Renowned film director Hassan Askari passes away at 78


LAHORE: The world of Pakistani cinema is mourning the loss of iconic film director Hassan Askari, who passed away on Monday at the age of 78. The acclaimed director had been battling cancer and breathed his last at Shaikh Zayed Hospital in Lahore.

Hassan Askari’s illustrious career in the film industry spanned several decades, during which he made significant contributions to both Punjabi and Urdu cinema. He began his journey in the film world as an assistant director to Kaifi and, alongside him, co-directed movies like “Chan Makhna” (1968) and “Sajan Piyara” (1968). Subsequently, he joined the film unit of Tariq Masood Qureshi, further solidifying his presence in the industry.

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Throughout his prolific career, Askari directed approximately 60 Punjabi and Urdu films and also produced 10 of them. He made his directorial debut with “Khoon Paseena,” featuring Sudhir as the protagonist, alongside Firdous, Mazhar Shah, and Agha Talish. Notably, Hassan Askari is credited with introducing the legendary Sultan Rahi as Maula Jatt with his iconic “Gandasa” (a long-handled chopper-like weapon) in the groundbreaking film “Wehshi Jatt” in 1975, years before the famous “Maula Jatt” movie.

Among Askari’s other memorable cinematic creations were “Toofan,” “Salakhain,” “Doorian,” “Sher Dil,” “Putar Jagay Da,” “Dil Kisi Ka Dost Nahi,” “Qanoon,” “Kinara,” “Mela,” “Talash,” “Mafroor,” “Sherdil,” “Tera Pyar Mein,” and many more.

Hassan Askari is survived by his widow, a daughter, and a son. Funeral prayers in his memory will be held at his residence located at 3-B Alamgir Street, Poonch Road, Islamia Park, near Dera Haji Mehboob.

Punjab Minister for Information and Culture, Amir Mir, expressed deep sorrow at the passing of Hassan Askari. In his condolence message, Minister Mir highlighted Askari’s invaluable contributions to the film industry, noting that he was a recipient of the prestigious Pride of Performance award and directed numerous outstanding movies. The minister acknowledged that Hassan Askari’s legacy would be impossible to replicate.

Secretary of Information and Culture, Danyal Gillani, also extended his condolences, saying, “Saddened to hear about the passing of the legendary film producer, writer, and director Muhammad Hassan Askari. His contributions to Urdu and Punjabi cinema, including works like ‘Salakhain’ and ‘Wehshi Jutt,’ will be remembered.”

Hassan Askari’s demise marks the end of an era in Pakistani cinema, leaving behind a lasting impact and a rich cinematic legacy that will continue to influence and inspire generations of filmmakers.

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