Islamabad - Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani yesterday said that the “federation today stands on the crossroads where all the roads except one lead to destruction.”

He said, “The middle class, civil society and labour class need to question the elite about their due rights; otherwise, the consequences will be for you and your generation to pay.” He was speaking as chief guest of a ceremony held to pay tribute to revolutionary poet Habib Jalib here at Lok Virsa on Monday evening.

Rabbani said that Jalib’s poetry is against corruption and for a society where there is rule of law and constitutional supremacy. He further said that today the gulf between haves and have-nots has increased.

Rabbani said that Pakistani society today depicts unequal distribution of wealth and such a society was neither Quaid’s dream nor of Jalib’s.

The chairman Senate said that politics, struggle and literature have lost their connection and the resultant vacuum has created materialism. He said that Jalib identified his poetry with the victimised class of Pakistani society. The civil society and political workers stood up against the dictatorship of Ayub and Zia because they found inspiration in Jalib. “Today political parties have been scattered and workers are demoralised as there is no inspiration.”

Rabbani said that even law in today’s Pakistan is discriminatory and there are five different scales for implementation of law for the military elite, civil elite, bureaucracy, collaborators and for Jalib’s citizens.

Former Senator Afrasayab Khattak recalled his days in jail with Habib Jalib and said that his poetry was part of ideological manifesto and his message became the message of youth’s resistance. He said that even people with no knowledge of Urdu used to attend his gatherings. Mir Hasil Bazinjo said when he was a student in 1980s, there was hardly any member of Baloch Student Organization who did not know Jalib and if one student started reading Jalib’s verses, everyone came along.

The ceremony met its climax when Jalib’s daughter Tahira Jalib read out the poem ‘dastoor’ in the same way as his father did. The ceremony also witnessed the first ever Habib Jalib Courage Award being given to women rights activist Nasreen Azhar.