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Tributes paid to Nazia

April 02, 2002

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ISLAMABAD, April 1: A large number of Nazia Hasan’s admirers in the Capital gathered to acknowledge the greatness of this prodigy, who in addition to singing made a mark in a number of fields such as law, research and initiator of the movement, Battle Against Narcotics (BAN) working to relieve the sufferings of misguided drug addicts.

To pay tribute to the pioneer of pop music in Pakistan a cultural organization Aeena organized a memorial meeting in honour of the legendary singer Nazia on Monday.

It was difficult to speak when parents, who raise hands to pray for their children’s long life have to instead lift their hands for the salvation of their souls, said Nazia’s mother Muneeza Baseer.

The event was also arranged to celebrate the pride of performance awarded posthumously to Nazia, three years after her death, as well as to recognize her links with the serene environment of Islamabad, where she often came in search of solitude and inner peace.

Among those who spoke at the memorial meeting were federal ministers Dr Attiya Inayatullah and Abbas Sarfraz, who were there in the capacity of friends.

Dr Attiya said the country is rightly proud of this amazing daughter whose melodious voice was a gift from God, and while abroad, she brought credit to her homeland and was referred to as our unofficial ambassador.

Mr Abbas Sarfaraz who was a close friend of Nazia, observed that he met her for the last time in London in 1989. He had tea in a cafe with her, where she talked about her family, her parents and child.

She told him that the cancer was in remission but something new had come up and she would soon undergo more tests. When Nazia asked him to pray for her, his heart sank, he said.

Mr Sarfaraz said all credit belonged to Nazia since she entered the musical world with her peerless voice at a time when Pakistan was in the throes of martial law. She overcame all hurdles and inspired a whole generation of music lovers.

The ex-director general PTV, Radio Pakistan, Nafdec and PNCA, Agha Nasir, in a moving tribute said he knew the family well. Often when he visited their home in Karachi the brother, sister duo would sing for him.

He said once while being stranded at Bombay airport, where musician Biddu caught him and took him to his house and made him hear the famous song, ‘Aap jaisa koi meri zindagi main aye to baat ban jaye.’ Biddu informed Agha Nasir that a Pakistani girl, living in London, had recorded the song. He said the song caught the imagination of everyone in the sub-continent and became an instant hit. The song received FilmFare Award that year. It was unprecedented that the first song by a new singer would get an award.

Mr Sadruddin Hashwani said Nazia had the capacity to lead the nation, was a sufi at heart and felt compassion for the poor. Although she underwent untold sufferings but she never had a word of complaint, she was a wonderful human soul.

The fascination that Islamabad held for Nazia was narrated by her close friend Shazia Umar Hamid. She said Nazia would come to the city, because Margallas provided her peace.

Nazia spurned a number of big offers from Bombay films because she was deeply attached to her country and by accepting such offers she would be shifting her focus from here.

Ms Hamid also described the humanitarian work done by Nazia, specially for her own movement BAN, for which she was willing to go anywhere and work among the poor classes.

Another close family friend Malik Fidaur Rahman, also president of Aeena said he invited her to Islamabad to participate in a memorial meeting in honour of Lady Diana. She was here in 24 hours.—Jonaid Iqbal