KARACHI - Sindh Minister for Culture, Tourism and Antiquities Syed Sardar Ali Shah has said that a writer or poet like Allama Iqbal cannot be confined to geographical or linguistic boundaries because he is an ambassador of love and peace and transcends such boundaries.

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He was talking to the media at the inaugural ceremony of the 15-day special exhibition of relics and belongings of national poet Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal on the eve of his 139th birth anniversary at the National Museum of Pakistan.

Apart from handwritten letters of Allama Iqbal, there was a vast collection of items put on display that remained in his daily use such as his personal chair, umbrella, stick, turban, black gown, books, 1st edition of his poetic works and numerous photographs depicting his personal, social and political life.

“We have confined Allama Iqbal to politics only. He dreamt of Pakistan as elaborated in his 1930 address, but where did the great poet of Persian language Dr Muhammad Iqbal go? Who was the creator of such a beautiful and mesmerising verses in Urdu and Persian.”

He lamented that no research was being done on Iqbal, especially his Persian poetry. He said that people should study Javed Nama and Zarb-e-Kaleem to know literary value of these works.

Responding to a question, Shah said, “We love Iqbal, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Bulleh Shah, Khushal Khan Khattak, Ahmed Faraz and Mirza Ghalib. Sindh has been such a loving place for all these literary figures and Sindhi people have been celebrating their days with the same enthusiasm as they have for Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai and Sachal Sarmast.” He expressed the hope that the day would come soon when Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai day would be celebrated in Peshawar, Shaikh Ayaz day in Sahiwal and Ustad Bukhari day in Faisalabad. He said this was the only way to create and strengthen the bonding among the provinces.

Shah said the exhibition was aimed at educating and inspiring the younger generation about the works of Iqbal. He said, “We are living in times of chaos, extremism, terrorism and despair. Only such writers can give people hope and inspiration and inspire them to continue the struggle for a better world.