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A refusal that speaks volumes, Seraiki poet, writer Dr Ashu Lal refused to accept the Kamal i Fun Award

Hyderabad: 3 April 2022: A refusal that speaks volumes. Renowned Seraiki poet and writer Dr Ashu Lal refused to accept the Kamal-i-Fun Award having the prize money of Rs1 million announced by the Pakistan Academy of Letters on Thursday. He was selected for the award by a committee of PAL and the announcement in this regard was made at a press conference by Dr Yousuf Khushk, chairman of the academy. Urdu novelist and travelogue writer Mustansar Hussain Tarar is the other author who got the highest award of the country besides Ashu. When asked by Dawn the motive behind his move, Ashu Lal said: “The deep state is oppressing the natives, our resources and our culture. Our children go missing under the fascist regime. The natives are ignored badly. How can we accept the award from an anti-people and anti-art state?” He says the awards are mostly politically motivated and they have become controversial, limited only to photo sessions. He asserts that he doesn’t have anything to do with the deep state in government, literature or culture. He considers it degrading for himself to accept an award from a president in the current regime who does not even know him.

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