writers of the Urdu speaking world. Like western Mark Twain and Stephen Leacock, he has given enduring pleasure to his readers. He was awarded the Hilal-e-Imtiaz for his military and civilian services after his death.

The Rs 8 commemorative stamp was issued by Pakistan Post on 6 June 2013 was to honour the great service rendered by Shafiq-ur-Rehman for the Urdu literature.

14. The fourteenth stamp of the year was also part of the Men Letter series - this time honouring Mumtaz Mufti, a prominent name in the development of Urdu language literature in Pakistan. In the beginning of his literary career, he was had a non-conformist approach towards his literary work. However, later impressed by Qudrat Ullah Shahab, he changed over to Sufism. The two phases of his life are witnessed by his autobiographies, Ali Pur Ka Aeeli and Alakh Nagri. Ali Pur Ka Aeeli is an account of a lover who challenged the social taboos of his times, and Alakh Nagri is an account of an acolyte who greatly influenced by the mysticism of Qudrat Ullah Shahab.

The Rs 8 commemorative stamp bearing portrait of Mumtaz Mufti was issued by Pakistan Post on 12 June 2013.
15. The fifteenth stamp of the year was also part of the Men of Letters series. Whenever Urdu literature is talked of, the name of Ashfaq Ahmed is never missing. This Rs 8 commemorative stamp issued by Pakistan Post on 12 June 2013 is to honour the great services rendered by Ashfaq Ahmed for giving a new dimension to the Urdu literature.
16. Like Shafiq-ur-Rehman, Ibne-e-Insha too is a humorist travelogue writer, columnist and leftist Urdu poet.. A Rs 8 commemorative stamp was issued by Pakistan Post on 15 June 2013 to commemorate the services rendered by Insha for the development of Urdu literature in Pakistan.
17. On the 60th year of creation of All Pakistan News Papers Society (APNS) a Rs 8 commemorative stamp was issued by Pakistan Post on 20 June  2013.
18. A Rs 8 commemorative stamp was issued by Pakistan Post on 30 July 2013 in the honour of Pir Meher Ali Shah, who was a Sufi scholar, and known to his followers as a saint, and revered as the Pir of Golra Sharif..
19. A Rs 108 commemorative stamp was issued by Pakistan Post on 3 September 2013 on the eve of the launching ceremony of PNS Aslaf of Pakistan - the first indigenously built F-22P frigate.
20. Noor Jahan was a legendary singer and actress in British India and Pakistan. She was renowned as one of the greatest and most influential singers of her time in South Asia and was given the honorific title of Malika-e-Tarannum - the queen of melody. For her illustrious career spread over decades she is sometimes also referred to the like of Ume-e-Kulsoom of Egypt.

A Rs 8 commemorative stamp was issued by Pakistan post on 21 September 2013 to honour Noor Jahan's services to the music.
21. Jon Elia was a notable Pakistani Urdu-language poet, philosopher, biographer, and scholar. He acquired knowledge of philosophy, logic, Islamic history, the Muslim Sufi tradition, Muslim religious sciences, Western literature, and Kabbala. His synthesis of this knowledge into his poetry differentiates him from his modern contemporaries.

A Rs 8 commemorative stamp was issued by Pakistan post on 9 November 2013 in his honour as part of the Men of Letter series.
22. A Rs 25 commemorative stamp was issued by Pakistan Post on 11 May 2013 on the eve of Two Decades of Extended Cooperation Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO).
23. Pakistan Post issued a commemorative postage stamp of Rs 10 denomination in the ‘Poets of Pakistan’ series, in tribute of legendary poetess Perveen Shakir, on 26 December - the 19th death anniversary of this versatile accomplished poet. Her first and the most popular book, “Khushboo” (Fragrance) was published in 1976. Later, Shakir, who was also a civil servant, published four more books. She also published a collection of her poetry by the title “Mah-e Tammam” (The Full Moon).

Perveen Shakir died in a car accident in Islamabad in 1994, aged 42.
24. The last postage stamp of the year 2013 by Pakistan Post was issued on 28 December on the eve of 150 Years of Faithful Service Pakistan Bible Society. 

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Random stamps of Imperial Iran

I have earlier on shared stamps both Imperial Iran and post Islamic revolution era Iran in my earlier posts. Today I am sharing some random stamps of Imperial Iran issued in the 1960/70s.

A golden stamp issued on the eve of coronation of King Reza Shah Pehalvi and Queen Farah Deeba - 1967

Nurses Day stamp - 1966

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Pakistan Post remembers Death Anniversary of Nasir Kazmi (Men of Letters)

Pakistan Post issued the first stamp of the year 2013 on the eve of death anniversary of Nasir Kazmi, the famous Urdu language poet.  The Rs. 15 stamp bearing head portrait of Nasir Kazmi on 2nd March 2013.

