THE death of popular Punjabi folk Singer Shaukat Ali, on Friday, aggrieved the whole nation.
Condolences poured in from different quarters including from Prime Minister Imran Khan to express their grief and sorrow over his sad demise.
He indeed was a precious jewel of the country’s music industry and the immense contributions he made will always be remembered.
Shaukat Ali was introduced into the film industry as a playback singer by the renowned film music director M Ashraf in the Punjabi film Tees Maar Khan in 1963.
Shaukat Ali sang countless songs including some super hits like war-time patriotic song “Saathio Mujahido” and national song “Apna Parcham Aik, Apna Quaid-i-Azam Aik Hai” during his almost five-decade-long career. He was known for singing devotional poetry with great vigour and a wide vocal range, for example Heer Waris Shah and Saif ul Maluk.
As folk singer, he was equally popular in both Pakistani and Indian Punjabs. He was a one of the most prolific singers in Pakistan who was equally good at singing ghazal, devotional, folk and patriotic songs.
Shaukat Ali was known for taking Punjabi folk song ‘Chhalla’ to new heights. It was later sung by several other Punjabi singers but it is often said that nobody could match Ali. He was awarded the presidential Pride of Performance, the highest civil award, in 1990 in recognition of his services.
He was also given the title of ‘Voice of Punjab’ in 1976. In 2013, he was honoured with the ‘Pride of Punjab’ award by the Pakistan Institute of Language, Art and Culture.
These artistes and singers are really asset of the country and it has been seen that in the later part of their age they are faced with financial difficulties.
Due to Covid-19 situation which has affected everybody, Shaukat Ali was also faced with the similar situation.
However, it is really good of Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa on whose instructions, the late singer was provided with the medical treatment at the CMH.
However, we will suggest the government to provide health cards to all the artistes, singers and the support staff of the film and entertainment industry.
In addition, the artistes faced with financial problems must immediately be provided assistance from the Artistes’ Welfare Fund.