Delegation leaves for launch of PST chapter in Canada

April 19, 2024
A representational image of an immigrant holding a Canadian flag. — X/CitImmCanada/File

Islamabad: A delegation of the Parveen Shakir Trust (PST) including Urdu writers, poets and scholars left for Canada under the leadership of the trust chairperson Parveen Qadir Agha to participate in the Parveen Shakir Urdu Literature Festival and Urdu Mushaira (poetry recital) to be held tomorrow (Saturday), says a press release.


The visit of the prominent literary figures is taking place at the behest of the vice chairman of the trust Syed Murad Ali, son of the late poetess Parveen Shakir (1952-1994) who has been credited for giving voice to the female sensitivities and is seen as a role model by those women, particularly girls in Pakistan who want to realise their dreams in life and to make their mark in the male-dominated society. Another highlight of the visit is launch of the PST Canada chapter.

Pakistan’s Consul General in Toronto Khalil Ahmed Bajwa will be one of the noted guests on the occasion. Members Parliament (MPs) of Canada Iqra Khalid and Shafqat Ali and Pakistan’s acclaimed Urdu fiction writer Mazharul Islam will also be among the guests of honour at the launching ceremony of the PST Canada chapter.

A marathon reading of Parveen Shakir’s poems is also part of the Literature Festival and among those who will read out selected works of the poetess include Mehtab Akbar Rashdi, eminent scholar and TV anchor, Dr Rubina Siddique, Nasreen Syed, Rida Fatima and Anjeela Wajhi. A dialogue on literary ties between Canada and Pakistan will also feature in the inaugural day ceremony. Those who will advocate stronger literary ties between Pakistan and Canada and speak on the occasion include Ambassador Karamat Ullah Ghauri, Dr Asad Naseer, Syed Taqui Abidi and Dr Ziaul Hassan.

The highlight of the day, however will be the grand Urdu poetry recital or ‘Mushaira’ to be participated by the Pakistani and the Canadian-Pakistani poets. Pakistan’s noted scholar Hameeda Shahen will preside over the Mushaira while Nasreen Syed will conduct the proceedings.

A large number of the Pakistani expats and their families particularly those who have been inspired by Parveen Shakir’s poems and ‘ghazals’ since their childhood and youth days, are expected to attend the event. According to the host Syed Murad Ali the event is by invitation and “We have advanced conformation for all the seats.”

Parveen Qadir Agha, chairperson of the PST expressed her delight at the formal launch of the PST Canada chapter, saying “We are going to become international and it is in continuation of our desire for growth and expansion.” It will also lead to our opening such chapters in other parts of the world, she said giving the credit to the ‘proud son of Parveen Shakir.’ The poetry of Parveen Shakir is by now international with having been translated into English, Italian, French, German, Persian, Japanese, Sindhi, Gujarati, Hindi and even Arabic, she said.