Noted Pashto poet Ghazi Sial dies at 86

Senior Pashto folk poet Mohammad Ghazi aka Ghazi Sial breathed his last at his home in Kotka Akundan area of Bannu

Ghazi Sial

Senior Pashto folk poet Mohammad Ghazi aka Ghazi Sial breathed his last at his home in Kotka Akundan area of Bannu district on Wednesday.

He was 86 and was author of around 16 books. He was admitted to Lady Readying Hospital, Peshawar about two weeks ago owing to multiple health complications.

According to doctors at LRH, Ghazi Sial was discharged from the hospital after recovery some four days ago but his family sources told this scribe that he went into comma early Wednesday morning and couldn’t survive the prolong fit.

He left behind four sons and three daughters to mourn his death. His funeral will be held on Thursday (today) at his ancestral graveyard in Kotka Akhundan.

The literary circles and cultural associations have termed the demise of Ghazi Sial an irreparable loss to Pashto language and literature.

Deceased was author of 16 books

Born in 1933, Ghazi Sial had studied Pashto, Arabic and Persian classics with his father Abdul Ghafoor Shah, who was a noted religious scholar and literary figure. Later, he developed a taste for literary activities and began composing Pashto folk songs in his late teens.

Sial’s popular fiction books included Banzey, Mangarai, Kashmala and Zama Sandaray Sta Da Para.

Prof Aseer Mangal told this scribe that few of his research works on Pashto folk songs, music and poetry were part of Pashto syllabus at various levels despite the fact that he had not received formal education. He said that Sial’s command over fiction and simple writing skill influenced many young writers.

Ghazi Sial was recipient of numerous awards including President’s Pride of Performance. He got affiliation with Radio Pakistan Peshawar in early 60s and penned down numerous folk songs sung by popular vocalists including Gulnar Begum, Zarsanga, Khan Tahsil, Shahbaz Khan, Kishwar Sultana and a few others.

Also, he had written scripts, storylines and dialogues for around 50 hit Pashto movies.

Prof Abaseen Yousafzai said that Mr Sial’s publications had been included in Pashto syllabus at different levels which showed quality and substance of his literary acumen.

Laiqzada Laiq said that Ghazi Sial could rightly be termed as king of Pashto folk song. He added that during over his 30-year service with Radio Pakistan, he found Mr Sial’s unique talent in contributing to almost every literary genre.

Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2019