KARACHI: A session on “What is Pakhtoon Culture?” and the significance of Urdu literature in the modern era was held at Arts Council of Pakistan Karachi in the 12th International Urdu Conference.
Abaseen Yousefzai was the guest in the session and Fozia Khan was the host of the session. Yousafzai talked about the pros and cons of the Pashtoon culture. He said that in the tribal version of Pashtoon culture, there are some odds, however, the culture carries great poetic and literary history.
He went on to say that from Khushal Khan Kharak to modern poetry, the honor of the Pashtoon society has remained the main theme. Pashtoon live in mountain areas and the Pashto poetry reflects it.
The 8th session of the 12th International Urdu Conference was held on Faiz Ahmed Faiz – Personality and Poetry.” Noman ul Haque’s compilation book titled “Kuliyat e Faiz’‘ was also launched in the session.
The session was chaired by Zehra Niga and Iftikhar Arif, Syed Mazhar Jamil, Ashfaq Hussain, Nouman ul Haque were discussant and Arshad Mahmood were hosts. Iftikhar Arif stated that Faiz Ahmed Faiz was a versatile Urdu poet and his poetry has had a large impact on the nation. He went on to say that Faiz greatly wrote about the struggle of Pakistan and his poetry covers the different spheres of Pakistani society. Syed Mazhar Jamil said, “after partition, Pakistan has been crippled with hardships. Everyone has struggled for it.”
“Pakistan needs to reemerge amidst modern times. It seems we are still living in the 1970’s. Nothing has changed since then,” said Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir in a session with Asma Jahangir at Arts Council.
The session was titled “Is Urdu Literature and Journalism Declining?” Hamid Mir added that the resistance movement in Pakistan is rich with poets and writers. There was a time when literature and journalism worked side by side. Since political news has taken the front seat in the media, literature has been left in the dark. The relationship between literature and journalism has been estranged. Hamid Mir also talked about Molana Muhammad Ali Johar, Habib Jalib, Faiz Ahmed Faiz and many other people who worked in both fields. He said resistance needs sacrifices and all of these people have given many sacrifices. They have given up their career, their business, even their lives for the freedom of speech.
On the occasion, famous poet Kishwar Naheed shared her famous poem “Hum Gunagar Aurten” where thousands attended the session at the Arts Council lawn.
The 10th session of the 12th International Urdu Conference covered foreign Urdu work. The session was titled “New settlements of Urdu.” It was attended by Raza Ali Abadi from Germany. Hero Ji Kataoka from Japan, Ashfaq Hussain fron Canada, Syed Pervez Jahfari from USA, Wafa Yazdan Mansh from Iran, Wakeel Ansari from USA, Ishrat Moeen Seema from Germany, Suman Shah from France, Arif Naqvi from Germany, Tang Mang Shang from China, Nasar Malik from Dinmark, Basir Kazmi from London, Rehana Qamar from London, Rahit Zahid from Scotland, Sadaf Mirza from Dinmark, and Arshad Farooq from Finland. The session was hosted by Anjum Rizvi.
Raza Ali Abdi said, “We all are working patiently in different countries. We used to organise events and observed that literature in Urdu is being created in different languages and being translated into language as well. Hero Ji Kataoka said that he is working in Japan on Ghalib and translating many other Urdu fiction and poetry into the Japanese language. He said Urdu literature is rich and everyone wants to read the thoughts of people who speak Urdu. Tang Mang Shang arrived from China to share his work in Urdu.
Wafa Yazdan said that Urdu and Persian are sister languages and there is a historical background attached to both. She talked about translations and work on Urdu in Iran. The other discussants also shared their achievements in across different regions in the world in recent years.