Author riding the wave of love for Gujrat feted

GUJRAT: A notable author who pulls the heartstrings of people with his works expressing his love and devotion for the soil and its people was celebrated here at Hafiz Hayat Campus by his contemporary men and women of letters on Wednesday.

The event, titled “Gujrat’s Portrayal: Through the Pen of Sheikh Abdul Rashid,” was jointly organized by University of Gujrat Reader’s Club and Quaid-e-Azam Library as part of the ongoing book fair at the varsity.

Renowned columnist, poet and scholar Dr Sughra Sadaf was the chief guest. Among the distinguished guests were Director-General Punjab Libraries Kashif Manzoor, Dr Amjad Tufail, Peer Zia-ul-Haq Naqshbandi, Kaleem Ehsan Butt, Gagan Shahid, Atiq Anwar Raja and Sheikh Abdul Rashid himself. Dr Rukhsana Riaz of the Reader’s Club was in the host’s chair.

Dr Sughra Sadaf emphasized that Gujrat being a city of knowledge and learning, historical research is a challenging endeavour. She said, “Sheikh Abdul Rashid has carefully dug out historical facts and missing links scattered around the corners of Gujrat. Through various biographical writings, Sheikh Abdul Rashid has successfully tried to preserve the lost history of Gujrat for future generations.

“A dynamic, versatile and literature-loving person” was the portrayal of Sheikh Abdul Rashid by Kashif Manzoor. Lauding his works as a social historian, Manzoor emphasised that Sheikh Rashid’s role was much akin to that of a historian of Gujrat, with a penchant not just for writing but writing well.

Dr Amjad Tufail said, “Sheikh Abdul Rashid has successfully introduced forgotten men and women of letters and great personalities to the present generation.”

Peer Zia-ul-Haq Naqshbandi highlighted the importance of book culture. He stressed that “books are the source of knowledge and the soul of civilization” and called for promotion of Sheikh Abdul Rashid’s books.

Kaleem Ehsan Butt delineated Sheikh Abdul Rashid as a vibrant personality who pulls the heartstrings of people through his eloquence. “He has a deep understanding of personalities and his gaze is fixed on societal issues.”

Gagan Shahid said that documenting local history is a challenging task. “Sheikh Abdul Rashid’s books are, in a manner of speaking, are a tribute to our forgotten litterateurs.” Atiq Anwar Raja said that Sheikh Abdul Rashid has brought to the fore achievements of great personalities for the younger generation. “His books diffuse a new life into the Gujrat’s vibrant history.” Sheikh Abdul Rashid’s straightforward and engaging style resonates with readers.

Sheikh Abdul Rashid said that identity of Gujrat is the pivot of his writings. “Many notable personalities of Pakistan have emerged from this region. Writing about Gujrat is actually repaying the debt of the soil. My love for the land of Gujrat is embedded in my breaths.”

Dr Rukhsana Riaz said that Sheikh Abdul Rashid’s style of expression captivates the reader. She expressed her gratitude to the guests for attending the session.

A large number of students, faculty members, HoDs, chairpersons, and administration officials, including former vice-chancellor of KFUEIT Dr Muhammad Suleman Tahir,  attended the session.

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