PESHAWAR: The panelists at a study circle here on Saturday termed promotion of book culture the best way to develop positive and critical thinking among young people.

They said that reading of books could help young people to enhance not only positive and critical thinking but also widen scope of wisdom and scholarship regarding past, present and future of the society.

They added that reading shaped the outlook of people with geopolitical scenario being unfolded before them.

The monthly study circle was arranged by Bacha Khan Trust Educational Foundation (BKTEF) at University Town, Peshawar. Students, social activists and bibliophiles attended the event.

The panelists threw light on the celebrated book ‘Curfewed Night’ penned down by noted author of India-held Kashmir Basharat Peer. The BKTEF completed its 30th monthly study circle.

Book of IHK author discussed at literary session

Opening the debate, Abdur Rauf Yousafzai described the plot, main characters and theme of the book in great detail and termed it a must read for book lovers.

He said that Curfewed Night was a marvelous piece of literary reporting that revealed the personal stories behind one of the most brutal conflicts in modern times.

Mr Yousafzai said that since 1989, more than 70,000 people had been killed in Kashmir. “Born and bred in the war-torn region, Basharat Peer brings this part of the world to life in haunting and vivid details.

Peer tells stories from his youth and gives gut-wrenching accounts of the many Kashmiris he met years later as a reporter,” he added.

Wagma Feroz, a participant, said that she along with her colleagues learnt a lot about the struggle of Kashmiris in the most beautiful manner which was reflective of the author’s genuine feelings and emotions he experienced in his real life.

She said that such study circles could help students to develop a taste for readership and get inspiration from the vision of noted authors. She added that she thoroughly amazed at how little contemporary reporting there was on the Kashmir conflict, given the staggering militarisation and human suffering that it engendered.

Ms Feroz said that the book was a welcome contribution to the literature on the subject as it was written by a young Kashmiri, who himself lived through the conflict.

Dr Khadim Hussain, director of BKTEF, said that such events triggered a positive thinking among the young people to review their own situation around them with deep thought and develop tolerance, learn to argue with reason and promote the culture of books reading.

He said that students should benefit from literary works of great authors to be able to see in clear light what challenges would they face in future.

Usman, Anwar Orakzai, Asma Khan also spoke on the occasion.

Later, a question-answer session was held in which the panelists answered the queries of the audience.

Published in Dawn, February 10th, 2019