European Union Cosponsors the First Islamabad Literature Competition (


European Union cosponsored the primary Islamabad Literature Competition. Organized by Oxford College Press, the pageant obtained super public response with greater than 15,000 members attending 35 classes and 70 main literature and non-fiction English and Urdu writers interacting with them. Youth in enormous numbers marked their appreciation for literary heritage of Pakistan. The colourful occasion was illuminated with vigorous debates on present points. In his inaugural deal with, EU Ambassador Lars-Gunnar Wigemark paid wealthy tributes to Pakistan’s cultural and literary heritage. Ambassador Wigemark was of the view that literary festivals needs to be held in different cities of Pakistan as they expresses nation’s range and its potential to have discourse on completely different points.

Inaugural Tackle by EU Ambassador Mr Lars-Gunnar Wigemark

Your Excellencies, Girls and Gentleman
After the resounding success of the Literature Festivals held in Karachi and Lahore, the European Union is proud to sponsor the First Islamabad Literature Competition, delivered to you by an skilled {and professional} workforce that I’m personally excited and honoured to be a part of.

Literature festivals are necessary.  They’re necessary as a result of they breathe contemporary life into the artwork of storytelling.  They’re necessary as a result of they bring about collectively an unlimited variety of viewpoints, each in battle and in harmony. And they’re necessary as a result of they promote by their very essence that almost all fragile and strong of beliefs: a typical house totally free expression of concepts and opinions.

Such an alternate of views in an environment freed from concern and prejudice appears extra necessary in at present’s Pakistan than ever earlier than.

As we have fun the energy of democracy in Pakistan with the forthcoming elections on 11 Could, there are those that attempt to silence the opinions they don’t agree with – utilizing brute power, muting their opponents with inhumane bombs and goal killings.

One is reminded of your nice poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s phrases:
“How a lot blood do you want
O land of mine
Earlier than your pale face turns crimson
Like a glowing rose
What number of sighs will quench your
What number of tears earlier than your backyard flowers?”

However historical past teaches us that those that attempt to extinguish their ideological enemies by utilizing violence and intimidation will all the time fail in the long run.  In Europe it took centuries of bloody conflicts and wars earlier than we realized this merely reality. And the European Union is at present constructed on the elemental notion of a peaceable coexistence of various concepts, nations and cultures.
Totalitarian ideologies controlling each particular person’s each act and thought will finally result in their very own demise.  That’s the reason the EU will all the time assist the liberty of expression right here in Pakistan.
Pakistan is a younger nation with an previous tradition.  Your literary custom runs deep and like all nice cultures you may have a love for poetry and your poets.  Writers and poets seize the spirit of a nation, the essence of its folks, in a manner no political or different leaders ever can.
No two literary traditions are the identical, for literature is a mirror of the tradition that births it, a window into the soul of that place and that point.  Out of the turbulent instances Pakistan is at the moment present process, new nice writers and poets will emerge, reflecting the prism of divergent and vibrant concepts. Pakistan sits in the course of cultural cross roads, the place completely different civilizations and folks have met and mingled throughout 1000’s of years.
I firmly consider the Pakistani society is, at coronary heart, deeply pluralistic and divergent.  You have got too many languages, too many various ethnicities, and too many religions to ever succumb to the dogmas of a single thought or ideology.  This immunity and variety of spirits is an actual energy and can stay a supply of inspiration for future writers, musicians and poets.
Pakistanis love to debate and debate.  I can consider no different nation the place prime time tv can be so full of debate and speak reveals on the expense of cleaning soap operas and different senseless leisure.  This can be a facet of Pakistani that many outsiders aren’t conscious of and literature festivals, equivalent to this one in right here in Islamabad, will even present a possibility to challenge Pakistan’s distinctive tradition past its borders.
Pakistan’s literary custom boasts of giants of the previous like Manto and Faiz Ahmed Faiz, or well-known names equivalent to Ahmed Faraz, Ashfaq Ahmed, Bano Qudsia, Bapsi Sidhwa, Amjad Islam Amjad, Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi and now the brand new technology of writers like Mohammed Hanif, Mohsin Hamid, Kamila Shamsie, Farhat Abbas, Noor ul Huda Shah, Fehmida Riaz, Farhat Abbas, Umaira Ahmed and lots of others; Pakistan has an unbroken line of literary and narrative prowess.
Regardless of a tragically low literacy charge, you may have a deeply rooted love of storytelling, which transcends the written phrase. It’s our joint accountability to advertise increased literacy, in order that the legacy of literature is preserved and handed ahead to the brand new Pakistani storytellers of tomorrow. Schooling for all is maybe the best problem going through Pakistan.
That’s the reason the European Union helps public main and secondary schooling in Pakistan. For the previous 14 years now we have supported the schooling sector with over 200 million euro, or almost 30 billion rupees, and within the coming years we are going to proceed doing so, particularly in Khyber Pakthunkwa and Sindh.

Along with our Member States, the EU is the most important donor to the schooling sector in Pakistan, protecting all provinces and ranges of schooling from public to non-public.  The approaching technology of younger Pakistanis have to be nourished not simply with fundamental abilities but additionally with good literature.

I feel now we have all been struck by the massive variety of younger folks attending the latest literature festivals in Karachi and Lahore.  Attending the pageant in Karachi this yr my spouse and I have been stunned by the nice range of individuals, younger and previous, listening to the completely different panels and shows. There may be clearly a pent up demand for such occasions throughout the nation.

These festivals are wanted throughout Pakistan. In Faisalabad, in Peshawar, and in Quetta.
We should always encourage and empower that nice silent majority that believes in discourse, carefully, in creative expression, and in tradition.  Allow us to have fun the range and depth of Pakistani society.

I want you all an fulfilling two days of feasting on the desk of literature.
Thanks on your consideration.

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