Ahead of Urdu Festival, PST members visit Parveen Shakir’s grave on 27th death anniversary

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Zubair Qureshi

Ahead of the Parveen Shakir Urdu Literature Festival being celebrated on Tuesday (tomorrow), Chairperson and the members of the Parveen Shakir Trust (PST), writers, poets and intellectuals of the twin cities visited the H-8 graveyard on Sunday to remember the poetess on her 27th death anniversary (died on Dec 26, 1994).

This is an annual ritual that the men and the women of letters perform remembering the young and the beloved poetess who left for her eternal abode at a young age of 42 in a road accident in Islamabad.

Chairperson of the PST and a long-time friend and colleague of Parveen Shakir, Parveen Qadir Agha led the small group, former colleagues and retired officers of the Customs and the Income Tax Group, poets and writers both young and the old, representatives of the Customs Group and of course fans of her poetry.

Parveen Agha laid the floral wreath on the grave of Parveen Shakir and offered Fateha for the salvation of the soul.

On this occasion, rich tributes were paid to the ‘interpreter’ of women’s feelings for her contributions to Urdu literature.

Along with members of the trust including Majid Qureshi, Muhammad Siddique, Rubina Siddique, Seema Majid, Seema Jahangir, Anwar Jahangir, Rukhsana Usman, Salman Nabi, Shaukat Mehmood, Najeeb Abbasi, Nazim Saleem, two members of a special contingent of the Pakistan Customs, Deputy Collectors Ms Beenish and Huda Khalid had also come along with the flowers to be laid on their former officer’s grave.

Parveen Shakir’a poetry collection “Khushbu” has been amongst the best sellers even today.

She was an officer of Customs Service group (10 Common) and posted in Islamabad when she met a fatal accident that claimed her life.

While talking to media on the occasion, Chairperson of the PST Parveen Qadir Agha said the PST was holding an Urdu Literature Festival on Tuesday at the Islamabad Hostel in the name of Parveen Shakir. Pakistan’s noted poets Amjad Islam Amjad, Asghar Nadeem Sayyid and fiction writer Mustansar Hussain Tarar will be attending the event. We shall give 14 awards along with an amount of PKR 850,000 to poets and writers in different categories of poetry, prose and fiction on the occasion, she further said.

One important feature and highlight of the event is arrival of Turkish scholar and writer Dr Davut Sahbaz who will be given Nayyir Adabi Award for his book on Mazharul Islam.

Besides, a number of seminars, discussions and debates on novels, future of printed word will be held and people will have the opportunity to listen to their favourite writers. A Mushaira (Poetry Recital) is also planned with two different sessions on ‘ghazal’ and ‘nazam.’ Noted poets of the twin cities would be participating in the mushaira, said she.