Tuesday, 26 December 2006
LAHORE, Dec 26 (APP): Renowned poet Munir Niazi passed away Tuesday in Lahore. He was 79. He has written over 30 books of his poetry. His poetry has been translated into several world languages. Besides other awards, he was conferred the ‘Kamal-i-Fun’ award by the Pakistan Academy of Letters. He had also been awarded the Pride of Performance and Sitara-i-Imtiaz awards by the government of Pakistan. (AP)
A brief profile of Munir
LAHORE: Munir Niazi (78), the renowned Punjabi and Urdu poet and writer, passed away on Tuesday night.
Munir Ahmad known as Munir Niazi was born in 1928 in Khanpur – a village near Hushiyarpur. He had got his initial education at Khanpur and after independence settled in Sahiwal. He did his intermediate from SE College, Bahawalpur and received a BA degree from Diyal Singh College, Lahore.
He launched a weekly ‘Saat Rang’ from Sahiwal in 1949 and wrote numerous songs for films. He was also connected to newspapers, magazines and radio through his works. In 1960, he established a publication institute, Al-Misal.
“Taiz Hawa Aur Tanha Phool”, “Jungle Mein Dhanak”, “Dushmanon Kai Darmiyan
Sham” and “Mah-e-Munir” are his popular Urdu works. In Punjabi he published “Safar Di Raat”, “Char Chup Cheezan” and “Rasta Dassan Walay
Taray”. He wrote 13 poetry books in Urdu and three in Punjabi.
The country’s political and literary figures called his death a loss to the Urdu literature. (Daily Times).
Munir Niazi passes away
By Shoaib Ahmed & Hasan Mansoor
LAHORE/KARACHI, Dec 26: Renowned man of letters Munir Niazi, who composed
unforgettable film songs like “Us Bewafa Ka Shehar Hey”, passed away after
suffering cardiac arrest here on Tuesday night. He was 78.
According to family members, his condition deteriorated rapidly after an
asthma attack at around 7pm. He was taken to the Jinnah Hospital where he
died one and a half hours later. Niazi leaves a widow.
Niazi, whose original name was Munir Ahmad, was born in Khanpur in 1928.
He had his early education in Khanpur but moved to S.E. College in
Bahawalpur for his intermediate. He did his BA from Dyal Singh College.
Niazi, who settled in Sahiwal following the partition of the subcontinent,
published a weekly called “Saat Rung” in 1949. He became associated with
what was then the country’s budding film industry for some time and penned
a number of lyrical poems for movies. The late Nasim Begum sang the song
“Us Bewafa Ka Shehar Hey” for the 1962 film “Shaheed”. The song, which was
put to music by versatile composer Rasheed Attre, catapulted both the
singer and the poet to stardom.
Niazi also wrote articles for newspapers, magazines and radio. In 1960, he
established a publishing house called “Al-Misal”.
Among his famous anthologies of Urdu poems are “Taiz Hawa Aur Tanha
Phool”, “Jungle Mein Dhanak”, “Dushmanoon Kay Darmiyan Sham” and
“Mah-i-Munir”. In the Punjabi language, he authored “Safar di Raat”, “Char
Chup Cheezan” and “Rasta Dasan Walay Tarey”.
Niazi, a master of poetic imagery, was bold enough to experiment with many
genres of poetry and is credited with creating a distinct style, rhythm
and diction. Mythology, nostalgia, haunting romance and a belief in the
supernatural are some of those themes that find frequent mention in his
Critiquing Niazi’s poetic art, noted writer Intizar Hussain said Niazi had
his own unique style of poetry.
“He had his own colours. Along with Nasir Kazmi, he is one of my favourite
poets,” said Mr Hussain.
Poet Dr Abrar Ahmed said Niazi was among those poets who migrated from
India and in their poetry defined the places they lived. Dr Ahmed recalled
that Niazi had no other source of living and relied solely on his poetry.
Playwright Munoo Bahi said next to Faiz and Nasir Kazmi, Niazi was a
leading Urdu poet who had his own style.
‘Niazi gave a couple of new metaphors to Urdu poetry,” he explained.
Poet Dr Pirzada Qasim, who is vice-chancellor of the University of
Karachi, said that with Niazi’s death, the country had lost one of the
“He was one of the few most important poets of his generation. His poetry
was full of mystery and melancholy,” Dr Qasim said.
Poet Jamiluddin Aali said the late Niazi was distinctively strict in his
aesthetic diction and style.
“He was also known as a great Punjabi poet but I cannot say much about
that. I would however state without any reservation that among his Urdu
contemporaries, he was the greatest. His departure from the scene is
really a great loss to Urdu,” said Mr Aali.
Poet Iftikhar Arif, who is chairman of the Pakistan Academy of Letters,
said Niazi was the greatest poet of the post-Faiz era.
