LAHORE: Famous Urdu writer Mukhtar Masood passed away in Lahore on Saturday. He was 88.
Masood had been very ill and suffered from various health complications. He is survived by two sons and a daughter. His funeral prayers were offered at Shadman with people from different walks of life taking part.
A graduate of Aligarh Muslim University, Masood migrated to Pakistan after partition. After passing his CSS examination in 1949, he went on to serve at several key positions – including that of commissioner and federal secretary.
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He also served as chairman of the Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), Agricultural Development Bank of Pakistan (ADBP) and secretary-general of the Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD).
Masood wrote three books – Awaz-e-Dost, Safer Naseeb, Loh-e-Ayyam – all of which are highly regarded in literary circles for their immaculate, enigmatic style and patriotic undertones.
Awaz-e-Dost in particular recounts the history and philosophy behind the creation of Pakistan. In the book, Masood evokes the years of upheaval which preceded the partition of India and the end of British rule in an emotionally charged language.
"Mukhtar Masood was a great writer with a style similar to Qudratullah Shahab. His writing incorporated a spiritual colour, but the best thing about his work was the information it contained,” said playwright Asghar Nadeem Sayed. “He was fond of study which is why whatever he wrote was very comprehensive.”
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Writer and poet Professor Dr Munawer Sabir remembered Masood as an honest and competent bureaucrat. “In his life he did not compromise on merit. He was also famous in the literary community as a scholar,” he said.
For his contribution to literature, Masood was awarded the Sitara-e-Imtiaz.
PM, president express grief
Both Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Mamnoon Hussain expressed deep grief over Masood’s demise.
“Masood was a distinguished prose writer, ambassador and author. His literary services will be remembered for long,” Premier Nawaz said in a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s House. Both the prime minister and the president prayed for forgiveness for the departed soul and courage for his bereaved family.
(WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM APP)