MULTAN: Famous Seraiki poet Rifat Abbas has turned down the Pride of Punjab Award carrying a Rs300,000 prize, conferred on him by the Punjab government, citing moral and ideological reasons.

The Punjab Institute of Language, Art and Culture, working under the patronage of the Punjab Information and Culture Department for the promotion of Punjabi language, art and culture, had announced the award for the Multan-based Seraiki poet Rifat Abbas in poetry category in connection with International Mother Language Day of 2017.

“I’ve no moral ground to accept the award; I refuse it due to three main reasons: being a poet, being a Seraiki nationalist and being a neighbor of small nations struggling against the suppression of Punjab,” said Mr Abbas.

Explaining the reasons, he said that being a poet he had not rendered any service for the promotion of Punjabi language but his all services were for the promotion of Seraiki language.

“Similarly, being a Seraiki nationalist I’m part of the struggle for a separate federating unit as we (Seraikis) are a separate nation and have separate language and culture. Being a neighbour to other oppressed nations like Sindhi, Baloch and Pashtoon, that are under the suppression of Punjab, and by accepting this award I will lose grounds to support these nations,” he said.

In the past, Seraiki intellectual Mehboob Tabish has also refused to accept an award by the World Punjabi Congress on his book on the life of Holy Prophet ‘Aiboon Khali’.

Published in Dawn, February 22nd, 2017

Opinion

Avoid Modi’s nationalist turf
Updated 19 Oct 2021

Avoid Modi’s nationalist turf

It remains the only party with a presence in every Indian state and makes it best equipped to effect the required radical change.
Back to the Fund
Updated 20 Oct 2021

Back to the Fund

The main IMF conditions have failed to deliver sustainable growth or even fiscal or external deficit reduction over four decades.
The lamp of guidance
Updated 19 Oct 2021

The lamp of guidance

Those seeking to learn from his example must follow the moral precepts he gave otherwise it is half-hearted devotion at most.

Editorial

Opposition’s chance?
Updated 19 Oct 2021

Opposition’s chance?

What the opposition can do is take advantage of the cleavage between PTI and the establishment, perhaps widen it and leverage it.
Evading tax laws
Updated 20 Oct 2021

Evading tax laws

Challenge of tax compliance can't be dealt with without directly taxing incomes irrespective of source and punishing tax evaders.
19 Oct 2021

KCR delays

AS political and bureaucratic stakeholders drag their feet over reviving the Karachi Circular Railway, residents of...
Financial troubles
Updated 18 Oct 2021

Financial troubles

Growing trade gap is fuelling the current account deficit and bringing the already meagre foreign exchange reserves under stress.
18 Oct 2021

Complaint portal

IN a ruling on Thursday, the Mingora bench of the Peshawar High Court held that the Prime Minister’s Performance...
18 Oct 2021

Capital’s master plan

IT is encouraging that on Thursday, the restructured commission formed by the federal cabinet to revise ...