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Pathany Khan

Pathany Khan

Pathany Khan is one of great folk singers of Pakistan. He sang Serieki folk. He was born in 1926 in a small village named Tambu Wali Basti in Thal desert. He usually sang the sufi poetry of Khwaja Ghulam Fareed and Shah Hussain. His actual name was Ghulam Muhammad. He was a kid when his father got married third time and his mother left his father and decided to shift permanently to Kot Addu and along with Pathany Khan she left his father. There at Kot Addu he seriously fell ill and his mother took him to Syed’s house where a lady told her mother that she should change his name as this name seems heavy for him. There a young girl commented that he looks like Pathana that in that region is used to symbolize love. So from that day he was called Pathany Khan.


His mother was very caring towards him and wanted him to be an educated person. However, he was least interested in studies and used to spent time wandering and singing. He could not continue his studies after seventh standard because of lake of interest in studies. He started singing the kafis of Khwaja Ghulam Farid who was a saint of Bahawalpur. Pthany Khan started his proper training and his initial training was in classical music but due his mystical temperament, he changed the line and sang folk. Folk is the type of poetry or music that is inspired by the seasonal rhythms of nature. In start, he was not able to earn much from his singing alone. His mother used to make bread for the villagers to earn money so Pathany Khan started to collect firewood to help his mother. After the death of his mother, he adopted singing as a profession to earn.


When Malik Ghulam Mustafa Khar was the governor of Punjab, Pathany khan was introduced to the media. On 21 November 1970 at the inauguration of Radio Multan, the Radio Station’s first Director Shamsuddin Butt brought him there. He there requested Pathany Khan to sing “Meda Ishq Ve Toon”. Eventually he starts receiving fixed monthly stipend of 20,430 rupees. He had to perform half an hour every month. In the late 60’s he was invited to Lahore by the Art council and then by the Punjab Language faculty of the Shah Hussain College.


In 1979, he received the Pride of Performance Award. After a long illness on 9 March, 2000 he passed away. A large number of people attended his funeral. He was buried in Kot Addu in his native graveyard.

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