Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Training Engr Baligh-ur-Rehman has urged promotion of Persian language and literature for its rich religious and cultural background. He was addressing as chief guest closing ceremony of the two-day national conference on Persian Language: Challenges and Future Prospects here at the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Secretariat here on Thursday. HEC in collaboration with the Cultural Consulate, Embassy of Iran, National University of Modern Languages (NUML), Islamic Culture and Relations Organisation, and Iran-Pakistan Institute of Persian Studies had organized the conference.
Chairman HEC, Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, Executive Director HEC, Dr. Arshad Ali, Ambassador of Iran Mr. Mehdi Honardoost, Cultural Consular, Iranian Embassy, Mr. Shahaboddin Daraei, Ambassador of Tajikistan Mr. Jononov Sherali, Consultant HEC, Dr. Mahmood ul Hasan Butt, faculty members and scholars from across the country were also present.
Addressing the conference, Engr Baligh-ur-Rehman highlighted the significance of Persian language with regard to promotion of cultural harmony. “Learning multiple languages cast positive impact on critical and analytical thinking and enrich the canvas of thought,” he underlined. He said Persian possesses vital status in regional as well as religious perspectives, adding that this language preserves a huge treasure of knowledge and wisdom. He said Pakistan accords great importance to its relations with Iran, as the two countries enjoy historic, religious and cultural bonds. “The bilateral relations demand emphasis on promotion of Persian,” he stressed.
Appreciating UNESCO for launching Avicenna Prize for Ethics in Science, the Minister said such initiatives encourage literati and scholars to excel in the fields of their interest and come up with productive work. He informed the audience that the Government has set up National Curriculum Council, which is developing curricula for various levels. “The curricula focuses character building of students apart from enhancing their academic skills,” he concluded. In his remarks, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed stressed the need for reading history to know how the ancestors of Muslims spread knowledge across the world through their research and theoretical findings. “Today, we need to learn from our history and strive to revive it,” he emphasized. It is high time to understand the ideology of our forefathers by learning their languages which we have relinquished, he stated. He maintained that universities’ faculty has a great role to play for encouragement of students taking interest in history and languages like Persian.
On this occasion, Mehdi Honardoost, Shahaboddin Daraei, Jononov Sherali, Iftikhar Arif and other notables also expressed their views on the importance of Persian language. They paid tribute to Allama Iqbal and Sheikh Saadi for producing remarkable Persian literature which is a worthwhile source of guidance for the entire Muslim Ummah. Dr. Iqbal Saqib presented the communique agreed upon by the conference participants. The communique emphasised joint efforts to promote Persian language and use it as a tool to further strengthen relations between Pakistan and Iran.
It also stressed the need for academic measures to facilitate Persian students and scholars. It termed Government patronage to joint research on Persian a need of the hour. It urged the Persian teachers to extend their services for promotion of academic relations between the two countries. At the end, Saadi-Iqbal Awards 2017 were distributed among teachers of Persian language who devoted their lives to the promotion of Persian language. The awardees included Dr. Arif Noshahi, Dr. Mehr Noor Muhammad Khan, Ms. Zakia, Dr. Rabia Kiyani, Ms. Bint-ul-Huda, and Dr. Hakim Dastari.