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Saadat Hasan Manto posthumously gets highest Pak honour

Islamabad: Acclaimed writer Saadat Hasan Manto was on Tuesday honoured with the Nisan-i-Imtiaz, Pakistan''s highest civilian award, 57 years after he died in virtual penury following several trials on charges of obscenity.

Manto is best known for his short stories, especially those that explored the impact of the partition of the subcontinent into India and Pakistan in 1947.

He ended a career as a scriptwriter in Mumbai to move to Pakistan with his family in early 1948.

His frank style angered conservatives in Pakistan and he faced trial three times on charges of obscenity.

Though his work was popular, several newspapers and periodicals refused to publish his writing.

Manto died at the age of 42 in 1955, largely due to the effects of alcoholism.

Saadat Hasan Manto.

Along with Manto, renowned singer Mehdi Hassan too was posthumously honoured with the Nishan-i-Imtiaz.

Hassan, popularly known as the 'Shahenshah-e-Ghazal', died in June at the age of 84 following a prolonged illness.

The presidency announced the awards on the eve of Pakistan''s Independence Day.

They will be given away at an investiture ceremony to be held on Pakistan Day on March 23 next year.

Others who were honoured with the Nishan-i-Imtiaz include rights activist Abdul Sattar Edhi, who runs Pakistan''s largest charity organisation, Lt Gen (retired) Khalid Kidwai, the head of the Strategic Plans Division that manages the country''s nuclear arsenal, and late Munir Ahmed Khan, a former head of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission.

A total of 192 people were honoured with civilian awards for their contributions in fields like arts and literature, public service, nuclear science, healthcare, education and sports.

PTI