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Literary scene during 2005


By Zabe Azkar Hussain

Of course, the year 2005 was a year of production of literature, art, and other creative things on the part of creators of different fields; especially in Karachi, a lot of good events took place and a large number of books were produced. The chains of literary and cultural events showed that people were taking more interest such activities. The production of books and their launching ceremonies also showed that there were people who love literature, art and other creative things. The occurrence of Kara Film Festival, and setting up of "Koocha-e-Saqafat", "Mushairas", "Internatio-nal Mushairas" Literary Sittings and other cultural activities, organised by Arts Council of Pakistan, Goethe Institute, British Council, Pakistan American Cultural Centre, Karachi Press Club, Adar-a-Qalam Dost, Pak America Rabita Committee, Progressive Writers Association, Al-Hasan Academy, Tehreek-e-Niswan, Basat-e-Yaaran, Sindh Fankar Welfare Trust, Arts Council Drama Committee, and a number of others, proved that the Year 2005 was the year of revival of art and cultural and literary activities. A larger of books were launched and a number of functions honouring writers, artists, artistes and other cultural personalities had taken place in the city. Besides, the late writers were also remembered.

A renowned writer, poet and journalist, Hasan Abid passed away in 2005. Earlier has autobiography was launched by the Literary Committee of Karachi Press Club, later the Committee also organised a condolence meeting and many prominent writers and journalists spoke at the function, eulogising the services of late Abidi. Arts Council of Pakistan and also held functions in paying tributes to Abidi (in his life and after his death as well). Another big event "Sajjad Zeheer Century Celebrations" also took place that was attended by a lot of foreign writers including a 25-member delegation from India. The Karachi Film Festival was also attended by noted foreigners such as directors, writers, actors, actresses, playwrights and filmmakers and they shared their creative experiences with the local writers, directors and other artists. The Art Galleries of the city also put on display the artworks by young and senior artists and no doubt in many cases, the artists proved their mettle in giving more worthy and creative things.

The books covering prose, poetry, fiction and collections on different topics in Urdu and other languages were launched in 2005. The collections that were launched in Year, 2005 included "Dard Key Deep" by Rehana Begum, "Udas Galyon Mein" by Rahat Zahid, "Aqleem-e-Sukhan" by Sukhan Allahabadi, "Pass-e-Ishaq" by Khalid Moeen, "Aaina Sad Rang" by Qayum Wamiq, "Manazir-e-Pakistan" by Majid Fareed Sati, "Sadr-e-Mohtaram" by Ashfraf Shaad, "Pani Par Bichcha Takhat" by Izharul Haque. Besides, the collections and works by Ishrat Afreen, Ghazal Ansari, Anwarul Haq Uzmi, Khatir Lailvi, Younus Hamdam, Masood Ahmed, Rasa Chughtai, Syed Asad Raza were also launched. Drama Committee Chairman Muhammad Ayub staged 13 plays and many other important plays were staged in the Theatre (recently completed) of Arts Council of Pakistan. Kamal Ahmed Rizvi presented "Aadhi Baat" (By prominent writer, Bano Qudsia).

In the galleries during 2005


By Shamim Akhter

1st January' Year 2005 dawned with the good news of opening of a new art gallery- Gulmohar, and the year ended with the opening of Thoughts & Desires, an art gallery to showcase works of Eqbal Mehdi on 16th December 2005. In between, opened a new gallery- Citi Art. One of the old galleries, Clifton Art showcased paintings by 25 prominent artists of Pakistan in December 2005. The show included landscapes, figurative and architectural works, calligraphic paintings and representational abstract renditions. This comprehensive show witnessed the fact that painting is alive in Pakistan. In fact the year started with a solo show of poetic landscapes by Ghulam Rasul at Clifton Art Gallery in January 2005. 2005 saw Mughees Riaz, Ali Azmat, Ali Kazim, R. M. Naeem from Lahore and A Q Arif establishing themselves as future painters of Pakistan.

Like Hamail and Ejaz Galleries, Lahore, Clifton Art Gallery and Kunj, Karachi, did not go through the rat race of holding art exhibitions every other week. These galleries were selective and put up aesthetically pleasing shows of Paintings. Kunj and Hamail concentrated on exhibiting works of artists from broad. Ejaz, Lahore and Clifton Art, Karachi held shows of artists from the soil.

