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Bengalis love Faiz

Faiz Aman Mela at Open Air Theatre, Bagh-i-Jinnah. — Dawn

LAHORE: Faiz Ahmad Faiz highlighted the atrocities committed against the freedom fighters of Bangladesh in the 1971 war, Bangladeshi parliamentarian and Pakistan-India-Bangladesh Forum President Moeenuddin Badal said at a grand ‘Faiz Aman Mela’ here on Sunday.

The fair was being held in connection with the centennial celebrations of the great poet, Faiz Ahmad Faiz.

“Faiz through his poetry struggled for bringing about revolutionary changes in society through provision of peace and rights of the masses in the subcontinent,” Mr Badal said, “He was against the atrocities of Bangalis by then military ruler.”

While paying rich tributes to the poet, he said the Bangladeshi people had a lot of respect for Faiz because of his extraordinary poetry. Faiz’s daughter and Faiz Foundation Chief Saleema Hashmi called Faiz a poet of workers, peasants and growers. She condemned killing of innocent people in Balochistan and expressed solidarity with the people of Balochistan fighting for their democratic rights.

Labour Party Pakistan’s spokesperson Farooq Tariq said that Faiz gave a message of peace for the best interest of workers. He said socialism was the only way out. He expressed solidarity with the victims of Kharak tragedy and demanded that the government arrest the culprits.

The mela, organised under the aegis of three left-wing parties -- Labour Party, Workers Party and Awami Party -- with the Faiz Mela Committee lasted for four hours in two sessions. In the opening session, poets Dr Khalid Javaid Jan, Baba Najmi, Kanwal Feroz, Shafique Ahmad and Arif Shah read out their own and Faiz’s poems.

In the second session, speeches, songs and dance on Faiz poetry were held,” Mr Tariq told Dawn.

He said Faiz Foundation, Labour Education Foundation, South Asia Partnership-Pakistan, Strengthening Participatory Organisation, Women Workers Helpline, National Trade Union Federation and Progressive Youth Front also worked for the mela.