Thursday, February 7, 2013

Theatre play on the great Pashtun warrior poet khushal khattak earns huge public accolades

Ihtisham Ul Haq Toru

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Culture department presented a beautiful theatre play based on the life, literary works and political struggle of the great Pashtun warrior poet, visionary and a intellectual genius Khushhal Khan Khattak who lived in the 17th century. In his teenage he became the chief of his tribe while Mughal king Shah Jahan also approved his appointment as venue collector and celebrated his succession to his father Shahbaz Khan who later fought many wars for ensuring writ of the Mughal kingdom in the region.

In his first stage of his illustrious career Khushhal Khan Khattak won appreciation from Mughal king for quelling revolts in Pashtun belt , hurting even Yousafzai’s pride to prove himself loyal in the eyes of Mughal kingdom as he was fair and honest in his duty but later his own family members including his uncles and sons were exploited by Mughal kings through a secret deal with Yousafzais , he was put in prison and then in second stage he became aware of his misplaced struggle and thought out a unification plan of Pashtuns.

Yousafzai tribe provided shelter to Khan Baba’s family women when Mughal king wanted them to arrest; this further revealed the fact on Khushhal Khan that his achievements for Mughal kingdom were misplaced. On his release from prison he revolted against Mughal king who wanted to enslave Pashtuns for serving their vested interests. In his third stage of his life, Khan Baba engaged in the unification of all Pashtun tribes at one platform to identify their enemy and fight against social evils so that they could become a peaceful, cultured and determined nation- ready to defend their territory at all costs.

Being a multifaceted personality, it was not easy to present on stage every thing Khan Baba did but to give a collective impression to the audience so that they could have a wholesome an idea of a great warrior poet, political leader and intellectual at the same time, said writer of the play Noorul Bashar Naveed. Also he said taste for a theatre play in Peshawar was long forgotten and reintroducing theatrics in a militancy- hit province was an uphill task, he added.

Director Masood Ahmad Shah said, carrying along such a huge army of cast on the stage was no doubt a great job but his team made it a great landmark by playing out it in a befitting manner. “I am fully satisfied with the intelligent response of the audience. I strongly believe that theatre plays can draw audience in Peshawar and local talent can do it in their own way, more theatre plays on such great national heroes should be planned for educating our young generation,” Shah suggested.

Co- directors Fahmeed Khan and Ashfaq Toru in their remarks said that staging Khushhal Khan Khattak was like travelling back into time and history plays have their own theatrical idiosyncrasies. “We first made all our major characters to study Khushhal Baba first so that they could absorb the spirit of the play. Engaging audience’s attention for long more than two hours is a bit difficult but active involvement of the actors overcame it with their perfect delivery and lively performance,” They said.

Senior actor Javed Babar who played role of Khan Baba’s defiant uncle Bahadar Khan said that stage plays on national heroes could give an insight to the audience to understand our past while young actor Kalim Khan who acted ‘Khushhal Khan Khattak’ was all praise for the project adding that at many places he got emotional and overwhelmed with the feelings that he was doing something actual in the past. “It was indeed a great challenge and playing it out was not a joke. It was superb and beyond my imagination,” Kalim Khan maintained.
Minsiter culture mian iftekhar and offical also in audience-
To night will be the final show and only families will be allowed to watch the play with children above ten at 3: 50 pm after which gates will closed for further entry.

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