LANDI KOTAL, Feb 18: Acclaimed Pashto poet and writer Murad Shinwari died of multiple medical problems in his home in Khyber Agency on Saturday. He was 85.

He was laid to rest in his hometown Landi Kotal. Poets, writers and tribal elders turned up at his funeral in a large number to pay commemoration to the great writer and pray for his eternal peace.

Brought up by his father Amir Hamza Khan Shinwari, known as Baba-i-Pashto Ghazal, he was considered pioneer of modern Pashto poem. According to a group of researchers, the first blank verse in Pashto was written by Murad Shinwari.

Born in 1928 in Landi Kotal, he lost his mother after one year of his birth and elder Shinwari did the job of parenthood.

After doing middle standard examination from Government High School Number-1 Peshawar, he was appointed instructor in Khyber Rifle's from where he was sent to Army School of Education, Murree and passed academic examinations distinctively.

He received gold medal in MA (Pashto) from University of Peshawar as private candidate.

Murad Shinwari worked as an assistant editor at newspaper “Afghan”, where he wrote Palwashey, a collection of short stories, that received tremendous response and ultimately proved to be turning point and made him an accomplished literary star. Pakhtuns elsewhere in the world recognised him as a poet, story and fiction writer.

He joined Pashto Academy in 1958 as the atmosphere was of his linking, therefore, apart from his job, he also worked as lexicographer and translator during the course of his research and literary pursuits.

Murad Shinwari compiled dictionary and wrote 40 manuscripts.

He translated the Merchant of Vince by Shakespeare, and The lady of Shallot by Alfred Tennyson in Pashto free verse.

In 1958, he compiled Da Khyber Adab, an anthology of 41 Pashto poets. The book contains critical commentary and a brief introduction of each poet.

He also worked as staff artist at Radio Pakistan where he proved his mettle as the environment was conducive to showcase his talent.

His features such as Hujra, and Maraka on social evils were broadcast for several years.

Murad also had few dramas to his credit.

His literary worth couldn’t be dwarfed by his legendary father because Murad had his own way in poetry, writing and journalism.

He wrote dialogues, scenarios and songs for Pashto films in 1970s when cinema was at its best.

Films like Urbal, Bangree Au Hatkarhay, Juram Au Saza, Naway Da Yawe Shpay, and Multan Khan Afridi are still remembered by the cine-goers. People also felt marked improvement in areas of music as he directed songs for films that depicted traditions.

The Pashto Aalami Congress (PAC) has expressed grief and sorrow over his sad demise. Lauding his contribution in the promotion of the cause of Pashto, Pakhtuns and Pakhtunwali, PAC members said that Murad Shinwari would be remembered for a long time by readers of Pashto literature.

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