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Pakistan High Commission organizes “Youm-e-Iqbal” event; Iqbal’s thoughts are still relevance

Pakistan High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood

By M M Special Correspondent,

New Delhi: Paying rich tributes to Allama Iqbal, Pakistan High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood said the research being conducted on Iqbal’s work worldwide reaffirmed the “salience and timelessness” of Iqbal’s concepts, thought and overall message.

Speaking at the Youm-e-Iqbal celebrations organized by the Pakistan High Commission here, Pakistan Envoy said Allama Iqbal was the “musavir-e-Pakistan” and his thoughts are relevant even today. He said this programme was part of the series of events that the High Commission is holding in connection with the completion of 70 years of Pakistan, titled “Pakistan at 70.”

Other speakers and scholars also paid rich tributes to Iqbal’s profound thoughts and universal message. They highlighted the remarkable life and achievements of Iqbal — the great philosopher, poet of the East (shair-e-Mashriq), and Pakistan’s national poet.

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The timeless relevance of Iqbal’s universal message and his contributions towards the spiritual, moral and intellectual elevation of the people of the subcontinent in particular, and of humanity in general, were emphasized.

Distinguished ‘Maher-e- Iqbaliaat’ and Professor of Emeritus, Prof (Dr.) Abdul Haq said Iqbal was one of the greatest poets and philosophers of the modern era and stressed that his thought went even beyond universalism (afaaqiyat).

Delivering a lecture on “Iqbal ki Afaaqi Fikr” (The Universality of Iqbal’s Thought), Prof Haq underlined that Iqbal was the only philosopher who had propounded philosophy through poetry, and the only poet whose poetry contained in it a complete philosophy.

Quoting profusely from Iqbal’s Urdu and Persian poetry, as well as taking examples from Iqbal’s other prominent works including the Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, Prof. Haq illustrated how Iqbal’s concepts of khudi (self), Shaheen (eagle), and mard-e-momin (true Muslim) went way beyond any confines and limits that the human imagination might set or construct.

In his concluding remarks, High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood paid rich tributes to the “musavir-e-Pakistan”.

Drawing upon his observations from his earlier assignments in Turkey, Mahmood also highlighted the extensive work being done in Turkey on various aspects of Iqbal’s life and work — from Iqbal’s spiritual connection with Rumi to his respect for Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s contributions to his association with Turkey’s national poet Mehmet Akif Ersoy. Turkey’s Ambassador to India Mr. Sakir Ozkan Torunlar was invited as the Guest of Honour to the programme.

The High Commissioner also announced that more such events of the “Pakistan at 70” series would be organized in the coming weeks to showcase the myriad dimensions of Pakistan’s journey over the past 70 years since Independence.

On the occasion, a video message from Allama Iqbal’s grandson Munib Iqbal was played in the programme. In his specially recorded message for this event, Munib Iqbal said Iqbal’s message was truly universal and was being continuously studied and researched in all parts of the world. He added that solutions to many problems of the contemporary world could be found in Iqbal’s thought.

Delhi University’s student Manish Kumar and a well-known Delhi poet Salma Shaheen presented beautiful renditions of kalam-e-Iqbal.

A special Photographic Exhibition depicting different phases of Iqbal’s eventful life was also organized at the High Commission. An impressive collection of Pakistan Post’s commemorative postal stamps on Iqbal, issued on various occasions, was also on display.

Special arrangements were also made for the display of a wide range of published works on Iqbal in the Urdu, Persian, English and Turkish languages.

Other prominent guests included President of South Asian University (SAU) Dr. Kavita Sharma, Professor Emeritus Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Prof Shamim Hanafi, eminent scholar Prof. Syed Akhtar Hussain (JNU), academics, Iqbaliaat experts, students and representatives of the media and civil society.

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