PESHAWAR: Veteran Pashto poet and research scholar Salim Raz was admitted to Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC) a month ago and tested positive for covid-19, and after remaining for more than a week in coma ago he lost his battle for life here on Monday at the said hospital, doctors and family sources confirmed. He left behind four sons and grandchildren to mourn his death.
Large number of literati from across the country and Pashtun diaspora elsewhere in the world have condoled the sad demise of the multifaceted writer Salim Raz. His funeral was held in home town district Charsadda and was laid to rest in his village graveyard Sukkarr the same day. Noted poets, writers, right activists, and local elders attended his funeral prayer.
Literary bodies of Pashto, Urdu and Hindko have termed the unfortunate demise of Mr. Raz an irreparable loss to Pashto language, literature and the poor masses at large.
Veteran Pashto and Urdu poet, research scholar and columnist, Mohammad Salim aka Salim Raz had started his writing career in early 60s and after completing his intermediate education from the historic Islamia College Peshawar devoted himself to the cause of serving masses through his writing. Owing to his extensive study he began to associate himself with trade unionist and progressive writers’ organizations and also became one of the pioneers of Da Sahu Leekunkio Adabi Maraka, a popular literary organization launched by Qalandar Momand in 1962 in Peshawar.
Being a restless where he went he would gather poets and writers and would motivate budding literati to read and 82write for the masses. His literary and social contributions spread over 50 years. He was the recipient of more than 50 awards including President’s award Pride of Performance for his immense contributions. He was a prolific writer and used to contribute Pashto and Urdu newspapers and journals.
Salim Raz launched Pakhto Adabi in Karachi way back in 1968 and also pioneered Awami Adabi Anjumn and was appointed its general secretary and after coming back to Peshawar in 1978, he founded another organization Pakistan Adabi Markaz an inclusive literary body for promoting Pashto, Hindko and Urdu and served it in different capacities.
In 1986, Raz was made the chairman of the World Pashto conference and a year later he conducted three –day successful world Pashto conference in Peshawar and was able to arrange the second world Pashto conference in 2000 while in 2015, he arranged world Pashto convention in Karachi and on the occasion he was appointed as the central president of Pakistan progressive writer’s association and then he remained as the general secretary of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa progressive writers association for 22 years.
Salim Raz was appointed president of progressive writer’s avocation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chapter in 2007 besides serving as the most active member of the board of governors Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) Islamabad.
His important publications included Zakhmoonu Sparlai, (poetry) Tanqeedi Karkhe (Research papers), La Bare Tar Baragali (Reportage), Za Lamha Lamha Qatlaigum (poetry) and Pashto poetry 50 years (A research Study).