ISLAMABAD, July 23: Renowned columnist, playwright, poet and intellectual Attaul Haq Qasmi on Tuesday said only truth and knowledge could save society from complete collapse.

“I suggest to the columnists writing in different newspapers, to speak truth because it is the key to our progress and welfare of the society,” he said while speaking at an evening arranged for him.

“An Evening with Attaul Haq Qasmi: Role of Literature and Higher Education in Growth and Development of Pakistani Society” was held at Higher Education Commission (HEC).

He said universities and colleges were places of higher learning and they needed support because higher education could bring positive revolution in the society.

Mr Qasmi recalled his 25 years at MAO College Lahore in a humourous and a witty style.

Discussing current issues he said: “We should promote culture of dialogue because it promotes patience and controls extremism. Every one should have the courage to hear criticism.”

He said the literature was the best tool to increase patience in a person. “If we equip every person with literature he will become a shield against terrorism,” he said.

The chairman of Inter-University Consortium and Vice Chancellor of University of Gujrat Prof Dr Mohammad Nizamuddin said in his opening remarks that no society could progress without promoting literature and culture.

“Pure sciences can help us in increasing our GDP but the true torchbearers of our society are always our poets, intellectuals, scholars and writers,” he said.

Vice-Chancellor of Government College University Faisalabad Dr Zakir Hussain said, “Qasmi is a humble person. He is a whole institution in his personality. He has criticised many norms of our society through his humour and wit.”

Poet Dr Inamul Haq Javed said, “Qasimi is the most senior columnist of Pakistan. He has always written the truth.”

The speakers also suggested establishing sufi chairs in different universities.

At the end of gathering Chairman HEC Javaid R. Laghari giving a vote of thanks said education led a society towards true progress and prosperity.

Meanwhile, Chairman HEC speaking to a meeting of inter university consortium said HEC would establish a Hajvery Sufism Chair at one of its universities.

The main purpose of the chair is to undertake various academic activities for the promotion of the values of peace, tolerance, and interfaith harmony and towards the understanding and propagation of Sufism.

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