The 8th UBL (United Bank Ltd) Literary Awards presentation ceremony was held at a local hotel on Saturday evening. The event was meant to recognise and celebrate the contribution of a host of Pakistani writers, poets and authors in the realm of literature.
The function was attended by a host of luminaries in the field and the media. There were over 130 entries that were shortlisted by a panel of judges that included Dr Asghar Nadeem Syed, Dr Asif Aslam Farrukhi, columnist Ghazi Salahuddin, Dr Arifa Syeda, Kishwar Naheed, Dr Anwaar Ahmed and Masood Ashar.
In Urdu fiction, Akhtar Raza Salimi was declared the winner for his ‘Jindar’. In Urdu non-fiction, Dr Nasir Abbas Nayyar won the award for his ‘Us ko aik shakhs samajhna to munasib naheen’.
Munawwar Husain was recognised for his best translation into Urdu, titled ‘Dur uftada shehr se aik taveel nazm’. In children’s Urdu literature, Shanul Haq Haqqi was declared the winner for his ‘Nazmein, pahelian aur nasr paray’. In children’s English literature, Amina Azfar won for her work titled ‘Partition’. Author and poet Zehra Nigah was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award. In English non-fiction, Tariq Khosa was recognised for his ‘The Faltering State’. The awards of Shanul Haq Haqqi and Fahmida Riaz were received by Haqqi’s grandson Faizan Haqqi and by Fahmida Riaz’s daughter respectively.
Welcoming the guests earlier, UBL President & CEO Sima Kamil said: “It is really refreshing to be here. Bankers are usually said to be boring people. We have had people who think and who write. Future generations don’t have the time to think. We should begin to involve the youth in such literary and creative pursuits.”
She added: “Pakistan is a wonderful mix of cultures, languages and ethnicities, and our literary heritage is proof enough. The UBL realises its responsibility to recognise and inspire writers, and to continue contributing to the country’s literary scenario. Let us hope that this literary impetus does not slacken and that future generations will fully utilise these literary treasures.”
This was followed by a performance of Ghazals by noted vocalist Salman Alvi, including two by the revolutionary people’s poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz: ‘Ai jazba-e-dil gar main chahoon’ and ‘Hum dekhein ge’. Alvi drew hearty applause.