People from different walks of life paid rich tribute to legendary broadcaster, intellectual and progressive ideologue Aslam Azhar for his services, passion, fascination and humbleness at a condolence reference which was held in his remembrance on Sunday.
Noted poet Kishwar Naheed said that when Pakistan Television (PTV) was in its nurturing stage many programmes were initiated after Azhar’s persistence. It was Azhar, she said, who persuaded her to conduct interviews of artists first time on PTV while programmes like spontaneous poetry competitions was also his pet project. She said that he also emphasised many writers including Anwar Sajjad and Safdar Meer to write Urdu dramas for PTV. She said that many writers learnt the art of drama writing from Azhar and she learnt the art of speech from him.
Progressive writer and intellectual Ashfaq Saleem Mirza said that his personality was a charisma and was a source of inspiration for both political activists and artists. He termed him as renaissance, enlightened, alamode, trendsetter and open minded person. Former general manager PTV Ahtar Waqar Azeem said that he was very hardworking man, who would watch all PTV transmissions in the night and used to point out language and other mistakes during next day.
Saeed Azhar, the elder brother of Aslam Azhar, said that his father AD Azhar was a very honest government employee and Azhar bequeathed much talent and capabilities of his father as compared to his other offsprings.
Ziaur Reham, said that Aslam Azhar was like a fragrance, who established and gave PTV and identity.
Dr Nazir Mehmood, a family friend and educationist, said that he came into acquaintance with Azhar 30 years back when he went to Karachi after Ziaul Haq declared Martial Law and started Dastak, an organisation to promote theatre. He always emphasised on correct pronunciation of words.
Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy, said Azhar was a guardian and patron of neglected and derelict people. He said that when Dr Abdus Salam returned to Pakistan in 1989, he conducted his interview with Azhar’s permission which was later aired on PTV.
Artist Nayyar Kamal, said that Azhar was her mentor and he was an ideal person in a capacity of son, husband, father and teacher.
Nasreen Azhar, Azhar’s wife and Umaima Azhar, his daughter, also shared their fond memories of his life. Nasreen said that he was a honest and genuine person. Despite being bedridden for the past one year he had a central position in the family.
His elder son Osama Azhar said that his father never accumulated wealth. He was a humble, fascinating, enigmatic, educated and a refined human being.
Areeb Azhar, the younger son, said his father used to see things critically and used to promote classical music. He never gave importance to material things and he always loved Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 4th, 2016.
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