Kazmi was born on 8 December 1925 at Ambala, Haryana of the undivided British India.

Kazmi, an Urdu poet of Pakistan and one of the greatest poets of this era, especially in the use of "ista'aaray" and "chhotee beher". Nasir Kazmi initially took up journalism as editor of Auraq-e-Nau and then became editor-in-chief of the magazine Humayun in 1952. Later he was associated with Radio Pakistan, Lahore and other literary publications and organisations.

Kazmi started his poetic life in 1940 by following the style of Akhtar Sherani and wrote romantic poems and sonnets. Later he began writing ghazals under the guidance of Hafeez Hoshyarpuri. He was a great admirer of Mir Taqi Mir and probably the melancholy and "Ehsaas-e-Mehroomi" in his poetry was a direct result of that admiration. His tutor in poetry was Hafeez Hoshyarpuri, who himself used a lot of symbols from nature in his poems.

One of Nasir's famous ghazal which was sung by Noor Jehan

Nasir Kazmi was a regular visitor of the famous Pak Tea House at Mall Road, Lahore and would be often found strolling on the footpath around the Pak Tea House with his friends. Few people know that he did some great translations of English poets, especially his translation of Walt Whitman's "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" by the title of "Brooklyn Ghaat Ke Paar" is a real masterpiece and worth reading.

A few days before his death, Kazmi said in a television interview with Intezaar Hussain:
'Horse riding, hunting, wandering in a village, walk along the river side, visiting mountains etc. were my favourite pastimes and probably this was the time when my mind got nourishment for loving nature and getting close to the expression of poetry.'
'All my hobbies are related with fine arts, like singing, poetry, hunting, chess, love of birds, love of trees etc. ... I started poetry because I used to reflect that all the beautiful things those I see, and those in nature are not in my hands, and they go away from me. Few moments, that time which dies, cannot be made alive. I think can be alive in poetry, that is why I (Nasir) started poetry!'
He got his poetry published in 12 volumes during his lifetime. Nasir breathed his last in Lahore on 2nd March 1972.

References: Wikipedia
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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Postage Stamps issued by Pakistan Post - 1975

Pakistan Post issued stamps on twelve occasions during 1975. 

 The first stamp of the year was published on 14th January on the eve of birth centenary of Dr Albert Schweitzer. The Rs. 2.25 multicoloured stamp showed portrait of Dr Albert Schweitzer and River Scene.

The second stamp was published just on the next day on 15th January on celebrate South Asia Tourism Year, The Rs. 2.25 multicoloured stamp bore the emblem of the Tourism Year.

A set of two stamps came up on 22nd February on the eve of first anniversary of the second Islamic Summit  that was held in Lahore a year ago. The two stamps of 20p and Rs.1.00 bore the head portrait of Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto, the then PM of Pakistan with flags of all Islamic countries of the world shown in a circle.

The next stamps came on 15th June to commemorate the International Women Year. The 20p stamps showed a woman busy in scientific research, while the second stamp of Rs. 2.25 showed a girl and a female teacher, depicting adult education.

14th July is celebrated as the International Congress of Mathematical Sciences and on this day a 20p multicoloured stamp was issued depicting a globe and an algebraic symbol.


Year 1975 celebrated the 11th anniversary of RCD, a common platform for the three Islamic countries Pakistan, IRan and Turkey for regional development. The highlight of the day has been to issue stamps by all three member countries. Pakistan Post issued three stamps: the 20p stamp depicted Iranian Tiles, the 60p stamp showed camel skin case of Pakistan, while the Rs. 1.25 stamp depicted Porcelain Vase from Turkey.

The 7th stamp of the year was published on 9th August on the National Tree Plantation Day. every year a massive tree plantation campaign is launched during the monsoon season to increase the area under trees in the country. The 20p multicoloured stamps depicted a sapling and a dead tree.


On 30th September, a set of two stamps showing black partridge was published of the face value of 20p and Rs. 2.25 in the series of stamps on the wild life in Pakistan.

To commemorate the International Children Day, a 20p stamps was issued on 6th October showing girls wearing traditional dresses.

Amir Khsuro (1253–1325) was a famous Persian language poet and musician of Indo-Pak sub-continent. He compiled the oldest known printed dictionary (Khaliq-e-bari) in 1320 which mainly dealt with Hindvi and Persian words. He is also regarded as the "father of qawwali" (the devotional music of the Sufis in the Indian subcontinent).

To commemorate his 700th anniversary, a set of two stamps of 20p and Rs. 2.25 was published showing Amir Khusro and the musical instruments.

On the eve of the birth centenary of Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal, a stamp of 20p was published on 9th November, the date of birth of the visionary poet who dreamed of Pakistan to be carved out of the British India as a separate Muslim country.


The last stamp of 1975 was published on the last day of the year  as part of the wild life series stamps, a set of two stamps depicting Urial was issued on 31st December.

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