Hamail Art Gallery, Lahore, hosted Sangeeta Gupta's abstract landscapes, Kolkata based Kazi Anirab's current works revolving round various expressions of feelings and lifestyle of women and Ashok Bhomwick's prolific and rythmical figurative works from India. It also hosted Mohammad Fakhrul Islam's unique landscapes from Bangladesh. At the other end in Karachi, Kunj gave its walls to Jamal Ahmed from Bangladesh in the first month of 2005. The last month of the year was marked at Kunj by an exhibition of paintings by a group of five artists from Bangladesh depicting all the directions the art of painting has adopted there. In between, it showcased figurative paintings by Azra Fatimi, a US based Pakistani artist and mirror paintings in abstract by Leslie Charles Baxter, an Australian artist based in Melbourne. Keeping up with its tradition to promote artists from the remote areas, it also showcased paintings by Ajab Khan, an artist from Dera Iamail Khan.

An opportunity to interact with paintings from Italy was provided by AICA Pakistan and Foundation for Museum of Modern Art, with the collaboration of the Consulate General of Italy. The exhibition titled Roma Punto Uno consisted of works of art, small in size (4`x 6`), executed by leading artists linked to the city of Rome. The participating artists expressed their creativity to the full. Majmua the Art Gallery also hosted an exhibition of paintings and montage by Liesbeth Van Ginneken. A major event at Ejaz Galleries was an exhibition of artworks by 52 artists for the relief of earthquake victims. The yearly VASAL Residency at V. M. Art Gallery included an exhibition of artworks by artists from Bangladesh and Nepal besides one Pakistani artist. Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture exhibited miniature paintings by Dr. Amina Ahmad Ahuja, a philologist and a calligrapher from India. Ameena was born in India, studied philology at the London University, and did Ph. D in Comparative Philology from the Moscow University. She also studied at the Camberwell and Slade Schools of Arts. Her exhibits were also displayed in Lahore and Islamabad.

The art of painting is incomplete without a mention of miniature paintings. Viewers in Karachi and Lahore were provided with ample opportunities to view our forte. During the first month of the year 2005 Kunj, Karachi held a show of miniature paintings by budding artist. It is interesting to note that the new graduates come out with excellent results on waslis. During the last month of the year Ejaz Galleries, Lahore exhibited works of miniature by 9 artists. Current exhibitions of miniature paintings reveal that the art is going through radical changes, at times pushing it towards testing limits, if not against the wall. Sometimes the viewer feels that in future, miniature will have to redefine itself. In this experimental period, Waseem Akram has carved his definite identity as miniature painter. He bridges the past with the present in a way that enriches his visual theme with tongue in cheeks.

During the past year almost all the galleries in Karachi held exhibitions of miniature paintings. Besides Kunj, these include Chawkandi Art, Clifton Art Gallery, Momart, the Art Gallery, Gulmohar, and Canvas.

Alliance Francaise de Karachi held an interesting show of objects de art. Items of everyday use were decorated with bright colours in the style of truck art. Its low prices attracted the buyers.

Photography has also assumed a role of art. Canvas hosted images of Karachi on celluloid by Arif Mahmood. These included life and scenes of Karachi. Gulmohar held an exhibition of photographs by Paro Qureshi and Syed Faraz Ali on 25th April 2005. As there are less gender prejudices in the world of art in Pakistan , like the rest of the arts, in the art of photography female artists stand shoulder to shoulder and on occasions, ahead of male artists. Paro Qureshi, like Arif has been working as a freelance photographer. She stole moments from nature and transferred its spirit on celluloid and also what seemed the most mundane to an ordinary eye. A little earlier an exhibition of photographs ìJourney to Timbuktu by Qamar Bharoocha Bana was held at Dante Alighieri, Italian Cultural Centre capturing monuments and people of Timbuktu. In November, V. M. Art Gallery held an exhibition of photographs titled Ethereal Echoes by Farha Mahbub. The title of the show was suggestive of life after death. It showcased works of analogue photography- Travelogue of Pakistan, India and Turkey, followed by digitally manipulated photomontages of various landscapes and still life.

There was nothing much exciting in ceramics during 2005. Chawkandi Art displayed ceramics by Saba Shahid. Zenaini provided a better opportunity to the ceramics lovers by showcasing pottery from Istalif, Afghanistan. With rustic forms and designs, the works told a story of the antiquity of the art and simplicity of their life. An exhibition of sculptural works by Talat Dabir was hosted at Canvas. The show was a reminder of her past efforts. Jabbar Gull created a dialogue between wood and metal. Tariq Luni, a new graduate from NCA, Lahore, worked with wood. He depicted connections of living beings with each other within nature by looping two forms together through wooden hooks and holes. His forms and stories were rooted to his soil ñ Balochistan.

