PESHAWAR - A joint Seraiki-Hindko Conference demanded the government to set up a Department for Seraiki Studies at the Gomal University and Hindko Academy in Peshawar to work for the promotion of these two native languages.

The conference was organised by a literary, cultural and social welfare organisation, Gandhara Hindko Board at Dera Ismail Khan District Council Hall in collaboration with Seraiki language and cultural activists.

Gandhara Hindko Board Chairman Ejaz Ahmad Qureshi presided over the event. Dera Ismail Khan Division Commissioner Mushtaq Khan Jadoon was the chief guest of the programme which was attended by 400 people, 100 of them women.

The daylong conference financed by the Gandhara Hindko Board and convened by Dr Shahid Masood. The first session had speeches from the Seraiki and Hindko writers.

The Seraiki language activists, including Dr Shahid Masood, Aslam Awan, deputy convener of the moot and others shed light on the significance of Seraiki language and culture. They said Seraiki was an important language as it was spoken in all the provinces of the country. They demanded tangible steps from the provincial government for the promotion of Seraiki language and culture.

The Hindko writers and poets, including Mohammad Ziauddin, Dr Adnan Gul, Dr Salahuddin, Sheen Shaukat, Atif Haleem Jan, and others talked about various aspects of the Hindko language and culture. They said Hindko writers and poets have always worked for the promotion of language and culture, adding, it was time for the government to come forward and give official backing to the efforts being made by the literati for its promotion.

A total of 25 Seraiki and Hindko poets recited pieces of poetry in respective languages and won appreciation. Muhammad Ali Shah facilitated the session.

The fourth and final session of the conference was devoted to folk music of Seraiki and Hindko. The folk songs and music presented by the local artistes were liked by the audience very much. Speaking as a chief guest, Dera Ismail Khan Commissioner Mushtaq Khan Jadoon said  such activities were direly needed to improve the environment we are living in.

The organisers had set up stalls on the venue that displayed Seraiki and Hindko books and journals.

The painting drawn by two artists from Dera Ismail Khan, Mohammad Sharif and Shireen Gul, were also exhibited on the occasion. Shields and souvenirs were awarded to writer, poets, artistes and organizers at the concluding part of the conference.

The commissioner hosted a dinner for participants of the conference.