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DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Speakers at Second Seraiki Conference here on Sunday asked the government to establish Seraiki department at Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan.

The conference was arranged by a Peshawar-based literary, cultural and social welfare organisation, Gandhara Hindko Board. A number of writers, poets, academicians and public representatives attended the conference, says a statement.

Nawabzada Azizullah Khan Alizai, the district nazim, was chief guest on the occasion. MNA Jamshed Dasti also attended the conference.

Speaking on the occasion, Jamshed Dasti said that promotion of regional languages and cultures led to a healthy and tolerant society. He said that Seraiki was an important language, which had a distinction of being spoken in all the provinces of the country.

Addressing the conference, Nawabzada Alizai said that Seraiki was a sweet language. He said that all the languages and cultures should be promoted. He said that there was a time when literary and cultural activities were frequent held in Dera Ismail Khan.

“But later the environment was disturbed. The writers, poets and artists want to see the good old days returned.

Now with the blessings of Allah, Dera Ismail Khan is again seeing revival of favourable environment,” said the nazim.

He said that peace was restored in the district due to the efforts and sacrifices of law-enforcement agencies.

He said that district government would play key role in promoting literary and cultural activities in Dera Ismail Khan.

Gandhara Hindko Board chairman Ejaz Ahmad Qureshi, vice chairman Dr Salahuddin and general secretary Ziauddin also spoke on the occasion.

They said that they would arrange similar conferences in Swat and Chitral for the promotion of the languages spoken in those districts.

Dr Shahid Masood Khan, an expert, shed light on the importance of the Seraiki language.

Published in Dawn, February 15th, 2016