The all-time celebrated singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has been awarded the lifetime achievement award and honorary membership of the Arts Council of Pakistan Karachi at a ceremony in the council’s Jaun Elia lawn.
The council’s president, Ahmed Shah, spoke at the event and went down memory lane to remind the crowd how modest the artist is. He recalled the time period when Rahat Fateh Ali Khan performed for the first time at the venue and there were so many people who tried to gatecrash it. It was so crowded the deputy commissioner at the time joked that even though the prime minister decided to participate, he wouldn’t be able to. He added that there was a period in Khan’s life when he didn’t have enough resources to purchase his own rations.
Shah stated that Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is the first musician to win the honour. Zia Mohyeddin, Anwar Maqsood, Iftikhar Arif, and Amar Jaleel had already got it before him. He then read a citation, stating that the singer is Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s nephew and Ustad Fateh Ali Khan’s grandson. He had his first music lesson when he was three years old, and he was just seven when he began classical music instruction. He’s released 50 albums, recorded countless songs and toured all over the world. He was also awarded the prestigious Sitara-i-Imtiaz back in 2015.
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan was granted the award and honorary membership after the citation.
In his address, Provincial Culture Minister Syed Sardar Shah claimed that the subcontinent’s musical heritage dates back 6,000 years. In his lyrics, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan did something unique: he mixed folk and classical traditions. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is following in his footsteps. The minister also shared his desire to see Abida Parveen and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan perform together in Karachi.
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan delivered a succinct speech. He began by stating that he is a huge fan of writer Anwar Maqsood (who was already present at the ceremony) which was why he was having trouble putting his thoughts into words in front of him. He expressed gratitude to the council for the award and membership. He sang the song “Mera paigham Pakistan” in response to the public’s appeal.
Following the speeches, Anwar Maqsood conversed with the vocalist. Rahat deftly sidestepped the issue concerning his lack of controversies in the entertainment industry. He also showed how competent about classical music Mr Maqsood is by narrating a tale from a Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan broadcast. Finally, at the suggestion of his interviewer, he sang the first few lines of Hazrat Amir Khusrau’s “Rang.” All in the stadium was clearly moved by it.