Widow of popular music composer leading miserable life -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Widow of popular music composer leading miserable life

Nisar Mahmood

PESHAWAR: The plight of artistes and their families is not a new phenomenon in our society where a number of noted singers, musicians, painters, calligraphers and writers pass away in extreme poverty or continue to live a miserable life due to financial constraints or ailing health.

But some deserve special attention due to their unique situation or on account of the services they or their family members have rendered for the nation, culture or language and literature.Noted music composer and Sufi singer Muhammad Rafiq Shinwari was one of the artistes who served Pashto music for decades and died on January 19, 1991 at the age of 70.

Rafiq Shinwari was a popular music composer and singer who contributed memorable compositions to top Pashto movies including Orbal, Khana Badosh, Darra Khyber, Ilaqa Ghair, Topak Zama Qanoon, Ajab Khan Afridi, Iqrar, Deedan, Ehsaan, Da Pakhtun Tura, Jurrum auo Saza , Dehqaan, Kochwaan and Naway Da Yawey Shpay. In recognition of his services, he received President’s Pride of Performance award from President Gen Ziaul Haq. But his aged and ailing widow is now compelled to auction the awards and shields that her husband had received for his meritorious services.

Living in a rented house at Shah Qabool Colony with her daughter, the widow has been suffering from multiple health complications for the last several years and has spent every penny including households on her treatment.

“I am compelled to sell these awards and shields as I have no money for my treatment. Nobody from the Culture Directorate, Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC), Pakistan Television, Peshawar or Pashto film industry has enquired about my health. At this old age, I have no option but to sell out Rafiq Shinwari’s awards to cure my severe mouth sore as I am living in a rented house and have no male heir,” she said. She added that soon after her husband’s death, her two sons and grandson also died in tragic circumstances.

She has not received stipend of her husband for the last three years from the Culture Department. The widow complained that artistes and singers were not given due regard in the society and and their families were living in destitution. “Should we turn to Afghanistan or some foreign donors for help or own authorities would listen to our cries,” she asked.

She appealed to President Asif Ali Zardari, Governor Masood Kausar and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa culture director to extend financial assistance to her for her treatment. Rafiq Shinwari’s ancestors had migrated from Afghanistan before independence of Pakistan and settled in Peshawar. After his father Abdul Samad’s death, Shinwari’s mother handed him over to famous spiritual figure of the city Abdus Sattar Shah Bacha from whom he learnt the Holy Quran.

The News