A memorable evening with legend Iftikhar Arif at PHC

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LONDON: There are no two opinions that nations and individual are recognised by their language and civilisation. Urdu is one of the most popular and spoken language throughout the world especially in south Asia.

There are roughly 6,500 spoken languages in the world today. However, about 2,000 of those languages have fewer than 1,000 speakers. The most popular language in the world is Mandarin Chinese. There are 1,213,000,000 people in the world that speak that language. But above all, Urdu has its own value and integral part of the respectful civilisation.

Pakistan High Commission London arranged an “Evening with Iftikhar Arif”, a renowned Pakistani poet, in collaboration with Urdu Markaz London on Friday (May 3). The event was held in keeping with the tradition of the High Commission to promote Urdu language and literature and connect the young British Pakistanis with their cultural heritage.

A large number of Urdu poetry loving Pakistani community and fans of Iftikhar Arif attended the Mushaira. In his welcome remarks, High Commissioner, Mohammad Nafees Zakaria, underlined the importance of national language in transmitting national heritage and cultural ethos to the future generations. Mr Zakaria also paid tribute to the Quiad-i-Azam, Allama Iqbal and Maulvi Abdul Haq for their efforts and work to promote Urdu. In this regard, he noted that the Government of Pakistan set up several institutions for the promotion of national language.
The High Commissioner commended Iftikhar Arif for his contribution to promote Urdu language and poetry in Pakistan as well as abroad. Appreciating Dr Javaid Sheikh, Chairman Urdu Markaz London for his services to advance Urdu in the UK, Mr Zakaria sought a plan from Urdu Markaz London to teach Urdu to the British Pakistani youth and offered all possible assistance from the High Commission in that pursuit.
Iftikhar Arif recited his famous poems and ghazals and spellbound the audience. He also shared the fond memories of his stay in London along with other literary giants of Pakistan. Iftikhar Arif gave a detailed talk on the past and present of Urdu language and literature. He emphasized on efforts to promote Urdu language which is the custodian of a great cultural heritage.

Professor Iftikhar Malik of Bath University, UK, delivered an enlightening lecture on Allama Iqbal’s “Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam” where he argued that Iqbal did not see East and West in reference to clash of civilizations. Prof. Iftikhar said according to Iqbal Islam is a universal religion and, therefore, Western achievements in science, philosophy, literature, human management, and politics are all part of Islamic tradition. He also shed light on Iqbal’s focus of Ijtehad, which means creating new ideas and new solutions to new challenges.
Some local Urdu poets including Aqeel Danish, Ayub Aulia, Saira Batool, Dr. Hilal Farid, Rahat Zahid and Dr. Naheed Kayani also presented their poetry and received applause from the attendees. Dr Javaid Sheikh briefed the audience about the work of Urdu Markaz London. On this occasion, poet Ayub Aulia presented his book “Nairang-e-Nazar” to the High Commissioner Nafees Zakaria and Iftikhar Arif while Aqeel Danish presented a painted couplet to Iftikhar Arif and also read it for the participants.

Prominent poet and journalist Faizan Arif moderated the event and opened the poetry session with his popular poetry.It was a memorable evening thoroughly enjoyed by the lovers of Urdu language and literature.