"New Karachi literary festival hopes to turn page on bombs," trumpeted a headline in the Independent, UK.
Inspired by Jaipur, the festival in March "may not turn the page on the bombs," as Siraj Khan, a Boston-based Pakistani commented in an email, "but it is very inspiring. In my recent seven-month stint in Karachi, I saw and felt this breath of fresh air myself. This has not happened overnight and it's not just the new crop of writers who are turning the tide".
The event, sponsored by Oxford University Press and the British Council, will cater to readers of English. The First International Urdu Conference in Karachi, November 2008, showcased several Indian writers. Last November, the inspiring five-day event included a music festival, although the ongoing tension between Pakistan and India barred the Indian delegates from attending. Scholar Dr Gopichand Narang addressed the gathering via telephone from New Delhi. "My heart is with the people of Pakistan in Karachi and I hope the condition in your country improves soon,' he said, to rousing applause.
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