Pakistani political events in 2022 and 2023 sent people looking for the root cause of the military-civil balance in the country.
This search trail inevitably leads to Faiz Ahmad Faiz. Let's skip back in time to 1988 when the erstwhile Soviet Union was still active in its international outreach and sponsored an organization called 'Afro-Asian Writers' Association'.
This association published a book, with a 'decolonization' theme that covered the following Soviet-aligned resistance figures:
- Faiz Ahmed Faiz - Pakistani poet and activist
- Mouin Beseisso - Palestinian poet based in Jordan
- Alex la Guma - anti-apartheid South African novelist
A copy of the book could not be found but it gives us a profound insight into the stature of Faiz as a freedom-fighting poet and activist, presumably against the US-aligned military regime of the 60s and some part of the 70s.
If current (as of January 2023) political stalemates of Pakistan get prolonged or a constitutional crisis erupts, some elements may be encouraged to align with other poetic freedom movements in the world. If such a thing happens, the stature and internationally recognized work of Faiz may serve as a template.
Are there poets, novelists and other literary figures that would step up if such a scenario does come to pass? Only time can tell.