Rich tribute paid to Kanwal Feroz on 35th birthday of the monthly Shadaab


Lahore. To celebrate the 35th birthday of the monthly Shadaab produced by Dr Kanwal Feroz and the formal launch of his third collection of poetry, Sham-i-Farat-i-Dil, a function was held at a local hotel.

Arranged jointly by the United Religion Initiative (URI) and the Pakistan Association of Inter-religious Dialogue, it was presided over by Abdul Aziz Khalid. The special guests on the occasion were Munno Bhai and Bishop Samuel Robert Azariyah while Azhar Javed conducted the proceedings and kept the audience amused with his remarks. Introducing the two sponsors of the function, Kazy Javed, resident director of the Pakistan Academy of Letters, said that both the organizations were constantly striving to bring people of different religions closer and help them to sit together, talk among themselves, and thereby understand each other. They stood for promoting tolerance and broadmindedness among people of different faiths. Rasheed Misbah spoke highly of not only the poetic capabilities of Kanwal Feroz but also his personal qualities. He said he firmly believed in spreading love and cheer among the people. In her talk, Nasreen Anjum Bhatti was all praise for the helpful nature of Kanwal Feroz so much so that he was friendly even with his enemies. Salma Jabeen, who has been with the Voice of Germany for years, was also present at the function that evening. Giving her views she said that keeping a magazine alive was indeed a difficult task and Kanwal Feroz deserves kudos for his persistence of 35 long years. The chief guests, Bishop Azariyah and Munno Bhai also spoke on the occasion. The bishop pointed out that all religions not only preached love for humanity but also laid stress upon it. Hence, it could be said without fear of contradiction that Kanwal Feroz was truly following the dictates of his religion. Munno Bhai said that since people from different countries were present at the function, it could well be regarded as an international event. Referring to Kanwal Feroz, he said, that he was every inch a true human being which is the basic requirement of every religion. As happens at the end of such functions, Kanwal Feroz was asked to say something and also present his verses. However, Kanwal confined himself to thanking all those who had graced the occasion but refrained from reciting his poetry. That time, he said, would be better used by Father James Chanan and the dignitary presiding, Abdul Aziz Khalid. Speaking first, Father James said that his organization which started functioning in 1995 was now operating in 80 countries of the world. Its mission was to bring the people of different religions closer and promote mutual understanding. He appreciated the gesture when he was invited to speak at a function in the Badshahi Mosque. In his presidential remarks, Abdul Aziz Khalid said that Kanwal Feroz had a vast circle of friends belonging to different vocations and faiths. It was because of his human qualities that he was welcome in all sections of society. He appreciated his latest collection of poetry and said that the verses not only spread a message of love but there was also an element of elegance in them. He wished him luck in his future endeavours.

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