Teenager from Waziristan beats pandemic boredom by writing a book

Sher Alam Shinwari

PESHAWAR: Bilawal Latif Dawar, 13-year-old, seventh grader, hailing from Hamzoni Alikhel village, Miranshah town in district North Waziristan has recently brought out his maiden book on Pakhtun heroes with an objective to send out a message to his young fellow students to beat down the boredom of staying home and bring out their strength through different positive activities, including reading and writing. He said that he wanted to counter the negative narrative built about Pakhtuns and also aimed at educating the young generation to improve reading and writing skills towards a bright future.

It was a tough time for his family to shift to Peshawar way back in 2013 following the anti-terrorism operations in the area though he opened up eyes when his parents were well settled in the posh area of Peshawar, Hayatabad and when grew up, he got admission at the Army Public School, Kohat and the hostel environment inspired him to indulge in healthy activities besides sports and class assignments and reading books stayed with young Dawar.

Mr Dawar while giving details told the Sunrise Today that he was born with a flair for reading and writing, adding that when schools were closed down due to Corona pandemic, it was a golden opportunity for him to embark upon his dream journey and that was to write a book on the Pakhtun heroes to break the narrative of some negative minded people who took Pakhtuns for granted wrongfully believing that most Pakhtuns were uneducated, uncivilized and even dubbed them as militants.

“After doing enough research and seeking guidance from my parents and different writers, I decided to write a book, titled ‘Pakhtun heroes’ to prove that there had been great Pakhtuns in almost every field and also to give a positive message to my young fellows that instead of wasting their precious time they should bring out their hidden qualities during the prevailing situation as it would not only help them decrease their mental stress but would also open up their minds for future challenges and reading and writing were the best recipes,” the young writer explained.

The 70-page book ‘Pakhtun heroes’ carries brief accounts of the several legendary personalities, including famous Pakhtun kings, army generals, peace makers and sufi poets and the lone woman called Nazo Tokhi, the mother of Mirwais Baba. Starting with Afghan Kings, Ahmad Shah Durrani, Sher Shah Suri, Ibrahim Lodhi, the list also includes Ali Kuli Khan Khattak, Karnal Sher Khan, Hamza Baba and ends with Bacha Khan. The book also sheds light on different Pakhtun dynasties, and Pakhtun diaspora across the world.

“Work, Work and Work were the only words of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah that have been echoing in my ears since my third grade. I have fulfilled a great dream of my life and my future plans are to continue improving reading and writing skills and also advise my young friends to utilize their inborn talent for the national interests and show to the world that Pakhtuns are brave and peaceful people and they love humanism. I have already started work on a book on Balochistan and its land and people,” Mr Dawar concluded.

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