Fahmida Riaz's daughter turns down presidential award for her late mother


Famed poet Fahmida Riaz's daughter has declined the presidential award announced by the government for her late mother, in protest against the kidnapping and torture of journalists and writers. Veerta Ali Ujan, took to Facebook and posted, “Awards section contacting me about ammi's award investiture ceremony… How can I accept an award for her work at this time? It would be an insult to her whole life's struggle for justice and equality.” She further added, “Writers and journalists are being kidnapped, tortured, and even murdered. Harassers are being awarded. Karachi left to rot in sewage. So, no thank you. I am refusing the presidential award for my mother's work. I'm sure she would have refused it if she was alive today.” Born in pre-Partition Meerut in 1946, Fahmida Riaz was among the leading Urdu poets of her time. A relentless social critic, she had been active in several human rights movements and was among those who campaigned against the military rule of General Ziaul Haq and the execution of former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The poet passed away on November 21, 2018.