SAS As Haiku Promoter

Being a bookworm, with no specific range of topics, right from his early age, he switched over to Japanese literature, in his teens, besides studying and introducing the treasure trove of various countries. During his self-learning stream of foreign literature, he once thought there should be a literary magazine in Pakistan to cover the most precise Japanese genre of Haiku. He share this thought with Mr. Shigeyuki Ataka (Muslim name, Muhammad Azmat), the then a responsible diplomat in the Consulate General of Japan, Karachi, who later retired as the Advisor to the Consul General. He appreciated his idea, but didn’t do anything to guide him. This was 1995. Later, he discussed the same with some Pakistani literary figures who expressed their views differently. However, none had offered any sort of support to him, in this regard. Then, he made up his mind to promote the most precise and compact genre, Haiku, through a literary journal, focussed only on its propagation in Urdu, English and various other languages, at the same time. Hence, in 1998, he founded the foremost and only multi-lingual Haiku journal of South Asia, Haiku International-the only of its kind, published outside Japan, throughout Asia indeed.
• Haiku International founded by Sohail Ahmed Siddiqui holds the unique world record of publishing Haiku and related material in 25 regional and foreign languages.
• Haiku International, Book-V, Special Issue on Iqbal Haider, (a seasoned poet of Nazm, Ghazal, Haiku & Tanka and former senior TV producer) created a stir by containing stuff in 15 world languages, published twice, in 2000 and 2001.
• The founding editor/publisher, Sohail Ahmed Siddiqui received lot of appreciation from all around the world, besides an invitation to the World Haiku Festival, held in August, 2000, in UK, by the World Haiku Club, at the special recommendation of Mr. Bill Higginson, world’s most renowned scholar of Haiku, from USA. He could not go to UK, because of visa problems, but his article, ‘Japanese Poetry in Urdu’ (uploaded and available on his personal URL) and his English Haiku were included in the world contests of articles and poetry, respectively.
• His Haiku included in the world anthology, ‘WILD FLOWERS, NEW LEAVES’ – A COLLECTION OF WORLD HAIKU, edited and published by Susumu Takiguchi, Chairman, World Haiku Club UK (2002):
• In this way, he has become the first and only Urdu poet, from all across the world to attain the same place.
• Sohail Ahmed Siddiqui has the privilege of presenting the key article of Silver Jubilee Haiku Mushaira, held this year, under the auspices of Japan Cultural Center, Consulate General of Japan Karachi. The title was, ‘Urdu Haiku negari-Aik mukhtasar jaayeza’ (Urdu Haiku writing-A brief study) on 15032008.
• Sohail was the man behind curtain in organising the first ever large-scale Haiku Mushaaira, outside the Japan Cultural Centre, and without their support. That was held under the auspices of Manzil-e-Adab, Orangi Town Karachi. They, as a token of appreciation, invited him to the podium as the Chief-guest, which he accepted, after some reluctance.
• Due to sole efforts and derive of Sohail, well over 300 Urdu and many regional language poets have been introduced to the world of Haiku. On the other hand, a number of foreign language writers, poets and experts have also been introduced to the readers of a Pakistan-based literary journal, circulated worldwide.
• He has played most active role in inviting senior and junior poets towards Haiku writing. Thus, well over 100 Urdu poets started Haiku journey, in this way; most of them were and are seniors.
• The Japan Cultural Center of the Consulate General of Japan Karachi has been benefited by the promotional services of Sohail Ahmed Siddiqui, as he encouraged and introduced several promising Haiku poets, directly or indirectly to their annual Urdu Haiku Mushaaira (Recital).
• Several Urdu poets have asked Sohail to write a review/essay on their poetry collection, especially those of Haiku. Mentionable among many are: Mohsin Bhopali, Wazahat Nasim, Sarwat Sultana Sarwat & Mashhood Rizvi.
• Sohail Ahmed Siddiqui had asked his junior Shahzad Niaz to review and revise the only Japanese Haiku anthology of Pakistan, by veteran poet, Muhammad Amin, as he had done few courses in the same language. Now, the revised edition is ready to print anytime.