Gulmohar ran an exhibition of conceptual sculptures by Asad Hussain, a graduate from Karachi School of Art, 2001. Calligraphy exhibitions ran throughout the year at various art galleries in Lahore and Karachi. Exhibitions of Art Jewellery remained under the reign of Shakil Ismail. One after the other he held five shows- twice at Kunj, Gulmohar, Clifton Art Gallery and Unicorn.

The new during the past year was wood inlay art by Abdul Rasheed Khan at the Arts Council, Karachi he created landscapes and figurative works with wood making use of the hues of wood. FOMA- Foundation for the Museum of Modern Art, launched a book on the life and works of Laila Shahzada.

Merk Marker launched its Calendar 2006 on 24th November in a high profile gathering. This year the theme of the calendar was ëlandscapes by senior artists of Pakistan. Painting and poster competitions for children were held by Uniliver Pakistan and Japan Cultural Centre besides others.

The last exhibition of the year by Raja Changez Sultan opened at Ejaz Galleries Lahore, on 30th December 2005.

A good year for sports


By Khalid Hussain

The emphatic success of the national cricketers in the home Test and ODI series against England ascended Pakistan's sports to its climax in an otherwise frustrating 2005. After England had whipped world champions Australia on home soil in what a glorious summer for them, Pakistan looked unlikely to bring down the high-flying English team. But that was precisely Inzamamul Haqís men did when they outclassed England 2-0 in the Test series.

The triumph capped a good year for Pakistani cricketers after a spate of disappointing performances in recent times. It all happened with the away series in India where they started as the underdogs but fought their way back from 0-1 down to level the Test series and then pulverised the hosts in the One-Day International competition. Then came a successful tour of the West Indies before a satisfying year for the countryís cricketers culminated with the 2-0 triumph in the Test series and a convincing 3-2 success in the five-match ODI series against England.

The year was quite different from the previous couple of years in a very positive manner for Pakistan cricket which touched its nadir in 2003 with the national teamís shocking exit from the opening round of the World Cup in Southern Africa.

Both the team's old horses and its rookies were in fine nick giving Pakistan a head start to their preparations for the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies.

Inzamamís was not the only success story for Pakistan. There are plenty to follow. His deputy Younis Khan also had his moments that included a scintillating double century on the tour of India. The teamís best stroke-player Yousuf Youhana converted to Islam and as Muhammad Yousuf continued to do what he does best: Perform his role as the backbone of the teamís middle order.

Shahid Afridi kept up his reputation as the cricketer with the biggest fan following in Pakistan and at times made his admirers jump with joy with his explosive batting. But on other occasions, as a habit, he left his fans moaning with some brief outings at the crease.

Shoaib Akhtar made an early exit from the team because of lack of fitness and perhaps even commitment but came roaring back to play a pivotal role in the memorable series win over England. The Rawalpindi Express looked completely out of shape after being overlooked for a number of matches but got his act together to make a forceful comeback as a key member of the Pakistan squad against England.

The surprise package of the year was diminutive wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal. The youngster finally ended Pakistan's search for a worthy successor of Rashid Latif and Moin Khan with his good showing behind the stumps and ever better performance with the bat. He hit five centuries in 2005 and was one of the teamís most valuable players.

The success on the cricket field, however, could not compensate the weakness and shortcomings of the general sports structure of the country. Rather, it should help country's sports administrators see more clearly an apparent imbalance in Pakistan sports.

The victory podiums for hockey and squash almost excluded players from the country which dominated the international scene in these sports for the best part of the last five decades.

In hockey, Pakistan showed signs of resurgence by winning an eight-nation title in Holland in August but the triumph seemed little more than a fluke after the Greenshirts finished a disappointing fifth position in the year-ending Champions Trophy in Chennai in December.

Pakistan have won a record four World Cup and three Olympic titles in hockey but their performance has been below par since winning their last World Cup crown in 1994 in Sydney.

The Pakistanis contested in 2005 hockey events without their most famous hockey player of the decade ñ Sohail Abbas. The short corner specialist, who retired from international hockey in 2004 after breaking Dutch legend Paul Litjens' world record haul of international goals, decided against making a comeback in 2005. His absence dogged the hockey team that finished fifth behind Olympic champions Australia, Holland, Germany and Spain in the world rankings.

