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Renowned columnist, playwright and poet Muneer Ahmed Qureshi, popularly known as Munnu Bhai, passed away in Lahore on Friday, family members told the media. He was 84.

According to family sources, he was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Lahore. The nature of his illness, however, was not specified.

His funeral prayers will be offered in Lahore after Asr prayers.

Munnu Bhai was born in Wazirabad, a small city in Punjab, in 1933. He wrote numerous plays for Pakistan Television and was awarded the Pride of Performance Award in 2007 for his services to the nation.

Apart from his work as a playwright and poet, he also stressed the need for a free media. He said that terrorism, poverty and social degradation could be eliminated by means of truthful journalism. He strongly believed that with time, journalism in Pakistan would mature and perform a constructive role in society.

In 2014, he donated his entire literary collection to Government College University (GCU) as a token of appreciation for its contribution to the promotion of drama and literature.

Munnu Bhai was also associated with Sundas Foundation, a charitable organisation that works with children suffering from thalassaemia.