The government of Pakistan recently announced civil awards for many notable figures in Pakistani cultural sphere and Karachi Arts Council president Ahmed Shah is one of them.

Speaking on the sidelines of Anwar Maqsood's latest play Naach Na Jaaney, Shah didn't shy away from saying that he believes the Sitara-i-Imtiaz has come rather late.

"I devoted my entire life to the promotion of art and culture, peace and harmony. I never courted any awards or medals, never tried to sign myself up for an award, never filled out any forms. But I have to say it's taken them a long time to recognise my contribution. I feel people who work for society's betterment should be honoured [with civil awards]. I've been acknowledged quite late for my efforts, but at least it's happened now," he said to Images.

He continued, "I'm very happy to have received this award. It should inspire others... hundreds of people have liked and shared the news from Gilgit-Baltistan to Quetta and Gwadar. It shows that if you work genuinely, people appreciate it."

Ahmed Shah was recently in the news for his resounding response to Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi's last-minute refusal to attend a literary conference in Karachi after the Pulwama attacks.

“I feel sorry for Shabana Azmi that she has lost hope,” he had said, adding, "I refuse to take this [thoughts shared by Javed Akhtar over Indian media] on my country or any country. You cannot attack the land of over 200 million people who love peace. You cannot link any individual’s act with the ideology of majority of peace-loving people."

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