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Rahmatullah Dard
Rahmatullah Dard

PESHAWAR: The University of Peshawar’s students on Friday praised Pashto poet Rahmatullah Dard as a poet of peace, romance and patriotism during a function on campus.

The praise was showered on the late poet during the first weekly session of the Pohantoon Adabi Stori, the campus-based literary body, after summer vacation at the Maulana Abdul Qadir Hall of Pashto Academy.

The participants demanded the culture department hold a seminar to highlight the life, work and literary services of Rahmatullah Dard, who passed away at the age of 82 last Wednesday in Lakki Marwat district.

They also called for the publishing of the late poet’s Urdu Kulliyat, the collection of his poetry.

Hailing from Mastikhel village to north of Lakki Marwat, Rahmatullah Dard had done master’s in Urdu Literature from the University of Peshawar in 1961 before being posted to the Government Degree College Dera Ismail Khan as Urdu lecturer. He retired as the college’s principal in 1994.

Rahmatullah Dard had launched his poetic career while he was in 10th grade. He used to write both in Pashto and Urdu.

He had authored seven volumes of Pashto poetry among which Ghazal, Dard and Muntakhab Dard received widespread popularity.

According to his will, his complete works were proofread and converted into Afghan script by Rashid Khattak and published in the poet’s lifetime.

Professor Sher Zaman Seemab, who presided over the session, said Rahmatullah Dard was not only a noted Pashto poet but also an excellent educationist.

He said the poet had great respect among literary circles for his unique way of expression and diction filled with romance and love of land.

He said Dard was known for mastery over ghazal and had earned respect among literary circles for enriching Pashto literature with a new vision.

Afsar Afghan said Rahmatullah Dard was a poet of substance and style, who motivated and inspired a host of young poets and registered a mark of his own in southern parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He said the late poet had rendered immense contribution to the literary treasure trove of Pashto.

Naila Shamaal said poets and writers from KP’s southern districts had a unique literary style.

She said Rahmatullah Dard knew very well how to hew out poetic images from his sublime imagination.

“Dard’s poetry has many shades each with a distinct message. He used simple phrases to convey his messages,” she said.

Later, the participants also prayed for Pashto poet Abdul Latif Shaheen of Swat.

In the second part of the session, Shahid Tahiri read out his short story titled Ghazoon (walnut trees) with the theme that youths should accept challenges in life and keep themselves from unhealthy activities, for discussion.

Raheela Khan, Tariq Afghan, Jalal Khalil, Shaukat Swati, Sadam Hussain Zawaeef, Junaid Sahar Afridi and Haseebullah also shed light on the life and work of Rahmatullah Dard.

Published in Dawn, September 3rd, 2016