PESHAWAR: Literati and research scholars gathered here on Friday to express their views about a new Pashto title ‘Da Swat Pakhto Adab auo Saqafat’ (Pashto literature and culture of Swat), authored by Prof Mohammad Ali Dinakhel.

The book launching ceremony was held here under the auspices of Pohantoon Adabi Stori at the Khyber Union Hall of Islamia College Peshawar.

The speakers while discussing various sections of the book termed it a must read for research scholars and general readers since it gave a deep insight into hidden treasure of Swat valley in different periods.

“The rulers of the princely State patronised artists, musicians and literati to promote peace, mutual respect and goodwill in the valley,” they said.

They said that poets, writers and artists had immensely contributed to the Pashto language and art.

They said the author had researched history, art, culture and literature that flourished when Swat valley, then the ‘State’, was controlled by rulers followed by its merger into Pakistan in 1969, especially when the princely state adopted ‘Pashto’ as its official language.

Chairing the event, Prof Abaseen Yousafzai said the new book spread over 803 pages had left out no area unattended having even a remote importance to the public life of Swat valley.

He said the author had retrieved valuable information regarding art, history, literary trends and cultural and social traditions governing public life in the region.

Prof Dinakhel, author of the book, said his objective was to provide authentic information to the research scholars, adding that Swat enjoyed rich literary and cultural background since the advent of Alexander (327 BC) to the valley. He stated his book had over seven chapters, each featuring distinct period.

Prof Izharullah Izhar said that Prof Dinakhel had preserved a precious treasure that would benefit not only casual readers, but also those interested in knowing about the Swat valley, once the centre of Gandhara civilisation.

“The book is a fascinating account of the past glory of Swat valley. Literati and artists hailing from Swat continue contributing to the KP and the country at large,” he commented. Prof Anwar Ali, Tariq Danish and Najeebullah Shadab also spoke on the occasion.

Published in Dawn, December 4th, 2021

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