Pakistan High Commission organizes “Youm-e-Iqbal” in New Delhi

Pakistan High Commission organizes “Youm-e-Iqbal” in New Delhi. Rich tributes were paid to Allama Iqbal’s profound thought and universal message during the Youm-e-Iqbalcelebrations organized by the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi on 27 April 2018. The programme was part of the series of events that the High Commission is holding in connection with completion of 70 years of Pakistan, titled “Pakistan at 70.” The proceedings focused on celebration of the remarkable life and achievements of Iqbal — the great philosopher, poet of the East (shair-e-Mashriq), and Pakistan’s national poet. 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. Prof. Dr. Abdul Haq, an eminent scholar of Iqbal at the University of Delhi, delivered the Distinguished Lecture on “Iqbal ki Afaaqi Fikr” (The Universality of Iqbal’s Thought). Turkey’s Ambassador to India Mr. Sakir Ozkan Torunlar was the Guest of Honour on the occasion. Other prominent guests included President of South Asian University (SAU) Dr. Kavita Sharma, Professor Emeritus Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Shamim Hanfi, eminent scholar Prof. Syed Akhtar Hussain (JNU), academics, Iqbaliaat experts, students and representatives of the media and civil society. A video message from Allama Iqbal’s grandson, Mr. Munib Iqbal, especially recorded for this event was played for the participants. Munib Iqbal underlined that 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. In the course of his lecture, Prof. Dr. Abdul Haq described Iqbal as one of the greatest poets and philosophers of modern era and stressed that his thought went even beyond universalism (afaaqiyat). 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. Abdul Haq illustrated how Iqbal’s concepts ofkhudi (self), shaheen (eagle), and mard-e-momin (true Muslim) went way beyond any confines and limits that the human imagination might set or construct. 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. As part of the programme, Delhi University’s student Manish Kumar and a well-known Delhi poet Salma Shaheen presented beautiful renditions of kalam-e-Iqbal. In his remarks on the occasion, High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood paid rich tributes to the musavir-e-Pakistanand underscored that the research being conducted on Iqbal’s work worldwide, even today, was only serving to reaffirm the salience and timelessness of Iqbal’s concepts, thought and overall message. Drawing upon his observations from his earlier assignments in Turkey, High Commissioner Sohail 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 A special Photographic Exhibition depicting different phases of Iqbal’s eventful life was organized at the High Commission as part of the Youm-e-Iqbal. 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 In his concluding comments, besides expressing his gratitude to Prof. Abdul Haq, High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood thanked the Pakistan Foreign Office, the Iqbal Academy Lahore, Mr. Munib Iqbal, the Pakistan Post and Pakistan’s well-known photographer Gulraiz Ghouri for their excellent collaboration in helping the High Commission host the event in a befitting manner. The High Commissioner announced that further events in connection with the “Pakistan at 70” series would be organized in the coming weeks and months to illustrate the myriad dimensions of Pakistan’s journey over the past 70 years since Independence.