The Literary Traditions and Future Tendencies of China and Pakistan
Pakistan Academy of Letters and China Writers Association are holding a Webinar on the topic: “The Literary Traditions and Future Tendencies of China and Pakistan.” I am grateful to the Chairman of Pakistan Academy of Letters eminent literary legend Dr. Yousuf Khushk, who has asked me to join the panel of Pakistani writers and express my views on the given topic. It is a very vast subject and needs much time to throw light on its various and varied facets but in the assigned short time, I would briefly comment on the relevant aspects.
The literary traditions of Pakistani and the Chinese writers are alike and synonymous in letter and spirit. The writers of both the countries aspired freedom from monarchic and imperial yoke. Dr Iqbal gave the idea of Pakistan and in one of his poems he had also predicted the bright future of China and had said:
“The Chinese are waking up from deep slumber and I see the fountains springing from mountain Himalaya.”
It is pertinent to mention that the Founder and Pioneer of China Revolution Mao ze Tung was a poet, philosopher, leader and a warrior. He struggled for freedom and social justice and toppled the autocratic regime. Great British Philosopher Bertrand Russell in an article titled “The Reawakening of China” had praised the revolution of China led by Mao and predicted China to be the super power of future. The Chinese had been under the moral and spiritual influence of philosopher Confucius for centuries. One of the Chinese proverbs goes:
“Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.”
According to Vygotsky:
“Interaction is essential to the development of individual thought.”
In the pursuance of knowledge and interaction, the Chinese and Pakistani writers should be in touch and the exchange of delegations is quite imperative. After the CPEC plan, the affinities and affiliations between two nations are a must. On the importance of writers in a living nation, the present president of China XI Jinping in one of his speeches on art, poetry and culture under the title “A Nation Must Have a Soul”, says:
“A nation must have a soul that captures our fine traditions. As cerebral undertakings, literature, art, philosophy and social sciences are creations of the soul; they are indispensable and must never go astray.”
(The Governance of China. Page 376)
I would like to mention the names of some eminent living writers of China who are promoting their national cause of stability, social justice and national cohesion. Most of them are the members of CPP CC. They are: Li Guyi, Li Xuejian, Shi Guangnan, Jiang Zilong, XieJin, Lu Yao, Lu Yao, Fan Jinshi, Li Yining, Lin Yifu, Wang Jiafu, Hu Fuming, Xu Chongde, Du Runsheng and Zheng Derong. They are outstanding artists, poets and writers, keeping up with and serving the needs of the times.
In a speech the President of China XI Jinping had said:
“Prose and poetry are composed to reflect the times and reality.”
From this statement of the President of China, the Pakistani writers can learn a lot. A great writer must represent the voice of time and his people. Life and Literature are inseparable. In the opinion of Matthew Arnold, T. S. Eliot and Dr Iqbal, literature is the mirror of life. It must promote human universal values such as love, justice, freedom, moderation, tolerance, peace, ethics, progression and human rights.
The great Pakistani writers Dr Iqbal, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Ahmed Faraz, Nadeem Ahmed Qasmi, Habib Jalib, Abdullah Hussain, Zahir Babar and Shoukat Siddiqui have highlighted the social issues of society. The writers of both the countries have rich heritage surmounting and surpassing the negative forces of society. I deem it very important to strengthen ties with the literary circles of both nations.
The CPEC scheme is the back bone of unity and economy of China and Pakistan. The future tendencies between both the nations are based on our political, economic and cultural ties. The stand of China on the national plea of Pakistan on Kashmir is according to the UN resolutions and is quite apt and legal. It is the stand of the government of China which represents the voice of the Chinese. I hope the writers of China will also highlight the Kashmir issue as the unprecedented atrocities being perpetrated on defenceless Kashmiris by Indian predators need an urgent attention worldwide.
In the end, I would like to mention that a large chunk of land of Kashmir known as Aqsai Chin is under the control of China per Karachi Pact between China and Pakistan. This pact was made with the consent of both countries to protect Kashmir from Indian illegal occupation. Ladakh is a Pakistani territory wherein India is intruding. Recently, in a skirmish some Indian soldiers were killed by Chinese. China is building 800 kilometre long new road that will connect Ladakh to Skardu. There are so many divided families whose relatives reside across the border. Some live in Kargil and some in Skardu. To unite them, we need to drive out the Indian occupied forces from that area.
Our future tendencies are not only literary and cultural but they are social, political, economic and strategic also. In the main states of Gilgit-Baltistan such as Gilgit, Sakardu, Guanche, Hunza Valley, Ghizer, Shigar, Astore, and Nagar, we see the linguistic and cultural influence of China. The main language of G-B are Gilgiti, Balti, Broshiki, Wakhi, and Hunzavi. These local dialects are intermingled. The people living on the border between China and Gilgit-Baltistan share many common customs. We need to strengthen bonds between them.
In a nutshell, while summing up the discourse, it goes without saying that China and Pakistan are true and tested friends and need correlation, concordance, and coordination at all levels. It is a matter of our survival. Long live China-Pakistan Friendship.