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The Dawn

Published Date: Feb 27, 2014

Life and works of Munnu Bahi celebrated

An event titled An Evening with Munnu Bhai, organised by the
Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) at a local hotel on Wednesday
paid tributes to Munnu Bhai for his valuable contributions to literature and
print media.

PPP Senator Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, while speaking to
participants, said: "It was Munnu Bhai who gave courage to women through his
writings and told them that they should speak for their rights."

"Unfortunately we do not have a trend of research, due to
which no one has bothered to do research on columns and poetry of Munnu Bhai;
why he wrote those columns and what was the reason behind the poetry," he said.

"Munnu Bhai worked in an era when there was a strict censor
and it was impossible to speak against dictators," Mr Ahsan added.

The senator said that the world had progressed and now the
time had come to think positively.

He also pointed out the need for a change in the defunct
curriculum in our schools.

Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed said Habib Jalib was
the only poet whose poetry reflected the era in which he wrote poems. Similarly,
Munno Bhai also has that quality and people can easily understand which era he
is talking about, he added.

Munnu Bhai, while talking to participants, said that in the
60s and 70s, all writers belonged to literary families but now things had changed.

“I learnt everything from people. Writers should understand
that glamour is in realism and they should increase interaction with the people
to write articles close to the heart of the people,” he said.

"During the tenure of dictator Yahya Khan, I exchanged
heated arguments with Minister of Information Sher Ali, due to which I was
transferred from Rawalpindi to Multan. In my columns, I started criticising
myself which was not an easy job," Munnu Bhai recalled.

He also recited verses of his poetry which were appreciated
by the participants.

Senior writer Masood Ashar also appreciated Munnu Bhai and
requested him to start writing again.

Literary figure Prof Fateh Mohammad Malik said that he was a
class fellow of Munnu Bhai in Attock, and cited Munnu Bhai as his inspiration
to pursue literature as a profession.

Executive Director SDPI, Abid Suleri, said that it was
important to promote awareness of liberal arts and literature in Pakistan and
to honour literary figures like Munnu Bhai.