ISLAMABAD -UNS : Historians attending the concluding sessions of the 24th conference of International Association of Historians of Asia conference on Asian History, Culture and Environment: Vernacular and Oriental Paradigms eulogized China’s role in the region for greater peace.
At least 50 historians, scholars and academicians presented their papers in two sessions consisting of six parallel panels on Wednesday. Being organized by the National Institute of Historical and Cultural Research, the conference participants were unanimous that it would strengthen the prevailing bonds of friendship between participants of different countries.
Prof. Dr. Javed Haider Syed of University of Gujrat and Qudsia Batool of Government Women College, Lala Musa discussed Life and Works of Sufi Saint Shah Daula stating that he is popularly known throughout the world owing to his miracle of rat kids. He is known as miraculous personality only and people know very little about his vital input in society.
Rasib Mehmood spoke on Unsung Muslim and Sikh Heroes of Sargodha.
Faraz Ali Shah and Sajid Hussain spoke on the grandson of Timur, Ulugh Beg Muhammad Taragaiya (1394-1449) saying he is known in Central Asian history as the creator of many cultural monuments. He was a progressive man and promoted free thinking. He was a mathematician and an astronomer, and as a patron of other sciences that made him stand out not only in his Muslim contemporaries but also among his learned peers elsewhere, including those of Europe.
Farah Gul Baqai of the NIHCR, said that Sir Ganga Ram was a great personality of Punjab; he played an important role in the development and prosperity of Punjab. Ganga Ram was a qualified architecture, who designed majestic buildings in Lahore, Amritsar, Patiala and other major cities.
Dr. Naumana Kiran of University of the Punjab, Lahore discussed efforts, works and sacrifices of Fatima Begum, who created awareness among women of the Punjab and NWFP through her college. Her services for the rehabilitation of Muslim migrant women were praiseworthy.
Bashir Ahmed Jatoi of University of Sindh, Jamshoro said Shah jo Risalo is considered to be a Bible in Sindh because it teaches lessons of love, peace, harmony and respect for all the humanity.
Dr. Shahid Nawaz of University of Sargodha, explored imagery of Subcontinent’s history and culture in Urdu novel during British period. He said the multi-layered culture and history of subcontinent have been documented in different languages and literature. Urdu, a relatively modern language, is an example of such treasure. It has presented and documented the culture in forms of poetry and novel in a mature way.
Noorul Basar Aman of University of Malakand informed that Pashto language is about five thousand years old but unfortunately, very less reading and writing has been done in it, due to which the language could not develop with the passage of time. The era of Khushal Khan is considered to be a revolutionary era for both writing and reading in Pashto language.
Zarina Salamat, a senior historian, critically reviewed a study on Indus waters and change: The evolution and transformation of the agrarian society in Pakistan by Syed Ali Naqvi. She highlighted Naqvi’s vast knowledge and profound experience in Pakistan’s massive irrigation system which demonstrates how human destiny is tied to water as centre of life.
Pattarat Phantprasit of University of Edinburgh, Scotland, spoke on the reflection of fear and anger in Thai society before Thammasat University massacre on October 6, 1976.
Mamoona Sajid of G. C. University, Faisalabad, discussed difficulties faced by English language teachers in teaching writing skills to mild mentally retarded students in ICT identifying and highlighting the importance of writing skills for the mentally retarded children.
Gohar Ali Iftikhar of Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, spoke on setting up of Roshan girls primary school in April 2011 in Basti Abbaspur, Jodhpur, Kabirwala as there was no school for girls in the radius of 2-3 kilometres.
Mahboob Ali Dahraj of Shaheed Benazir University, Benazirabad explored role of mosques and modern institutions of Sindh in promoting education stating that many of the alphabets of Sindhi language are borrowed from Arabic alphabets. Sindhi language, in the contemporary era is alive in the world by mosque education. The mosque education has played an affective role in the teaching of Sindhi alphabets particularly in a time period when Sindhi language is losing its place in the class rooms and text books.
Zaigham Aizad Malik also spoke on the topic.
Discussing the paradoxical evolution of China’s Kashmir policy, Muhammad Shoaib and Saadat Nazir of Area Study Centre for Africa, North and South America, observed that China’s Kashmir policy inevitably influences its policies toward Pakistan and India. Endorsing anyone’s stance would imply support for either of the parties. Thus, instead of supporting one party, it has carefully crafted its Kashmir policy over the years and pursued two parallel policies vis-à-vis the dispute, particularly in the post-Mao Tse-Tung era.
Arshad Ali Shah spoke on China’s policy towards Afghanistan since 9/11 observing that China has been diplomatically and economically engaged in Afghanistan since 2001. China has made a limited aid contribution of about $250 million to Afghanistan in the last thirteen years. China’s participation in the peace process of Afghanistan is not only essential for the latter but also for the whole region.
Muhammad Jahanzaib Malik, Nida Khalid, Savitri Shrestha, Shaheen Abbas and Muhammad Ilyas also spoke on the topic.
Dr. Rahat Imran of University of the Punjab, Lahore discussed role of cinema as an agent for documenting, deconstructing, and portraying history for revaluation, and critique. The partition of India and the birth of Pakistan in 1947 have remained important issues for debate and investigation for writers, thinkers and historians, in both India and Pakistan, as they continue to deconstruct and remember the traumas, personal losses, and political ramifications of this historic event.
Aisha Niazi, Naheed Ashfaq and Faiza Abid of University of Management and Technology, Lahore, examined the promotion of culture and ideology with the help of language used in advertisements. Fairclough’s three dimensional model which consists of description, interpretation and explanation were used in the presentation to explore how Pakistani culture and ideology is promoted and presented through advertisements.
Hassan Shehzad and Shafqat Munir explored the direction and the space that monthly Herald, weekly Friday Times and The News on Sunday give in their editorials to democracy. Theories of mediatization, media’s social responsibility and framing were applied to reach a conclusion.