Ambassador Karamatullah Ghori's Bar-e-Shanasai Launched in Los Angeles
By Akhtar Mahmud Faruqui

It was a literary concourse like any other - a book-launching ceremony - but the author surprised everyone with his poise and demeanor at the overflowing Shan Mahal Restaurant in Artesia on May 9. Ambassador Karamatullah Ghori, author of Bar-e-Shanasai, appeared to be a near-incarnate of Quratulain Hyder's Mere Bhi Sanam Khane hero, looking strikingly like a 'super-dashing glamorous smasher'. For some of his Karachi University contemporaries, the Ambassador's dash appeared infectious, nay, a compelling urging of Abhi to maen jawan hoon claim.

The launching ceremony of Bar-e-Shanasai was arranged by PL Publications, publishers of Pakistan Link and Urdu Link. Ambassador Ghori, a prolific writer, contributes a regular column to Pakistan Link besides articles to a large number of North American, Pakistani and Indian newspapers. Bar-e-Shanasai is based on recollections of his 36-year diplomatic career during which he met the movers and shakers of Pakistan's political history - Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, General Ziaul Haq, General Musharraf, Benazir Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif, Prof Abdus Salam, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Mohammad Khan Junejo, and Hakim Saeed - who impacted the national scene. The ambassador, who writes flawless English, appears equally at ease in Urdu. In his compilation of intimate personality sketches he impresses the reader with his chaste and impeccable language. His narrative is absorbing and studded with revealing facts.

The leading literati of Los Angeles - Irfan Murtaza, Tabish Khanzada, Anwar Khawaja, Dr Feroz Alam, Mohammad Yacoob, and Tasnim Sana Khan - joined Karim Raza, a former civil servant and professor of English at Karachi University, and Akhtar Mahmud Faruqui, Pakistan Link's Editor, in paying glowing tributes to the genius and writing skills of Ambassador Ghori.

Arif Mansuri, PL Publications President, was on his toes, attending to the trivial and the important minutiae of the book-launching ceremony with characteristic promptitude. His alacrity and witticism had an enlivening influence on the evening's proceedings. Dr Nasim Malik chaired the book-launch with due propriety. Dr Hawa Vahed appeared competent in the role of the emcee.

Priced at a nominal $10, the absorbing contents of Bar-e-Shanasai make up a treasure trove of priceless information and lively sketches. Rarely has the truth been documented with such candor and eloquence.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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