Noted singer Shaukat Ali died after a protracted illness in Lahore on Friday.

Shaukat Ali had been suffering from a liver disease. He was admitted to Gambat Institute last year on the instructions of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah. Later, in October he was admitted to CMH in Lahore on the special instructions of Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa. He had a liver transplant and heart bypass a few years ago.

Shaukat Ali’s song in 1965 Jaag utha hai sara watan gave him lasting fame. He was awarded the Pride of Performance Award by the government of Pakistan in 1990.

He was one of the most prolific singers of Pakistani with a singing career spanning over five decades. He was introduced into films as a playback singer by renowned music director M Ashraf in a Punjabi film Tees Maar Khan (1963). Later, he sang ghazals, national and Punjabi folk songs.

Born on May 3, 1944, into a family of artists in Malakwal, a town in district Gujrat, Shaukat Ali started singing in his college days in the 1960s. His first mentor was his elder brother, Inayat Ali Khan.

As a folk singer, he was not only popular in Pakistani Punjab but also on the other side of the border. His song Kadi Te Hass Bol was used in the 2009 Indian movie ‘Love Aaj Kal’. He also released a track titled ‘Jagga’.

Shaukat Ali sang Sufi poetry like Heer Waris Shah and Saiful Maluk with aplomb.

His hit song include Kyun Door Door Raindey O, Kaddi Te Hass Bol, Jab Bahaar Aaii Tau Sehra Ki Taraf Chal Nikla, and Punjabi folk songs including Chhalla, Jagga, Kanwan, Maan Jannat Da Parchaavan.

Shaukat Ali received the ‘Voice of Punjab’ award in 1976. In July 2013, he was honoured with the ‘Pride of Punjab’ award by the Pakistan Institute of Language, Art and Culture (PILAC). He gave a live performance at the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi.

His sons Imran, Ameer and Mohsin have been following in his footsteps.

According to Ameer, the funeral prayers will be offered on Saturday (today) between Maghrib and Isha prayers at Samsani, Johar Town, in Lahore.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan, Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar, Information Minister Shibli Faraz and Special Assistant to CM Punjab Firdous Ashiq Awan sent messages of condolence on the sad demise. They acknowledged his services to the nation and prayed for the departed soul.

The writer is a member of staff
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