Pakistan Government led by PTI has announced to pay for the treatment of legendary Umar Sharif in another country. According to the reports, the actor is suffering from an undisclosed disease and said that the doctors suggested getting treatment abroad. Reports also state that the treatment for his sickness is only available in three countries; America, Saudi Arabia, and Germany.
The news of his sickness came out in 2017 after which his supporters called for prayers and wishes. However, at that time the disease was disclosed as a minor chest infection.
Umar Sharif Asks the Prime Minister to Return the Favor
Umar Sharif sent a video message to Prime Minister Imran Khan through a TV show on ARY News. The host of the show, Waseem Badami shared the clip on social media in which the actor requested Khan to help with his treatment. He recalled how he helped Khan with Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital (SKMH) and hoped that Khan would also help him get good treatment.
Badami explained that doctors insisted for Sharif to receive medical treatment abroad within 15 – 20 days. He assured that it was not because of the quality of medical treatment in Pakistan but only due to Pakistani doctor’s suggestion.
Waseem also said that it was hard to make travel arrangements on an individual level due to COVID-19 restrictions. He said that only the state could have helped him by making necessary arrangements.
Government Responds with Assurance
The TV show also called Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Political Communication Shahbaz Gill to respond to the request from Umar Sharif. Gill expressed sadness on Sharif’s condition and assured that government will do everything it can to help Sharif get the best medical treatment.
He said that they will get in touch with all three countries and engage with whichever agreed to facilitate them.
Umar Sharif is known as one of the greatest comedians in the Indian sub-continent. He started his career in the 1970s at the age of 14 as a stage performer and has been a huge star since then. The key part of his success was that he used to record his live shows and rented them out just like movies. In 2009, he started his own program, “The Shareef Show” where he interviewed many celebrities and politicians in a funny manner. The recipient of Tamgha-E-Imtiaz also appeared in the Indian comedy show “The Great Indian Laughter Challenge” with Shekar Suman and Navjot Singh Siddhu.
Sharif is also known for humanitarian work in Pakistan with his Umar Sharif Welfare Trust. It was formed in 2006 with the goal to create an advanced medical facility that provided free healthcare services.
Condition of Pakistani Artists of the Past
Pakistani citizens were particularly sad about the physical and economic condition of Umar Sharif. There have been several reports in the past about artists who were not considered for work anymore by modern TV facing a similar fate. They have been living in poverty without much support from the government.
In 2017, the death of Nusrat Ara, who played Bil Batori in the classic play Ainak Wala Jin, told a similar tale. Last year the famous dwarf actor Javid aka Kodu released a video in which he furiously criticized the government for extremely high electricity charges while he was suffering from a brain hemorrhage, paralysis, and poverty.
Undeniably, there is a dire need for establishing structural facilities that improve the lives of these neglected artists. Such people have given too much to the world and do not deserve to leave it like this. Many hope that government will take action for the welfare of all the remaining artists from the golden era.