Patras Bokhari

Patras Bokhari bigraphy, stories - Pakistani diplomat

Patras Bokhari : biography

1 October 1898 – 5 December 1958

Syed Ahmed Shah (Urdu: ) (commonly known as Patras Bokhari – ) HI, (1 October 1898, Peshawar – 5 December 1958, New York) was an Urdu humourist, educator, essayist, broadcaster and diplomat from Pakistan. He is best known for his humorous writings in Urdu literature.


Born in a Kashmiri family of Peshawar, Bokhari received his early education in the city of his birth and in 1916 moved from Islamia College Peshawar to attend Government College, Lahore. After completing his Masters in English he was appointed as lecturer at the same institution.

Bokhari left Government College, Lahore in 1925 in order to complete a Tripos in English at Emmanuel College, Cambridge University. Many years later, the Bokhari English Prize was established there in his honour.

In 1927, he returned to Government College, Lahore, and as a Professor remained there until 1939.

Before the formation of Pakistan in 1947, he was the Director General of All India Radio.

Being a Professor of English Literature, he also served as the Principal of Government College, Lahore from 1947 to 1950. The Urdu poets Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Noon Meem Rashid, were among his students. After the formation of Pakistan, he served as the first permanent representative of Pakistan in the United Nations from 1951–1954. From 1954-1958 he remained as the Under Secretary of the UN, Head of Informon. He died during his diplomatic service and is buried in New York. 

Esteem indicators

  • He accompanied Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan on his first visit to the United States as the Prime Minister’s speech writer.
  • In 1945 he was awarded the Companion of the Indian Empire (CIE) Award.
  • Bokhari Auditorium on Government College University, Lahore is named after him .
  • The government of Tunisia named a road after him in Tunis, in recognition of his contribution towards the freedom of Tunisia from French colonial rule in 1956.
  • There is also a road named after him in Islamabad, the federal capital of Pakistan.
  • An editorial in the New York Times on 6 December 1958, a day after his death, described him as a "Citizen of the World".
  • In October 1998, to mark his birth centenary, the government of Pakistan issued a postage stamp with his photograph under the series, "Pioneers of Pakistan".
  • On 14 August 2003 President of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf, announced the conferment of Hilal-e-Imtiaz, the country’s second highest civilian award, posthumously on Bokhari.