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PESHAWAR: Speakers at a literary conference put forward various recommendations and suggestions to make Pashto an effective medium of instruction, communication, commerce and science.

The three-day international conference titled ‘Promotion of Pashto language -- a way forward’ began at Bara Gali Summer Camp of University of Peshawar on Monday. Conducted under the auspices of Pashto Academy in collaborations with higher education department, the conference was attended by poets, writers, linguists, research scholars, teachers and students.

The delegates from Afghanistan, Balochistan, tribal districts and parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa participated in the event. Prof Mirajul Islam Zia, dean of Islamic Studies and Oriental Languages, Prof Mohammad Abid, pro vice-chancellor of UoP and Prof Fakhrul Islam were also among the participants of the conference.

Prof Zafarullah Bakhshali, chief organiser of the event, said that all the research papers read out at the conference would be published in a book form.

Prof Nasrullah Jan Wazir, the director of Pashto Academy, in his inaugural address informed the participants that higher education department had sanctioned Rs40 million for carrying out different projects that showed seriousness and genuine cooperation of the officials concerned.

“The conference will enable writers and research scholars on both sides of Pak-Afghan border to share their valuable information and knowledge. Women’s participation in this event is a sign of success of our efforts for a good cause,” said Mr Wazir.

Senior Afghan scholar Habibullah Rafi in his paper pointed out that 28 years ago Pashto writers and language experts across the Durand Line had agreed on a historic unified Pashto script and also had resolved many issues regarding Pashto text.

Asif Sameem, another noted Afghan writer and adviser to central minister of information and culture in Kabul, expressed the hope that Kabul and Islamabad would take steps to bring their people closer to each other through exchange of delegations comprising writers and cultural experts.

Prof Shahida Sardar said that women writers contributed immensely to Pashto language and literature through their talent. She said that women needed more empowerment in society to utilise their talent in a befitting manner.

Prof Yar Mohammad Maghmoom Khattak said that literati fulfilled their responsibilities to the great extent when it came to promotion of language. “Now the respective government departments should ensure coordinated efforts to implement Pashto language in educational institutions, market and scientific research,” he added.

Ismail Gohar, Sadeeul Amin, Prof Gulzar Jalal , Prof Abaseen Yousafzai, Prof Zaryab Yousafzai, Yousaf Khan Jazab, Abdur Rauf Rafiqi, Prof Hanif Khalil and Prof Farkhanda Liaquat also spoke on the occasion. Later, a Pashto mushaira was conducted in which about 30 poets participated.

Published in Dawn, August 7th, 2018