RAWALPINDI: Masood Khawaja, actor and comedian who achieved fame in the late 1980s from Pakistan Television (PTV) and theatre in Rawalpindi, passed away at the age of 55 here on Monday.

He is survived by wife, a son and two daughters.

Masood Khawaja aka Goga was suffering from a kidney disease and had been on dialysis for six months. Doctors had recommended him for a kidney transplant. He had been getting treatment at a private hospital and was later shifted to Holy Family Hospital (HFH) where he breathed his last.

In his last TV interview given three days ago, Khawaja had appealed to the government for his treatment.

Family members said the date and timing of his funeral would be decided after arrival of his brother and son, who was studying in the United Kingdom.

Pakistan Sweet Home Chief Executive Officer Zummarad Khan was one of the last people to meet the actor. Artists arrived at Sweet Home to mourn the death of the comedian.

Khawaja was born in 1967 in Rawalpindi. He was the youngest among 11 siblings. He got his early education from New Capital School Rawalpindi and did graduation from Punjab University.

He started his career following the steps of his brothers Tanveer and Saleem Khawaja. He started his TV career from PTV during which he acted in several dramas.Guest Houseaired on PTV was one of his most popular dramas.

Khawaja online was also his most hit show. He completed 1,000 episodes of the show. Furthermore, Khawaja was known for stand-up comedy and one-man show. He wrote, acted and directed hundreds of stage plays as well.

Khawaja had last performed a stage drama at the Rawalpindi Arts Council (RAC) a few days ago.

His efforts for revival of theatre in Rawalpindi-Islamabad and across the country were laudable.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, he worked for theatre artists who were suffering from financial losses due to closure of theatres.

In the beginning of his career, he played serious as well as supporting roles. Moreover, he also performed in theatres abroad but gained fame as a comedian.

Yar Mohammad, a renowned actor, said he was shocked over the death of his lifelong friend. He said Khawaja was very sensitive in nature and always ready to help actors and others in theatres and the drama industry.

RAC Director Waqar Ahmed said the death of the comedian was a big loss for the drama industry and theatre.

He said it would be difficult to fill the vacuum created by the death of the actor.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Farrukh Habib said Khawaja’s services in the promotion of comedy were invaluable.

Published in Dawn, June 21st, 2022

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