London: Noted Urdu poet 'Shahryar', one of the foremost writers of the ghazal and nazm genres, has been honoured with a lifetime achievement award here by a group of alumni of his University.

Akhlaq Mohammad Khan, who writes with the pen name 'Shahryar' has been awarded the 'Noor-e-Watan' (light of the Nation) award for his outstanding contribution to poetry and literature by the Aligarh Muslim University Alumni Association (UK).

 One of the most loved writers of Urdu poetry in India, Shahryar's songs in films such as 'Fasle', 'Anjuman', and 'Gaman' are remembered by many, so are the heart-wrenching lyrics of Muzaffar Ali's classic film 'Umrao Jaan'.

The announcement was made on the occasion of Sir Syed Day Celebrations held today at the Mahatma Gandhi Auditorium of the Indian YMCA here, organisers said.

October 17 is the birth anniversary of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, the 19th century educationist and founder of the Aligarh Muslim University, and is celebrated by the varsity alumni all over the world as Sir Syed Day.

The event was attended by more than 150 Aligarians.

"Shahryar's achievement is a matter of pride for Urdu lovers all over the world. His modernist poetry focuses on individual and his place in the current social settings around him," said Hilal Fareed, President of AMU Alumni Association (UK).

"It's about the discovery of one's own self. He is an inspirational poet who has friends in all generations," he said.

Shahryar, 75, was awarded India's highest literary honour, the 44th Jnanpith award, in September this year.

Shahryar, who was born in Bareilly district of Uttar Pradesh, studied at the Aligarh Muslim University.

He started his career as a journalist in Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu and was later appointed as Lecturer in the Department of Urdu at Aligarh, where he retired as a Professor and Chairman in 1996.

He was awarded Sahitya Academy Award in 1987. His major published works in Urdu, Hindi and English include 'Satwan Dar', 'Hijr Ke Mausam', 'Khwab Ka Dar Band Hai', 'Mere Hisse ki Zamin', 'Kahin Kuchh Kam Hai', 'The Gateway to Dreams is Closed' and 'Selected Poetry of Shahryar'.