ISLAMABAD: A budding young poet from Rawalpindi, who had been critically injured following a fall at the Pak-China Centre after the closing ceremony of the book festival, died at a hospital in the capital on Tuesday.
The poet, 36-year-old Farzana Naz, had fallen several feet after she slipped from the stage amidst a sudden rush of people following the closing ceremony.
She was initially rushed to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) before being shifted to the Shifa International Hospital (SIH) four hours later where she was treated for a head injury.
The management at the hospital explained that Naz was in critical condition when she was brought to SIH. They added that she remained unconscious from the time she was admitted to the hospital till her death owing to the head injury.
The National Book Foundation (NBF) had organised a three-day ‘Kitab Mela’ to promote reading culture. A number of prominent writers, poets, artists, intellectuals, ambassadors and book lovers had attended the event. Naz had also attended various sessions during the festival along with her seven-year-old daughter, five-year-old son and husband.
NBF’s Managing Director Dr Inamul Haq Javed explained that after the closing ceremony of the festival ended, a large number of people, including Naz and her family had gone on stage to meet the visiting ministers and other dignitaries.
He added that amid this rush of people, Naz attempted to leave the stage from a set of stairs leading backstage. Since these stairs are used by artists and performers, it does not have any railings and is around 10-feet high- the height of the stage.
While trying to make her way down these stairs, Dr Javed said, Naz slipped and fell.
Naz’s first book, ‘Hijrat Mujh Sy Lipat Gai Hay’ (Migration clung to me) was scheduled to be launched on May 3 in Rawalpindi Arts Council.
Writers who knew the budding poet recalled that Naz had just started her career and poetry and was fairly active in the literary circles, attending a host of events to listen to other poets and also to read out her work.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 26th, 2017.