ISLAMABAD: Farooq Qai­s­er, who was a household name for Pakistani children of the 80s and 90s as Uncle Sargam, passed away in Islamabad on Friday after suffering cardiac arrest.

He leaves behind a son and two daughters.

He was born on Oct 31, 1945 in Lahore and began his career as an artist after completing graduation from National College of Arts in Lahore. He also obtained a Master’s in Graphic Arts from Romania (1976) and another postgraduate degree in Mass Communication from the University of Southern California, the US, (1999).

He was a columnist, director, puppeteer, scriptwriter and a voice-over artist. He also wrote several humorous books and provided educational services in India for two years as part of a Unesco programme.

A man of multiple talents, he brought smiles on the faces of TV viewers

Uncle Sargam, the puppet character he created and gave voice to, became very popular in Pakistan and remained a household name for decades.

Uncle Sargam was first introduced in a television show for kids, Kalyan, when it was broadcast on Pakistan Television (PTV) in 1976. Along with another character on the show, Maasi Museebatay, Uncle Sargam achieved legendary status over the years.

Kalyan, Sargam and Daak Time were popular TV shows of Farooq Qaiser.

He had been suffering from a heart disease for some time, and his condition worsened on Friday after which an ambulance rushed him to a hospital but he could not be revived.

He was awarded the Presidential Pride of Performance award in 1993 for his craft, while earlier this year, he was awarded Sitara-i-Imtiaz during a ceremony at Aiwan-i-Sadr on Pakistan Day.

Key political figures including Prime Minister Imran Khan have expressed condolences.

Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2021

Opinion

Politics of the budget
Updated 12 Jun 2021

Politics of the budget

Govt wants to provide its disillusioned, disappointed voters the gratification they have been denied since the PTI came to power.
Federal features
12 Jun 2021

Federal features

At the core of the concept of federalism is sharing of power...
Missing gender
12 Jun 2021

Missing gender

Censorship in science raises many questions....
Learning and follow-up
Updated 11 Jun 2021

Learning and follow-up

Creating learning and feedback loops is important to reduce accidents, but this aspect remains missing in most organisations.

Editorial

12 Jun 2021

Feel-good budget

WE have been here before. Every time a government gets some fiscal space it immediately shifts gears to growth,...
Rep Omar’s tweet
Updated 12 Jun 2021

Rep Omar’s tweet

Over the last several decades, America has been instrumental in destabilising a number of Muslim states.
12 Jun 2021

Poor health indicators

IF the coronavirus has taught the world anything, it is that the old maxim ‘health is wealth’ is true. Though...
Changing course
11 Jun 2021

Changing course

Tarin says govt, IMF want sustainable economic growth, but both disagree on the path Islamabad must take to attain the objective.
11 Jun 2021

Political bartering

IN what appears to be a continuation of the unsavoury wheeling and dealing that is characteristic of Senate...
11 Jun 2021

Baghlan massacre

FEARS that Afghanistan will plunge into a torrid whirlpool of violence once all Western troops leave in September...