GWADAR: The statue of Baloch scholar Syed Zahoor Shah Hashmi was installed at Padizar Avenue in the port city on Saturday.—Photo by writer

GWADAR: A monumental statue to pay tribute to the Baloch scholar, poet, author and lexicographer late Syed Zahoor Shah Hashmi was installed at Padizar Avenue of the port city on Saturday.

The sculpture was made by renowned Iranian sculptor Hassan Yad­garzadeh with the support of Mir Abdul Ghafoor Kalmati Trust.

Intellectuals, Baloch writers and academics from Gwadar and other parts of Balochistan, Iran and the Middle East attended the inauguration ceremony at Padizar Avenue.

In their speeches, they paid tribute to the late scho­lar and recalled his efforts for the promotion of Baloch language and literature.

Born in Gwadar in 1929, Hashmi is remembered for his love for his mother tongue that encouraged him to write the first Baloch dictionary Syed Ganj. He explored dialects in Baloch language and found ancient words and phrases. He explained some patterns for Balochi grammar and writing in his book “Balochi Syahage rast nibisag”.

The first Balochi novel “Nazuk”, which got fame after PTV Bolan adapted it into a drama serial, is another significant literary work of Hashmi. Through this novel, he sketched a picture of the coastal people and especially the social criteria of life for women in Gwadar during that time. While his research, poetry, essays and novels are exceptionally unique contributions to Balochi literature, Hashmi was a lingual expert not only in Balochi but also in Arabic, Urdu, Persian, Hindi, Sanskrit and English.

He died after a prolonged illness on April 24, 1978. He was awarded Pride of Performance in 2003 for his works.

Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2019

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