Renowned radio and television anchor Tariq Aziz passed away in Lahore on Wednesday, his family confirmed. He was 84.
Aziz was born in Jalandhar on April 28, 1936. After partition, his family migrated to Pakistan and settled in Sahiwal, where he received his primary education.
He started his career with Radio Pakistan in the 1960s and later went on to become Pakistan's first television host.
His programme Neelam Ghar — later named Tariq Aziz Show — started in 1974 on Pakistan Television and continued for four decades. He was also a poet and an actor and performed in several radio and television programmes as well as in films.
His first film, Insaniyat, was released in 1967. Other notable titles he acted in include Salgirah, Qasam Us Waqt Ki, Katari and Har Gaya Insan.
For his services to the entertainment industry, he was awarded the prestigious Pride of Performance Award by the government in 1992.
Aziz dabbled in politics as well and was a member of the National Assembly from 1997-99.
President Arif Alvi prayed for the anchor's soul to rest in peace. "A chapter closes with the sad demise of Tariq Aziz," he tweeted.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was saddened to hear about Aziz's death, who he said was an "icon in his time and a pioneer of our TV game shows".
PML-N chief Shehbaz Sharif extended his condolences to Aziz's family and said that the TV personality was a patriotic person who had proven his mettle.
Actress Mahira Khan called the deceased anchor a "legend". She said that Pakistan was "indebted to him", adding that it was "truly, the end of an era".
Singer and actor Ali Zafar said he was confident that Aziz would never be forgotten. "You gave us an era. A childhood full of memories. You gave us gifts and so much more. We forget our heroes too soon. But I am confident you shall never be forgotten. Such was your presence."
Pakistan cricket team captain Babar Azam also said that Aziz's death was a "huge loss".