PESHAWAR: Pakhtun women were more aware and educated than yesterday and their role was inevitable for progress and prosperity of the society, said noted Pashto poet Haseena Gul Tanha.

Speaking as chief guest at an annual Pashto day event at Khyber Union Hall of Islamia College, Peshawar here on Wednesday, she said whether Pashto tapa or other modern literary genres, Pakhtun women had boldly talked about the issues faced by them in the society.

She said that Pakhtun women had great potential to excel in every field. It increased their responsibilities manifold to play a due role to shape a typical Pakhtun society where women were respected and considered a boon rather than a bane, she added.

Ms Tanha said that Pakhtun women could do wonders in every sphere of life if given an opportunity. “I strongly assert that Pakhtun women should come forward to perform their duty as level of acceptance for them in our society today is higher than a few decades ago,” she added.

She said that Pakhtun women knew more about her rights and privileges in the society than ever before. She said that Pakhtun women were in need of encouragement and appreciation from men.

A Pashto declamation contest was also held on the occasion.

About 16 students participated in the contest.

Fazl Wadood, Ikramullah and Zafar Bukhari won first, second and third position respectively while 49 girl and boy students took part in the Pashto poetry contest. Manfat Ali Shah, Wisal Khalil and Shujaat Hussain obtained first three positions in the poetry contest.

Sharing her views, Ayesha Khan Afridi from Bara told Dawn that she felt a totally different person while clad in traditional outfit. “Our traditional dress is graceful and modest.

I think we should encourage youngsters to wear it as frequent as possible. Today’s event was fun as well as a wonderful experience,” she said.

A dress show competition was also part of the event. Three girls and three boys attired in traditional Pakhtun dresses, however, stole the show and garnered a thundering applause from the tasteful audience in the hall.

It was followed by an interesting quiz competition regarding history of Pashto language, poets and writers.

The young speakers pointed out in their fiery speeches that Pashto language was not given its status despite the fact that UNO charter recommended mother tongue a must for getting basic primary education.

Eminent Pashto fiction writer Noorul Amin Yousafzai said that mastering mother tongue was essential for acquiring basic education. Pashto language, he said, was at the 36th rank globally as per its speakers while it had been ranked as 26th language in the world which allowed all kinds of disciplines of knowledge including philosophy, humanities and science.

Published in Dawn December 11th, 2014

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