LAHORE - This land of ours forming Pakistan has been blessed with a large number of saints and poets in Punjabi, Seraiki, Sindhi, Pushto and Balochi languages over the centuries. They spent their lives in spreading message of peace, brotherhood, love, tolerance, patience and submission to Almighty Allah through their teachings and poetry in different regional languages. Without undermining the importance and significance of literature in Urdu language, the poetry in regional languages had essence of the soil in it and immediately attracted the hearts and minds of the people as soon as it reached them. In order to pay homage to the Sufi poets for their centuries old selfless services to the humanity through their teachings in prose and verse and to spread and popularize their message among the younger generation in particular, Pakistan Academy of Letters on a special initiative undertaken by its well-known writer, intellectual Fakhar Zaman, had couple of years back embarked upon an ambitious, gigantic. Education, informative and literary project to produce documentaries on selected Sufi poets of the four provinces. More importantly, these documentaries were to be produced in English language, first time ever in Pakistan, in order to put across their message of love, peace, tolerance, brotherhood and humanism to the international community for projecting and promoting tolerant, moderate, progressive and positive image of Pakistan, tarnished badly due to the war on terror and its adverse effects, before the world at large. Sufi poets selected for this very purposeful and objective-oriented mega project numbered 13. Out of these, Baba Bulleh Shah, Shah Hussain, Baba Farid, Sultan Bahu, Waris Shah, Khwaja Farid and Mian Muhammad from Punjab, Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai and Sachal Sarmast from Sindh, Rahman Babar, Khushhal Khan Khattak and Ahmad Ali Saeen from Khyber Pakhtoonkhwah (formerly known as NWFP) and Mast Tawakkli from Balochistan. The mega project has quite successfully been completed by Pakistan Academy of Letters through hard work, constant supervision of its Chairman Fakhar Zaman and encouragement of leader of the team of young , educated, qualified and talented workers which was ably and appreciably headed by Farrukh Zaman who has received a degree in Film and TV from Carleton University, Canada. Prior to these documentaries being sent abroad for participation in international festivals for short films and documentaries, Pakistan Academy of Letters in collaboration of the World Punjabi Congress, which is also headed by untiring and energetic Fakhar Zaman, has started the programme of screening of these documentaries in different parts of the country before the selected gathering of diplomats, writers, poets, intellectuals, research scholars, directors and people from all walks of life. Under this programme, documentaries pertaining to the Sufi poets who hailed and are lying in eternal rest in Punjab province are being shown in a phased manner in Punjab and likewise in Sindh, KPK and Balochistan after a beginning was made by screening of couple of Sufi poets from Punjab before diplomats and other segments of the society in Islamabad in January 2011. Second presentation of three documentaries highlighting the life, teachings and poetry of Popular Sufi poets, also hailing from different parts of the Punjab, Baba Bulleh Shah, Shah Hussain and Khwaja Ghulam Farid at the auditorium of the Punjab Institute of Languages, Art and Culture recently. Shah Hussain who is also known as Madho Lal Hussain is lying in eternal rest in Lahore , Baba Bulleh Shah is resting in eternity in border town of Kasur and Khwaja Ghulam Farid at Kot Mithan near Dera Ghazi Khan. Documentaries provided adequate information about life, teachings and poetry of these Sufi poets in original Punjabi and Seraiki languages along with English translation and were found to be quite educative, informative as well as inspiring. The documentaries, first major attempt in English language in order to put across their message of love, brotherhood, humanism . tolerance and bowing to Almighty Allah and none else to the international community, were rich in content and had a lot of information on and about the Sufi poets. Colours were added through rendering of their poetry by popular folk singers Pathaney Khan, Abida Parveen, Saeen Zahoor and others. Film directors Hassan Askari, Muhammad Pervaiz Kalim and Shehzad Rafiq , who were present among the audience in the auditorium which was packed to its capacity with late comers even seated on stairs, highly appreciated the documentaries. Giving their impressions afterwards on being approached separately they said that these documentaries would be helpful in promoting the soft image of the country. Journalist, poet and film lyricist and script-writer Riazur Rahman Saghir said the high quality of documentaries and the way a young director Farrukh Zaman had directed them showed his professional maturity. Heroine turned character-artist Bahar was also among those who lauded the documentaries. She said that she was impressed and inspired by the great team effort of the talented, educated, qualified youngsters who had beautifully explored the Sufi culture. Addressing the gathering briefly before the start of the presentation and after conclusion, World Punjabi Congress Chairman Fakhar Zaman said that these documentaries would be launched in the international market to promote much needed soft image of Pakistan . He said the documentaries would also be sent to international documentaries festivals as well. He said the world over Cultural Ministries, Writers and Poets Forums would also be sent these documentaries. Fakhar Zaman said that he had been elected the Chairman of the International Sufi Council by delegates from 47 countries of the world in March last year through a unanimous declaration. He said the Secretariat of the International Sufi Council would soon be established in Lahore . He also indicated that he would soon be going to Hyderabad , Peshawar and Quetta where documentaries of the Sufi poets pertaining to respective provinces of the Sindh, KPK and Balochistan would be screened before gatherings of writers, poets, intellectuals , artists and people from all walks of life. Though, poetry of most of these Sufi poets has been translated into Urdu, English and other languages but for securing real inspiration and enjoyment, one has to read their Punjabi/Seraiki, Sindhi, Pushto and Balochi and Hindko languages poetry through which they have come to be known, respected and held in reverence for being beacon of peace, hope, love and humanism. If one goes on reading, understanding and appreciating the well-known Sufi poets and saint, one comes to know that Baba Bulleh Shah, Shah Hussain and Khwaja Ghulam Farid all were reformists, peace activists and more importantly critical of those at the helm of affairs, in one form and the other, for their creating obstructions in the way of the common people and stopping them from discovering and taking recourse to Almighty Allah. And, their poetry is so inspiring that it has been and continues to be rendered by popular folk singers for decades together thus creating more and more admiration and inspiration among the younger people all around.