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Faiz Ahmad Faiz – songs of a brave heart

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Feb 13, 2023 marks the 112th birth anniversary of celebrated poet and writer Faiz Ahmad Faiz. Much has been written about various aspects of the luminary’s life and traditional stock of superlatives can’t do an adequate justice to his contributions in several spheres. The best tribute one can pay to him is by recalling his own words of wisdom and literary bouquets offered to him by acclaimed figures.

In ‘The Voice of a Courageous Heart’ penned in Jan 13, 1949, I.A. Rehman paid a glowing tribute to Faiz Ahmad Faiz while highlighting his days in incarceration.

Mr Rehman writes: “… But the heart of the poet, alive, vigorously pulsating could not be stilled by the prison walls, radiating a dark night of dampness. The day’s quiet, stifling stillness placed no seal of silence on the songs of his lips. Through the thick walls of the prison, passionately, and vehemently sounded the rousing song of his brave heart, laden with love for people, for life and for his native land.

“And the rustling of the wings of his song was heard across the lands of Pakistan and India and millions of human hearts responded, in the struggle between the darkness of reaction and the light of the fighting revolutionary poetry – poetry won.”

The late Zafar Iqbal Mirza, in his famous Lahori column, remembered Faiz. Aptly titled ‘He wanted to throw all weapons into sea’, the column shares an incident in these words.

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“Daman, in hospital after a stroke, insisted that he should be taken to the Faiz residence, when told that his friend had died. And he cried like a baby. A baby born on Jan 1, 1900. The last I heard, it was touch and go and a doctor asked me to pray for Daman. How this ungrateful city has treated Ustad, it loves mausoleums, not men.”

Faiz was interviewed on his 65th birthday by Tahir Mirza for Viewpoint in 1976. When Tahir Mirza asked about the most creative period of his life, Faiz replied: “I think the period in Amritsar and during the two incarcerations. But one cannot forget the period with the Pakistan Times… everyday’s paper was a new creation, as good as a poem.”

Faiz was not only a great poet, he was also a prolific prose writer and the best examples of his literary craft can be found in the editorials he penned for The Pakistan Times in the fledgling years of the country. His patriotism, respect for the Quaid-i-Azam and wish to see freedom and other ideals for the people in the new homeland are best articulated in some of the editorials.

Paying tribute to the founder of the nation, he penned an editorial ‘To God we return’ on Sept 13, 1948.

“The Quaid-i-Azam has passed away, after long years of toil and sacrifice and service in the cause of his people, his frail body has at last been gathered undo rest and his soul called back to the abode of the eternally blessed. No name in the history of Indian Muslims has been loved and acclaimed as the name Muhammad Ali Jinnah. No man in living memory evoked such unquestioned loyalty, such unqualified devotion, such unbounded faith, for the one-time oppressed, rejected and broken Muslim nation, Muhammad Ali Jinnah was much more than a political leader.

“He was the father, the brother, the friend and the counsellor, the guide and confidant, the comrade and leader all combined into one. Millions hopefully whispered his name in hours of anguish and blessed him silently in moments of joy.”

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In ‘Progress of a dream’ (March 23, 1949), he deplored: “The dream is as yet unfulfilled. The division has come but neither half is as yet completely at peace, whether with itself or with its neighbour. Internal harmony was made impossible because neither side chalked out or planned a pattern of free and secure existence for the minorities left in its care, a pattern similar to the one that each majority has managed to obtain for itself. The fair visage of freedom, therefore, was daubed and besmeared with blood and bitter tears.” 

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Shawwal moon sighted in Pakistan, Eidul Fitr on April 10

Shawwal moon sighted in Pakistan, Eidul Fitr on April 10

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Shawwal moon sighted in Pakistan, Eidul Fitr on April 10

The Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee has announced that the Shawwal moon has been sighted, therefore, Eidul Fitr will be observed in Pakistan tomorrow (Wednesday).

The Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee meeting was chaired by Maulana Abdul Khabir Azad at the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony in Islamabad.

Esteemed members from various institutions, including the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Pakistan Meteorological Department, and the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), attended the meeting.

Zonal members from Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Quetta, and Peshawar also contributed to the deliberations

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Will impose education emergency in Pakistan, says PM Shehbaz

Will impose education emergency in Pakistan, says PM Shehbaz

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Will impose education emergency in Pakistan, says PM Shehbaz

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday said his government would impose education emergency across country and the children will be equipped with education in the true sense.

Prime Minister Sharif, while addressing the inspection ceremony of Danish school site in Islamabad, greeted the federal education minister, ministers, chancellors and students and said it was a very happy day for him.

Under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif, Danish schools project was started, he said and added, Danish School supported those children whose parents had left the world.

He said the parents of thousands of children and girls did not have resources for education.

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“Today, the students of this school after getting education, exhibiting their excellence and proving their abilities in the whole world,” said the prime minister.

The prime minister said they were making excellent records in the field of sports as well.

“We faced a barrage of criticism when we started this project. I said when Aitchison College can be built for the rich, why can’t we build schools for the poor or orphans?” he said.

He said wonderful housing societies had been built in Islamabad, schools had been established for the children of the rich. “Is education only the right of the children of the elite? Is education not the right of poor boys and girls in Islamabad?” he asked.

Prime Minister Sharif said a new era was going to begin at the federal level. “Balochistan is the largest province of Pakistan. We will contribute for the project together with Balochistan chief minister,” he said.

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The prime minister said Danish schools will also be established in all divisions of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan

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Buses, trains are overcrowded amid usual Eid exodus

Buses, trains are overcrowded amid usual Eid exodus

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Buses, trains are overcrowded amid usual Eid exodus

The bus terminals and railway station are overcrowded with passengers as people want to go to their hometowns to celebrate Eidul Fitr with families. 

According to some reports, almost half of the people living in Lahore belong to other parts of the province and they always wish to celebrate Eid with their families.

The government has announced a four-day holiday from April 10 till 13.

Muslims offer special prayers on Eid morning and spend time with their families and loved ones.

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Long queues of passengers can be seen at the bus stands in the city.

Also Read: Where will top politicians celebrate this Eid?

The general bus stand at Badami Bagh, city terminal on Bund Road and bus stand at Thokar Niaz Beg are overcrowded as the outsiders want to leave Lahore before midnight. 

The passengers also faced difficulty in getting the tickets as overcharging was rampant at the bus stands.

Similarly, the railway station was also overcrowded with the passengers because a large number of commuters travel by train.

Read More: Chand Raat excitement – a beginning of Eid festivities

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Pakistan Railways had announced four special trains on the eve of Eidul Fitr this year to facilitate the passengers.

Railways authorities have instructed passengers to follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) while travelling by trains and at stations.

The first special train left Karachi for Peshawar. The second special train departed from Quetta for Rawalpindi.

The third special train left Karachi for Lahore. The fourth special train will depart from Lahore to Karachi at 5pm on April 9 (today).

More to Read: Celebrating the spirit of sharing and caring

Meanwhile, the railways authorities also launched a special train for Narowal this Eid. The train departed from Lahore Railway Station at 9:20am on April 9.

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The Pakistan Railway has bought 1.5 million litres of diesel to ensure the smooth operation of trains during Eidul Fitr.

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