Agha Shaukat Ali Passes away in VIrginia
To God We Belong, and To Him We Shall Return
Agha Shaukat Ali passed away on Tuesday, March 19 th, in Vienna, Virginia. Born in Srinagar, Kashmir, he was an independent thinker, a visionary in political thought, and had an acute insight and enthusiasm for global affairs that was par excellence.
Agha Shaukat Ali’s personal life was intertwined with significant cornerstones of history. Born to a political family, he attended the prestigious Aligarh University in the 1930’s. He later married the lovely Musarrat Nizamuddin after first viewing her likeness in a local newspaper. The newlyweds lived in Kashmir where Agha Shaukat joined the Kashmir Civil Service.
During the end of the British colonial rule in India, Agha Shaukat joined the Kashmir Muslim Conference as a Founding Member, at the request of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. Most notably, Agha Shaukat held a public gathering in defiance of the prevailing prohibitions at the time, and was imprisoned for political reasons from 1946-1949.
Upon the founding of Pakistan in 1947, Agha Shaukat’s release from prison was brokered by the United Nations. He was released as part of an exchange of political prisoners between India and Pakistan. Leaving his mother and brothers in Kashmir, Agha Shaukat was the only member of his immediate family who moved to Pakistan, where he joined his young wife. They lived in Lahore and had four children.
Agha Shaukat attended the Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs at Princeton University as a Fulbright Scholar. His enjoyed his time in the United States in the 1950’s and returned to his alma mater on many occasions.
Always with a passion and zeal for international affairs, Agha Shaukat’s observations were astute and insightful. He authored a book, “The Modernization of Soviet Central Asia,” and was invited by the Government of China to share his predictions regarding the implications of lifting the Red Curtain in 1979. He founded the Iqbal-Shariati Foundation in Lahore, which funded the translation and publication of the works of Sir Mohammed Iqbal and Ali Shariati, two poet-philosophers whom he greatly admired.
Agha Shaukat is survived by his two brothers, Agha Nasir and Agha Ashraf, who still reside in Kashmir. He is also survived by his children, Tehmina Khan (Imran, deceased), Agha Azhar Ali (Diana Ali), and Rabia Ali; as well as his daughter-in-law, Shehrezade Ali. His wife, Musarrat, predeceased him, as well as his younger son, Agha Shahryar Ali. He is also survived by his grandchildren: Amina Khan, Ali Khan, Ali N. Khan, Fatimah Ali, Amber Ali, Gisele Ali, Nadia Ali (all residing in the US), and Ayesha Ali and Agha Tariq Ali, residing in Pakistan; and his great-grandchildren, Imran and Samara Al-Hindi and Serena Khan.
He was laid to rest in the National Memorial Park, 7482 Lee Highway, Fairfax, Virginia, on March 22.