New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed deep anguish at the death of legendary Pakistani singer Mehdi Hassan, who died Wednesday after a prolonged illness. She said with his death "we have lost a true cultural ambassador of India and Pakistan".
"I am deeply anguished to learn of the sad demise of India-born lengedary ghazal singer Mehdi Hassan after serious illness at Karachi today," she said in an official statement released on Wednesday.
"Endowed with a golden voice, Mehdi Hassan had to go through trials and tribulations very early in life. But it was his sheer passion for music that made him the 'The Emperor of Ghazals' in the sub continent," Banerjee said.
"Hassan leaves behind a rich legacy and a treasure trove of beautiful melodies. With his death we have lost a true cultural ambassador of India and Pakistan."
"The music lovers of West Bengal solemnly pay heartfelt condolence and pray to Allah to provide enough strength to the family members and close associates of the legendary singer to bear his irreparable loss," she added in the statement.
Hassan, known for ghazals like Ranjish hi sahi, Patta patta, boota boota, passed away at Karachi's Agha Khan Hospital after a prolonged illness. He was 84.
His funeral will take place Friday.