PESHAWAR: Poets and writers have asked the provincial government to set up Zaitoon Bano chair and launch Zaitoon Bano fiction award to instill a creative spirit among young literati and duly acknowledge the services of Zaitoon Bano, a prolific bilingual writer and poet, who died on September 14.

The Abasin Arts Council (AAC) in collaboration with Karwan-i-Hawa Literary Forum (KHLF) arranged a function here on Sunday at Khatir Ghaznavi Auditorium adjacent to Nishtar Hall to pay homage to Zaitoon Bano.

Poets, writers and fans attended the event and demanded of the authorities to set up Zaitoon Bano Chair at women universities of the province and launch Chief Minister Zaitoon Bano fiction award to encourage young women literati.

The demands were put forward through two separate resolutions passed unanimously by the participants of the event.

Function held to pay homage to the deceased writer

Speakers on the occasion highlighted various aspects of life and contributions of Zaitoon Bano and praised her literary works as treasure trove of scholarship and deep insightfulness of women issues with a unique style and boldness.

They said that Zaitoon Bano chair and Zaitoon Bano fiction award would serve as a source of motivation for young women writers to contribute to the society.

Prof Abaseen Yousafzai, who chaired the event, said that Zaitoon Bano waged a war for the rights of women across the board through her prolific writings including radio and TV plays, short stories and poetry.

Bushra Farrukh, chairperson of KHLF, said that she worked with Zaitoon Bano and learnt a lot from her experiences as radio producer, artist and writer.

Prof Shaheen Umar said that Ms Bano wanted women free from all kinds of oppression and her every single story would advocate the message of women’s emancipation.

Prof Nazeer Tabassum said that Zaitoon Bano cleared the way for women poets and writers through her bold expression and creative strength.

He said that she picked up those issues related to women that even today many would think twice to do so but she had a blunt sword yet a befitting way to make her point.

Her works should serve as strong vehicle to carry on along the cause of feminism in a right direction, he added.

Laiqzada Laiq, Dr Roshan Kalim, Saima Munir and Saeed Paras also spoke at the event.

Published in Dawn, September 27th, 2021

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