ISLAMABAD: Adviser on National History and Literary Heritage Irfan Siddiqui on Friday urged the writers to highlight the plight of Kashmiris, their exemplary sacrifices and struggle for independence through the power of their pen.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the four-day National Book Festival being arranged by the National Book Foundation (NBF), he said that the international community must fulfill its commitments and Kashmiris be given their due right to self-determination as per the UN resolutions.
Expressing solidarity with the Kashmiri people, he said that they (Kashmiris) have been rendering great sacrifices for their right to independence. They have strongly resisted against injustice and defeated aggressions with strong determination, he pointed out.
He said that the literary persons must bring the exemplary story of Kashmiris’ struggle for their rights and sacrifices in front of the world. Irfan Siddiqui said that it was heartening to see that despite advent of modern technology, people were still having a strong connection with the books.
A large number of books are written, published and sold out every year which is a welcoming sign. The adviser said that the last year, over 300,000 book lovers participated in the National Book Fair and books of private publishers worth Rs 18 million were sold out which reflect peoples’ urge and love for books.
He said that the NBF was publishing one book daily and providing to the readers on discounted rates. He said that a suggestion was under-consideration to give national award to the publishers who would publish more books annually for their encouragement. He said that the Endowment Fund of Rs 500 million created by former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has started generating funds which would be utilised for the welfare of writers’ community.
He said that the government would publish and promote books of those writers who cannot afford to further promote book culture. As per suggestion of President Mamnoon Hussain during the previous National Book Fair, Translation Bureau (Darul Tarjuma) has been established which has started translation of various books.
On the occasion, Federal Secretary Aamir Hasan and NBF Managing Director Dr Inamul Haq Javed said that the NBF book outlets would also be opened in five new cities to provide books on discounted rates. They informed the audience that NBF was also opening Kitab Ghar at Islamabad and Karachi airports soon.