Irfan ul Haque Siddiqui, popularly known with his penname Irfan Siddiqui, was born in Rawalpindi (Punjab), Pakistan. He completed Masters in Urdu Literature and Bachelor of Education degrees from the prestigious University of the Punjab, Lahore.
Mr. Siddiqui started his career from the field of Education where he remained associated with teaching assignments of various levels at Federal Government institutions. He decided to opt for voluntary retirement from the Government service in 1988 after an illustrious career spanning of 25 years including last 18 years at F.G. Sir Syed College, Rawalpindi, which is considered as one of the most prestigious higher education institutions. Later on, he also served as Director Education at Overseas Pakistanies Foundation (OPF) for a period of two years.
Mr. Siddiqui’s career as a professional journalist began with his association with the publications like weekly “Zindgi” and monthly “Qaumi Digest’ owned and edited by renowned journalist Mr. Mujeeb ur Rehman Shami. In 1990, Mr. Siddiqui joined weekly “Takbeer”, a famous political magazine working under the leadership of legendary journalist Mohammad Salahuddin Shaheed. While continuing his career with “Takbeer”, he started writing columns in daily “Jang”under the title of “Naqsh e Khyaal” in late 1997. His journalistic career was halted for a period of around three and a half years when he was appointed as press secretary to the President of Pakistan Mr. Mohammd Rafique Tarrar in January 1998.
After leaving the Presidency in June 2001, Mr. Siddiqui joined daily “Pakistan” as its resident editor Islamabad. This association was short lived as he started writing columns titled “Naqsh e Khyaal” in daily “Nawa-e-waqt” as full time columnist in September 2001. In August 2008, he switched over to daily “Jang”. Ever since, he has been regularly writing columns on political and social issues. In addition, he has been a regular participant in the various political talk shows aired on different news channels.
Other interests/ activities:
Mr. Siddiqui remained actively associated with Radio Pakistan as a talker, feature writer and playwright. He wrote over 100 radio plays which were widely acclaimed both by the general public and intelligentsia, including the renowned urdu drama writers Ashfaq Ahmed and Mirza Adeeb.
During his diverse career, Mr. Siddiqui has visited number of countries including United Kingdom, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Afghanistan, and Thailand. In addition to the mentioned countries, he was officially invited by the governments of the United States of America and Iran separately on tours to their respective countries. He is perhaps one of the few journalists who had a chance of meeting Taliban leader Mulla Mohammad Umar in one of his visits to Afghanistan.
He has also conducted lecture on politics, journalism, education and other issues of social importance both in Pakistan and abroad.
In his capacity as a leading Urdu columnist of the country, Mr. Siddiqui has been honoured with various national and International awards for his contribution in the field of journalism.