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Jiji Zarina laid to rest

October 27, 2005

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HYDERABAD, Oct 26: The mortal remains of folk singer, TV, drama and stage artiste, writer and teacher, Zarina Baloch, popularly known as “Jiji” (mother), were laid to rest in the Qasimabad graveyard here on Wednesday morning.

She had died in the Liaquat National Hospital, Karachi, on Tuesday night and her body was brought to the residence of her son, Ayaz Latif Palijo, in Prince Town Qasimabad late in the night.

Hundreds of people from different parts of the province converged at the residence of Ayaz Latif. Her Namaz-i-Janaza was offered in the Prince Town.

The funeral was attended by hundreds of political leaders and activists, social workers, writers, poets, intellectuals, educationists and artistes.

Prominent among them were Mohammad Ibrahim Joyo, Mehtab Akbar Rashidi, Sindh University Vice-Chancellor Mazharul Haq Siddiqui, JSQM chairman Basheer Khan Qureshi, STPP chairman Dr Qadir Magsi, Ms Noorul Huda Shah, Hameed Sindhi, Comrade Jam Saqi, Syed Ali Nawaz Shah Rizvi MPA, Yousuf Leghari advocate, Dr Dodo Mehri, Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah, Masood Noorani, Sindh Hari Committee president Azhar Jatoi, Ghulam Qadir Palijo and Ms Sassui Palijo MPA.

Hundreds of wreaths were laid on her grave. Scores of people expressed condolences to Rasool Bux Palijo, Ayaz Latif Palijo, Sassui Palijo and other members of the bereaved family.

Jiji Zarina Baloch, recipient of many awards, had also received the Pride of Performance award from the then president Farooq Leghari.

She had represented Pakistan in many foreign countries at various cultural forums. She had married Awami Tehrik chief Rasool Bux Palijo in the 60s.

She also worked as a teacher for over three decades.

She was an outstanding folk singer and in the 60s, she started working for Radio Pakistan and PTV. She also wrote many plays.

In the movement against One Unit, she sang many revolutionary songs of Shaikh Ayaz, Tanvir Abbasi, Ustad Bukhari and other revolutionary poets to keep people’s spirit alive.

Jiji Zarina Baloch had also remained in the forefront in all political movements, including the MRD and the long march from Bhitshah to Karachi against the Kalabagh Dam and Greater Thal Canal.

She was imprisoned for her political activism.

Political leaders and social workers described Jiji Zarina’s death as a great national loss, especially to Sindh.

They said that she was an embodiment of national resistance.

Noted intellectual and educationist Mohammad Ibrahim Joyo in his condolence message said that Jiji Zarina was not an ordinary artiste but her songs had infused a spirit of resistance among the people of Sindh. He further said that she was a true political activist.

STPP chairman Dr Qadir Magsi said that Sindh had suffered an irreparable loss in Jiji Zarina’s death. He said, her services in the national movement could never be forgotten.

Noted short-story writer Hameed Sindhi said that Zarina Baloch was the “Jiji” of the whole of Sindh, and added that her death was a great national loss.

Noted leftist leader, Comrade Jam Saqi said that the nationalist movement had received a jolt from the death of Zarina Jiji.

JSQM chairman Basheer Khan Qureshi said that her songs had always infused a new spirit among the youth of Sindh.

Others who paid tribute to the services of Jiji Zarina included Sindh National Council leader Dr Dodo Mehri, Sindh National Party leader Amir Bhambhro, Sindh Democratic Party chairman and leading jurist Yousuf Leghari, Sindh Hari Committee president Azhar Jatoi, leading intellectual Naseer Mirza, PML-N leader Afzal Gujjar and many others.

Her Soyem will be held on Friday after Iftar.