Four-day moot ends with messages of peace and love
KARACHI: The ninth Aalmi Urdu Conference, organised by the Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi, concluded on Sunday evening with messages of love and the passing of a resolution against the arms’ race in South Asian countries.
Much to the surprise of the attendees, the final session at the conference started before the scheduled time, unlike previous sessions which were at least an hour late. The Arts Council auditorium did not have enough space to accommodate all the people who wanted to attend the session, as many were already seated on the floor.
Event organiser Ahmed Shah hosted the concluding session and asked the literary figures seated on the stage to express their feelings about this year’s conference. Critic Mubeen Mirza, who has been partaking in the conference since its inception in 2007, said that holding the conference was a success of not only Urdu but also of languages linked to it.
Prof Sahar Ansari said that the biggest outcome of the conference was the resolution against looming threats of war and engagements of countries in procuring weapons. He also expressed delight over the organisers’ plan to transcribe the proceedings of the conference and its predecessors to extend its benefits to more people.
Educationist Dr Qasim Bughio, who is also the chairperson of the Pakistan Academy of Letters, said that the event propagated the message to the world that people here love literature, respect languages and do not match the negative image being portrayed abroad.
“We want to live together and promote brotherhood. These kinds of messages should also be disseminated from Islamabad, Larkana, Hyderabad and other cities,” he said, adding that this is the only way people can stand up against terrorism.
Pirzada Qasim, who is the vice-chancellor of Ziauddin University, said that he liked that the number of young attendees at the conference was more than at previous conferences. “At least 50% of people here are youngsters and they came because they wanted to learn something new,” he said. “Similar events should also be organised at different universities across the country to promote language and literature. A committee should be formed to take this plan forward.”
The chairperson of the Pakistan Television Corporation, Ataul Haq Qasmi, also mentioned the presence of youth at the conference and said that it was a gesture that there was a generation in line to take literature forward.
Prof Abul Kalam Qasmi of Aligarh Muslim University in India spoke via audio call as he could not get a visa due to the rising tension between the two countries. “No university-level conference in India and Pakistan could match the content and language of this event,” he said, regretting that he could not make it to Karachi. Literary figure Zehra Nigah, in her concluding remarks, talked about the bettering relations between India and Pakistan and said that artists only promoted love. “The two governments should consider this. If people from here could go there and vice versa, it would be good,” she said.