The Express Tribune
Published Date: Sep 24, 2019
The attitude and behaviour of the society at large, and the media and advertising industry towards in particular, towards women by treating them as objects is lamentable.
This was stated by renowned progressive writer Ahmed Saleem during a ceremony on Monday to launch his new book titled ‘Peshawar ki Fankar Galliyan: 1980 kay ashry ki yadain aur batain’ (Peshawar’s artist lanes: Memories from the 1980s). The book was launched at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in Islamabad.
Saleem said that it is unfortunate that women’s bodies are to sell a host of products from newspapers, to magazines and other products in television commercials.
“This is the stark reality of our society at large, which should be denounced,” he stated.
He continued that the makeup of the Pakistani society is such that it is very difficult to get recognition.
“The only thing that remains with you is your work,” Saleem said.
SDPI’s Executive Director Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri said that the book traces the evolution and development of art, culture, television and film industry of present-day Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), especially Peshawar since the 1980s.
“The book highlights the relationship of media and society, where Saleem, through his comprehensive interviews with the Pakistan Television (PTV) artists of 1980s, tried to present the struggle and difficulties of artists,” he said.
He explained that sustainable development is firmly linked to art and literature.
SDPI Board of Governors, (BoG) Chairperson Ambassador Shafqat Kakakhel said that the first part of the book retraces Saleem’s memories wherein he highlights his stay in Peshawar and his relations with writers, poets and television actors.
Saleem, Ambassador Kakakhel said, is no less than an institution in himself, as his literary contribution are matchless.
Peshawar Gandhara Hindko Board General Secretary Ziauddin said that the book preserves social, cultural, artistic, literary, linguistic and political aspects of Peshawar.
The author, he said, rediscovered the hidden treasure of art and artists in Peshawar through his book, which is an excellent contribution to literature.
Barrister Iftikhar Ahmed, a political activist and close friend of Saleem, said that the writer is no less an artist himself except his chosen medium are words and the tool that he uses is a pen.
“I take pride that Ahmed Saleem is my friend, as he is very humble and down to earth person who cares for others,” he said.
SDPI Chemicals and Sustainable Industrial Development Senior Advisor Dr Mahmood Khwaja, while narrating different excerpts from the book, said that this book has the characteristics of a mystery novel which grabs the reader’s attention and holds on to it until the very end.
Dr Humaira Ashfaq, an Urdu editor and research fellow at SDPI, said that the book presents a social history of Peshawar, which covers the art, culture and socio-political environment of the 1980s.
She said Saleem is determined to keep his tradition alive through his writings. Ayesha Ilyas, Research Associate, SDPI also presented her thoughts on the book.