Pakistan did not fare much better in squash where their players continued to struggle at the professional arena. No Pakistani player could earn a place in the top ten international rankings with Quetta's Shahid Zaman reaching the closest: No. 16. Pakistan hosted the 2005 World Team Championships in Islamabad and could only manage a 7th position in the 22-nation event won by England. It was a poor finish from a country that has won the world crown on six occasions. The country's junior players, however, performed much better and claimed various titles in the British Junior Open Squash Championships in Sheffield, England.

Tennis provided Pakistani sports fans with some reason to celebrate when the national Davis Cup team reached the World Group Playoffs for the first time in history. Pakistan beat top zonal teams like Thailand, South Korea, Chinese Taipei and New Zealand in what was a productive year for their tennis players who also won gold medals in the Islamic Games in Saudi Arabia.

They lost to South American giants Chile in the Santiago playoff. Football found the spotlight for a while when Pakistan staged the SAFF Championship in Karachi and asked a Premiership player to represent them in the eight-nation contest. Zesh Rehman, a defender for Fulham, made his international debut for Pakistan in the tournament where the hosts lost in the semifinals. Elsewhere in the world, a lot happened in the sports arena.

In July, London was unexpectedly selected to host the 2012 Olympics ahead of favourite Paris. The England cricket team finally regained the Ashes from Australia after striving unavailingly since the 1986-7 series to beat their oldest enemy. Brazilian forward Ronaldinho, who guided Barcelona to the Primera Liga title, was named World Footballer of the Year. World champions Brazil were dominant in South America, finishing top of the two-year, 10-team, 18-match World Cup qualifying marathon.

Then George Best died. Tens of thousands of fans gathered in Belfast to pay their final respects to former Northern Ireland and Manchester United winger regarded among the legends of football.

In tennis, world number one Roger Federer lost to Russian Marat Safin in the Australian Open and Spainish youngster Rafael Nadal in the French Open before winning the Wimbledon and the US Open in style.

Golf's mega star, Tiger Woods continued to reign supreme on golf courses around the world.

Spain crowned a new hero when Fernando Alonso took over from Michael Schumacher as the world Formula One champion, winning the title in Brazil after the longest season in history comprising 19 races.

Cycling legend Lance Armstrong extended his winning record in the Tour de France to seven consecutive victories but was then embroiled in one of the drugs controversies which continue to haunt cycling.

The athletics' world welcomed a new 100 metres world record holder in Jamaican Asafa Powell.

Powell reduced Tim Montgomery's world record by a hundredth of a second to 9.77 seconds.

The good, the bad and the ugly!


By Sumaira Jajja

For those of you who live on a hefty diet of TV, films and a little bit of theatre here and there, 2005 was quite a year. In this fast-paced world with satellite channels dominating the infotainment sector, it is no wonder that most of us are couch potatoes the minute we enter our homes and get hold of the remote. With the monopoly of PTV long being over, and new channels vying for viewers, the competition seems to be getting stuff.

While the larger than life soaps from across the border having mentally paralysed the urban audiences, itís tough times for the local production houses to match up to the onslaught from India. Yet quite few people dared to differ from the regular stories and came up with stuff that touched the heart. One of the serials in recent times to have captured the attention of viewers was GEO's Woh Tees Din, a period drama that managed to gather a huge fan base not only in Pakistan but also touched a chord with the Pakistanis settled abroad. Directed by the young and talented, Anjum Shahzad, the serial focused on the dilemma faced by a father and daughter as they prepare to move on to Pakistan. Saba Pervez and Firdous Jamal simply gave out spectacular performances.

Yet another period drama that traces the up and downs following Partition, is the magnum opus Partition Aik Safar. With glitz and glamour as an added attraction, the play's storyline is amazing. Visually too, the serial is having an impact and can be rated as a quality production.

One play that managed to shake people out of deep sleep was Pyarri Shammo. Directed by Atif Hussain, the play was in stark contrast to the others being on air. A controversial theme but well worth the effort, Moorat was set in a Lahori mohalla with its fair share of nosy neighbours and chauvinistic attitude from men in the family, the play revolves around the life of a young man who is attracted to everything feminine, be it the dopatta or the bangles or the dolls. The D-day happens to be when he finally leaves his house and ends up becoming a hijra. From there on, the story focused on how his decision affects him and others around him. Itís no wonder that the new age of Pakistani drama serials has surely arrived and it is no mean that the ripped DVDs' of Pyari Shammo and Moorat are being sold like hotcakes in the US and UK.

