The ninth edition of the International Urdu Conference hosted by the Arts Council of Pakistan Karachi will be held from Dec 1 to Dec 4, announced the council’s Ahmed Shah at a press conference on Tuesday.
Every year Indian writers and poets attend the moot, lending it variety. This time round, owing to the tensions on the Pakistan-India border, they will not be seen reading their papers or taking part in different sessions as panelists.
Talking about the non-availability of Indian writers and poets, Mr Shah said he did not believe in dividing literature on the basis of religion. He said Indian writers (Gulzar, Gopichand Narang etc) had contributed substantially to Urdu literature but, these days, Indian writers were afraid of visiting Pakistan fearing they’d be treated badly on their return to India.
However, he said, he would try and have some of the writers get connected to the conference via video or audio link.
Mr Shah said Urdu scholar from countries such as the United States, Germany, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Finland and Egypt would participate in the conference. From within Pakistan, he said, almost all renowned writers and poets had been invited.
Speaking on the marked feature of this year’s event Mr Shah said literature buffs would get to see and hear distinguished writer Mirza Athar Baig for the first time. Then there was a special session on Faiz, he said.
Apart from that, he said, the role of cultural institutions in the country and the role of regional languages would be discussed during the four-day moot.
He said keeping with the theme of the event, a theatre group would present Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi’s story ‘Haveli’. He said before the final session of the conference writer Anwar Maqsood would entertain the audience with a piece titled ‘Khuda Hafiz’.