The 16th Aalmi Urdu Conference of the Arts Council of Pakistan (ACP) will be held from November 30 to December 3 at the ACP Karachi. The announcement was made by ACP Karachi President Muhammad Ahmad Shah at a press conference.
Besides him, eminent poet Iftikhar Arif, senior journalist Ghazi Salahuddin, author Noorul Huda Shah, Qudsia Akbar and ACP Karachi Secretary Aijaz Farooqi briefed the media.
Shah said Sindh caretaker chief minister Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar would inaugurate the festival, while Gulzar and Javed Siddiqui from India would participate through videoconferencing.
He said the Arts Council would launch Siddiqui’s book, adding that the renowned author is also the screenwriter of ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’. “We’ll also launch Indian journalist Saeed Naqvi’s book ‘Musalman Lapata Hogaye’.” Arif congratulated Shah and the whole team for kicking off such a remarkable conference. He said that in this conference, not only will the people of Karachi participate but also those from around the world.
“It is an international need that is fulfilled by the Arts Council. We were far away from huge authors. It was our mistake. It is a big task to gather authors and intellectuals of various languages under the same roof. Now I feel happy when I see this building.”
Noorul Huda said the Arts Council has organised festivals in Lahore, Kashmir and Sukkur. “The meaning of Ahmed Shah and the Arts Council was changed after these experimental events. We observed huge gatherings at these festivals as compared to the political parties’ sessions. Literature is the only source to spread awareness.”
Salahuddin said the international conference is the mother of all festivals. He said the Urdu conference is that little effort to connect the youth with literature because it is important to save Pakistan’s identity.
He added that it is a unique thing to gather different linguists and intellectuals under the same roof, and it is a good opportunity to meet renowned personalities face to face.
Qudsia said that being a part of the Art Council is a great honour for her. She said the Urdu conference spread because people love literature. “Literature is the national identity. The relationship between Urdu and other languages will strengthen through the Urdu conference.”
Karachi Arts Council President Ahmad Shah announces the schedule of the 16th Aalmi Urdu Conference at a press conference. Aijaz Farooqi, Iftikhar Arif, Noorul Huda Shah and Ghazi Salahuddin are also pictured — The News photo by Zahid Rahman