While serial have been a forte of Pakistani directors, this year, almost all channels tried their hands at having daily soaps. Again, a trial and error game prevailed here with many soaps seeming more like a parody of the Indian soap but one show that managed to hold its head is Jo Baat Ghar Mein Hay. With a star cast, that includes Talat Hussain, Rubina Ashraf, Sadia Imam and Faisal Qureshi, the soap has been on air for over a year now and shows no sign of slowing down.

Another happening that was long been in process was the entrance of Lollywood stars into television serials. Reema, the Barbie girl from the tinsel town finally made her telly debut this year in the much-awaited serial, in Yaad tu Aeeinge. Not only did she prove that she can act a whole lot better than her jhatka thumka routine, she also walked away with the best actress award at LUX Style Awards. Similarly, Momi Rana finally found his calling as well. Although he had earlier acted in a few plays, but this year, he scored a hit serial Meray Pass Pass. Though Nadia Jamil's histrionics and Deepak Pirwani's "a peck here and a snigger there" act was not really much home to write about, it was Momy all the way who managed to save the serial from a disastrous fall. Even Meera, our localised diva of sorts could not resist the temptation of TV and ended up producing and acting in Anarkali, a play that was started by the late Afreen Baig.

Moving on from television to the crass and colourful world of Pakistani cinema, it is high time that the government pays attention to this dying industry. For the past some years, while some efforts have been there to revive the Pakistani cinema, but nothing seems to be working. Apart from Reemaís directorial debut, Koi Tujh Sa Kahan, and Ajab Gul's Kyon Tum Say Itna Pyar Hay, no films could make it a box office chart buster. With a number of Jatt inspired movies on the card and a revival of Pushto cinema in the offing as well, the biggest disappointment was Mubashir Lucman's ill-fated Pehla Pehla Pyar. Anticipated to be a breath of fresh air, it had loads of glitz and gloss but then that can never make up for the lack of a storyline or acting. It is about time the Lollywood folks decide what they want to do. With ace directors Javed Fazil's Mein Aik DinLot Kar Aon Ga, Shoaib Mansoor's Khuda Kay Liyee, Javed Shiekh's Khulay Asmaan Kay Neechay all working on their movies these days, 2006 looks like a good year for Pakistani cinema when these movies hit the big screen. While TV and films had its fair share of difficulties, it seems that Pakistani theater has finally been able to catch the fancy of the urbanites. While the slapstick humour and trademark Omer Sharif brand of comedy theatre has been providing laughs to the masses, intelligent productions have also been able to create an audience of its own. After Sikander Sanam's spoof of the Bollywood movie Tere Naam clicked with the cable watching audience, it has become a fad with the stage actors to produce these comic relief telefilms and these days more and more stage actors are producing such flicks. Karachi and Lahore's theatre halls meanwhile rocked with the dances of the pretty and petite beauties who are hell bent on giving their fans their money's worth. With some great productions like Phantom of the Opera, Ayub, A Night at Lapin Agile, If You Have Shakespeare Prepare To Shake Them Now, The Count of Monte Cristo, Tank Aur Bank ki Jori Ajeeb, Run for your Wife, the theatre scene was abuzz with activity. While most of these productions were in English, the theatre buffs had a nice time watching them -- thanks to the localised adaptations.

Overall 2005 was a hip and happening year for the world of entertainment. With new channels on air and young blood taking charge, it's no wonder than that the Pakistani entertainment scene is flourishing. Let's wait and watch what fireworks they are able to create by the end of 2006. Till then, Happy Viewing!

How much we miss you no one knows


Compiled by Sidra Rafique Gooda

The gates of memory never close,

How much we miss you no one knows;

For God alone knows what is best,

And called you to His garden for rest.


People come in the world to go. Many prominent personalities, nationally and internationally, left us this year. They are survived and remembered due to their contributions in their respective fields. These include politicians, noted writers, actors and poets. Following is the compilation of some of the noted national personalities who left us in the year 2005 and went on an eternal journey:


January 11

Chaudhry Manzoor Elahi

Industrialist, father of Punjab Chief minister Pervaiz Elahi and uncle and brother-in-law of PML President Shujaat Hussain, Chaudhry Manzoor Elahi was a philanthropist and God-fearing person, who supported various welfare organisations.


January 15

Justice Salahuddin Ahmad

Founder Chief Justice of the Federal Shariat Court and a former judge of the supreme court.


January 23

Mirza Hasan Askari, Writer, journalist and columnist.

M H. Askari was born in Delhi in 1924. Close to the literary circles of his time, M.H. Askari had kept company with eminent writers and was himself a short story writer. He was a founder member of the Pakistan Writers Guild.


