PABBI: Poets, litterateurs and scholars paid glowing tribute to late Pashto scholar Dost Muhammad Kamil Mohmand on Sunday.
During an event to commemorate Mohmand’s centenary organised in Pabbi, Nowshera by Pashto Adabi Jirga, participants highlighted the late scholar’s contributions to Pashto literature and history. The organisers drew attention to the fact that Pukhtuns had forgotten his services as only a handful of scholars attended the session even though they had been invited.
A large number of poets and scholars urged the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government to bring out Mohmand’s unpublished work and reprint his published works so people have access to them.
“Through his work, Mohmand gave us a message of peace, unity and mutual respect,” said Saadullah Jan Barq, a poet and scholar. “This is currently the prime need of Pukhtuns.”
Custodian of the past
According to Barq, Mohmand was a prolific researcher who prevented a series of controversies about historical figures and events.
“If he had not produced these works, many controversies about the history of Pukhtuns would not have been clarified,” he said. “Mohmand helped streamline a number of important issues.”
Barq said Pukhtuns lost control over a significant portion of India because they lost interest in their own language, art and culture. “Pukhtuns are passing through a similar situation now,” he said. “They must recognise their identity and remember their real heroes. If they forget them, they will find themselves completely lost.”
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Zubair Hasrat, a scholar, said Mohmand’s work focused on the need to establish peace and put an end to warfare.
He added Mohmand was the first Pashto scholar who conducted a scientific study on the work of Khushal Khan Khattak. “He has also written important and comprehensive books in English on the subject,” he said. “These books were written in other languages to tell the world about Pukhtuns.”
According to Hasrat, Mohmand has also researched the history of Pukhtuns and managed to counter the negative perceptions held about them. Farhad Ali Ghalib Tareen, another Pashto writer, said Mohmand refrained from writing fictions, dramas and romantic poetry and instead dedicated his time towards research. “He was one of the first to conduct extensive research on the life and times of Pukhtun heroes.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 19th, 2015.