ISLAMABAD: A delegation of literary personalities from Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral criticised the Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) for ignoring the promotion of languages spoken in their areas.
The literary personalities said PAL should provide financial assistance to writers and also publish their literary works. However, Chairman PAL Abdul Hameed said the organisation faced shortage of funds. The delegation was in Islamabad to participate in the “Culture festival for peace and pluralism”. On Monday, the delegation discussed their issues with the management of PAL.
Writer Ghulam Abbas Naseem said: “There are a number of writers who have written books but they are not able to publish them because of financial constraints.” He said PAL should come forward and publish their literary works.
“Some writers are handicapped, so PAL should provide them stipends because it is the responsibility of the organisation to work for the promotion of literature and literary persons,” he said.
Poet Ali Qurban said PAL was doing nothing for the promotion of the local languages due to which these languages were facing extinction. “We need funds to document local languages but unfortunately not a single department of the government is ready to preserve our languages,” he said.
The PAL chairman said the promotion of the languages spoken in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral was the responsibility of the organisation. He said PAL had published writings from Broshaski, Shina, Balti and Khowar languages and was planning to set up a provincial office in the Gilgit city. He said in its regular magazine PAL also published translations of selected writings from these languages. He said the objectives can only be obtained if one or more focal persons were appointed to help PAL in keeping contact with the writers of these areas.
The head of the delegation, Abdul Khaliq Taj, said translation of literature helped writers and readers understand the people of different regions and cultures. He said PAL would be provided with the Urdu translations of selected writings from the languages of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral for publication in its magazine on a regular basis.
Abdullah Shahab, the representative of ‘Khowar Qalam Qabila’ said the literary organisation was working for producing work in the Khowar language spoken in Chitral and some parts of Gilgit-Baltistan.
Writer W.D. Baig said they were planning to organise an international languages conference and PAL should help them in this regard.