“He was so committed that he never compromised on aesthetics. That’s
perhaps why he is equally popular with the intellectual elite and the
masses,” said Mr Arif.
According to him, Niazi was among those five Urdu poets who have been
widely translated in European languages.
“He has been translated in English, Russian, German, Norwegian and many
other European languages. He was also translated in Hindi,” said Mr Arif.
Poet Kishwar Naheed said what Niazi wrote in Urdu and Punjab would inspire
future writers for a long time.
“His poetry has given a modern approach to Urdu and Punjabi poetry. He
gave new expressions to old words and used beautiful words in his poetry
that had earlier not been touched. He drew sketches with words. He was
matchless,” said Ms Naheed. Funeral: Family members told Dawn that Niazi’s
funeral would be held at 2pm in a mosque near his residence at 43, Block
1, B1 Township on Wednesday. (The Dawn).
Munir Niazi is no more
LAHORE: Renowned Urdu and Punjabi poet Munir Niazi died of cardiac
arrest at Jinnah Hospital on Tuesday. He was 78.
Family sources said Munir complained of some breathing problem on
Tuesday noon and was taken to Jinnah Hospital where his condition
deteriorated rapidly and he died during treatment. His Namaz-e-Janaza
will be held at Alquds Mosque, Sector A1, Township Lahore at 2.00 pm
on Wednesday (today).
The only child of his parents, Niazi was born in Khanpur (Hoshiyarpur,
Indian Punjab) on April 9, 1927. After the creation of Pakistan, the
family migrated to Sahiwal and settled there. While living in India,
Munir also served in the Royal Indian Navy for some time.
Twice married, Niazi was issueless. He started as an editor of a
newspaper "Saat rang" (seven colours). Niazi has to his credit 14
collections of poetry both in Urdu and Punjabi. Shy, soft-spoken and a
person of few words and great self-belief, he was a poet of
Munir Niazi had a vision of hope and love for his country and its
people. Love, he said, is the most enduring quality and poetry
reflects the most sublime side of life. His poetry influenced an
entire generation of young writers and poets and they should be
grateful to him for having set such an exceptional and powerful style
His works include "Dushmanoon Key Darmiyan", "Mah-e-Munir",
"Aghaz-e-Zamastan Main Dobara" and "Aik Musalsal". Equally proficient
in Urdu and Punjabi, Munir Niazi’s poetry had great depth and he
advanced the tradition of realism with great sensibility and force of
imagination. Words were always slaves to his vision, creation and
criticism. In the sixties he also contributed songs to Pakistani
films. "Us baiwafa ka shehr hay" sung by the late Nasim Begum for the
film "Shaheed" still stirs up memories of a period gone by.
Unfortunately, Munir Niazi was never rewarded for his poetry, despite
public acknowledgement. Despite his greatness, he was never really
well paid. And often the money would come after the printer went round
with a staff to collect money from newspaper agents. If he succeeded
in collecting enough he would be paid, said Neelama Naheed Durani, a
poetess who met Munir a day before his death.
She said Munir Niazi wrote about society and love, and how these two
elements combine to change a person's life, personality and values.
Munir's expression is a mirror, which gives us insight into what sort
of a man he was and how he had suffered and was loved as well. Munir
Niazi lived a simple life, always avoided company and mostly used to
live alone, she maintained.
The uncertainty in wages from poetic works and writing made him tilt
towards film lyrics, but only to face the same fate. The film industry
had its own culture and cruelties. Munir once narrated that for his
famous song "Us bewafa ka shahr hai aur ham hain dosto", he was
promised Rs 2,000 but received only Rs 200.
He also held a grudge against publishers, who, according to him were
denigrating poets and writers by publishing cheap books. His poetic
publications in America were sold at a good price but here at home
publishers did not even send him copies of his published work.
He is acclaimed as a trendsetter with his unique diction, style and
thought-content and made an enduring contribution to literature of the
post-Independence period. Munir deeply influenced his contemporaries
and later generations of poets and is respected by the reading public.
His works have been translated into many other languages.
For his literary achievements Munir Niazi was awarded 'Kamal-e-Funn
Award for the year 2002 by Pakistan Academy of Letters and the
'President's Award for Pride of Performance" in 1992 and
'Sitara-i-Imtiaz' in 1998.
President Pervez Musharraf, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, PML leader Ch
Shujaat Hussain, Punjab chief Minister Ch Pervaiz Elahi and literary
figures and educationists have expressed profound grief over Niazi’s
In their messages to the family, they said Munir was one of the
greatest poets of our times and prayed that Allah Almighty may rest
the departed soul in eternal peace and grant courage to his family
members to bear the irreparable loss. (The News)
Munir Niazi passes away
LAHORE - Munir Niazi a towering personality in Urdu poetry and equally
revered as a giant in Punjabi poetry passed away in the City on Tuesday
evening. He was 78.
