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“Pashto Literature: Past and Present”, the Recent Literary Deed of Dr. Abdullah Jan Abid.  

Reviewed By: Mustafa Kamal

Dr. Abdullah Jan Abid is one of the laborious and prominent Pashto researchers and critics, whose works have come forward in the last two decades, though he is a Professor and head of the Department of Pakistan languages, in Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad, therefore he mostly writes on Pashto language and literature in Urdu language. It not only facilitates Urdu readers, ambitious to acquaint with the structure and history of Pashto language and literature, but it also helps the Pashto literature to become updated in accordance with the modern global scenario. Uptil now, so many books on various subjects by Dr. Abid have been published and are available in market, in which every book is having its own importance and gravity. However one of his book “Pashto Adab ki Mukhtasar Tarikh” ( a Concise history of Pashto literature) is one of the most popular recent books on such like chronological subject of literary tastes and trends.

“Pashto Adab: Maazi o Haal”(Pashto literature: Past and Present), is another literary deed of Dr. Abdullah Jan Abid, wherein he has compiled two of the most important research articles of renowned man of letters and national politics, late Ajmal Khattak. Both of the articles,” Pashto Adab” (Pashto literature) and “Pashto Adab ke Pachees Saal”( 25 years of Pashto literature) contained in this book, separately narrates the probable critical history of Pashto language and literature, which contributes a lot to the respective study of Pashtuns and their letters.

“Pashto Adab” of them had been published in a literary journal, “Sang-e-Meel”, Peshawar, in 1950, while “Pashto Adab ke Pachees Saal” was published in renowned “Saaqi”, Karachi in 1955. Where after, both the research works were unavailable and the researchers had to resort to the photo copies of these articles. So, Dr. Abdullah Jan Abid deemed it pertinent to compile the separate research articles in one and the same book, which has recently been published by Pashto Academy of Quetta, Balochistan, with the collaboration of Pakistan Academy of letters, Islamabad.

Dr. Abid has not only compiled the said articles but he has also written a compact and comprehensive preface on the life and works of Ajmal Khattak as well as he has critically discussed the contents and different aspects of the given articles in his forewords . Most importantly, Dr. Abid has updated the said articles by writing necessary footnotes, wherever needed to the ingredients contained therein.

In this manner Dr. Abid has proved his vast and multi dimensional study on Pashto language and literature, because the footnotes given by him, is another concise source of knowledge, added to the book. Dr. Arshad Mehmood Nashad has truly put that Dr. Abdullah Jan Abid had treated the research articles with labor and zeal by adding his notes to them and as such status and value of these articles had been made more elevated and updated..

The importance of this book for the compilation of a critical history of Pashto literature can never be looked over, while it also introduces Pashto literature to the Urdu readers, with a scholarly manner, for which Dr. Abid deserves to be lauded and praised for his sincere enthusiasm, for Pakistani languages and literature. Pertinent to mention that literary circles have acclaimed and welcomed this great effort of Dr. Abid, which is further hoped that it would be placed amongst the great research works on Pashto language and literature.

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