Veteran poet, human right activist Fahmida Riaz passes away

LAHORE: Pakistani poet, human-rights activist and feminist, Fahmida Riaz, has passed away at the age of 72.

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Pakistan’s newspapers and websites on Wednesday reported Riaz’s passing away following a prolonged illness in the city of Lahore.

Riaz, a formidable figure of Pakistani literature, authored over a dozen books on poetry and fiction, and ran a publishing company.

She translated the writings of Albanian writer Ismail Kadare and the Sufi poetry of Rumi into Urdu. Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper called her a “pioneer in feminist literature”.

She was also forced to live in exile for over six years in India when former military dictator General Zia-ul-Haq ruled over Pakistan.

Riaz faced various challenges due to her political writings. “More than 10 cases were filed against her during Ziaul Haq’s dictatorship,”

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