Ifti Nasim Dies in Chicago
By AQ Siddiqui
IP News Chicago
Iftikhar Nasim, popularly known as Ifti Nasim, died in Chicago on Friday night after a cardiac arrest. He was 64. A very large crowd of his fans and friends gathered at the Muslim Community Center on Saturday to attend his funeral prayers. Later in the afternoon, he was buried near Peterson Ave in Chicago.
"It is a big loss for the community," said Javed Rana, his longtime business partner and co-host for the radio program Sargam. Both Javed Rana and Ifti Nasim had been working for years for Urdu newspaper Pakistan News and Radio program Sargam.
A very well know person in the Chicago South Asian community, Ifti was known as a poet, a writer, a journalist and a social activist. He was also controversial in many respects; for his unorthodox views, his outspoken articles and his pin pointing against the “wrong doers” in community. He was also a gay activist.
Ifti was born in Faisalabad Pakistan. He came to the USA and lived in Detroit and California. Later he made Chicago his final home and lived here for years.
Ifti Nasim has written many books in Urdu and English languages.
He was very keen to attend Mushairas. He was always invited to all Urdu Mushairas in Europe. He was schedule to fly on 20 th July to Milan, Italy to attend an Urdu Mushaira. According to his travel agent Siddiqui of Evia Travel, he asked for a ticket for Milan but when he was quoted the high season fare for July travel, he sighed and asked him to look for a sponsor for his trip. “These mushaira trips are getting hard on my pocket”, he said, “They invite us, respect us but would not pay us. Why don’t people in business sponsor us for such trips?” He however asked the agent to keep his ticket and said he would pay if no sponsor turned up.
After he returned from Pakistan from his last trip he wrote in his column that he was very impressed to see the development in Pakistan. “The wide roads, highways, neat and clean housing societies and green Pakistan”, he wrote.
Ifti was also close to Bollywood and the Indian community. Bollywood family Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar often visited him. The members of the Federation of Indian Associations, Iftekhar Shareef, Sunny Ghabawala and Keerthi Kumar Ravoori have expressed their shock and grief on the sudden demise of Ifti Nasim.