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November 26, 2018

Last day of Urdu Conference features discussion on films and humorous poetry


November 26, 2018

The last day of the 11th International Urdu Conference on Sunday offered some interesting sessions for the audience, ranging from a discussion on the film industry in Pakistan to a session on humorous Urdu poetry.

During the session of Pakistani films, noted television entrepreneur Sultana Siddiqui suggested various measures to provide a fillip to the domestic film industry, including no sales tax on film screenings for ten years, making it mandatory for cinema owners to screen Pakistani movies more than foreign ones and forming a commission to take care of film crews who go overseas for shooting in order to facilitate the production of high quality and exportable movies.

Indian theatre star Nadira Zaheer Babbar, wife of famous actor Raj Babbar, was also present on the panel. She said she could not say much about Pakistani movies as they very seldom succeeded in reaching India. However, she said whenever any Pakistani movie managed to get there, it broke all records of crowd pulling as what happened in the case of ‘Khuda Ke Liye’.

Television personality of yesteryear Munawwar Saeed was of the view that there did come a juncture when Pakistani cinema began to go on the wane but with the advent of new technologies, it was making a comeback. “Cinema can never die,” he said.

An American academic associated with Lahore University of Management Sciences, Gwendolin Kirk, who has been carrying out research on Pakistani movies, praised the Pakistani films sky-high in unbelievably impeccable Urdu. Others who spoke at the session included Mustafa Qureshi and Nadeem Beg.

A lifetime achievement award was conferred upon National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) President Zia Mohyuddin who has made invaluable contributions to the Pakistani theatre and is celebrated for his readings of literature. The award was in the form of a sculpture created by artist Shahid Rassam. Zia also read out verses by Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Iqbal, and Miraji on the occasion.

Another worthy session was of Anwar Masood. The Lahore-based humorist-poet had the audience going into chuckles constantly with his limericks and parodies in both Urdu and Punjabi. Some resolutions were passed at the closing ceremony of the conference. A resolution called for adopting negotiations and allowing free contacts among people of South Asian countries in order to resolve issues that have plagued ties between the countries.

Another resolution asked the media to help foster goodwill and harmony among various segments of society in the country. Calls were also made for giving impetus to Urdu and other languages of the country, and the implementation of the Supreme Court decision to make Urdu the official language of the country.

By and large, the Urdu Conference was a success. The popularity of the event could be gauged from the fact that the auditorium was packed beyond capacity with as many people watching the proceedings outside the auditorium on a screen.

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