Click here for review in DAWN - Feb. 25, 2007
Click here for review in DAWN - Dec. 17, 2006

Razia Fasih Ahmad is an important name in Urdu fiction. Her new novel "Sadiyon Ki Zanjeer (Chained Centuries)" presents external realities through strong internal emotions. Just as the two World Wars left legacies of their own in world literature, this novel creates a legacy based on the human tragedy of the political clash of East and West Pakistan which resulted in the break-up of Pakistan and the creation of Bangladesh. This tragedy has been presented here not only with heart-felt emotion and great empathy, but the writer has also tried to create a wider canvas by looking at the big picture. She describes a full spectrum of people, the ones with mal-formed ideas to the desperately poor, from the stupidity, social injustice and lack of vision in groups of one people to the hypocrisy of other groups who blame everybody but themselves and who not only are the purveyors of pain and suffering but are often also its recipient.

In this novel, Razia Fasih Ahmad has presented both the individual actions that affect other peoples' lives and group actions that result in death, devastation and grief, as a sociological experiment.

"Sadiyon Ki Zanjeer" is noticeably daring in its insights and its presentation. An amalgam of reality and perception is created by the description of events and the details of the characters. It ties the present with the future in a continuum. And that makes "Sadiyon Ki Zanjeer" a novel of interesting forms and alluring ideas which is deserving of attention.

Dr. Hanif Fouq
(Translated from the Jacket Cover)



A human story artistically woven into the emerging mosaic of the East Pakistan tragedy. Various interacting characters of the intricate story through which the bloody and blood curding, grotesque events that played the havoc, not only with history but individual lives so intimately that it is paining our bleeding hearts even today. Zari Khan is the main character. She is there to conduit most of the events that take place.

The most remarkable aspect of the novel is its readability. It is a gripping narrative, a rare thing in our so-called ‘modernistic’ times.

The description of scenic geography is so beautiful that they look more like some rare paintings of master painters.


Afzal Ahmad

Morning News

June 3, 1988



An Adamji Prize winner for her novel Aabla –Pa Razia Fasih Ahmad has once again created a master piece which will, I am sure, be welcomed in the literary circles.

Razia Fasih Ahmad could not miss even the minutest detail of the political unrest and the movement launched by the Awami Leage. The novel under review will provide the whole scenario of the events.

Younus Ahmar

Womens Own

April 1988





Eminent writer Razia Fasih Ahmad has consciously attempted a large sale novel which can easily be called her biggest and boldest attempt, if not her magnum opus. She has done some background research also something of which few of our writers are enamoured.


Asif Aslam Farruqqi


April 1988


Writers and poets with a philosophical bend of mind, use their creativity to attempt a solution of intricate problems such as life and death, laws of the universe, love and hate pleasure and pain, human knowledge and its limit, religions and mysticism, etc. All this, of-course, is an interesting exercise in philosophy via literature. Razia Fasih Ahmad explores these themes as well.

It seems that the framework for most of her stories is prepared well in advance and she moulds the character whenever she comes across him/ her in real life. The themes of the stories are not based on the run-of- the-mill issues one often finds replete in fiction published here.


Ali Iqbal


November 23, 2003



Her characters:

Her favorite characters are women, typically eastern well rooted in the soil, steeped in age-long traditions, modest, who suffer silently. She tries to delve deep into the oddities of life and vagaries of human nature and she portrays them with sensitiveness and delicate perception.


Anwer Enayetullah

Morning News

January 1964


‘Breaking Links,’ is a brilliantly written novel which I found so intriguing that I didn’t want the book to end. Each morning and as I laid to rest at night during my Christmas holiday, the visually explicit work remained on my mind.

As an American, I’m intrigued by the history, traditions and customs that belong to distant countries, and I encourage this author to share more of this knowledge with all humanity. The beginning of Bangladesh as a country with the violence, brutality, bloodshed, and passion of the era were visually enhanced for the enjoyment of the reader. ‘Breaking Links’ renewed my interest , which was put aside for a while, of foreign lands through the eyes of native inhabitants.

I compare Razia Fasih Ahmad with two respected literature writers that I admire---James Fenimore Cooper and Daphne DuMaurier. This narrative will be added to my favorite historical novel list.

The writer begins her story with the introduction of Qasim Khan, a soldier who left Turkey to settle in India centuries before. Following the ancestral ladder of Qasim until the violent 1970’s, the author captures the reader’s interest by detailing the lives and adventures of each relative. Historical events are described in detail to illustrate the distinction of each Pakistani province.

To assist the reader, at the beginning of the book, the author lists the characters as they progress from Qasim to the present time. This aid assists the reader to understand the formation of relationships as the ancestral ladder grew.

The descriptive words used to shape images in our mind as the book continues, flow from the writer’s pen to enhance our images as they are to be presented correctly.

A few of these descriptive sentences follow:

The country was heaven and hell. It was full of beautiful flowers, fruits, colorful birds, flowing rivers, streams, and lakes. .It was also inhabited by elephants, tigers, cheetahs, and venomous snakes that roamed there unhindered.

When visitors come to West Pakistan, they are given tours of the neat and clean suburbs of Karachi and Islamabad. They are shown big factories in Kahore and Faisalabad. They get the wrong impression of West Pakistan being rich and prosperous while East Pakistan is getting poorer day by day.”

Each chapter is its own story and keeps the reader enthralled through the entirety of the book.

I anxiously wait for the next story written by Razia Fasih Ahmad. In the meantime, I’ll read “Breaking Links one more time.

Jacqueline L. Mangieri


    Copyright © 2004-2008 Razia Fasih Ahmad