The foremost of Pakistani poets Niazi was not well for some months. He was
anemic and had become very weak and pale since many days. On Tuesday
evening his conditioned worsened and the family took him to Jinnah
Hospital. He was provided medical treatment but he passed away due to
cardiac arrest. The funeral would be held at the Sector A1 ground near Al
Qudus Mosque, Township on Wednesday (today) after Zohr prayers.
Niazi had four brothers and sisters.He has left behind his widow. After
the death of his first wife he married again but did not have a child. The
fact that he had no children had an impact on his poetry.
Columnist and writer Dr Ajmal Niazi, Additional IG Investigation
Salahuddin Ahmed Khan Niazi, President PML USA Agha Muhammad Afzal Khan
and well known cardiologist Dr Naeem Khan Tareen are nephews of the late
Niazi had a charismatic personality. The news of his death spread like
wild fire across the country and globe. Poets, writers, scholars who
revered him as a number of people from across the City were shocked to
hear the news and rushed to his residence Sector B1 of Township area.
Writers Hussain Majrooh, Ajmal Niazi, Khalid Sharif, Karamat Bukhari,
Sofia Bedar, Farhat Abbas Shah and Zulqarnain Shah were among those who
rushed to his residence on hearing the news.
Equally proficient in Urdu and Punjabi, Munir Niazi had become a legend in
his own lifetime and had millions of fans spread across the world.
He served as an inspiration for a whole generation of poets who revered
his style of poetry. His first collection of poems was published in 1949
and last in 2004. He was often invited to preside over Mushairas in UK and
His effective imagery conveys pictures in few words. He experimented with
poetic forms and created a new style, rhythm and diction in Urdu poetry.
Innocence, mythology, nostalgia, dreams, and romance were some of his most
common themes. His Urdu poems are very inspiring and are often quoted for
their freshness and unique style. The aura of his towering personality
could be felt in the functions where he came.
Munir Ahmad, known later as Munir Niazi, was born in Khanpur in 1928, a
village near Hushiyarpur, India. The natural beauty of the area, with
gardens,mountains, mosques and classical temples, provided a picturesque
setting for his poetry. He was initially educated at Khanpur and after
independence settled in Sahiwal.
He passed his Matriculation there. He earned the Intermediate degree from
S.E. College, Bahawalpur and a BA from Diyal Singh College, Lahore.
Niazi launched a weekly ‘Saat Rang’ from Sahiwal in 1949. He also wrote
for newspapers, magazines and radio. In 1960 he established a publication
He wrote over 30 books of his poetry. Many of these were translated into
major languages of the world. His popular Urdu publications included ‘Taiz
Hawa Aur Tanha Phool’, ‘Jungle Mein Dhanak’, ‘Dushmanoon Kai Darmiyan
Sham’ and ‘Mah-e-Munir’. In Punjabi ‘Safar di Raat’, ‘Char Chup Cheezan’,
‘Kul Kalam’ and ‘Rasta Dasan Walay Tarey’ became very popular. Niazi’s
anthology titled Gaotha ar Fan (pronounced Gohya ar Fawn) meaning ‘the
wandering winds’ was the first rendition of anything Urdu in Ireland,
albeit through English.
In the 60s he was associated with the film industry and wrote numerous
songs for films. ‘Us baiwafa ka shehr hay aur hum hai dosto’ sung by the
late Nasim Begum for the film ‘Shaheed’ still stir up memories of a period
gone by. He came to the world of cinema because of his friendship with the
late film director Riaz Shahid.
He was awarded the Pride of Performance and Sitara-i-Imtiaz awards by the
govt. Besides countless other awards he was also conferred the
‘Kamal-e-Fun’ award by the Pakistani Academy of Letters.
The independence movement was driven by a burning desire of Muslims for
cultural freedom. Niazi was a great spokesman of the freedom movement.
Niazi only read and heard poetry before partition. After independence and
migration from India, he started to write and publish. The first
collection of his poetry later translated in English with title ‘Strong
Wind and Lonely Flower’ was published in Lahore in 1949. Many of these
poems explored the meaning of independence and migration and what it meant
to millions of others. Nostalgia for a world abandoned and excitement of
one being born was subject unfolded throughout Niazi’s poetry.
In separate messages, Punjab Chief Minister Ch Pervaiz Elahi and Federal
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Muhammad Ali Durrani have
expressed profound sense of shock and grief on the sad demise of renowned
poet Munir Niazi.
In separate condolence messages they have paid tributes to the late poet
terming it as second big loss to Urdu literature after the death of Ahmed
Nadeem Qasmi. They prayed that Allah Almighty may rest the departed soul
in eternal peace and grant courage to the bereaved family to bear this
irreparable loss with fortitude. (The Nation).