ISLAMABAD: A new novella, The Smile Snatchers, written by former Senate Chairman and PPP leader Raza Rabbani was launched at a local hotel on Friday.
Intellectuals, writers and politicians termed it a good effort to highlight plights and suffering of society and democracy.
Eminent writer, linguist and historian Prof Fateh Mohammad Malik presided over the ceremony.
The speakers included poet, columnist and playwright Amjad Islam Amjad, writer and columnist Nasir Abbas Nayyar, poet, columnist and Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Secretary General Harris Khalique and Senators Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Afrasiab Khattak and Farhatullah Babar.
The speakers said Mr Rabbani was known for being an acclaimed and principled democrat and parliamentarian. But his fiction also proved his command over literature.
New novella highlights plights and suffering of society and democracy
Speaking about the book, Mr Rabbani said he had tried to dig out truth and present it before the people through literature.
“From the beginning, my life revolves around a triangle within me, a politician, mystic and writer, but politician won as romance of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s political dreams to change society inspired me and after Bhutto’s assassination Benazir Bhutto became torchbearer of revolution but romance of idealism began to fade when she was assassinated and then the writer within me pushed me to choose this path for expression.”
He said the story in the book revolves around children who suffered due to wars around the world.
Senator Mushahid Hussain said it was an excellent effort to explain that art and politics were not separate as it defined the political lines and reality of the society.
He said the writing style of Mr Rabbani is different as he has woven the stories from a real life.
Senator Farhatullah Babar said it was sad that being a practical politician Mr Rabbani had to choose fiction to express his feeling after seeing that the Constitution and democracy were not taken seriously.
He said it was the fourth book of Mr Rabbani as he has penned down two books on hard issues and two on fiction.
Amjad Islam Amjad said the 94-page book of Mr Rabbani talked about human rights, resistance and right to expression and the sufferings of children across the globe.
Nasir Abbas Nayyar informed the audience about the story of the accomplished artist and said it was a sequence of Invisible People written by Mr Rabbani.
He said when freedom of speech was suspended artists played their role and informed people about the plights and sufferings through their art. However, he said this was also in danger.
Harris Khalique said it was the story of hope and dreams of people.
He said Mr Rabbani belonged to those politicians who cared about the next generation instead of the next elections.
Published in Dawn, September 19th, 2020