January 23

Raees Ghulam Mujtaba Khan Jatoi

MNA and brother of former caretaker prime minister Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi, died of cardiac failure at the age of 71 in Karachi.


January 30

Maulana Mohammad Haroon, Millat-e-Islamia leader


January 31

Ishrat Hashmi, TV artist

The veteran artist left behind a lot of her admirers who loved her due to her natural performance in many PTV serials of yesteryears.


February 1

Ghulam Ali Khoja, Senior journalist

Born in a small town of Nindo Shaher of Badin district, Ghulam Ali Khoja was a self-made man. Ghulam Ali was respected as a man of integrity who never succumbed to 'incentives' which are usually offered to journalists in general and crime reporters in particular.


March 8

Air Marshal Zulfiqar Ali Khan, Former chief of air staff

Zulfiqar Khan, 75, died of a heart attack that proved fatal. Born on December 10, 1930, at Lahore, Zulfiqar Ali Khan was commissioned in the GD (P) Branch on 21st of December 1950. He was the first graduate of PAF Academy, Risalpur to have reached the highest appointment in the PAF. He was also posted to New Delhi as Air Adviser to the High Commissioner of Pakistan. Air Chief Marshal Zulfiqar Ali Khan remained as Chief of the Air Staff from 1974 to 1978.


March 10

Shahla Zia, Human rights activist

Shehla Zia was the daughter of eminent educationist Dr Satnam Mahmood and prominent freedom fighter Nawabzada Mahmood Ali Khan. One of the founding members of Women Action Forum, Aurat Foundation and the AGHS womenís law firm and Legal Aid Centre, Ms Zia was one of those women activists who were jailed for protesting against the Law of Evidence at the Lahore High Court in 1983. Ms Zia was one the main authors of the 1997 report of the Commission of Inquiry on Women and an author and co-editor of the "National Report-1995" for the Women's Conference in Beijing.


March 10

Muazzam Ali, Journalist and founder of Pakistan Press International

Syed Muazzam Ali started his journalistic career with the Associated Press of Pakistan news agency in 1950. In early 1956, he set up the Pakistan Press Association (PPA) that was later renamed as PPI. Muazzam Ali moved to London at the end of 1974, where he started promoting Islamic banking. He wrote many books on the subject and set up the International Institute of Islamic and insurance. He was vice-chairman of the Geneva-based Darul Mal Al Islami and deputy secretary-general of the London-based Islamic Council of Europe. He also published the weekly New Horizon magazine. Muazzam Ali, was also adviser to late president General Ziaul Haq on media, Islamic affairs and overseas Pakistanis.


March 14

Omar Kureishi

Noted columnist and writer.

Omar Kureishi was one of the most outstanding writers on cricket in the subcontinent, and his columns were also published in major newspapers abroad. But he was also a keen observer of political and social developments and wrote about them. His books include Black Moods, Out to Lunch, The System, The Other Side of Daylight, As Time Goes By and Once Upon a Time. He was awarded Sitara-i-Imtiaz in 2001.


April 01

Ghulam Hussain Najafi, Shia cleric killed by unidentified assailants


April 4

Safdar Barlas, Veteran journalist

S Barlas, who worked in an English daily on many senior positions for over four decades, graduated from Lucknow University in May 1947. He joined the Habib Bank shortly after the partition of the subcontinent. While he worked with Agha Hasan Abidi at the bank, the lure of journalism brought him back to journalism in the early 1950s.


April 16

Amjad Bobby, Music director

A highly sought after music director who gave music for films like Sangam, Chief Saheb, Yeh Dil Aap Ka Hua and Koi Tujh Sa Kahan, Amjad Bobby, passed away this year leaving behind a lot of his fans mourning his death.


April 21

Saneeya Hussain

Prominent environmental activist and journalist


April 21

Feroze Khan, Hockey legend

Feroze, a skilful inside right and centre forward, won a gold in pre-independence India at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam, Holland. Feroze celebrated his 100th birthday on September 9 last year and was recognised as the oldest known living Olympic medal winner by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). He took the title after the United Statesí James Rockefeller died in early 2004. Rockefeller had won a gold medal in rowing in the Paris Olympics in 1924.


April 23

Maqbool Sharif, Journalist

Sharif joined journalism in the early 60s as crime and court reporter. He was made the chief editor of national daily in the early 80s. He left journalism in early 90s and started practising law.


