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DAWN - Features; January 3, 2002

January 03, 2002


Furnaces a nuisance: DATELINE GUJRANWALA

By Akram Malik

DWELLERS of Ferozewala Road have demanded that steel moulding furnaces should be shifted outside the city to avoid pollution.

Under the Municipal Act, steel moulding furnaces and tanneries cannot be run within municipal limits without any licence or no-objection certificate. But a lot of tanneries, steel wire moulding furnaces and small industries are working on the same road while factory workers burn the wire in open places, causing nuisance for the residents. Clouds of contaminated smoke are also causing diseases.

The dwellers say they are paying taxes and duties to the government and they have a right to get civic facilities without any discrimination. But the district administration and the tehsil city council have failed to provide them the same.

They say heaps of garbage and waste are not lifted by the sanitation staff for many days, while the gutter system needs instant revamping. They demand that the tehsil city Nazim and other senior officers of the district administration should visit their area and all furnaces and smoke-emitting units be shifted outside the city after cancelling their permits and licences.

Meanwhile, residents of Aziz Chak Wazirabad have expressed their anguish against the PTCL revenue department for not distributing bills in time.

Some of the subscribers alleged that PTCL revenue officials throw bills at the village mosque or a nearby PCO instead of delivering them at their residences. They also sent a memorandum to the PTCL general manager regarding this problem and demanded that steps should be taken for proper and in time delivery of bills at their residences.

Meanwhile the GM telephones has sought a report in this regard from the senior account officer of the revenue department, and directed that bills should be provided to the subscribers at their residences.

* * * * * * *

PUNJAB police chief Asif Hayat has stressed the need for checking crime with the cooperation of citizens and their elected representatives.

The police chief said this while inaugurating a mobile police laboratory here a few days ago. The laboratory worth Rs2 million has been donated by an industrialist, Mian Maqbool Ahmad.

The IG was told that the mobile laboratory consisted of a close-circuit camera, a still camera, a finger print kit, a foot print kit, a first-aid box, an investigation kit, a metal detector, the computer sketch system of suspects and other facilities. He also viewed the functioning of the laboratory.

The IG urged police officials to have a direct contact with the masses and their representatives to end crime, besides providing them protection.

He expressed satisfaction over the fall in the crime graph in the division, and urged the DIG and the SSP to continue drive against crime and the criminals. He warned that inefficient and corrupt police officials would be taken to task if they failed to improve their performance.

Later, he gave away a shield to Mian Maqbool Ahmad for his cooperation with the police.

Izharul Haque — in pursuit of tradition: LITERARY ROUND-UP

By Mushir Anwar

THE clatter of cutlery is heard the loudest in high places where our big bosses hold court. Even the disapproving among the top-graders get accustomed to subordinate flattery and accept it as office routine. Others from harsh domestic backgrounds look for ward to it as a pleasant morning ritual. The great majority, however, not only relishes but thrives on it. Poet Izharul Haque, who is probably one of the last remaining men of letters in the top bureaucracy, understandably sat unmoved, probably a little perturbed, through the heavy and lengthy session of friendly acclaim that Zaviya, a literary busy body of the city, had organized in his honour last Thursday at the Islamabad Club.

The fact that it was the first such function to celebrate his substantial poetical work was in itself a tribute to his modesty as a man that his admirers mentioned again and again. But relating his modesty to his high official stature to my mind was somewhat belittling since absence of hauteur is a sign more of personal culture than anything else. Much of the snobbery and conceit that we see in our high-ups is a measure of the poverty of their souls, boorish upbringing and deep-seated inferiority. Prof Fateh Mohammad Malik very aptly related it to the cultural richness of the rustic environment in which Izhar was brought up to be a man of genuine substance. The poet’s father was also there. Asked to speak he said he was happy to know his son had made so many well wishers. He spoke of love as the basis of humanity.

Iftikhar Arif described Izhar’s poetry as a search for the lost fire, the glory that was. It spans the void of time to seek the continuity of tradition, going back to the roots as it were. History was not the past. It throbbed in the tissue of the living moment. So Izhar’s voice has the tenor and hum of the land, a feel of the earth, a sensibility that is not bodiless. His thought and his themes are worded in a poetic phrase that is very much his own.

Prof Ehsan Akbar placed him in the crop of poets who emerged in the seventies and whose work in his words bore the stamp of Pakistaniat and reflected the Muslim personality, different from the earlier lot who either swore to some dialectic or revelled in introversion or pursued western mechanistic models. Whereas Jalil Aali surmised Izhar was pursuing the course Hali, Sharar and Iqbal had charted by imbuing their verse with acute awareness of their Muslim sensibility. Ehsan Akbar went further to brand him as the poet of ‘Imaniyaat’, belonging to the tribe of Fiqr and Hijr — a categorization he based on the centrality religious dedication has in Izhar’s thought as one found essayed in his suggestive verse. But the seeking for the roots and the nostalgic yearning that one felt in Iqbal on a collective scale got focussed on individual areas of concern in Izhar.

Rauf Amir, who has done extensive study on Izhar’s poetry and plans to publish a critique of his four collections — Diwar-e-Aab, Parizad, Ghadar and the under print Pani pe bichha takht — presented a learned appreciation of Izhar as a poet and as a person. To him Izhar is a complete poet with a distinct voice. Form and content shape into a unique lyrical expression that bears the stamp of his singular style, be it ghazal or nazm. Rauf also discussed Izhar’s prose with reference to his newspaper columns and his essays, the latter particularly for their marked literary flavour. He concluded his otherwise well-reasoned and well-worded discourse on a rather maudlin personal note that did not seem to go well with the purely literary nature of the gathering, though, I must say, that had already been contaminated with the many solicitous and ingratiating references to the poet’s elevation in public service that his verse, incidentally, had played no part in earning him.

It was a pretty long sitting for a late start but not tedious as the audience wanted to know the poet who spoke a few words and recited a couple of his well known poems and verses. Mahboob Zafar, Zaviya’s delectable moving genie who manages to atone for his sins of commission by simply tweaking his right ear as he confesses, deserves credit for bringing a very notable but fame-phobic poet out for critical appraisal.