Tufail Niazi

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Tufail Niazi
Jallandhar, Punjab, British India
Died(1990-09-21)21 September 1990
Islamabad, Pakistan
Occupation(s)Folk singer

Tufail Niazi (Urdu: طفیل نیازی‎) (1916 – 21 September 1990) was a Pakistani folk singer whose songs include "Saada Chirryan Da Chamba Ae," "Akhiyaan Lagiyaan Jawaab Na Daindian," "Layee Beqadran Naal Yaari, Tay Tut Gai Tarak Karkey" and "Mein Nai Jana Kheriyan De Naal." He used to perform regularly on Pakistan Television (PTV) and Radio Pakistan.[1]

Radio and TV career[edit]

Tufail soon became well known in the cultural circles of Multan, and his success persisted. He started singing for Radio Pakistan and on 26 November 1964, the day Pakistan Television was inaugurated at Lahore, he was honoured to be the first folk singer to perform on-air that day. Tufail selected his famous song, "Laai beqadaran naal yaari te tut gai tarak kar ke," for this landmark performance.

Tufail Niazi was not Niazi by caste. Aslam Azhar, then PTV's senior producer and managing director, gave him the name Tufail Niazi because Tufail had told him that his peer was Pir Niaz Ali Shah. So do not confused with his last name, he was not belongs to famous Pushtun Niazi tribe. Before this, Tufail had been known simply as Tufail, Master Tufail, Mian Tufail or Tufail Multani. Later, under Uxi Mufti, he worked tirelessly to help set up and sustain the National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) in Islamabad, Pakistan. He travelled all over Pakistan to gather folk treasures. In recognition of his work, Tufail Niazi received the Presidential Pride of Performance Award in 1982.[2]

Death and legacy[edit]

A stroke left Tufail debilitated and unable to perform. He died on 21 September 1990 and was buried near Islamabad. But, unlike many of his counterparts, Tufail Niazi led a comfortable life till he died.

His two sons Javed and Babar Niazi have taken on their father's legacy and perform regularly on Pakistan Television, in the same manner their father did.[3] Renowned folk singer Tufail Niazi was paid rich tributes at a musical evening that was organised in his honour at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) on 30 May 2011.[4]

Musical style[edit]

Tufail Niazi was a folk musician deeply influenced by classical forms. His mastery of classical vocals, combined with a soulful melodic voice mesmerised audiences. The profound Punjabi Sufi elements in his storytelling, which was characteristic of his repertoire, together with his energetic singing while clothed in a Punjabi 'Lacha' and a silk 'Kurta', created the impression of a performer for whom art was inseparable from life. His singing was often intensely moving, as when he sang about the lives of Punjabi epic lovers, most notably Heer Ranjha, richly evoking their anguish against the setting of a Punjabi rural social environment.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QG-1xLyBhNw, Tufail Niazi being interviewed by the writer Mumtaz Mufti on YouTube, Retrieved 15 January 2016
  2. ^ http://folkpunjab.org/tufail-niazi/, Tufail Niazi on Folk Punjab website, Retrieved 6 February 2016
  3. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5f03n8Fw8U, Tufail Niazi's sons Babar and Javed Niazi performance on YouTube, Retrieved 6 February 2016
  4. ^ http://www.dawn.com/news/633528/tributes-paid-to-tufail-niazi, Tributes paid to Tufail Niazi, Dawn newspaper, published 1 June 2011, Retrieved 6 February 2016
  5. ^ http://apnaorg.com/music/tufail/, Tufail Niazi folk songs on Academy of the Punjab in North America [APNA] website, Retrieved 6 February 2016