April 28

Sardar Inayatullah Khan Gandapur, Former NWFP chief minister and member of NWFP assembly

Gandapur was the most prominent, senior and seasoned member of the NWFP Assembly. He also remained provincial minister for agriculture. He was an active member of Pakistan People's Party at one time


May 24

Saeed Khan, Rangeela, Filmstar

Popularly known as Rangeela, Saeed Khan was born in 1941 in Parachinar town of NWFP. Rangeela made film debut as an actor in a 1958 Punjabi flick "Jatti", which proved to be a hit. His last appearance on silver screen was in singer Sajjad Ali's film "Aik Aur Love Story" in 1999. Rangeela acted in more than 700 films and over 100 stage plays. He was the first ever comedian hero, a singer, a successful film director, producer, distributor, music composer and lyricist.


May 30

Fazal Mahmood, first bowler to

take 100 wickets for Pakistan in

Test cricket

Born on Feb 18, 1927, in Lahore, Fazal never hung his boots and continued to work as honourary director for a textile concern. He started his career against India in 1952 by playing the first Test at Feroze Shah Kotla Ground in Delhi. Pakistan lost the Delhi Test but Fazal struck back with a vengeance at Lucknow to give Pakistan its first win against India, with a match haul of 12 for 94.


June 22

Mir Ahmad Nawaz Bugti, First finance minister of Balochistan and younger brother of Nawab Akbar Bugti

Mir Ahmed Nawaz Bugti started his political career with the defunct National Awami Party (NAP) and was elected member of the first Balochistan Assembly in 1970. He was inducted as finance minister in Balochistan's first cabinet headed by Sardar Ataullah Mengal in 1972. He was also elected MNA from Dera Bugti in the non-party elections of 1985. He also served as federal minister in the caretaker government of Mir Balakh Sher Mazari in 1993.


June 23

Khan Mohiuddin Khan,

Nawab of Sardargarh


June 24

Shahnaz Khuhro, Wife of opposition leader of Sindh assembly Nisar Khuhro


July 12

Almas Haroon, Chief Executive of Pakistan Herald Limited and wife of former Sindh governor Mahmoud A. Haroon

Begum Almas was born in Ludhiana on Sept 22, 1922, where her father, Khawaja Abdul Ghani, was a landowner. Her maternal grandfather, Khawaja Ahad, was a member of the Viceroyís Legislative Council and founder-publisher of the English language newspaper "The Observer."


August 16

Gool Rustomji, former MNA, former editor of the Quetta Times and the vice president of the All Pakistan Womenís Association (APWA)

Mrs Rustomji belonged to a respected philanthropist family of the provincial capital. She was daughter of late Peston Galwala. Her family set up the first English printing press in Balochistan in 1888 and was pioneer of journalism in the province. Mrs Rustomji was also a social worker and held the posts of vice-president, general secretary and press secretary of APWA, Balochistan. In recognition of her services, she was decorated with the Sadaf Award.


August 24

Jamshed Ansari,

Comedian and actor

In a career spanning over 40 years, Ansari has to his credit over 200 TV dramas, three films and many radio and stage plays. While his first TV play was "Ghora ghans khata hai" (written by Agha Nasir), it was his role in "Uncle Urfi", in which he flicked a small, innocuous-looking knife and squeaked cheekily that "chakku hay merey pas", that made him a household name.


August 29

Pervaiz Mehdi, Classical singer and disciple of Mehdi Hasan


September 23

Khalid Akhtar, veteran journalist

Khalid Akhtar was born in Kangra, East Punjab, in 1935. Khalid Akhtar remained associated with journalism since 1973 till his death. He joined The News on April 11, 2001 as Editor Co-ordination and Production and held the same position till his death.


September 25

Dr Ghulam Mustafa Khan,

research scholar, educationist

and religious leader

Dr Khan did his PhD on Syed Hassan Ghaznavi from Nagpur University. He was considered an authority on Maulana Hali. His book Hali Ka Zahni Irteqa was included in the university curriculum. He authored and compiled 90 books in Urdu and English. He was honoured with the presidential award Sitar-i-Imtiaz, Naqoosh award, Iqbal award and Nishan-i-Sipas.


September 29

Umeed Fazli, noted poet.


October 24

Shehla Shibli, writer and journalist

Educated at the Kinnaird and Government colleges in Lahore, she joined the All India Radio during the Second World War. While managing children's and music programmes for the radio, she strengthened an abiding interest in music and culture. She wrote a childrenís book in Urdu which enjoyed modest but steady sales over almost three decades. She also contributed a section in the book "Common Heritage", written jointly by noted Indian and Pakistani authors to commemorate Pakistan's 50th Anniversary.


