KARACHI: The 10th edition of International Urdu Conference kick started at the Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi on Thursday.
The event was attended by a large number of scholars, writers, poets, critics, students and literati of the country.
Every year the conference is organised to promote and highlight the importance and evolution of the Urdu language.
In his opening speech, Arts Council of Pakistan President Ahmed Shah said, "The purpose of this conference is to strengthen literary and cultural pillars of the society in order to help them grow."
"We are dedicating this conference to the founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah who is the reason to extend this conference from four days to five days this year. On the concluding day, that is 25th December, we will be cutting the birthday cake for the founder of Pakistan.”
This year's conference is commemorating 70 years of Pakistan's independence. It will pay tribute to writers, artists and poets who have contributed to the cause of Pakistan and Urdu language through various forms of art.
Pirzada Qasim, Zia Mohyeddin, Raza Ali Aabdi, Zahida Hina, Heroji Kataoka, Zahra Nigah, Shamim Hanafi from India, Kishwar Naheed, Iftikhar Arif, Arif Naqvi, Nayeem Tahir, Asad Muhammad Khan, Qazi Afzal Hussain, Amjad Islam Amjad and Syed Sardar Shah, the cultural minister of Sindh chaired the first session of the conference.
Mubeen Mirza, in his article on Urdu, shared, "Literature is the lifeline of any society from art to culture, tradition, politics, ethics, religion and science."
Shamim Hanafi, a prominent writer and critic from India highlighted the progressive movement before the partition and freedom and analyzed the post freedom aspect of literature and its impact on the culture.
He also discussed the wisdom of Faiz, Jalib and other distinguished writers of the past.
Kishwar Naheed said it is the duty of writers and art personalities to stand against the fundamentalism and terrorism in the country.
Heroji Kataoka from Japan, who is known for translating Urdu literature into the Japanese, has translated many renowned poets and writers, including Faiz Ahmed Faiz.
He said, "We should spread love and harmony among the nations as it is what literature really teaches us."
Qazi Afzal Hussain, Zahida Hina, Yasmeen Tahir, Amjad Islam Amjad, Asad Muhammad Khan, Ameena Syed, Masood Ashar, Shamim Hanafi, Raza Ali Aabdi, Iftikhar Arif and Zahrah Nigah congratulated President Ahmed Shah and his team for managing and successfully convening the International Urdu conference 10th time at the Arts Council of Pakistan.
Sindh Culture Minister Syed Sardar Shah, in his welcome speech, said that politics broke the subcontinent into two parts while Urdu remains one of the strongest means of connection for the two countries.
"Literature teaches us how to live in peace, harmony, and co-existence. If politics is dividing us it is literature and Urdu which is knotting us into one piece," he added further.
The five-day conference will conclude on Dec 25 with discussions on various themes of changing face of journalism, book launches, Pakistan and Japan's literary relations, Urdu fiction, Urdu and Science, evolution of Urdu films, dance, music, painting and theatre in Pakistan.