Commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Sándor Petőfi (1823-1849), the national poet of Hungary, the Hungarian Embassy in Islamabad – in collaboration with the University of the Punjab, Faculty of Oriental Learning – organized a scientific Symposium on the spiritual kinship between Petőfi and the Pakistani national poet Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938).

Ambassador Mr. Mr. Béla Fazekas highlighted the importance of Petőfi for the Hungarian people stating that a national poet is more than just being part of the national cultural heritage, a national poet should be a legend imprinted into the national identity. The Ambassador shared with the audience the results of his own research on how Iqbal became aware of Petőfi’s poetry, how Iqbal's work and ideology were influenced by the the Hungarian national poet to whom Iqbal wrote a poem paying tribute to his spiritual kin.

In 2007 as part of the Embassy’s cultural project, the selected poems of Petőfi were translated to Punjabi language by Poetess Mrs. Sarwat Mohiuddin, who also attended the symposium. She gave a lecture on the linguistic challenges of the translation process and read out some poems from the Hungarian-Punjabi bilingual Petőfi anthology.

Mr. Iqbal Salahuddin, grandson of Pakistan’s national poet also attended the event. In his address he recalled the old family conversations about how the main message of Petőfi’s poetry, the freedom, influenced his grandfather ideology.