By Dr Saeed Ahmed Ali
LAHORE, Jun 19 (APP):British novelist and literary critic E.M. Forster said: “Alas, without me for thousands of years, The Rose will blossom and Spring will bloom, But those who have secretly understood my heart-They will approach and visit the grave where I lie.” The all-times maestro, iconic radio-television anchor Tariq Aziz breathed his last after a heart attack in Lahore on Wednesday, June 17. He was 84.
The tragic feelings of demise of Aziz are exact replication of thought of the renowned classical Urdu poet and critic Meer Taqi Meer, who once had voiced his feelings in his famous verse: Mat Sahl Hamein Jaano Phirta Hai Falak Barson, Tab khak Ke Parde Se Insaan Nikaltey Hain,(Consider us not as something trivial, heavens whirl for years, before earth splits its veil, and yields forth the man).
Tariq Aziz was born in Jalandhar (India) on April 28, 1936 to an Arain family and received his primary education from the same origin. After partition in 1947, his family migrated to Pakistan and settled in district Sahiwal (Punjab), where he received his middle and secondary education.
He started his career with Radio Pakistan in 1960s as a host, and later on went to become Pakistan’s first male announcer and premier-television (PTV) host.
He was known for his work on the PTVs Quiz Show Neelam Ghar, which was first aired in 1974 and later the same was renamed as the ‘Tariq Aziz Show’, and later was changed to ‘Bazm-e-Tariq Aziz’. Tariq Aziz, started his film career by working along with the film actor Waheed Murad and film actress Zeba , in the film “Insaniyat (1967)”, a Pakistani film.
Aziz also starred in another Pakistani film “Haar Gaya Insaan”, besides appearing in several television programmes and morning shows while organising telethons for charity purposes.
One of his famous movies was Salgirah (1969) which was a highly successful musical movie and won two Nigar awards for the same year. His first film, Insaniyat was released in 1967, while other notable titles Aziz acted in included ’Qasam Us Waqt Ki’, ‘Katari’ and ‘Haar Gaya Insan’.As a radio, television anchor, writer, actor, social trainer and a politician , Tariq Aziz, since decades, served his audience through his soft and impressive voice by disseminating universal message of peace, love, knowledge and humanity.
Paying tribute to Tariq Aziz, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf leader and chairman Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) Abrar-ul-Haq told APP that Pakistan’s entertainment industry would be forever indebted to Tariq Aziz for being a lifelong source of knowledge to students community and entertainment to the country.
The legendary television anchor and host compared many live entertainment shows presenting various talented artists and literary icons of Pakistan, he added.The Lahore Arts Council (LAC) spokesperson, Subah Sadiq while talking to APP said that Tariq Aziz introduced a new dimension of TV compering and he was known for his unique style and peculiar voice tone.Aziz, while serving as a true Muslim, patriotic Pakistani played an unforgettable role of giving analytical, subjective, social and scientific knowledge to all the society quarters and would be remembered as a true patriotic Pakistani, he added.
He said Tariq Aziz was legend of his multitude talents, as he was a politician, anchor, actor, poet and above all, the pioneer of game shows in Pakistan.Aziz never compromised on national, ethical and cultural values over the entertainment factor, adding his slogan ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ would be remembered by every Pakistani, Sadiq added. Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information and Broadcasting, General (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa in his tweet had paid glowing tribute to Tariq Aziz saying: “The legendary Tariq Aziz is a reminiscence of PTV’s golden era as an icon host of the most famous Game show and remained a house hold name. My condolences on his passing away, and prayers for his family. May his soul rest in peace!.”
Tariq Aziz also had been member of the National Assembly of Pakistan from 1997 and 1999. As recognition of his services and contributions to the nation in entertainment, literary and political fields, Aziz was honoured with prestigious Pride of Performance Award by the government of Pakistan in 1992.Tariq Aziz was a book lover and was good at reciting poetry.
He was also a poet of Punjabi Language and wrote his famous book on Punjabi poetry titled ‘Hamzad Da Dukh’, while in his second literary contribution,Aziz wrote his prose book on Allama Muhammad Iqbal, titled Iqbal Shanasi (To Know Iqbal).In 2018, Aziz in an interview to a local English-language newspaper had said that after marriage, he (Tariq Aziz) had no kids of his own, which was the will of Almighty Allah.
It is worth mentioning here that Tariq Aziz had announced and given all his belongings and earnings to Pakistan. His voice and wise decisions conquered the hearts of his fans, and surely by announcing his will, he would always be remembered as a role model to all his fans.