Riaz Batalvi, a journalist, became a writer and a dramatist, giving PTV two of its best productions – Aik Haqeeqat, Aik Afsana and Dubai Chalo.
Born as Riazul Hasan in February 1937 in Gurdaspur, he served as editor of Daily Mashriq. When he came to Pakistan after partition, he joined Daily Kohistan, which was edited by novelist Nasim Hijaji. He joined Mashriq when the paper was launched in 1963.
At Mashriq, he started feature writing by becoming a people’s person. Mashriq would announce reward for Lahorites if any one of them could spot Batalvi among them. Next day his pictures would be published sometimes as a porter at the railway station or a cart hawker or even a beggar, telling readers he was among them. This would provide Batalvi rich material for his features. His drama - Dubai Chalo - was an instant hit which was also turned into a film.
Similarly Aik Haqeeqat, Aik Afsana was the leading drama series on PTV. In 1986 he was given the Pride of Performance award by the government for excellence in literature. He died on January 3, 2003.
Pakistan Observer, December 14, 2016