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Portraying the true face of Pashtuns to the world

Published Sep 03, 2013 03:07pm

SPRINGFIELD: Speakers at the Second International Pashto Conference at Springfield Virginia urged the Pashtun living across the world to come up with modern means for promotion of Pashto language and culture besides. Pashtun thinkers, experts and intellectuals across Northern America besides other parts of the world and their families in large gathered to mark the occasion and to discuss the challenges faced by Pakhtuns in the Pak-Afghan bordering regions and other parts of the globe.

Former member of Pakistan's National Assembly Himyatullah Mayar addressing the moot said that Pashtuns living along Pak-Afghan border face a host of problems adding that besides promoting the rich culture, it was binding on Pashtuns living across the world, specially the United States, to strive for resolution of these problems and to portray a positive image of the Pashtun nation.

“Pashtuns in America are very concerned about how to raise their children in a Pashtun environment and how to teach them the language and culture in an alien environment”

Dr Razaul Hasan of Pashtun American Community Association (PACA) said on the occasion.

“We are discussing ways and means to keep the language and culture alive and to promote it”, Raza told the participants including a large number of men, women, children and youth.

“It’s a big challenge but we have to strive for emancipation of the young Pasthun lot”,

(PACA) member Khalid Khan said.

Senior Editor and Communication Director at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York and a senior Pakistani journalist Jehangir Khattak highlighted the role and importance of media for promoting the culture and language.

“Pashtuns don’t have its own media, only a few print media outlets are owned by Pashtuns, I would say the Pashtuns must focus on having their own media, run and managed by them,” Khattak remarked.

Dr Almas Khan, professor at the Virginia Tech said: “Pashtuns can solve most of their problems by having a scientific approach to issues.”

Zebu Jilani, a Pashtun woman volunteer and intellectual, stressed the Pashtuns in America to play their role paying back to the society, adding “the PACA don’t need time but also financial resources for the community.”

Rana Mohmand, a Pashtun poet from Afghanistan highlighted the challenges faced by the Pashtun women. She urged the Pashtun women to come forward and solve their problems and to work along with the men. She said that women should play their own role.

“The basic purpose of the conference is to create an awareness among the Pashtun nation about their language and culture”,

Qasim Yousafzai, the PACA member and moderator of the conference told.

“Languages and cultures are disappearing from the world very fast”, he said. “Every Pashtun should work hard to keep this language and culture not only alive but to promote it on every possible means”, Yousafzai told reporters.

He said that language and culture has become very low priority, “In order to promote it and create awareness, it is the responsibility of every community member to play his/her role”, he said.

Earlier, Asnaf Qadir, another PACA board member informed the participants about the day-long conference. He presented the whole agenda including speeches, youth show, mushaira and followed by music.

Amjad Ali, PACA youth director, presented a youth show including poems by the Pashtun children, paintings and a variety of other presentation.

The youth show was followed by mushaira where Pashtun poets presented their poems and enthralled the participants of the conference.

Engineer Mohmand, a California based Pashtun singer, received great appreciation from the participants of the second Pashtu International Conference. He sung different popular songs of Baba-e-Ghazal Amir Hamza Khan Shinwari, Ghani Khan and others.