Writers and poets from India are set to miss the ninth edition of the International Urdu Conference hosted by the Arts Council of Pakistan in Karachi, owing to the prevailing tension on the India-Pakistan border.
Every year “Indian writers and poets attend the moot lending it variety but this time round, due to tensions on the Pakistan-India border, they will not be seen reading their papers or taking part in different sessions as panelists”, Ahmed Shah, a council member, was quoted by Dawn as saying.
Talking about the non-availability of Indian writers and poets, 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, scheduled to be held from December 1 to 4, via video or audio link.
Shah said Urdu scholars from countries such as the US, Germany, Denmark, Britain, Finland and Egypt would participate in the conference. From within Pakistan, he said, almost all renowned writers and poets had been invited.