Islamabad - Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani has said that a deliberate attempt was made to strangulate the culture of literature and poetry in the society leading towards creation of a vacuum which was filled by culture of intolerance and torture.

He expressed these views at the first ever Urdu Literary Festival organized by Parveen Shakir Trust in connection with 39th anniversary of poetic collection ‘Khushboo’ of late Parveen Shakir, said a press release issued here on Sunday.

He said that history is replete with examples when poets like Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Habib Jalib stood against dictatorships and authoritarian rule and their poetry gave birth to movements, however unfortunately, the state by way of deliberate action killed the culture of literature in Pakistan.

“Literature gives birth to new thinking, tolerance, and compassion and perhaps state was not ready to accept these things,” Raza Rabbani remarked while addressing the audience.

He further said that these deliberate attempts have produced a society which is indifferent and intolerant. He also mentioned the recent disappearances and said that right under the nose of the state, people have disappeared but nobody dared to ask question to the state that if they are guilty then proper judicial proceedings be initiated according to constitution and law of the land.

He said that rural areas are facing hardships for basic facilities and urban centres are in race for power and corruption and affairs of the state where elite is ruling the roost.

Chairperson of Perveen Shakir Trust Parveen Qadir Agha highlighted the aims and objectives of the trust and said that the Urdu poetry festival, which is unique and first of its kind, is celebrating the book birthday of Khushboo authored by Parveen Shakir in 1977 in Karachi. She said that the trust is vigorously promoting, protecting and preserving her poetry and Urdu literature. Secretary of Parveen Shakir Trust Raana Seerat also addressed on the occasion and informed the participants about the overall concept of the festival.

 Later on, Chairman Senate also distributed seven “Aks-e-Khushboo Awards” to literary figures and lauded the excellent arrangements made in this regard.

The event was attended by noted literary figures, journalists, writers, poets and people from different walks of life.