“National Mushaira” organised by the NGO Bradasht was held at Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) in Islamabad, said a press release issued by PAL.
The mushaira aimed to remind people of the importance of tolerance and peace in the present scenario of “hate-fuelled violence”.
“Poets and writers represent a section of society that has always been committed to the promotion of harmony and tolerance in society. For this noble purpose we have gathered here today to express our commitment with tolerance and non-violence,” said Khurram Khiraam Siddiqui, an Urdu and English poet, PAL’s English Editor, and the conductor of the mushaira.
Award-winning Urdu poet Noreen Talat Urooba jointly conducted the mushaira with Siddiqui. Prominent poets from around the country read their poems on themes of tolerance.
Veteran Karachi-based poet Professor Sehar Ansari presided over the mushaira and read from some of his most popular ghazals.
Chief Guest and Bardasht Chairperson Senator Nilofer Bukhtiar thanked all the poets who came to express their solidarity against intolerance. She expressed her deep grief over the assassination of Federal Minister for Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti.
Apart from the core theme of tolerance, poets also read from their ghazals and nazms on love and friendship.
The hall was bustling with people from all sections of society including students and journalists. Prominent poets who read their poetry included Professor Sehar Ansari, Iftikhar Arif, Tauseef Tabassum, Amjad Islam Amjad, Fahmida Riaz, Anwar Feroze, Sarmed Sehbai, Zafar Akbar Abadi, Hassan Abbas Raza,Abida Taqi, Durre Shahwar, Tauseef Tabassum, Nawabzada Khurshid, Dr Sughra Sadaf, Tabasssum Akhlaq, Mehmooda Ghazia, Manzar Naqvi, Ghazanfer Hashmi, Shahida Dilawar Shah, Ali Yasir, Akhter Raza Saleemi, Khurram Khiraam Siddiqui, Ali Akber Natiq and Tanzeela Mazhar read their ghazals and nazms.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 6th, 2011.