Another artiste says goodbye to singing

March 13,2009

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PESHAWAR: Holding rosaries in his hand, another celebrated Pashto singer bade farewell to his decades-old profession by calling a news conference here Thursday.

Gulrez Tabassum, a widely acclaimed vocalist from NWFP, added his name to the list of those who have already quit singing, leaving an even bigger void in the world of Pashto music.

Singers Gulzar Alam, Shahenshah Bacha, Haroon Bacha, Nazia Iqbal, Wagma along with television and stage actors Alamzeb Mujahid, Ismail Shahid and Said Rahman Shino have already stopped performance under apparent threats from militants.

However, Gulrez Tabassum insisted that he did not receive any threat from any group or individual. “I’m quitting singing on the request of my son who is a college student and is learning the Holy Quran by heart,” said the lead singer.

The singer said he had recorded thousands of songs for the television and Pashto films and won reputation not only in NWFP or Pakistan but the world over. “However, singing no more gives me pleasure because of the gloomy atmosphere in NWFP in particular and rest of the country in general,” he added.

Known for his smiling face whether in public or on television screen, Gulrez was stiff and serious during his media appearance and was continuously trying to assure the journalists that he was quitting the profession on his own.

Asked about the turning of some vocalists and actors to preaching, he said the quitting of artistes and singers was a great loss to Pashto art and culture. To a question, he did not rule out switching over to Naat Khwani in future. “Yes, I may start Naat as I’ve the God-gifted talent of my sweet voice,” he told a questioner.

Gulrez started the news conference with the recitation of some verses from the Holy Quran. He thanked all his colleagues, including singers, producers, directors and musicians for their cooperation and support during his 40-year career as singer.

The artiste said he was quitting singing for good and had no intention to return to the field even after improvement in the situation. “I pray for a prosperous future for my countrymen but shall not return to singing even after the situation improves,” he concluded.


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