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Tariq Aziz passes away

Top Story

June 18, 2020

LAHORE: Legendary TV anchor, actor and host of popular TV show Neelam Ghar, Tariq Aziz, 84, died in Lahore Wednesday. He was admitted to a private hospital Tuesday night; however, the cause of his death is still unknown.

Tariq Aziz was born in Jalandhar on April 28, 1936. After partition, his family migrated to Pakistan and settled in Sahiwal, where he received his primary education.

He started his career with Radio Pakistan in 1960 and later went on to become Pakistan’s first television host. His programme Neelam Ghar — later named Tariq Aziz Show — started in 1974 on state TV and continued for four decades. He was also a poet and an actor and performed in several radio and television programmes as well as in films. His first film, Insaniyat, was released in 1967. Other notable films in which he acted include ‘Salgirah’, ‘Qasam us waqt ki’, ‘katari’ and ‘Har gaya Insan’. He was awarded the prestigious Pride of Performance Award in 1992. Tariq Aziz dabbled in politics as well and was a member of the National Assembly from 1997-99. In the wake of his death, many have gone on social media to pay their respects to the late TV personality. Among them was Prime Minister Imran Khan, who termed him “pioneer”. “Saddened to learn of the passing of Tariq Aziz, an icon in his time and a pioneer of our TV game shows. My condolences and prayers go to his family,” he said.

In a separate message, President Dr Arif Alvi also lamented the loss of Aziz. He termed Tariq Aziz “an institution in his field”. The president offered condolence to the family of Tariq Aziz and prayed for the departed soul to rest in peace.

PML-N chief Shahbaz Sharif extended his condolences to Tariq Aziz’s family and said the TV personality was a patriotic person who had proven his mettle. Additionally, AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider also took the opportunity to praise Aziz for his contributions to the entertainment industry. “Tariq Aziz was a well-known anchor, announcer and an extraordinary personality,” PM Haider said. “Neelam Ghar” was Tariq Aziz’s most popular programme, may Allah exalt his ranks and give patience to the family and fans”.

Singer and actor Ali Zafar said he was confident that Aziz would never be forgotten. “You gave us an era. A childhood full of memories. You gave us gifts and so much more. We forget our heroes too soon. But I am confident you shall never be forgotten. Such was your presence”.

Actress Mahira Khan called the deceased anchor a “legend”. She said Pakistan was “indebted to him”, adding that it was “truly, the end of an era”.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Shibli Faraz expressed sorrow over the demise of TV personality Tariq Aziz.

In a statement Wednesday, the minister said Tariq Aziz had educated and entertained the people of Pakistan through his show “Neelam Ghar” later renamed “Tariq Aziz Show” on PTV for several decades.

He said Tariq Aziz was a literary personality with artistic abilities, who made his programme a source of education and training for the people.

He prayed to Almighty Allah to rest the departed soul in eternal peace and grant courage to the bereaved family to bear this irreparable loss.

COAS Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa also expressed grief on the demise of the legendary broadcaster and outstanding artiste.

Aziz’s “services for Pakistan will always be remembered,” Gen Bajwa said, according to ISPR Director General Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar. “May Allah bless the departed soul in eternal peace and give strength to the bereaved family, Ameen,” the army chief added.