Two new Pashto poetry collections were launched under the auspices of the Academy Of Letters, Peshawar chapter, here at the Iranian culture centre on Friday. Among the collections were ‘Da Staree Juand Saande Auo Sandery’ of Feroz Afridi, patron-in-chief of Qatar Pakhto Adabi Jirga, and ‘Maana Tanga Khaamoshee’ of Guhar Shanas, a US-based Pashto poet.
Poets and writers attended the event in large numbers. Minister for local bodies Inayatullah Khan, who was the chief guest at the event, said creating poetry was a great social service and therefore, poets should be given due respect for their creativity. He said poets had a close eye on the conditions around the people and always advocated peace and humanism in their writings.
Poet Saadullah Jan Barq said poetry of those who had long been away was not just a mental luxury, it was meaningful rather. He said the contributions of Feroz Afridi and Guhar Shanas to Pashto and Pakhtun development were immense and therefore, they should be duly recognised. The poet said both Feroz Afridi and Guhar Shanas had composed poetry to convey a strong message to their people played by militancy and extremism.
“I strongly believe that both the poets are enough sensitive and want their people to get sensitized too on and about situation around them. Feroz Afridi and Gauhar Shanas should be taken seriously and be understood in their proper context,” Mr Barq added. He said that meaningful poetry attracted the general public and readers get mesmerized with the lofty and sublime thoughts of the poets.
Saidwali Khial Momand, resident director of Academy of Letters, Peshawar chapter, said poets and writers had taken upon themselves the responsibility to inform and reform the general public on burning issues as well as enlighten them on their importance for the society. He said poets and writers served nation through their unflinching efforts and creative thought process.
Mr. Momand said such poets and writers needed encouragement and that the academy always gave literati the due status. Poet Asmat Surani said contents of both collections were worthy of close attention and young people he said should read it. He said that the poetry volumes contained a pain as the poets had been away from their land and people over a period of long time.
The guest poets said they would continue contributing to their language, land and people. They said their poetry had a well-defined purpose and that was to educate their people on social and political issues along with romantic thoughts. The poets said local literati should be encouraged when it came to public appreciation.
Published in Dawn November 19th, 2016