Khanum died on Saturday after a heart attack. She was 78 years old.
She was a fertile singer in the 50s and 60s and sang 200 songs for the Urdu and Punjabi movies of Pakistan.
The family of Khanum migrated from Amritsar to Pakistan, and settled in Lahore, in 1947. Despite not belonging to any traditional singing family, Khanum was known as one of the best singers in Pakistan, who get the art by her own.
She made it the epoch when Noor jehan, who was given the titles as ‘queen of melody, was reining the Pakistani film industry. Khanum introduced a new era in Pakistani playback singing in 1953, when she signed up for the film ‘Shaheri Babu,’ (Gentleman from the city) for the first time as singer.
She sang most of her songs for Musarrat Nazir and Sabiha Khanum, the top two heroines then in Pakistani classical film.
Though many of her songs were a hit, two songs left an indelible mark on the hearts of music lovers. ‘Ayey Mausam Rangeelay Suhany,” (comes the magical season of love) and Ghongat Utha lon ya Ghongat Chupa lon,’ (May I drop my Dupatta on my face or lift it over) were the two songs she sang for the movie ‘Saath Lakh.’
The funeral was attended by many celebrities of the Pakistani film industry to pay tribute to the singer.
Ejaz Durrani, the well-known Pakistani hero who played the lead role in the film ‘Heer Ranjha’, said: “Khanum gained a unique place in the Pakistani film industry which could hardly be replaced.”
Director and producer Syed Noor said “she was an institution in the world of singing.”
Khanum was buried at Miani Sahib graveyard by hundreds of grievers.
In a commiseration message to the died singer’s family, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed regret at Khanum’s death and called her a national asset.
President Mamnoon Hussain in his condolence message recalled her services to the performing arts in the country and said that they were memorable.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement(MQM) chief Altaf Hussain also sent a condolence message to Khanum’s family. He said that Pakistan has lost a talented performer.