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Pashto singer Mashuq Sultana falls silent forever

Pashto singer Mashuq Sultana falls silent forever

PESHAWAR: Renowned Pashto folk singer Mashuq Sultana breathed her last owing to multiple health complications at Leady Reading Hospital (LRH) here on Monday.

She had been bed ridden since 2010 at her residence. According to her family sources, the senior Pashto folk singer’s condition suddenly deteriorated early in the morning and was taken to LRH where doctors pronounced her dead.

She was recipient of many awards and certificates including President’s award Pride of Performance. She had performed on stage, radio and television and garnered widespread popularity for her soft and velvety voice.

Mashuq Sultana left behind four sons and two daughters. She was laid to rest at Nawab Garhi near her residence in Chughalpura locality of Peshawar. Local artists, singers, radio and TV officials and fans attended her funeral prayers in a large number.

Mushuq Sultana had earned titles of ‘melody queen’ and ‘rock star of the stage’ during 60s and early 70s. Around 1,500 popular Pashto folk songs were to her credit. She had represented Pakistan in several foreign countries including UK, Gulf States, Iran, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan.

Mashuq Sultana had also performed in two Pashto films — Darra Khyber and Jawargar — in her early career but she could not get a worthwhile success as her strength was the art of singing only.

Mashuq Sultana was born in a religiously inclined family in Shahderai village in Swat in 1952. She grew up to sing although no one in her family had a penchant for music except her. She would scale up her home walls to participate in private wedding ceremonies in her neighbourhood.

She had launched her singing career from Radio Pakistan Peshawar way back in 1968. She was still in her teens, when Nawab Ali Khan Yousafzai, former producer of Radio Pakistan Peshawar, spotted her at a private wedding function and requested her father to allow her for a radio audition.

She instantly shot to unprecedented fame. She later married into a music family of Mardan where she learnt the intricacies of Pashto music from seasoned composer Rahdat Hussain.

Zawar Hussain, son of late Sultana, told Dawn that his legendary mother had immensely contributed to Pashto folk music and led a humble life. He said that no one followed in her footprints because she was the only talent in her family.

“My mother was hospitable, humble and a spiritual kind of person,” said Mr Hussain.

Laiqzada Laiq, regional director of Radio Pakistan Peshawar, told this scribe that Ms Sultana’s demise created a void in the world of Pashto folk music. He said that her voice used to cast a magic effect on the audience and she could sing in Urdu, Persian and Pashto simultaneously. “Begum Mashuq Sultana knew music sensibilities as she was a born singer,” said Mr Laiq.

Published in Dawn, December 20th, 2016

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