Eminent Pashto writer and poetess Zaitoon Bano. - A file photo

Rifaqatullah Razarwal

PESHAWAR: The Namaz-e-Janaza (funeral) of eminent Pashto writer and poetess Zaitoon Bano was offered on Wednesday in Ashiqabad area of Peshawar which was attended by poets, writers, journalists and other people in large number.

Zaitoon Bano died at the age of 83 after protracted illness. She was associated with the field of Pashto literature for the last 50 years. She wrote more than a dozen books and particularly got fame in fiction writing.

Talking to TNN after the funeral, eminent Pashto poet and Professor at Pashto Academy Peshawar Abaseen Yousafzai said Zaitoon Bano initiated her struggle for awakening the Pakhtuns, particularly the women, during very difficult times. He said it is because of the efforts of Zaitoon Bano that the field of literature is relatively safer for women today. He said Zaitoon Bano was a wonderful fiction writer in Pashto and Urdu, a capable teacher and a skilful journalist. He said Zaitoon Bano is a role model for emerging Pashto female writers.

Senior journalist and writer Amjid Ali Khadim told TNN that Zaitoon Bano was known as ‘Mor Bibi’ in literary circles and she met every person like a mother. He said women like Zaitoon Bano are born in centuries. He said the services of Mor Bibi in the field of literature would be remembered forever.

Amjid Ali said Zaitoon Bano initiated her work at a time when art and literature was considered a crime for a woman. She had to make writings initially with different pen names to conceal her identity due to social constraints, but she never ever backed off from her principles and ideology.

The ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan said Zaitoon Bano was a shining star in the field of Pashto and Urdu literature.

Senior politician Afrasiab Khattak said the death of Zaitoon Bano has brought grief for every Pashto-speaking person. He said Zaitoon Bano served the literature field with full dedication and her writings depict the face of our society.

She was born to Pir Syed Sultan Mahmood Shah in Sufaid Dheri village of Peshawar in 1938. She was married to Taj Saeed and was granddaughter of Pir Syed Abdul Qudus Tundar, a Pashto poet. She started her career in 1958 when she was studying in ninth grade with her first short story titled ‘Hindara’ (Mirror). Between 1958 and 2008, she wrote books and short stories in Urdu and Pashto languages. Her publications include Maat Bangree, Khoboona (1958), Juandi Ghamoona (1958), Berge Arzoo (1980) and Waqt Kee Dehleez Par (1980).

In recognition of her services for Pashto and Urdu language and literature, she was decorated with as many as 15 national literary awards including the coveted Presidential Pride of Performance Award. She also worked in the state-run TV and Radio.




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