Peshawar: A literary, cultural and social welfare organization, Gandhara Hindko Board, has chalked out the plan to hold a series of Hindko and Seraiki literary and cultural conferences next year apart from launching an extensive cultural research project.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the board convened in Peshawar. The chairman of the board and a former chief secretary of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Ejaz Ahmad Qureshi, presided over the meeting. Among others, the gathering was attended by Ziauddin Siddiqui, Dr Adnan Gul, Dr Salahuddin, Khwaja Yawer Naseer, Muhammad Jan Aatif, Ziaul Haq Sarhadi, Sadia Ambareen, Ahmad Nadeem Awan and Saeed Paras.
The participants were asked to put forward suggestions for carrying out the literary and cultural activities next year. In response to the proposals, it was decided that a Seraiki and Hindko conference will be arranged in February 2014 at Dera Ismail Khan which will be attended by Seraiki literati from Dera Ismail Khan and Tank, apart from Hindko writers from other parts of the province where the language is spoken.
A Hindko literary and cultural conference will be organized at Abbottabad in the Hazara division in April 2014 which will be followed by another such event in Kohat in May. Peshawar will host the Third Hindko Aalmi Conference in November that will also be attended by writers and poets from abroad.
Earlier, General Secretary of the board, Muhammad Ziauddin Siddiqui, gave an overview of the activities conducted by the organization so far. He said the board has published 50 Hindko books on various genres and another 30 publications were in the pipeline. He said the board was bringing out regular publications that included “The Gandhara Voice”, “Hindkowan”, “Sarkhail” and children magazine, “Taarey”.
The researcher said apart from carrying out other activities in year 2014, the board will launch a cultural research project to get information on the tangible and intangible Hindko cultural heritage of Peshawar. The team of young cultural activists will interact with the elderly people from the Walled City of Peshawar and record their impressions in their own voices.
These audio recordings will be transcribed and published in book forms. In the second stage the project will be extended to other cities of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where the Hindko language is spoken, including Nowshera, Kohat, Abbottabad, Haripur, Mansehra along with those parts of the Swabi and Battagram districts where Hindko population has presence.
Board Chairman Ejaz Ahmad Qureshi said Gandhara Hindko Board believes in respect for and due attention to all the languages spoken in Pakistan. He said children should have awareness about their respective mother languages while learning the national language Urdu.
He said unity in diversity is a universally acknowledged principle, adding all languages and cultures must be acknowledged and promoted without any discrimination. In the end, he officially inaugurated the website of the Gandhara Hindko Board which is www. Gandharahindko.com.