ISLAMABAD, March 16: Zia Jalandhari’s demise is a great loss not only to Urdu literature but also to the country but none of the government functionary including president and prime minister bothered even to issue a condolence message.
Speakers at a condolence reference jointly organised by Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) and Halqa-i-Arbab-i-Zauq on Friday expressed their dismay over the nonchalant attitude of the government figures towards the man of letters like Zia Jalandhari who had served the country in various capacities including head of Pakistan Academy of Letters.
The present chairman of the academy, Abdul Hameed, was the chief guest on the occasion.
A number of known writers including Iftikhar Arif, Agha Nasir, Dr Ahsan Akbar, Aftab Iqbal Shamim, Jalil Aali, Yousaf Hassan, Dr Ghazanfar Mehdi, Hameed Shahid, Dr Mujeeba Arif, Manzar Naqvi, Abid Sial, Ali Mohammad Farshi and Parvaiz Shah attended the reference.
They spoke at length, highlighting different aspects of Zia Jalandhari’s work and personality.
In his speech, Iftikhar Arif appreciated the quality of his poetry and said he was one of the leading poets, who set trends in literature and made considerable addition to the poetic tradition of Urdu.
He said despite strong opposition from certain elements with vested interests, he was able to attain a prominent position among the literary figures of the present era.
Speaking on the occasion, PAL Chairman Abdul Hameed came up with all praise for the poetic style of Zia Jalandhari and remarked that history of modern Urdu poem would be incomplete without mentioning the great poet.
He commented that Zia Jalandhari chose modern writing style without losing his attachment with traditional poetic aesthetics.
He informed the participants that in recognition of his achievements, the government of Pakistan conferred upon him presidential award and Pakistan Academy of Letters awarded ‘National Literary Award’ on his book ‘Dam-i-Subh’.
In his remarks, Agha Nasir said: “We can hardly find any literary person like Zia Jalandhari in Urdu literature of present age and his demise is so huge a loss that it requires years to compensate it.”
Aftab Iqbal Shamim said Jalandhari was a great poet of this age and his poetry was an asset for the new generation.
Yousuf Hassan said Zia Jalandhari earned a prominent place among modern Urdu poets particularly after independence as he took forward the artistic traditions of Urdu poetry through his graceful and versatile creativity.