Prof Dr Muhammad Azam Azam died at 71

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Muhammad Azam Azam

Scholar, writer and famous poet, Dr Muhammad Azam Khan Azam, breathed his last on Friday. He was 71.

Azam will be remembered for serving Pashto language and literature for more than four decades. His funeral will be offered today (Saturday) at 11 am in his ancestral village of Rajar, Charsadda.

Born on December 21, 1940 in District Charsadda, Dr Azam was a distinguished writer and had significant contributions to modern literary trends in Pashto prose and poetry. He authored 11 books and penned down a number of famous dramas in Urdu as well.

He had served at the Islamia College and later at the University of Peshawar as dean of Faculty of Oriental Languages. He retired on December 20, 2000, and was then appointed as the regional director for the Academy of Letters Pakistan in August 2006.

“After Ghani khan, Hamza Baba, Ajmal Khattak and Qalandar Momand, he led modern Pashto poetry and plays,” dramatist Saadullah Jan Burq told.

At the inception of PTV’s Peshawar Centre in 1974, he wrote the first ever Pashto TV serial ‘Rukey laarey’ (the lost paths) which laid the foundation for PTV dramas in the frontier. His most popular play ‘Namoos,’ which was also translated in Urdu, won accolades for PTV. He also has the honour of writing the first stage drama in Pashto.

Azam, a classic humorist, won the Pakistan Writer’s Guild award in 1965 for his prose ‘Lashay’. Later he won other awards including, Adamjee Award in 1963, Pakistan Writer’s Guild award in 1978, PTV gold medal for drama in 1989 and Tamgha-e-Imtiaz in 1990.

Poet Laiq Zada Laiq told : Even today, the characters of his drama are a part of every Pakhtun family.”