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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 February, 2004, 20:29 GMT
Pakistani folk music doyenne dies
Malika Pukhraj
Malika Pukhraj began her singing career in the days of the British Raj
Pakistani classical singer Malika Pukhraj has died in Lahore, aged 90.

She was known for her plaintive singing of Urdu poems, set to tunes influenced by Indian classical music and the folk melodies of the Himalayas.

Pukhraj was born in the mountain region of Jammu and Kashmir and found early fame as a court singer for the territory's one-time king, Hari Singh.

Following the partition of India in 1947, Pukhraj migrated to the newly-created state of Pakistan.

Radio days

Pukhraj was among the greatest singers of British India in the 1940s, says music expert Saeed Malik.

Much of her fame in Pakistan derived from her radio performances with Kale Khan as her composer.

She also sang Urdu lyrics composed by the author of Pakistan's national anthem, Hafez Jalandhari.

She is survived by two daughters, one of whom - Tahira Syed - has herself become a singer of renown

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