Indian stars enthral Pakistanis at Lahore peace fest

Islamabad, Feb 14 (IANS) Singing and dancing to the poetry of eminent Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Bollywood stars Shabana Azmi and Ila Arun enthralled the crowd at the two-day Faiz Peace Festival in Lahore.

‘Faiz’s poetry has substance and clarity of thought, which is beyond time and space,’ said Shabana Azmi, who was on her third trip to Pakistan.

‘Faiz was my favourite poet, and this was something that my father Kaifi Azmi, himself a prominent poet, also knew but was never jealous of,’ Azmi said.

Singer Ila Arun said she was thrilled to be in Pakistan and found much warmth and love from the people.

‘Faiz’s poetry has deep-rooted philosophy of life in it and it is not possible for anybody to read it and not fall in love with his work,’ she said.

Pakistani artistes like Arshad Mahmood and Tarannum Naz joined the Indian contingent at the open air theatre in Bagh-i-Jinnah and paid tributes to Faiz.

The festival that ended Sunday evening, was conducted by the Faiz Foundation, run by the poet’s daughters, Salima and Muneeza, in connection with his 100th birth anniversary celebrations.

Faiz (1911-1984) was one of the most famous poets of the Urdu language. He was a member of the All India Progressive Writers’ Movement and an avowed Marxist.

His poetry has been translated into many languages, including English and Russian.

Faiz was the first Asian poet to receive the Lenin Peace Prize, awarded by the Soviet Union in 1963. He was also nominated for the Nobel Prize.


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