An evening with Shaam
KARACHI: Senior journalist Mahmood Shaam’s latest book, Indifference in the times of Extremism, was launched at an engaging ceremony here on Friday evening. The event was attended by literati of the city as well as friends of the author.
Among the prominent speakers who spoke on the occasion, Dr Syed Jaffar Ahmed, former director of Karachi University’s Pakistan Studies Centre, congratulated Mr Shaam on his latest effort. During his address, he observed the need for countering the extremist narrative that has created new challenges for the country. Dr Jaffar felt the country has been going through existential crises and has not been able to move past its inception to display the thinking required by an independent country. He echoed some of the views presented in the book that indicate the absence of a political will to find solutions.
Former Sindh governor Kamal Azfar spoke of the need for a social revolution that is absent at the moment and how the present Pakistani society has stopped participating in affairs of the state.
Salahuddin Haider reiterated that the book is a combination of thoughts, perceptions, beliefs and keenness to convey to the masses a sense of urgency. He agreed with Mr Shaam’s discourse on how people at key posts come up with excuses to evade resolutions and how accountability has been a mere rhetoric for our teeming millions.
In his speech, Mahmood Shaam, who is also a prolific writer and an avid poet, said his articles as a journalist had been reaching Urdu readers and for a host of reasons, he felt the need to connect with Anglophile audiences. This presented him the opportunity to choose essays and articles written from 1980-2016 which reflect the evolution of our society, our thought, explain how extremism entered Pakistan and why we lack purposefulness, discipline and are unable to provide proper closure. The role of the masses, the individual, the media and political parties in developing the state and our current mindset have also been discussed.