PESHAWAR: Noted Pashto folk artist Suriyya Khanum alias Mahjabeen Qazalbash breathed her last at the Lady Reading Hospital here on Wednesday, doctors and family sources confirmed.

She left behind two brothers, a sister, two sons and a daughter to mourn her death.

She was admitted to the LRH on Jan 1 with heart complications and had been on a ventilator ever since.

The funeral prayers of the folk artist will be held on Thursday (today) in Peshawar.

Artistes, writers and fans expressed deep grief on Qazalbash’s sad death and sympathized with the bereaved family members.

Mahjabeen Qazalbash being a recipient of numerous awards, including President’s Pride of Performance, remained quite active and would never miss out on cultural events except for a period during 80s when her husband, Amanullah Orakzai aka Aimal Khan, died and she devoted much of her time to upbringing and education of her own children.

Ms Qazalbash had earned the title of Bulbul-i-Sarhad for her melodious voice.

She enjoyed a large fan following owing to her velvety voice and talent as she sang tracks in Urdu, Punjabi, Seraiki, Hindko, Persian and Turkish in addition to Pashto. She also worked in Pashto plays but focused on her singing art.

Published in Dawn, February 27th, 2020