Wakhi linguist, poet remembered

ISLAMABAD, Feb 10: Speakers at a condolence reference paid homage to Prof Dr Boghshoh Lashkarbekov, an eminent linguist, scholar and intellectual, who contributed immensely to the promotion of Wakhi Pamiri language and culture.

They also remembered Pir Ali, a noted poet and singer of Wakhi language. Dr Boghsoh Lashkarbekov, a noted linguist and historian died of lung failure after undergoing heart surgery in Moscow last week.

The condolence reference was organised by the Initiative for the Promotion of Pamiri Art and Culture (IPPAC) in collaboration with Pamir Times, a regional blog. Hundreds of people (men and women) including scholars, leaders, elders, activists and youth from the Wakhi community participated in the condolence reference via video-links from Russia, Tajikistan, Germany, Japan, Gilgit, Gojal valley and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).

Speaking on the occasion, the speakers from the aforesaid countries highlighted the lifestyle, services and contribution of the late legends for promotion of the Wakhi Pamiri language. The speakers urged for preservation of the Wakhi Pamiri language, as the language has been declared as an endangered one by the UNESCO. It merits a mention that the Wakhi language is spoken in Tajikistan, Afghanistan, China, Russia, Turkey and different parts of the G-B region in Pakistan.

The speakers at the reference through Skype from G-B, Germany, Japan, Russia and others parts of the world expressed shock at the demise of the scholar. Born on February 6, 1949 in Langar village of Ishkashim of Tajikistan’s Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous region, he had devoted his life for the preservation and promotion of the Pamiri languages. His last scientific work, reportedly, was about the Wakhi people living in Kashgar, the autonomous Xinjiang region of China.

Dr Boghshoh also advocated for human rights and democracy. After the civil war in Tajikistan in 90s, Boghsho moved to Moscow and stayed there till the last moment of his life.

Dr Boghshoh along with three Russian scholars had visited Pakistan in 2012 and held meetings with cultural activists, researchers and elders of the Wakhi community in different parts of G-B. In an interaction with a group of Wakhi people in Islamabad in 2012, Dr Boghshoh spoke about the Wakhi language’s origin, its future and how it can be saved from extinction. Wakhi is one of the 3,000 languages of the world which are facing extinction in the next 50 years if not preserved. He urged the Wakhi community to speak the languages with their children so that they could feel proud and promote it.

The poets of the Wakhi language Fazal Amin, Haider Murad, Falzur Rehman, D.W Baig and others paid tribute to Dr Boghshoh and Peer Ali. The speakers including linguist Fazal Amin Baig, Prof Beate Reinhold from Germany, Mirali from Russia, Sherali from Japan, Gohar Shah, Sultan Ahmed, Muhammad Aslam, Amin Beg and journalist Farman Ali in their anecdotes highlighted the services of Dr Boghshoh.

A senior Research Associate at the Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Dr Boghshoh was working with several other scholars and researchers to develop a script for the Wakhi language —his mother tongue, spoken in Tajikistan, Wakhan corridor of Afghanistan, China’s Xinjiang province and GB.–Express Tribune]]>

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