Tariq Aziz
Tariq Aziz Image Credit: Twitter

Dubai: Iconic Pakistani television host, actor and politician Tariq Aziz passed away in Lahore after protracted illness on Wednesday. He was 84.

Aziz who started his career with Radio Pakistan in the 1960s, became popular with the country’s first quiz and game show ‘Neelam Ghar’ (auction house). The popular show was later named after him as ‘Tariq Aziz Show’. It holds record of the longest running show on Pakistan telvision.

He was diabetic and according to his wife, he was taken to the hospital in the morning as his health deteriorted. He died of heart attack later in the hospital.

Aziz was born in Jalandhar (India) on April 28, 1936 and his family migrated to Pakistan after Indian subcontinent partition in 1947.

He was also one of the first television announcers and news casters. His television show ‘Neelam Ghar’ started in 1974 on Pakistan Television and continued for four decades. His hosting skills on the show ‘Neelam Ghar’ made him a household name in Pakistan. He was also a poet and actor, and performed in several radio and television programmes as well as in films.

 Aziz was part of the inaugural team of presenters of PTV on the first day of its transmission on November 26, 1964. He also acted in 42 films including 33 in Urdu and rest were in Punjabi from 1968 to 1988.

Aziz was awarded with the prestigious Pride of Performance Award by President of Pakistan in 1992 in recognition of his services. Aziz joined politics and was also served the National Assembly from 1997-99.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed condolence to the family of Aziz. “Saddened to learn of the passing of Tariq Aziz, an icon in his time and a pioneer of our TV game shows. My condolences and prayers go to his family,” Imran tweeted.

Opposition leader and Pakistan Muslim League — Nawaz President Shehbaz Sharif also extended his condolences to Aziz’s family and said that the TV personality was a patriotic person.

Social media has burst in to praise for the deceased Tariq Aziz.

Legendary Pakistani cricketer Javed Miandad took to twitter to praise Aziz. “A great human being Tariq Aziz left us today, prayers for his forgiveness,” he tweeted.

Soon after the news of his death broke out, may Pakistani celebrities and fans took to social media and shared their condolences along with paying homage to the man who is considered the face of PTV's golden days. Celebrities such as Mawra Hocane, Vasay Chaudhry, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Fahad Mustafa among others paid their respect and condolences to the late legendary TV personality.