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Pak PM assures help to ailing Mehdi Hassan

Ailing Ghazal maestro Mehdi Hassan will be provided lifetime assistance of Rs 50,000 a month by the Pakistan government.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, Islamabad
UPDATED ON JUL 17, 2008 10:16 AM IST

Ailing Ghazal maestro Mehdi Hassan will be provided lifetime assistance of Rs 50,000 a month by the Pakistan government.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani announced the honorarium for Hassan, 81, when he visited the legendary singer, who was briefly hospitalised earlier this week, at his home in Lahore on Wednesday.

Gilani said that Hassan is "a great asset of the country and his services will be remembered forever".

He enquired about the welfare of Hassan, who was discharged from hospital on Sunday after being treated for a chest infection, and prayed for his health. Gilani directed authorities at a local hospital to provide VVIP treatment to Hassan at the government's expense.

The premier also promised to provide jobs to Hassan's two grandchildren and to talk to the Punjab Chief Minister regarding the promotion of Hassan's son Sajad Mehdi, an employee of the police department.

Gilani said the singer had earned a great name for Pakistan and the people and the country are proud of him.

Hassan was born into a family of traditional musicians at Luna village in India's Rajasthan state in 1927. His family migrated to Pakistan at the time of partition. Hassan cut back on his performances in the late 1980s due to illness.

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