Punjab Minister for Information and Culture Fayyazul Hassan Chohan on Friday said the current visit of noted Indian poet Javed Akhtar along with his wife, film star Shabana Azmi, to Pakistan would open new doors of peace for Pak-India relationships.
In a meeting with the Indian celebrity couple, who are in Pakistan to attend the “4th Faiz International Festival”, Chohan said both the neighbouring countries should work together “in the areas of art to promote harmony and peace in the region”.
On this occasion, Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar said that they were overwhelmed by the warm welcome which had been given to them by the people of Pakistan.
“We will never forget the love and respect which we received during the visit”, they added.
On the first day of the festival, a session was held in which Faiz Ahmad Faiz's daughter Saleema Hashmi and Shabana Azmi, the daughter of Kaifi Azmi, recalled the friendship between Faiz and Kaifi Azmi.
They exchanged their views about both literary personalities to spread the message of peace, love, humanity and friendship among the people of the Subcontinent.
In the session, Azmi and her spouse Javed Akhtar presented poems to the audience which appreciated them, besides lauding the poetry of Faiz and Kaifi Azmi.
Later, a play 'Kala Mainda Bhes,' written by Shahid Nadeem and directed by Madeeha Gauher, was presented at Alhamra Hall No 2.
Separately, a musical show was also organised in which Tahira Syed sang poems written by Faiz.
Moneeza Hashmi, the daughter of Faiz Ahmad Faiz, lauded the government's efforts to make the festival a success in which literary figures from across the world were participating.
She said the festival had become a symbol of love, sensitivity, and care for others, adding that a number of events had been included in the festival, especially for youth to make them aware about literary personalities and their achievements through plays and stage performances.