KARACHI / LAHORE: The government has conferred on renowned travelogue writer, novelist Mustansar Hussain Tarar the third highest honour in the country, Sitara-e-Imtiaz.
According to a notification issued by the federal information ministry, 132 people from different walks of life have been chosen as recipients of civil awards.
The Sitara-e-Imtiaz category also includes Italian Archaeological Mission in Pakistan Director Dr Luca M Olivieri. Olivieri has worked extensively in Pakistan; some of his published works include Sir Aurel Stein and the ‘Lords of the Marches’ and Talking Stones: Painted Rock Shelters of the Swat Valley.
The list for President’s Award for Pride of Performance includes numerous renowned names from the fields of music, TV, film and literature.
Actor-director Sarmad Sultan Khoosat and acting veteran Rashid Mehmood have also been nominated. “It is extremely overwhelming and no words of gratitude will suffice the love, acceptance and appreciation my country and people of my country have showered me with,” the Manto maker said. Khoosat said he will never let his country down.
Mehmood told The Express Tribune he has been part of the entertainment industry for 50 years and although the award has come a little late, he is still grateful. “I have struggled a lot and never worried about awards. But this is indeed a moment of pride for me.”
Singer Humaira Channa, Sindhi folk musician Syed Jumon Shah sitar player Ustad Ashraf Sharif Khan and violinist Javed Iqbal, famously called Uncle Jay, have been recognised for their services to music. While Channa and Shah both have appeared as featuring artists on Coke Studio, Iqbal is an integral part of the show’s house band.
Channa said it is a matter of great pride for her. “I think our legends should be honoured while they are alive. Whoever has done well for the country deserves this honour,” she said, adding that her own services to the music industry span over 30 years.
On the other hand, tenowned poet Anwar Shaoor has also been given the Pride of Performance honour. He is accompanied by Urdu Thesaurus advisor, critic and linguist Muhammad Salim Ur Rehman, humour writer Sarfaraz Shahid and TV presenter Ghazi Salahuddin.
The investiture ceremony of the awards will be held on March 23 next year.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2016.