Highlighting epic tale of Sepoy Maqbool Hussain

LAHORE - An awards ceremony was held at the DHA Auditorium for the cast and crew of TV play 'Sepoy Maqbool Hussain'. The play brings to light the epic tale of Hussain, a war veteran, who endured rigours of captivity for 40 years in India. Commander Lahore Corps Lt Gen Ijaz Ahmed Bakhshi was the chief guest at the function organised by Inter Services Public Relations and Interflow. The show was conducted by TV star Noorul Hassan and Aliya Shah and attended by people from different walks of life including civil and military officers, media representatives, corporate executives and entrepreneurs. The award recipients included director Haider Imam Rizvi, producer and chairman of Interflow Tahir A Khan, executive producer Seema Tahir Khan, script writer Wasi Shah, lyricist Khalilullah Farooqi, organiser of the show Asad Mahmood, editor Qaiser Ali, associate director Asif Waheed, Hassan Niazi (for playing the lead role of Maqbool Hussain), Ghuan Mushtaq (for playing Maqbool Hussain 40 years after captivity), Sabah Faisal (for playing the role of doctor), Reja (for playing Hindu girl), Niaz Ahmed (composer of title song) and Raja Haider (for playing role of Col Khanna). Shafqat Amanat was given award for singing the title song ' During the awards ceremony pop star Jawad Ahmed, Shafqat Amanat Ali and Saira Naseem made remarkable performances moving the guests with national songs. In recent years the singing of national anthem in functions has given way to simply playing the music of anthem while people stand in respect. Jawad in his usual enthusiastic style had the audience singing national anthem with him. He presented his hit number 'Dosti' and a new song that will definitely infuse the high spirit of nationalism in youth. Saira Naseem presented Madam Noor Jehan's soul stirring song 'Aai putr hattan tai nahi wikday' while Shafqat sang the theme song 'Meray watan tujhe salam' and some other national songs. 37-year-old Noorul Hassan has matured over the years. He kept the audience engaged with his well-versed talk and poetic language. "Living nations never forget their heroes. Freedom is a great thing but we have to pay heavy price for that. Maqbool Hussain spent 40 years in Indian jails. He refused to bow down before the enemy and was given all kinds of torture. When they had cut his tongue and he could not speak he would write Pakistan Zindabad with his blood. "Our soldiers have always stopped enemy and their nefarious designs have always been thwarted. When the whole nation is united behind army it can never ever face defeat," Bakhshi said. He said Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has declared 2008 as the 'Year of Soldier'. "Pakistan Army apart from paying befitting tributes to its unsung heroes like Maqbool Hussain has allocated Rs 10 billion for further enhancement of living facilities of troops and their families including health, education and accommodation," Bakhshi explained. Tahir A Khan said Interflow and ISPR relations began three decades back when he made a song for the Pakistan army. "It was 'Pak fauj kay jawan hain hum'. I also coined the slogan 'Bay loss khidmat, bay khauf qiadat'. We made the 'Doosti' video and now 'Sipahi Maqbool Hussain'. "Haider Imam Rizvi as director has made many popular plays like 'Chand grahan'. I believe that 'Sepoy Maqbool Hussain is his best play," Khan was of the view.   Chairman Falcon Education System Syed Abidi, who provides scholarships worth Rs 30 million to deserving students, on the occasion announced to fund the library of the school to be set up in the village of Maqbool Hussain. He also promised to fund the education of five students up to graduate level and cash prize of Rs 100,000. Maqbool Hussain, a living legend was enrolled in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir Regiment in September 1960. He was part of a force that was assigned to operate behind enemy lines to disrupt its operations during 1965 war. Hussain was critically wounded by enemy fire and later captured. He bore the brunt of unimaginable torture and brutalities. He was finally released in 2005 in exchanges of civilian prisoners after languishing for 40 years in solitary confinement in Indian jails. His audacity in the face of atrocities let loose by his captors by upholding national pride and dignity has earned him a place of glory in Pakistan's history. The saga of his untold miseries has badly mired his mental health causing multiple psychiatric problems. 

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