October 26

Zarina Baloch, Popular Sindhi singer, actress, writer and political activist

Wife of Sindhi nationalist leader Rasool Bakhsh Palijo and grandmother of MPA Sassui Palijo, Zarina Baloch was well-known for her folk and nationalist songs and was widely respected.


Oct - Najm-u-Zaman, actor, director and a very creative person passed away after battling with cancer bravely for quite long.


November 9

Afroze Nazeer Ahmad Chaudhry, Former MNA


November 28

Rais Ali Gauhar Khan Khuhro, Former MPA, Sindh

Brother of former Sindh chief minister Ayub Khuhro and uncle of Provincial Education Minister Hameeda Khuhro, the late Ali Gauhar Khuhro served as member of the Sindh Assembly and the erstwhile West Pakistan assembly.


December 6

Rana Muhammad Khalid, Editor Jang Online

Rana Muhammad Khalid, who stepped into journalism about 20 years ago, was an active journalist and an untiring worker of the movement for journalists rights. At the time of his death he was working as Editor of the online edition of The News.


December 15

Sister Berenice Vargas, founder of Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre

A Mexican by birth, Sister Berenice Vargas belonged to a congregation group "Daughters of Heart of Mary", and with this group, she came to Pakistan in 1955, and started working for leprosy patients in a katchi abadi near McLeod Road, known as Lepersí Colony. To serve leprosy patients, she founded the Marie Adelaide Centre in the colony on Aug 16, 1956. After some time, word leprosy was also added to its name and it became Mary Adelaide Leprosy Centre.


December 20

Azra Sherwani, Popular TV actress

Azra had gained fame in her serial "Uncle Urfi" and "Tanhayian" after which she did more popular serials, particularly in the black and white era. She will be remembered by her fans due to her unforgettable roles in different plays.


December 23

M. Saleem Aslam, father of Geo President Imran Aslam and Editor, The News, Karachi Talat Aslam, had a long and distinguished career. He was Secretary, Pakistan Jute Mills Association in the former East Pakistan before he moved to Lahore in 1966 to work for the Batala Engineering Company. He served as an economist in the Planning Department of the Abu Dhabi government for more than two decades until his retirement in 1990.


Sir Joseph Rotblat, nuclear scientist

Sir Joseph Rotblat died on the 31st of August at the age of 96. Born in Poland he was recognised for his work as an atomic scientisct as well as a Nobel peace prize winner. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995 along with the Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affiars, an organisation of scientnts that encouraged nuclear disarmanent. Though initially involved in the Manhattan project to bulid the worldís first atomic bombs he abandoned the project after the defeat of Nazi Germany. He was knighted in 1998.


Saul Bellow, Writer

An American Jewish writer, Saul died on the 5th of April. Known best for his novel "The Adventures of Augie March," he won a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1976 and then went on to win the National Medal of Arts in 1998.


Johnny Carson

An American writer, actor, comedian and winner of several awards including 6 Emmy awards, Johnny died on the 23rd of January. He hosted several shows on television but was best known for his show "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson." He was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1987.


Arthur Miller, American playwritght

The famous American playwritght reigned over American cinema and literature for 61 years producing many famous works including Death of a Salesman and The Crucible. His 1949 play Death of a Salesman won the Pulitzer Prize and three Tony Awards, as well as the New York Drama Critics Circle Award.


Pope John Paul II, died on the 2nd of April at the age of 84 after remaining a Pope for almost 27 years. He is credited as being one of the sources who brought about the downfall of the Soviet regime.


Rosa Parks, a civil rights activist

Rosa died this year on the 24th of October. She is best known for not giving up her bus seat to a white man 50 years ago in the December of 1955. This act led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott which was organised by Martin Luther King Jr. This boycott was one of the largest and most effective movements against racial segrregation.


King Fahd Abdul Aziz, The King and Prime Minister of Saudia Arabia

The King and Prime Minister of Saudia Arabia died on the 1st of August this year. After suffering from a stroke in 1995 he handed the workings of the Kingdom to Crown Prince Abdullah and remained mostly inactive. He was heavily criticised afer he allowed American troops to be based in Saudi Arabia after Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait.


Richard Pryor

Richard Pryor, a famous American comedian and winner of five Grammy awards and one Emmy award died this year on the 10th of December. He gained immense success in the 70s and 80s and went on to become one of Hollywoodís highest paid stars.

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