Veteran actor Bushra Ansari took to social media recently to pay tribute to the late Umer Sharif. She shared an emotional message with her followers, fondly remembering the late comedian from their time together in the entertainment industry.
Sharif passed away in Nuremberg, Germany, on Saturday. He had landed for a brief stopover before being taken to the US for medical treatment via an air ambulance arranged by the government in response to Sharif's request to facilitate his treatment abroad.
In a video message posted on Instagram, Ansari said Sharif was "an artist like no other". "Umer Sharif had been sick for quite some time but he never wanted to be perceived as unwell by the people around him," she revealed. "When an active person who is used to working a lot succumbs to an illness, they don't want to be considered as sick. He never let the public find out, even though people did start getting an idea that he's sick.
"To Allah we belong and to Him we will return. We all will die someday, but knowing this doesn't making the pain of losing someone any less," the actor expressed.
"I remember so many things," she continued. "When I'd come to Karachi for the first time from Islamabad, Sharif was acting in theatre at the time. I wasn't aware about how well received his performances were in theatre at the time, however, when he started appearing in stage dramas and I met him for the first time, I saw this super active fellow who was very spontaneous," she recalled.
"People never had a comeback to whatever he said. He was a self-made man. The man who wasn't allowed to cross the gates of PTV went to on to make such a name for himself. He made such an example of himself."
Ansari appreciated the government for responding to Sharif's request to facilitate his treatment overseas. "This was the first time in Pakistan's history that an artist was allocated a fund and was flown off to the US for treatment via an air ambulance," she said. "The government bore the expenses for this. This is a really good thing. Artists are an important part of society. Umer Sharif entertained everyone and if he received acknowledgement for his services through such care, it must have helped prolong his life a little while longer.
"I talked to him for the last time when my sister Sumbul passed away and I had told him I'll come visit you. I felt I should go to him, I sensed he couldn't move much because of his illness. However, he insisted that he'll come visit me instead. He never wanted anyone to think he was weak. May Allah grant him peace in the afterlife," she said.
The actor urged her followers to pray for Sharif. She'd previously requested for prayers as well when Sharif's health had declined earlier in September.
Numerous artists from Pakistan's entertainment industry paid tribute to Sharif after he passed away. There has been an outpour of grief as many fondly remembered him for his trailblazing comic performances that helped shaped comedy as what it is in the entertainment industry today.