By: Rashid Sami

It is but part of human nature to reject any decision that goes against one’s expectation. In this part of the world it is stronger as we generally regard prize as a tool towards acceptance and opportunities in life.

Congruent to its past reputation of award ceremonies, the first PTV World awards also met with allegations and counter allegations. First to make a newspaper headline was a press conference by folk singer Ataullah Essa Khelavi. The folk-light music singer from Mianwalli alleged that Khwaja Najm-ul-Hasan, General Manager of PTV World, prejudiced against him and has ignored him in foreign tours and other PTV Worlds ceremony.

He further stated that during a tour to Bahrain, Khawaja Najm-ul-Hasan shuffled his entry and thus caused a delay. However, quarters close to the PTV World GM refute the allegations and say that it was Khawaja Najm-ul-Hasan who had invited Essa Khelavi to the foreign tour, and the shuffle in entry was caused due to “immoral fitness” of the folk singer.

Another press conference to make the headlines was from Yousuf Baig Mirza, Managing Director of PTV. According to PTV records, private producers/investors owe over Rs 70 million to the corporation, and the list of such producers, according to the Managing Director, is being sent to the NAB.

The most disturbed amongst the private producers/investors are the ones who were very close to the previous government and Tariq Aziz. Though not that active in the present tele-scene, these investors still have significant presence in the trade.

Now coming t the main event on the mini-screen, the PTV World awards ceremony. The awards were a combination of “the good, the bad and not all ugly”. Once uses the term “not all ugly” because the first time the make-up and attire of the female hosts was “dish-like” and commendable. Initially, it was announced that the event would be telecast live form 9:40 p.m. However, it wasn’t till 10:40 p.m. that the programme started with a censored version. With the Qadhafi Stadium as the venue, it was for the first time that any awards ceremony was held on such a large scale. There were over 12,000invitees whereas the turnout, according to a PTV official, was above 25,000. there were security lapses that caused not only interruption in the proceedings of the programme, the telecast of the “censored” version was also disturbed as the audience climbed to the rooftop where boosters were fixed. However, the audience remained present till the final and “happy” conclusion of the programme.

The programme started with fire-works followed by Milli Naghmay followed by Nighat Rizvi and Moin Akhtar who began the event. Moin Akhtar made the opening statement: “We are at the Qadhafi Stadium where usually the matches are fixed, but this match (PTV World awards) is not fixed.”

While referring to the allegations against the credibility of the awards, he went on to say, “Yeh PTV award hai, design iss ka odd hai, Jo mil jaae to theek hai, Varna yeh fraud hai.

Weekend World and Teleworld are the major players in the affairs of PTV World. Tahir A Khan, while presenting the superstar award to Abida Parween, announced the prize money of Rs 30,000 to all the superstar nominees on behalf of Weekend World.
Ghazanfar Ali, on behalf of Teleworld, announced setting up of a fund in aid of the deserving artists and media personalities, including Pathanay Khan.

Fareeda Khanum, Haseena Moeen, Anwar Maqsood, Mehdi ents of the superstar awards.

The categories were also different from the previous PTV awards as they included live anchors, Mideast presenters, Magazine Show presenters, compare of live shows and best debutantes. The guests who gave away the awards included Zaheer Abbas, Shoib hashmi, Hasan Sardar, Tahmur Khan, Saleem Gillani, Talat Hussain and others.

Khawaja Aijaz Sarwar, who is also chairman of PTV, while giving away the best supporting actor “cultural event” that he has seen. Only Khawaja Aijaz Sarwar could tell us how much “culture” he saw in the event. May be he meant “entertainment event”? It was worth noticing that major nominations and the winners from the private productions went to Teleworld Family Front, Aik Muhabat Sau Afsanay, boota from Toobe Tek Singh and Yeh to Hai Lollywood were all Teleworld productions which won nine out of 11 nominations.

Family Front received the best sitcom award.

Samina Ahmed, Dr Younas Butt, Nasir Vicky and Saba Hameed received their awards for the best director/supporting actress, scripwriter, supporting actor and best actress awards respectively. Dr Tariq Aziz received the best writer award for Rait Ka Shahar and Ghazanfar Ali and Najm-uz-Zaman received best director award for Aik Mohabbat Sau Afsanay, Ghazanfar Ali was also nominated co director for Waris in the 80s, Humayun Saeed received the best actor’s award from Uzma Gilani.

Imran Khan received the sportsman of the millennium award amid thunderous applause. It was given to him by Attiya Inayatullah.