A large group of people on Wednesday offered ghaibana Namaz-e-Janaza (funeral prayers in absentia) for legendary Indian actor Dilip Kumar at his ancestral house in Qissa Khawani Bazaar area of Peshawar in Pakistan.
They also offered fateha (prayers) for the 98-year-old cinema icon and prayed for his eternal peace.
Kumar was born on December 11, 1922 at his ancestral home in Qissa Khawani Bazaar area of Peshawar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. His original name was Yousuf Khan.
Pakistan’s top leadership, including President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan, condoled Kumar’s death, describing him as “an outstanding actor, a humble man, and a dignified personality".
Kumar, India’s enduring film legend through the decades, died at a Mumbai hospital on Wednesday after prolonged illness.
In 1998, the Pakistan government honoured Kumar with the ‘Nishan-e-Imtiaz’ - the country’s highest civilian award.
The government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) condoled the demise of the legendary actor, saying he will always be remembered for the love and affection he had for the people of his ancestral home town in the province.
The Pakistan government has already declared his native house as a national heritage and completed all formalities to convert it into a museum in his name.
Lateef-ur-Rehman, Spokesman of KP Archeology, Sports and Tourism Department, said the provincial government has taken over the possession of Kumar’s ancestral house and it would soon be converted into a museum.
Kumar visited Peshawar in the early 90’s. He was given an unprecedented reception and welcome by the people of Peshawar.
The Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, put up a banner offering “special condolences to his bereaved family".
Peshawar’s leading businessman and ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Senator Mohsin Aziz said Kumar was his uncle in relation and the entire Peshawar city is in a state of mourning due to his demise.
“I am deeply shocked after hearing that my uncle is no more in this world," said Aziz.
Aziz said Kumar left Peshawar in 1935 at the age of 13 for Mumbai and excelled himself in the field of acting.
“When Dilip uncle visited Peshawar in 1998, he exclusively requested for Peshawari Chappal and Kurta Pajama being his favourite shoe and dress that was provided by his family," Aziz said.
Sarfraz, who deals in artificial jewellery business in Mohallah Khudadad close to Kumar’s ancestral property, expressed deep sorrow and grief over the actor’s death.
“We lost a great man. The people of Peshawar will always remember him and his services," he said.
Majeed Lala, who also owned a shop, said he was shocked on hearing about Kumar"s death.
Often known as the Nehruvian hero, he did his first film ‘Jwar Bhata’ in 1944 and his last ‘Qila’ in 1998, 54 years later. The five-decade career included ‘Mughal-e-Azam’, ‘Devdas’, ‘Naya Daur’, and ‘Ram Aur Shyam’, and later, as he graduated to character roles, ‘Shakti’ and ‘Karma’.
The actor is survived by his wife Saira Banu.